April 24, 2001

Subject: University
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 21:05:45 -0700
From: Gene & Yolanda Hendricks <geneyoli@mediaone.net>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

Hola Alma:

Me llamo Yolanda Hendricks, soy la senora que hablo contigo cuando terminaste tu presentacion y te aconseje que digas que todos pertenecemos a la virgen de Guadalupe, te acuerdas de mi?

Bueno en primer lugar quiero felicitarte pues tu presentacion fue muy buena, sobre todo lo honesta que eres con respecto a tu arte. En primer lugar el arte es tuyo y me gusto que no tienes miedo a la controversia.

Respecto a la virgen de Guadalupe, en Mexico vemos estatuas, pero cuando son las verdaderas virgenes de Espana y las desvistes solo son un palo de madera, asi que el cuerpo es hecho de lo que el artista quiere, la virgen de Guadalupe en la villa del Tepeyac quiza es una estatua como suelen hacerlo los artistesanos de Mexico.

Pero ese no es el problema, el problema es que el Obispo o Cura del lugar donde se exhibe tu arte, quiza no haya ido al Vaticano, el Vaticano esta lleno de mujeres y hombres y angeles desnudos en la Capilla Sistina.

Aparte a lo mejor tu eres la afortunada que vayas a cambiar como aceptar el arte. Como cuando Jose Luis Cuevas empezo a dibujar a todas las prostitutas y todo lo feo de Mexico, en lugar de seguir a los grandes Diego Rivera, Orozco y Siqueiros en el arte indigena. Lo invitaron a exhibir su arte en Nueva York y asi fue como empezo el movimiento de "lA RUPTURA"

Asi que me dio mucho gusto conocerte y voy a dar mi opinion sobre tu arte. Entre a tu http: pero esta bloqueado.

Por favor avisame a donde escribir o.k.? Tambien soy docente del Museo Latino de Long Beach, desgraciadamente no exhiben arte chicano, pero como tu naciste en Mexico, a lo mejor si te puedes registrar.

Te deseo suerte

Yolanda Hendricks


Subject: No to censorship
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 14:06:50 -0500
From: "Dennis G. Medina" <dmedina@utsa.edu>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

(John 8:32): ". . . and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Of course, the censors have a right to question your art work -- even to call for its removal, but I hope the museum does not cave into their reactionary demands. It is instructive to remember that, throughout history, the role of censors has been to quash new or unorthodox ideas, particularly ideas on freedom and liberation. Dictators and moral authoritarians have used censorship as a tool to establish and maintain control over people for centuries. The Catholic Church originated the “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” -- a list of proscribed books -- in the 5th century and the "Legion of Decency" in the 20th. A few works that were subjected to censorship throughout history include:

The astronomical studies of Galileo
The "Venus de Milo"
Michelangelo's "David"
William Shakespeare's "Richard II"
Diego Rivera's mural in Rockefeller Center
"Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank
"The Pentagon Papers"
Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer"

Kudos to you and to curator Tey Mariana Rebolledo. Keep fighting the good fight!

Dennis G. Medina
San Antonio, Texas


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 13:04:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dianne Vega <dianne_vega@yahoo.com>
To: almalopez@earthlink.net


I love your image of "La Virgen" and I am disgusted with the backlash you've received from Villegas and Sheehan who are probably aroused by the image, which is a natural response from males and females as well because it is a beautiful piece which to me inspires power and control in eroticism, and perhaps this arousal is tranlsated to them as offensive. Well they should just either accept their natural feelings or get over it!

I would love to see this image printed out as lamenated holy cards available to sell in art gift shops. Just an idea. I would buy many of them. I'm a collector of traditional images of La Virgen de Guadalupe, and am inspired to begin a collection of artistic interpretations, such as yours as well.

Any chance that your exhibit will travel? I work as a production stage manager for a Chicano theatre company in San Jose, California known as Teatro Vision de San Jose. We perform at the newly built theater at Mexican Heritage Plaza. There is also an art gallery here at the plaza that exhibits works of art by Chicano/Latino artists from all over the nation. It would be great to have "Our Lady" on exhibit here. You can contact Elena Robles who is the Arts Progam Director here at Mexican Heritage Plaza.

Con safos, Dianne Vega


Subject: OUR LADY
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 17:57:12 -0700
From: Your Name <durons@postoffice.pacbell.net>
Reply-To: durons@pacbell.net
Organization: Pacific Bell Internet Services
To: almalopez@earthlink.net

April 20, 2001

Dear Alma,

I hope it is not too late to ad my voice in support of your artwork. As you know, I have been an admirer of your work for many years, so please pass the following on to the Museum.

I am a practicing, not just a cultural catholic. My four children, including my three daughters, attend catholic school and I have commissioned three santos from a New Mexico santero. I personally believe in the power of the virgen to be a healer and a source of inspiration and comfort to me and my family. I took my children to the Basilica for the first time this past summer so that they too would know of her place in their catholic, Mexican and Chicano history. (I am not unmindful of the controversies regarding her appearance, etc.)

But the issue today is not my personal beliefs, or those of any other viewer; the issue is our tolerance of your artistic vision, and the failure of the Board to defend your right to that artistic vision against those who would for various reasons seek to deny you this right. I happen to love the image, but even if I didn't, I do and, Mr. Villegas should, respect that right, whether he agrees with it or not.

The museum's failing thus far seem to be that it has opened the door for a discussion of whether the piece should be removed. Enter the likes of Mr. Villegas. As others have already commented, where will the intolerance end? Will the Board allow Mr. Villegas, the archbishop, or anyone else for that matter, to come to the museum and summarily order the removal of any other works, because they are sacrilegious, offensive, in bad taste, historically incorrect, badly composed, oddly dimensioned or too big or too small? While the question may seem ludicrous, the answer seems to be yes, if enough people, especially the well connected, or of the threatening kind, say so.

Therefore, the museum should establish a standard. I recommend a ballot box at the entrance. Visitors may then vote on which, if any, pieces should be removed. If a piece receives enough votes, regardless of the reason, it
will be removed. Of course that practice should be applied to all exhibitions at the museum, including those of folk, contemporary, conceptual, video and other art forms. The Board will be saving itself the trouble of calling special meetings whenever there are enough malcontents to warrant a review of the artistic vision of its invited artists or the curatorial prerogatives of its professional staff.

In short, this controversy is not your problem, Alma. And I hope it will not dissuade you form continuing to create work which question and inspire, not only aficionados like me, but especially young women like my daughters who need to interpret for themselves what their role in society is and need artists like you to help them do so.




Subject: digital art
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 22:00:29 -0700
From: "Garth and Angie Gerstein" <gerstein@gilanet.com>
To: <almalopez@earthlink.net>

Thank you for putting the image on the internet.  I find the image very well done and interesting.  I always appreciate art that is well done and sparks interest/controversy/reflection on what art is.  Thank you for getting New Mexico talking about art.
Angie Gerstein
Montessori Elementary Teacher