LAS CRUCES – For Las Cruces artist Virginia Maria Romero, life – and art – is all about change. “It’s an evolution – it’s not stagnant” says Romero of her art, which combines themes of nature and religion with elements of traditional New Mexican folk art.
“Virginia Maria Romero: Past, Present & Future” opens in the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s Arts Corridor with a free reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 18. The reception also features a performance by the New World Drummers in the museum’s theater.
In this show, Romero not only showcases some of her well-known pigmented wood panels, paintings, and sculpture, but has also pushed her art in a new direction. There are 34 pieces in the exhibit.
Born in Ohio, Romero lived in Santa Fe prior to moving to Las Cruces in 1992. At the time of her mother’s passing in 1998, she was inspired by retablos she had seen at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and Parish in Tortugas. She began to create her own pigmented wood panels, using traditional New Mexican santero techniques, and also drawing off her own Polish/Irish heritage. Her work has been widely shown in New Mexico and beyond, and has been presented to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
Romero continues to develop her art with a new series of predominantly black-and-white prints. “The prints are elements of past works, that are put into a new format…putting that forward as something more current,” she says. “I’m trying to create my art, so it’s always evolving, changing, moving.” She also recently collaborated with Karuna R. Warren & the New World Drummers on a CD entitled Iktushiwi: Raven Speaks…, inspired by her art and poetry.
The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 4.