April 21, 2001

Subject: "the people"
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 21:19:31 -0700
From: Roberta Martinez <pomoindianbaskets@juno.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net
CC: davalos@csusm.edu, THNunn@moisa.org

Ms. Lopez,
Our family appreciates your art; it has tremendous meaning for us. We are American Indian, Mexican American, migrant workers and foremost, devoted Catholics. Most of my people are Catholic and we too have provided "nutrients" for the corn.

We are strengthened by your art. You have exposed our oppressors and have captured the experience and stories that did not have the chance to be told.

We feel no boundaries between the art and our life stories and that makes us feel very comfortable. Your art has a sense of social reflection of life in our community. Your art is a image that expresses how we want to see ourselves, which makes it the art of the people now.

With deep gratitude,

The Martinez Family


Subject: Re: Art
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 04:03:59 EDT
From: Solcomasoc@aol.com
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Dear Alma,

Art is fortunately protected by the first amendment in this country. Nearsightedness and ignorance wears very large blinders however, people criticizing should consider the work of the cistine chapel and that of the beautiful David and our lord on the cross wearing only a loin cloth........He died on the cross wearing less than what you have put on our lady of Guadalupe.

In my humble opinion, people should consider what we come into the world wearing. Has this society really done such harm to us that we are now to feel ashamed of our beautiful bodies?

It seems as though our beautiful indigenous roots have somehow been lost and have given way to closed mindedness and oppressive views. Where has the pride in our selves as gifted artisans gone?

My support goes out to you and your artistry..........my signature is on a petition supporting your work.

Virginia Pinedo
Lecturer Chavez Ravine
Los Angeles, Ca


Subject: Santa Fe Showing
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 21:06:26 -0700 (MST)
From: meawdkaz@webtv.net (Mary E. Andrews)
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Keep up the great work!Overwhelming technique and colors!
Mary Andrews



Subject: Support for free expression
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 16:00:47 -0600
From: "David C. Thompson" <dcthomp@newmexico.com>
To: <TMNunn@moifa.org>

I am writing in support of the maintaining the right of free expression here in New Mexico.  I am absolutely in support of the Museum of New Mexico continuing to display the controversial "Our Lady" work of Alma Lopez.  It is critical in a free and democratic society that we maintain our right to see, hear and read work that is controversial, even that which is offensive to some. 
There are a lot of things around us in this society that I find objectionable.  But censoring everything that any individual or group (even a large group) objects to will lead us not only to mediocrity but ultimately to dictatorship.
Those who find the art offensive have a right to be heard.  But so does the artist, through her work.
I urge you to take the right stand, and the courageous stand.  Keep the work on display, so that any who wish may see it.
Thank you for your consideration,
David Thompson


Subject: Raquel is not a body, neither is Guadalupe.
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 00:02:54 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <romesedeno@hotmail.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net, chuparosa@earthlink.com, chuparosa@earthlink.net

Yes, it is a beautiful image of Raquel, but the scandalo is that it's not a beautiful image of Guadalupe-Tonantzin.  Too bad you distorted the idealistic beauty of our compassionate Mother to ingratiate your homage to Raquel.  You perceive me as a man telling you how how to look at the Guadalupe.  I'm a citizen of NM that has to look at your distortion printed on Museum propaganda as a definition of my contemporary culture. I have a right to culture asprovided by the Treaty of Guadalupe which I will use to defend the integrity of my culture against the misdefinitions of MOIFA Perhaps your Guadalupe-"brand" prints are now part of the commercial art domain.  May I use your image of Raquel to do an oil painting of her without the Guadalupe derivatives?  or is her image taboo to men? if it was not meant to be disrespectful, like you stated of yours, but was perceived as disrespectful, then my painting is ok< right?Like you, I have no responsibility to what my work communicates, like you, my intentions are good intentions like yours, right?  With my painting I would strive to communicate to Raquel that she is not a body, and to paint her inner beauty; she is a spiritchild of a  loving and compassionate Madre. Unfortunately bad things happen to us in this world, I have a 15-year old daughter who lives in a distant city.  I pray to Guadalupe every night that She protect my daughter's body from harm, but in faith, I know that my daughter's spirit cannot be attacked, for it is spirit, infinite and eternal.  That same spirit is in all of us, and despite the bad things that happen to us, God watches out for our eternal survival. Como va la cancion flamenca:  "menos faltarle a mi madre, serrana mia, todito te lo consiento, menos faltarle a mi madre."    By the way, I have read a good part of Diosa de las Americas. Why rip off Her throne?


Subject: The SacredFeminine is not a "body"
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 18:26:09 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <romesedeno@hotmail.com>
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com, XColumn@aol.com, AnMora@phs.org,
dorinda@pacbell.net, jfwilmes@pacnell.net, almalopez@earthlink.net,
dadsacp@hotmail.com, Gloria_Mendoza@excite.com

In Nican Mopohua, considered as a sort of Guadalupan Bible, Guadalupe-Tonantzin identifies Herself in Nahuatl to Juan Diego as "I am your compassionate Mother".  The qualifier of "compassion" affirms to  us mortals,  for our understanding of Deity,  the highest human concept of God, a loving Deity,  i.e. Tonantzin, "Our-Revered-Mother-of all" is re-identified as a merciful Parent.  That God judges with mercy shows that Deity  is a God of love, not one of fear,  the merciful Father/Mother, in one Parent combined. Guadalupe's mission,  to empower the spiritual life of the individual,  reinforces the teachings of the Christ who reveals a God of love and to love God, not fear God.  The guilt cult called Christianity and its institutions of authority have evolved to include contradictory concepts of God, of love and fear, and misinterprets the Master's teachings, teachings of  truth which are based very much on compassion and service, not guilt, fear, domination and temporal power. "Fear not" is the Christ's watchword, the same as Guadalupe's.          Compassion comes not from the body,  a limit on love, but comes rather from the infinite spirit which is the core of love in our minds, which leads us to service and freedom from identification with the body. Compassionate love does not come from our bodysex, but from our spiritual consciousness. Alma Lopez's digital dream  usurps the Guadalupe signifiers and makes for us a secular view, a view of bodies, in a world of bodies, bodies that will someday lose vitality, bodies that will die.  This distortion, censoring the spiritual message and persona of Guadalupe, of the Divine servant, attempts to reinforce illusions that we are bodies, bodies that can be attacked, sinned against, despoiled, murdered.  But Raquel Salinas is not a body.  She is a child of God, and through her identification, by faith, with her ParentSpirit, she can see that, while her body can be violated, that who she truly IS cannot be attacked, because her spirit is an eternal reality.  Through our identification with spirit, and not with the body, we are then free from Alma's world of bodies, a world of retaliation, a world of attack and grievances, a belief in the dream called death.  The SacredFeminine is the Universe Mother Spirit, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  Her manifestation is Jesus, the story of you and me. She is the Mother of eternal life.   She is not a "body".   


Subject: [AztlanNet] Re: MOIFA SantaFe update
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 21:34:53 -0000
From: "michael sedano" <mvsedano@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

Sr. Sedeno,

Sir, you tacitly admit the unfairness and dishonesty of your earlier post by attempting a divagation into historico cultural mythmaking borlote. Thank you for the clarity of your obfuscation. I reject your suggestion as completely unnecessary. However, I recommend to you tht you revisit the marianist dogma. When the young Mary protested Joseph's sexual demands, telling him she was god's virgin bride, he relented but reminded her, "OK, but one day, when the kid is born, I will have my way with you." You'll find that in the New Testament. This is why some sects believe that Jesus had brothers and sisters. Mary's virginity was but a temporary state just so she could gestate the Son of God. She became a sexual woman afterward. Now if this affronts you, then I suggest you revisit your marianist dogma and do a bit more research.

I have no difficulty seeing the conecta between the europeeing mythos of Mary and the propagandized tonantzin etc. Further, I recommend you to _Song of the Hummingbird_, an imaginative tale by -- uh oh, Graciela Limon? (they say the memory is the first thing to go -- that adds some texture to the transition from mexicanindio culture to euro, and from a woman's perspective. Did you evaluate the male ethos you so eloquently represent and how you demand the rest of us-- including these women who, to my mind, have more authority to interpret this female icon that you or I as men -- historically has maintained the infamous dichotomy of women on pedestals? This denies a woman, even little Mary, her personhood.

I apologize if you believe I am assassinating your character. I'm not. I'm assessing your words and your debating technique. You are not your words, unless you have trouble separating all symbols from their expression, as you have with this wonderfully realized Mary.

me explico, bro?

You know what sexist males say about uptight women? I say that about uptite Manitos. Maybe what Nuevomexicanos need is a good Californication.



Subject: [AztlanNet] the Son of Man
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 23:06:18 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <romesedeno@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

No, Mikey, I don't believe in the immaculate conception.  I know Jesus as my Deity but I believe his mortal life vehicle  began like all of us mortals, as per marital relations between Mary and Joseph. Otherwise he could not have referred to Himself as the Son of Man, no?  I believe He was the first of seven children.* As per discussion of Guadalupe-Tonantzin, there is a very informative video produced by el Instituto Nacional Indigenista, Mexico DF, 1995 called "El Pueblo Mejicano camina: the Long Journey to Guadalupe".  Check it out, learn a little about
Mejicano/Chicano cultural identity before you go defending distortions  ala A>Lopez digitals.  "God only knows two kinds of people: those who want to do His will, and those who don't want to."   *-the Urantia Book


Subject: Re: [Fwd: The Body of the Sacred Feminine]
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 14:28:50 -0600
From: "Tracy E. Bailey" <tebailey@qwest.net>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net
References: 1

Dear Alma

After reading Raquel's story I'm amazed.  You captured her essence in Our Lady perfectly.  When I saw your piece I loved it because, to me, you'd portrayed an extremely self possessed woman.  (And it turns out that Raquel is so, a really strong person.)  Also, I think that this point hasn't been lost on other viewers, especially those who claim that Our Lady is a "blasphemous" image.  They see and are afraid.  Unfortunately, allot of "men" are truly terrified of the idea of women owning themselves.  They've co-opted many women into their misogyny, making them feel that their own, female bodies are somehow dangerous, sexual objects.  It's so sad and try as I may, I just can't erase from my memory the face of the woman, at the first town meeting at IMFA, who turned to me an literally spat out the words,
"it's disgusting to show the Virgen that way." I hope that Art News does a story on you and that you become wildly successful!  It would be the best revenge.

Tracy Bailey



Subject: Re: The Rape of Guadalupe?
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 08:36:36 -0700
From: Dorinda Moreno <dorinda@pacbell.net>
Reply-To: lista@www.azteca.net
To: lista@www.azteca.net
CC: Pedro Romero Sedeno <romesedeno@hotmail.com>
References: 1 , 2

Guadalupe, the symbol of us all, has been stripped, borrowed, sold, traded, commercialized, raped.... for five centuries by every entity past and present, and she still belongs to the people!!! so, it seems to me that we all need to share her glory and history in the way that it means something to each.... the way that the indigenous people in guatemala know her is different than the way we in the urban centers view and revere her... she is us. how we are. we are diverse, we are complex, we are astute and aware. she is ours to reinterpret. we don't own her, the museums don't own her, the church doesn't own her. they have made of her what they would, and in the same way, we will make of her what we will, and it doesn not diminish or denigrate her in the least, it brings her home!! to where we may be, each and every one. there is no such thing as being a better anything, than the other, a better catholic? a better scholar? a better artist? we are each learning and redefining, and one day we will live up to the word good human being, and learn to live with diversity. and the self identification of the women who men have erroneously defined for since the beginning of time.

sin mas

dorinda guadalupe moreno



Subject: Re: [AztlanNet] Re: MOIFA SantaFe update
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 19:15:39 -0600
From: "rudy fernandez" <elbulldog69@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
To: AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com

Con cuedado Sr. Sedano,

Pedro does not speak for all Santa Feos, Nuevo Mexicanos,Mexicanos, Catolicos, Chicanos or artist from the state of New Mexico. In fact he speaks for a very small minority of these people. This will become apparent in the weeks to come as there are going to be  articles published with interviews of the more prominent artist in Santa Fe. Chicano, religious and for the most part thinking people who believe that the church has gone too far, maybe even overreacted.

We, and I include myself as my family came to the area during the original incursion with Onate, believe in peoples right to express them selves with out the fear of a witch hunts, calling of names or economic reprisal. I was sitting here this afternoon with a good friend of mine from Gallup, New Mexico. Francisco Lopez ( Ochoa ) who is a citizen of Mexico and a resident of the United States. He has resided in Gallup for the past sixteen years. He is an artist
who's work as a sculptor ranges from welded steel to carved stone and covers everything in between. His contribution to the arts in the state of New Mexico are well recognized.  Because of his dual reality his perspective on this issue is of particular interest to me.

When I showed him the image of Almas' Virgin and asked for his opinion regarding the current brouhaha, he said, and I quote;"People are entitled to their own beliefs, this is just another interpretation of virginity and for that reason is valid, I can see no sac religious over tone here."

In spite of all of the rhetoric about Californians and their tainting the purity of culture in New Mexico, I think that we can discount that as hysterical-cultural mythmaking.

I know from personal experience, when the Curmudgeon ( Magu ) was with us in New mexico both he and his ideas were welcomed with open arms. We didn't away agree with him but none the less he was always welcome even though he was from Califa.

With respect to all involved,
El Bulldog


Subject: thanks
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 12:24:13 +0000
From: Cynthia Wright <cynthia@cwrightn.com>
To: Alma Lopez <almalopez@earthlink.net>

Thanks Alma, for keeping me posted,,,,I think this piece is so powerful because she "La Virgen" reveals to us the relevance of spirituality in her own "naked Truth",,,in essence the possibility of faith existing in our own lives in a very personal and direct way.