516 ARTS presents a private tour of the evolving weaving traditions of Chimayó in Northern New Mexico, with special guest Dr. Helen Lucero, the expert in Chimayó weaving and co-author of Chimayó Weaving: The Transformation of a Tradition. This is a unique opportunity to see, touch, and learn about the rich, long tradition of weaving in the region. Rio Grande blanket weaving has been a treasured art form for over four centuries, and continues to thrive in Chimayo. The practice has been perfected and passed down from generation to generation, and the unique patterns created by the weavers are recognized all over the world.
Stops on the trip will include a visit to the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Center In Alcalde to view Mark Winter’s collection of antique Rio Grande textiles, and some of the important contemporary studios in the area including Galeria Ortega, where nine generations of inventive weavers have been perfecting the tradition; and Centinela Traditional Arts, where Irvin and Lisa Trujillo’s family studio brings together knowledge, tradition,and innovation.
The tour includes transportation from and to Albuquerque by coach, refreshments, and lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo Restaurante, a historical restaurant serving award-winning New Mexican food.
The tour departs from in front of the Albuquerque Museum at 9am. Please arrive at 8:45am to get your parking pass to leave your car in the museum parking lot for the day.
As a child in the Chimayo region of New Mexico, Helen Lucero played on her grandparents’ large treadle loom. She prepared the rags and filled the spindles with yarn so they could weave blankets and runners. She didn’t weave again until she was an art student at University of North Texas, where she also pursued her studies in art museums and the Spanish language. The result was a groundbreaking career as a curator of Hispanic arts and an expert in Chimayo weaving. She received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts as a Major Contributor in the Arts from the state of New Mexico earlier this year. She was one of the first female Hispanic curators in the country, working in several positions at major museums, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. She also co-wrote the book “Chimayo Weaving: The Transformation of a Tradition.” And it all began on that loom many years ago. “I loved seeing a pattern emerge, the combination of colors and how they could be made to mimic nature,” she says. “The medium fit my sensibilities: intricate, methodical and rhythmic.”