December 19, 2001
Subject: AztlanNet: open Letter to Alma Martinez
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 02:09:44 -0800
From: Octavio Romano <email@example.com>
Organization: TQS Publications
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, AztlanNet@yahoogroups.com
Some time ago, you sent me a CD of your art
I thought then, and I think now, that, as an
artist, you rank among the most creative technical pioneers within the broad
Chicano artistic community.
I opposed your exhibit in New Mexico because
I truly believed that the administratrors of the Museum were using you as
a tool to further their own idological and political views.
Alma, I do deeply believe that true art has
never been intended to amputate the final stronhold of poor people, as has
been the case in New Mexico.
When after blistering and consistent attacks
upon a people. as has been the case of the Hispanos of New Mexico, the New
Mexico Museum included, do you as an artist of integrity,, launch forth another
blistering attack upon the dying in the name of art?
Alma. You are a fine artist. Is your goal to
That I believe.
Editor: TQS Publicationsd.
Subject: Re: AztlanNet: open
Letter to Alma Martinez
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 10:56:04 -0700
From: Alma Lopez <email@example.com>
you are confusing two Almas.
Alma Martinez must have been the artist who sent you the CD and Alma Lopez
is the artist in New Mexico.
The New Mexico issue is complex
at different levels. At my level, I will always protect my right to create
work. You don't know me, but I think alot about the images I produce before
I even place them in public. I have thought about "Our Lady" before,
during and after New Mexico, and I know there is nothing wrong with that image.
For me it's important for people
to know who was on each side of the issue...
The folks who wanted the image
to be removed, basically censored: Ortiz, a museum regent who some people
believe was behind the whole thing. Villegas, who wrote me the first email
and basically saw the devil when he saw "Our Lady". Deacon Trujillo
and Archbishop Sheehan and the people in their church, who must feel that
their energies are better spent censoring art in the museum instead of dealing
with the healing and protection of the young victims from their pedophile
priests. And Pedro Romero Sedeno, who just needed some attention and someone
to direct his drunken rants.
The folks who wanted the image
to remain: The three other Nuevo Mexicana artists in the exhibition who stood
in solidarity and wanted their work removed if "Our Lady" was removed,
the Nuevo Mexicana curator, and the many professors, students, and people
across the U.S. who wrote letters and emails of support who were mostly Latinas/os.
And yes, the museum who tried to hear all perspectives by hosting large public
forums and who as a compromise, did not extend the exhibition through next
February as scheduled.
This was definitely a learning experience for me, and one of the things I learned was that some Catholics are cruel and vicious. The low point for me was when people who claimed to be Catholics threatened the curator and museum with physical harm, and me with burning down my home.