Roots of Santa Fe’s Spanish Market

The altar screen at Cristo Rey church.

The first recorded artist Bernardo Miera y Pacheco was a cartographer, artist, sculptor and soldier. He was born in Burgos, Spain. His father was don Luis de Miera, who served under the Conde de Aguilar in the army of King Philip the 5th. His mother was Isabel Ana Pacheco, whose grandfather, don Antonio Pacheco, was governor of Navarra. When Bernardo arrived in New Mexico he became the mayor in both of Galisteo and Pecos, New Mexico. His work as an artist includes a 1789 retablo of San Rafael. The stone reredo which means altar screen is currently located at Cristo Rey Church on Canyon Road. Miera y Pacheco created the reredo for La Castrense, a military chapel that was formerly located on the Santa Fe plaza from 1760 to 1859.

Contemporary Artists

Francisco “Kiko”Delgado was one of the early 20th century tinsmiths who operated a gallery on Canyon Road. Some of his artwork is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His granddaughter, Angelina Delgado, took part in the WPA, the largest government-sponsored work program during the Great Depression. Eliseo and Paula Rodriguez married in 1935. The couple received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2004 for their lifelong careers as artists. They were honored for their work in perfecting and preserving the art of straw applique. The straw technique had all but died out during the early part of the 20th century.

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