"Our Lady" by Alma Lopez ©1999 (Special thanks to Raquel Salinas & Raquel Gutierrez)




The "Our Lady" section of this site was first constructed on April 18, 2001 in response to numerous inquiries nationally. Originally, the site had updates on the controversy as well as a call for support. Later emails as well as news articles were added to basically be the web manifestation of the discussion on this digital print.

If you know of any links or articles on "Our Lady," please email entire article or link to almaloveslupe@gmail.com

If you would like to find out more, please read Our Lady of Controversy: Alma Lopez's 'Irreverent Apparition' edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma Lopez.


If you would like to support this archive on "Our Lady," please consider donating. Any amount helps maintain this site. You will be sent a "thank you" gift for your donation.




Our Lady of Controversy book

  • OLC Book
  • I LOVE Lupe Video
  • Bibliography

Our Lady of Controversy: Alma Lopez's "Irreverent" Apparition, edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma Lopez published by University of Texas Press, 2001.

"An exceptionally important and powerful collection of essays, opening new interpretive paths and new tools for the activist-scholar-student. This is the most serious consideration of the oeuvre of Alma López published to date."—Charlene Villaseñor Black, Associate Professor of Art History, UCLA

Months before Alma López's digital collage Our Lady was shown at the Museum of International Folk Art in 2001, the museum began receiving angry phone calls from community activists and Catholic leaders who demanded that the image not be displayed. Protest rallies, prayer vigils, and death threats ensued, but the provocative image of la Virgen de Guadalupe (hands on hips, clad only in roses, and exalted by a bare-breasted butterfly angel) remained on exhibition.

Highlighting many of the pivotal questions that have haunted the art world since the NEA debacle of 1988, the contributors to Our Lady of Controversy present diverse perspectives, ranging from definitions of art to the artist's intention, feminism, queer theory, colonialism, and Chicano nationalism. Contributors include the exhibition curator, Tey Marianna Nunn; award-winning novelist and Chicana historian Emma Pérez; and Deena González (recognized as one of the fifty most important living women historians in America).

Accompanied by a bonus DVD of Alma López's I Love Lupe video that looks at the Chicana artistic tradition of reimagining la Virgen de Guadalupe, featuring a historic conversation between Yolanda López, Ester Hernández, and Alma López, Our Lady of Controversy promises to ignite important new dialogues.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba is a Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, English, and Women's Studies at UCLA. Her nine previous books encompass historical novels, poetry, short stories, and a cultural study of Chicano art.

Alma López is an artist, activist, and visual storyteller originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Chicana Matters Series: Deena J. González and Antonia Castañeda, editors

Review of Our Lady of Controversy: Alma López's Irreverent Apparition by Niamh Nic Chonmara, Hispanic Studies, University College Cork. Read at http://publish.ucc.ie/aigne/2011/01/nicchonmara/09/en

"I Love Lupe" looks at the Chicana artistic tradition of reimagining la Virgen de Guadalupe, featuring a historic conversation between Yolanda López, Ester Hernández, and Alma López.

This is only the trailer, but you get the full 46 minute long documentary video free when you purchase a copy of Our Lady of Controversy: Alma Lopez's "Irreverent" Apparition, edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Alma Lopez published by University of Texas Press, 2011.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 6:15pm, University Student Union Theatre, California State University Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, October 13, 2011, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 from 6 - 8 pm, Charles E. Merrill Lounge, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

Friday, June 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm European Premiere, "Transitions and Continuities in Chicana/o Culture" at the University College Cork, Ireland. Organized by the Hispanic Research Center and the Centre for Mexican Studies.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 6 pm at The University of Colorado at Boulder, Atlas 100. Invited by the Ethnic Studies Department with support from The Women's Resource Center and the LGBTQ Resource Center. Sponsored by The Cultural Events Board.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm World Premiere of I Love Lupe at NACCS at the Westin Pasadena Hotel (Plaza II), 191 N. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena!



Barol, J.M. "Our Lady" Protest Has Raised Exhibit's Profile, Officials Say',The Albuquerque Tribute (March 28), 2001

Calvo, Luz "Art Comes for the Archbishop: The Semiotics of Contemporary Chicana Feminism," Meridians: feminism, race transnationalism, Volume 5, Number 1, 2004

Campbell, Clayton. "From Serrano to Ofili to Lopez" Flash Art Magazine (August-September), 2001

Constable, A. "Work Not Meant to Offend, L.A. Artist Says", The Santa Fe New Mexican (March 24) 2001

Constable, A. "Artist Lopez Speaks on Virgin Controversy", The Santa Fe New Mexican (March 27,) 2001

Constable, A. "Our Lady" Only Latest in String of Art Controversies', The Santa Fe New Mexican (April 1) 2001

Constable, A. "Cultural Crossfire", The Santa Fe New Mexican (October 14, 2001

Flores, C. "Our Lady" of Heat, and Not Much Light', The Santa Fe New Mexican (September 23) 2001

Gurza, A. "Our Lady of Controversy", Los Angeles Times (May 27) 2001

Gaspar de Alba, Alicia and Alma Lopez, editors. Our Lady of Controversy: Alma Lopez's 'Irreverent' Apparition. Texas: University of Texas Press, 2011.

Heartney, Eleanor. "Art et politique religieuse aus Etats-Unis" ArtPress: Images et religions du Livre, Numero 25, 2004

Janofsky, Michael. "Uproar Over Virgin Mary in a Two-Piece Swimsuit" The New York Times (March 31), 2001

Keller, Cathryn. "Faith and the First Amendment: Santa Fe Style" Museum News (July-August), 2001

King, Sarah, S. "Santa Fe Madonna Sparks Firestorm" Art in America (June), 2001

Kusel, D. "Virgen is About Divisions, Not Art", The Santa Fe New Mexican (April 22) 2001

Lee, Morgan 'Skimpily Attired "Our Lady" Protested', Albuquerque Journal (March 17) 2001: A1

Lee, Morgan 'Museum Keeps Controversial Work', Albuquerque Journal (March 20) 2001: A5

Lee, Morgan 'Archbishop Says Art Trashes Virgin', Albuquerque Journal (March 27) 2001: A1

Lee, Morgan 'Heritage Stirred Into Debate Over "Our Lady"', Albuquerque Journal (April 16) 2001: A1

Lee, Morgan '"Our Lady" Will Stay at Museum', Albuquerque Journal (May 23) 2001: A1

Lopez, Alma "Silencing Our Lady? La respuesta de Alma" I Am Aztlan: The Personal Essay in Chicano Studies, edited by Chon A. Noriega & Wendy Belcher, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2004

Lopez, Alma. "Our Lady & Censorship," Conscience: The News Journal of Catholic Opinion Spring 2003 (Available digitally at Our Lady of Controversy. (Roundtable).: An article from: Conscience)

Matthews, Sandra "Icons, Heroes and Stories of Survival," Masquerade: Women's Contemporary Portrait Photography, edited by Christine Rolph and Kate Newton, England: Staffordshire University, 2003

Meyer, Richard "After the Culture Wars: Censorship works best when no one knows it's happening" Art Papers (Nov/Dec) 2004

Montoya, Margaret "Un/braiding Stories About Law, Sexuality and Morality," UCLA: Chicano-Latino Law Review, Volume 24 Spring 2003

Nic Chonmara, Niamh "Review- Our Lady of Controversy: Alma López's Irreverent Apparition by Gaspar de Alba, Alicia and Alma López (eds)," Aigne: The online postgraduate journal of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland, 2011 http://publish.ucc.ie/aigne/2011/01/nicchonmara/09/en

Walker, Hollis "Our Lady of Controversy," The New Gate Keepers: Emerging Challenges to Freedom of Expression in the Arts. Edited by Christopher Hawthorne and Andras Szanto. Columbia University, 2004

Walker, Hollis. "Like Una Virgen: Chicana Artists Update Our Lady", Ms. Magazine (August-September), 2001

Walker, Hollis. "Depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe Stirs Objections" Los Angeles Times, (April 4), 2001

Walker, Hollis. "Another Day, Another Inquisition?" The Wall Street Journal (March 28), 2001