August 2005


Subject:Need some information

Date:Sun, 28 Aug 2005 13:58:23 -0400

Hello Ms Lopez,

I am a student at the Art Institute.  Last night, while reading an article in “Adjusters” (the Art Fart Issue), I came across a story that mentioned your work with digital media.  This article mentioned the Folk Art Fiasco in 2001.  This piqued my curiosity about you because I grew up in Santa Fe and was stunned to read about this.  I was aware of the intense patriarchal Catholic influence, but I always thought that it would have been balanced out by the art community.  I was thrown out of Catechism when I was 6 because I asked who the “Girl God” was, and when the nuns told me that it was the Virgin Mary, I argued with them.  Even then, she always seemed like such a passive character, her only claim to fame was that she had given birth to Jesus without the burden of Original Sin.  To me, that seemed somewhat lame and she wasn’t ever someone I could relate to.  My expulsion from the Church back then gave my father and grandmother much heartache.  I grew up with a heavy Catholic influence and felt somewhat alienated.  I became very apathetic to the whole idea.

When I saw the piece that sparked all of this controversy, I thought to myself, “Now there’s a Mary I can relate to!”  She is a self confident, beautiful woman who seems worthy of the adoration she has had for thousands of years.  I would even go on to say that this is why the Santa Fe Catholics had so many issues with her.  They were afraid of her.  She is someone who will tell you exactly what she thinks and feels and challenges you to accept her for who she is.  I am truly sorry that the people of Santa Fe were too immersed in “traditional” views to see her as more than a tart or loose woman.

At any rate, I have chosen to write about you and your work in the realm of digital art for a paper that I am doing for class.  I would like to use an image of the Virgin in the paper I am writing.  I would also like to know what mediums you like to use and how you got into the digital realm.   I know you are probably very busy and if you don’t have time to answer my questions, if you would just let me use the image I would be grateful.

I have always believed that things come into your life when you are ready to experience them.  I am 35 years old and the mother of 2 boys.  My life has been one of sacrifice; for my children, the men in my life and stability.  Right now, I am trying to figure out how to balance it all out.  I moved from Southern California to New Jersey to continue a long distance relationship I have had for 3 years.  I didn’t realize until I came out here that I would be asked to give things up again.  My partner just told me that we will be unable to live comfortably unless I go to work full time.  Between full time work, school and raising 2 sons and running a house, I am not certain how to do it.  He told me that I will have to leave school because he is unwilling to give up any personal time with him.  I am desperately trying to find a way to make it work so that I can finish my degree in Graphic Arts.  I am crying right now as I write this because I honestly have no idea how I am going to do it and this means so much to me.  I tried it before, but almost had a nervous breakdown trying to do everything.

At any rate, your work has inspired me to find a way to do it, and so I will.  I now understand how important this is to me, and I can’t keep letting my dreams die in order to please others.  I wanted to thank you for this image, because in a sense, it was a message to me not to give up more of my dreams.

Ironically, when I showed the Virgin to my partner, he found it to be sacrilegious and obscene.  Perhaps another message?

Thank you so much for your time reading this letter and for inspiring me to continue in my path.

Rachel Lord


"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm." -Colette