March 1, 2021
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands presents its annual Northern New Mexico Devotional Art exhibition in a virtual format through April 30 in the Ray Drew Gallery.
The virtual exhibition started Feb. 22 and features the work of 12 Northern New Mexico artists. The 9-minute video of the art exhibition can be viewed online at http://galleries.nmhu.edu/ray-drew-gallery
“Northern New Mexico devotional art is driven by faith and the artist’s belief and connection to a power greater than themselves,” said Karlene Gonzales, curator for the Ray Drew Gallery. “The art in this exhibition is a reflection of local religious historical culture carried on through generations.
“Some of the traditional artists in this show have learned the craft from family members or older mentors who have taught them the traditional way of the art by using all-natural materials and pigments which are a direct connection to nature and their creator. The contemporary artists have created spiritual depictions portraying their connection using modern media such as photography and mixed media,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the exhibition is a combination of traditional and contemporary devotional art depicted through various mediums including natural pigments, acrylics, photo imaging, beadwork and carving.
“This exhibition will introduce you to various artists and the powers and ideas that move them to create the images viewers will see. Although the show is digital in nature, the art displayed is two-and-three dimensional including paintings, photography, retablos, bultos, nichos and art created with found objects,” Gonzales said.
Retablos are traditional devotional images painted on flat wood. Bultos are three-dimensional carvings of figures. Nichos are dioramas portraying spiritual images.
“This art form has survived through the history of Northern New Mexico since the 1700s because it is passed from generation to generation. Devotional art is very strong within Hispano culture and also appreciated across other cultures,” Gonzales said.
The 14 artists featured in the exhibition include Julia Lucero-contemporary; Martin Montoya-contemporary; Cruz Flores-traditional; Brenda Flores-traditional; Geraldine Flores de Silva-traditional; Robert Henssler-contemporary; Peter E. Lopez-traditional; Adrian Montoya-traditional; Maria Montoya-contemporary; Elaine Querry-contemporary; Anna Aragon-contemporary; and Cindee Ulibarri-traditional.
“Because of the large number of practicing devotional artists in Northern New Mexico, we are grateful for the opportunity to share this art during the Lenten season before Easter,” Gonzales said.