April 18, 2001

Subject: Invitation
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 09:40:54 -0400
From: Sister Conchita Carrillo <angels@worldprayer.com>

Dear Alma,

As your sister in the Mystical Body of Christ, I extend a hand of sisterly love and compassion to you. I am a Franciscan Sister of Mary Immaculate, and I live near Cerrillos, which is just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have been a religious sister for 47 years. My purpose for contacting you is to invite you to visit with me to pray at the Oasis of Prayer Convent in Cerrillos. If it is not possible for you to come to the convent, I do not travel often, but would be willing to meet you at a location of your convenience. I am not connected to the Internet so I have asked my friend to send this e-mail for me. Please feel free to contact me by replying to this e-mail or by phone at ... You can also contact my by mail at P. O. Box 173, Cerrillos, New Mexico 87010.

You are in my prayers, God Bless You. Sister Conchita Carrillo, FMI.


Subject: censorship in New Mexico
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 08:55:33 -0700
From: Barbara Jellow <barbara.jellow@ucpress.ucop.edu>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Hi Alma. I was on vacation in Albuquerque a couple of weeks ago (used to live there) and so heard some of the uproar about your work at the museum in Santa Fe, up through the hearing at which you were able to respond. Bet that surprised them. Actually most of the uproar seemed confined to a few easily offended (easily confused??) individuals and the easily alarmed media. Good for you for resisting all of the efforts to take the work down.

I hope you were successful in getting them to leave it on display (it's gorgeous, by the way). I left ABQ the 11th and was away elsewhere meanwhile so haven't kept up on what's happened since then. Take good care of yourself while all this goes on.

Barbara JellowBarbara Jellow, Assistant Art Director, University of California Press


Subject: I feel so sorry for you
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 12:39:11 -0400
From: Shelley Finkler <gfinkler@idaefamilie.org>

Dear Alma,

You have so missed the beauty and grace in Our Lady. Wearing a bikini does not make a womwn strong, it makes her an object of subjugation to the lust of men. Sure, we can wear whatever we want to now, but if we want to be respected and taken seriously and viewed as admirable, then we cannot allow the imaginations and sick lusts of men guide our dress and deportment.

The thing that makes our lady such a wonderful role model for the strength and honor of women is her holiness, her desire to follow God, and in that she was elevated far above all women and all MEN! There is no one on earth who has ever recieved such honor and praise, such a place of grace in the hearts of all people.

You have missed that somehow in portraying this person of incredible importance as mearly an sex object. I wonder...are you happy? Do you have peace in your soul? If you want that, I know how you can get it.

Shelley Finkler


Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 10:48:11 -0600
From: "Nicky Watts" <nicky@newmexico.com>
To: <almalopez@earthlink.com>

The second meeting of the Board of Regents this Monday was as inconclusive as the one you attended at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture on the 4th. I am sorry that I didn't meet you at that time which is why I am sending my support to you over the Internet. To me one of the very saddest aspects of the entire episode is the using of your art to drive yet another wedge in this community. As a scapegoat for all the pent up resentment and ill will; you have manifestly been very badly treated. If it were simply an issue of art qua art the commotion would have quickly subsided. As it is now, all the inflammatory rhetoric is not allowed to die a quick death,
but seems to be fired by those who want to push the issue as far as they can, be it from the pulpit or the street corner. Having five year olds holding placards about purity and modesty seems just a bit over the edge.
Good courage and know that your rights as an artist are respected by many in this town.


Subject: God forgive you...
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:31:40 -0400
From: Kathi Young <klyoung211@earthlink.net>

...for what you\'re doing to the images of Our Lady and how you are portraying her. You show no respect for the Blessed Mother in your so called \'art\'. Granted, you seem to be a talented artist, but what a shame you waste your God given talents insulting the Mother of Christ in your \'artistic endeavors\'. You are NOT showing respect for the Blessed Mother, what you ARE doing is shaming her and giving Catholics a bad name. The Blessed Mother does not need you to \'bring\' her into the modern world, she\'s just fine where she is. An icon of decency, modesty and respect. Please stop doing the devils work and lowering the Blessed Mother by depicting her in bikini\'s, hugging mermaids or other disrespectful poses. God forgive and help you.

Kathi Young


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 17:29:35 -0400
From: June <junelove@ivillage.com>

Your message here

I was extremly upset when I viewed the painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary dressed as a Victoria Secret model. It was
distastful, and inconsiderate towards the beliefs of over 1 billion Catholics. I can not immagine being so disrispectful to
such a large group of people. I hope you got the publicity you wanted with the picture.

I hope you learn tolerance and respect, it is something worth having in life.


Subject: our lady
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 15:10:40 -0700
From: solor006 <solor006@csusm.edu>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net, TMNunn@moifa.org
CC: davalos@csusm.edu, solorioalejandro@hotmail.com

I am writing this email in support of Alma Lopez’s portrayal of La Virgen de Guadalupe.
There still a lot of questions that haven’t been answered since the inquisition: Spaniard priest ordered and killed Aztec priest. They built churches on top of Aztec temples. They murder those who dare to question the existence of the Catholic God or resist to be baptized. They accused the Aztecs as devil worshipers just because they question the Catholic Dogma.
Today is not different than then. Many people (Spaniard soldiers) still want to keep in silence what our Indian ancestors had to say about Catholicism. I will say to them to open their eyes to what is true. Even though I support your work, Alma, I don’t like your idea of saying that you did not do it to make people upset. Come on, Alma. Be honest. Diego Rivera once said, “If it is not propaganda, it is not art”

Alejandro Solorio


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 23:10:38
From: "miguel salcido" <miguelsalcido@hotmail.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net
CC: davalos@csusm.edu, tmnunn@moifa.org

My name is Miguel Salcido and I am a student at CSU San Marcos.  I am writing you to support the exhibition of Our Lady at the Museum of International Folk Art.  I believe that curators have a responsibility to not discriminate any artist or work.  People are clearly, and possibly blatantly out of context.  I have read a few articles where you clearly stated that you did not mean any disrespect to the image of The Virgin of Guadalupe.  All of those people who so strongly oppose
you should do some research into who you really are and your stated intentions for creating the work.  I have faith that the system will not let you down because the museum would lose a tremendous amount of credibility.  Best of luck to you!