December 19, 2001

Subject: AztlanNet: open Letter to Alma Martinez
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 02:09:44 -0800
From: Octavio Romano <>
Organization: TQS Publications



Some time ago, you sent me a CD of your art works.

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 kill?

Tell me..

That I believe.

Octavio Romano
Editor: TQS Publicationsd.


Subject: Re: AztlanNet: open Letter to Alma Martinez
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 10:56:04 -0700
From: Alma Lopez <>
References: 1


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.