June 4, 2001

From: Laurie Betlach [mailto:lbetlach@qwest.net]
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 3:32 PM
To: info@moifa.org <mailto:info@moifa.org>
Subject: Support for Alma Lopez

I wanted to voice my support for the Museum of International Folk Art for not bowing to pressure from some of the Northern New Mexico community who have demanded the removal of "Our Lady" by Alma Lopez from the current exhibition.

Aside from the fact that this art is protected by free speech laws, it is clear to me after reading the article in the Los Angeles Times (May 27) that Ms. Lopez meant no disrespect to the Catholic religion.

In fact, her portrayal of the Virgin of Guadalupe-bold, strong, defiant, proud-is an expression of her experience of the majority of Mexican women she has known in her life. Women, who against all odds, have survived and thrived in a society set up to work against them.

Are we really offended because we see "Our Lady" wearing a bikini? Or is it because we see a woman-normally depicted as passive, weak and submissive-who actually dares to look us in the eye?

Laurie Betlach
Santa Fe, New Mexico