Every retablo tells a story at new CMC exhibit
Colorado Mountain College’s new exhibit “Pinturas de Fe” features a tradition that has evolved in the Americas from the time of the Spanish conquest. “Pinturas de Fe,” or “Expressions of Faith,” showcases the ancient religious practice of creating home altars and shrines in cultures around the world. In the exhibit, more than 54 retablos and ex votos – miniature-sized expressions of religious significance to the cultural history of Mexico – are displayed.An opening reception, free to the public, takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. today at the CMC gallery in Glenwood Springs.”So little attention was paid to this art form during its early days,” said Alice Beauchamp, CMC’s gallery director. “I think it is fantastic that we have this exhibit now to share with our diverse communities.”
The Mexican retablo tradition flourished during the 17th through 19th centuries. Retablos, better known as laminas in Mexico, are small oil paintings on tin, zinc, wood or copper used in home altars to venerate Catholic saints.Ex votos are devotional paintings on canvas or tin that offer thanks to a particular saint in the form of a short narrative. The petitioner, grateful for the miracle received, dedicates a small painting with a short testimonial to the respective patron saint.Inspired by the Chicano movement of the 1960s, New Mexican artists led a retablo revival. Today, individual artists faithfully carry on the tradition of hand-painted retablos, and contemporary artists from diverse cultural backgrounds draw creative inspiration from this popular art form.The Museum of New Mexico traveling exhibitions program show – organized by independent scholar Lane Coulter – illustrates an appreciation of such faithful religious expression. Pieces are drawn from private and museum collections including the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Museum of International Folk Art.
“Pinturas de Fe” is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment by calling 947-8367. The exhibit runs through July 30.n n nAlso opening today is the exhibit for Main Street Gallery’s June Artist of the Month, Latina documentary photographer Elizabeth Moreno.In “Ignored Voices,” the CMC photography program graduate spent four months capturing the expressions and emotions of aging nursing home residents in a Mexican town.
“The photographs presented in the slideshow were taken in a nursing home in La Paz, Mexico, but they reveal expressions and communicate feelings that could be found anywhere in the world: in a hospice or in a palace,” Moreno said, in a press statement. “Location is irrelevant; what does matter is that elderly people exist, but because of our fear of death they are commonly tucked away out of sight, voices ignored.”To view photographs from Moreno’s portfolio, visit http://www.emorenophoto.com. Main Street Gallery is coordinating the “Ignored Voices” exhibit opening with the “Pinturas de Fe” reception today. Entertainment across the street from the galleries at Centennial Park includes dancing by the Aspen Santa Fe Folklorico Ballet troupe and mariachi music from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Culture ClubWhat: “Pinturas de Fe” and Elizabeth Moreno’s “Ignored Voices” art exhibit openings with mariachi music and folklorico dance When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. todayWhere: Colorado Mountain College gallery, Main Street Gallery, and Centennial Park, downtown Glenwood Springs
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