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Our Saints Among Us: 400 Years of New Mexican Devotional Art


The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, will soon become the temporary home of over 300 santos -- sacred images of Roman Catholic saints or other biblical figures -- when Our Saints Among Us: 400 Years of New Mexican Devotional Art opens December 7th, 2001 at the Price Tower Arts Center. The exhibition, which runs through February 3, 2002, features New Mexican santos, painted and carved images of saints that have been a part of the New Mexican religious tradition for over 400 years.

The images are painted on prepared surfaces named retablos, and also include carved sculptures, named bultos, crosses, lithographs, monoprints, altars ( reredos ), as well as craft items like weaving, colcha, silverwork, pottery and tin. Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhetts of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico, curators of the exhibition, will present a lecture at the PTAC gallery Saturday morning, December 8th at 10am, and sign copies of their exhibition catalog. They have also written a number of books on New Mexican santos and publish a quarterly magazine, TRADICION REVISTA. Our Saints Among Us displays the art of many contemporary, award-winning santeros (artists) of New Mexico as well as historic retablos and bultos from the 18th and 19th centuries. Santeros represented in the exhibition include Dr. Charlie Carrillo, Ramon Jose & Lilly Lopez, David Nabor Lucero, Ernie Lujan, Arlene Cisneros Sena, Nicholas Herrera, Jimmy & Debbie Leon Sandoval, Felix & Joseph Lopez, and many others.

"We've been trying to get this traveling exhibition here at the PTAC for the last three years" says Kara Hurst, Price Tower Arts Center curator of exhibitions & education. "This exhibition has a unique combination of historical and contemporary pieces, some just recently added to the show. Since the resurgence in the 1970's of this traditional Hispanic art form, these objects have been much sought after by collectors and museums around the country."

Our Saints Among Us is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, and is the sixth major exhibition of the Price Tower Arts Center's 2001 season. The Price Tower is located at 6th and Dewey in downtown Bartlesville, OK.

Editor's note: See in this magazine additional articles about Hispanic religious art:

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