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July 2024

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Courtesy Photo Lydia Garcia’s painting of Mary

Community Matriarchs Exhibition Now Open in Taos

The Millicent Rogers Museum has a new exhibition focusing on the many roles mothers play in their lives. Community Matriarchs as Artists opened June 3. The exhibit is dedicated to Lydia Garcia, a beloved santera (painter of saints) of Taos who passed away in 2023.

As a community matriarch and a lifelong teacher, Lydia Garcia’s devotion to sharing the arts of retablo painting exemplifies her leadership in northern New Mexico and beyond of passing on artistic knowledge to community members across generations.

Her long relationship with the museum reflects a partnership of cultural legacy through the workshops she gave and the artworks in the museum’s permanent collection. Lydia led her life through prayer and expressed it vividly in retablos that paired visual and poetic arts together.

Additionally, the exhibition focuses on women’s roles as mothers in the Southwest, being only one of the positions they hold in life. Additionally, the exhibition highlights art forms that reflect an expansion of function of creative expressions, like Helen Cordero’s (Cochiti Pueblo) clay storyteller and Angie Yazzie’s (Taos Pueblo) micaceous clay vessels, both conveying cultural legacy and serving as visual art.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. General admission is $15, with free admission daily for veterans, members, and children 12 and under. Entry is free on Sundays for Taos County residents.