Photo by ROBERT NARANJO
Doreen Martinez Wins EVAF “Best of Show”
Ron Martinez Takes First In Raised Relief Carving Of “Our Lady of Lourdes” & “El Santuario”
By ROBERT NARANJO/valleydailypost.com
Northern New Mexicans create some of the most beautiful crosses in the U.S., possibly in the world. This is an artistic heritage that began over 400 years ago when the catholic faith was brought to the area by priests, accompanying Governor Don Juan de Onate, and the first European-linked settlers in 1598.
Doreen Martinez, of Cuartelez, was honored with the 2016 Espanola Valley Arts Festival “Best of Show” award for her stunningly beautiful straw applique cross, “Los Siete Dolores de La Virgin Maria” (The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother Mary). Her husband, Ron Martinez, took first in the “raised relief” carving category with a beautiful tribute to “Our Lady of Lourdes” and “El Santuario de Chimayo” in a combination raised relief carving. Both world-famous pilgrimage sites are places of miracles, one in France and one in New Mexico.
El Santuario was saved from encroachment by the Santa Cruz River in the 1950’s by Father Casimiro Roca, 1917-2015, a longtime pastor of the storied shrine. Every year, on Good Friday, more than 30,000 pilgrims walk to it from near and far. Fr. Roca was fond of saying, “It’s not the dirt, it’s the faith that heals.”