News & Announcements
September 3, 2020
Beloved “Seven Archangels” Brighten the Labor Day Weekend
Artist Jose A. Lucero, known as the Picasso Santero, will be out this weekend to begin conservation work on the six standing archangel sculptures along the East Alameda River Walk starting tomorrow.
We invite you to stop by Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 10 am and 2 pm as Jose works on the six archangels. Please remember to practice social distancing and wear your face covering – take the I Promise/Yo Prometo pledge.
The Seven Archangels were first installed in 2004, after the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission (now Arts and Culture Department) issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) seeking qualified woodworkers to create on-site woodcarvings along Santa Fe River Park. The trees in the location, identified by the Parks and Recreation Department as diseased and/or dying, were in need of removal. As outdoor sculptures, there has been talk about bringing them inside for display to shield them from the elements, however, as site-specific artworks, our River Walk would not be the same without them. They have become iconic to Santa Fe as evidenced through the number of social media posts and inclusion in cultural tourism websites and walking tours of Santa Fe’s downtown area. Instead of a topical protective coating, a tinted protective stain will be used that will penetrate into the wood itself providing longer lasting protection.
Last month, Salathiel, one of the archangels succumbed to one of Northern New Mexico famous summer thunderstorms and came down over night. These much-loved public artworks will receive conservation to stabilize the tree rot and receive touch up paint. These traditional woodcarvings stand 5 to 8 feet tall and are painted with all natural pigments that the artist makes himself from plant materials found locally.
What about our fallen angel? The Arts and Culture Department is working with Mr. Lucero to launch a campaign to raise funds for a new sculpture of Salathiel. It is our hope to replace an angel a year.
A native of Santa Fe, Jose A. Lucero has been featured in Spanish Market since 1997. His work is featured in the Spanish Colonial Arts Museum locally, as well as several private and museum collections around the world.