‘Circulo de Flores’, Colcha embroidery by Beatrice Maestas Sandoval in handspun, natural-dye churro wool yarn on a natural sabanilla ground is one of many colcha pieces on display at Fuller Lodge Art Center through Feb. 27. Courtesy photo
FULLER LODGE ART CENTER NEWS
The exhibition titled New Mexico’s Textile Heritage – Colcha Embroidery, celebrating the unique beauty of Colcha embroidery and its artists is on display at the Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos through Feb, 27. The Art Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Thirteen female artisans will share their designs in this curated exhibition. Demonstrating their ancestral tradition, these self- and community-taught artists create their own interpretations of folkloric designs and cultural motifs with Navajo-churro wool, made colorful through natural dyes sourced from High Desert plants, on sabanilla, a utilitarian base cloth. The remarkable faces and stories of the artists have been captured by noted photographer and Santa Fe resident Rebecca Abrams and can be admired in the catalog on display in the gallery.
Colcha embroidery was reintroduced as part of economic development programs to document history, but most often it is introduced by family members and taught in cultural centers throughout New Mexico and southern Colorado. Typical designs feature stylized flowers, vines, animals, religious motifs, and Moorish-influenced arabesques.
Initially, these embroidered cloths adorned beds, windows, and ceilings, as well as home and church altars. Today, these extraordinary examples of folk art can be prominently displayed in any modern household or grace even the most modern outfits.
To view the exhibit online, go to https://evfac.omeka.net/exhibits/show/colcha/introduction
In parallel visitors can learn more about this art form by watching a video at vimeo.com/292758833 that is also accessible on the Fuller Lodge Art Center’s website. The documentary “Colcha Circle: A Stitch in Northern New Mexico Culture” captures candid discussions among 11 colcha embroidery artists who have contributed to keeping this tradition alive.
For more information, call (505) 662-1635 or visit https://fullerlodgeartcenter.com/.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center and Fuller Lodge Art Center. It is made possible by the New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of the Cultural Affairs, and the generous contributions of all the members and volunteers of the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center.
About the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) of the New Mexico Fiber Arts Center:
The Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) of the New Mexico Fiber Arts Center represents an active community of artists, offers education programs, manages a retail store filled with supplies, and regularly organizes initiatives to showcase artists’ work.
About the Fuller Lodge Art Center
The Fuller Lodge Art Center (FLAC), nestled in the heart of downtown Los Alamos, is a multi-faceted hub for art and artists in the community. The Art Center was formed in 1977, branching off from the Los Alamos Arts Council and the Pajarito Art League. Located in a wing of the historic Fuller Lodge, FLAC embraces its history while also looking forward to the future.