Return of the Corn Mothers. A photo journal Exhibition of Southwestern Women
Renee Fajardo : Team Leader
Renee Fajardo has been a freelance writer for over ten years. She specializes in all things South West. Her writing assignments include artist profiles, art gallery reviews, travel and entertainment news. Her pieces can be read on line at readfive.com and caminos.us. She also writes for the North Denver News and La Voz, Colorado's largest Latino news paper.She is the Denver corespondent for Indian Country Today. She recently was awarded a writing fellowhip from the Rocky Mounatin Women's Instite and will be working on interviewing women artist from throughout the South West for an new anthology titled "Return of the Corn Mothers".
Arlette Lucero earned a bachelorís degree in fine arts from the Colorado State University in Fort Collins and completed two years of graphic arts through the Community College of Denver. She has taught art education for over eight years in Colorado and is an active volunteer and current member at the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council of Denver. Lucero also has over 20 years of experience in graphic arts, painting, illustration, sculpture, and photography, and has been involved with a number of local nonprofits such as ArtsStreet, Art Reach, Colorado Cultural Connections, Museo de las Americas, Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, Kidzart and various other neighborhood organizations.
Carmella (CíRodrigo) Rodriguez was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has a zealous passion for the Southwest. She recently graduated with her masters from the University of Colorado Denver in Information and Learning Technologies and is working towards a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Carmella and Brenda Manuelito are the Cofounders of nDigiDreams, LLC, a consulting and information technology company specializing in digital storytelling. http://www.ndigidreams.com.
Together they travel across Indian Country helping tribal communities make video stories focusing on health, education, policy, and cultural preservation. CíRodrigo produced a documentary about the Return of the Corn Mothers for the exhibition.
Videographer / Digital Storyteller
Tel: USA (303) 916-5213
Ed Winograd, editor and Spanish translator, who edited all printed materials.
Keith Hassett : Site Developer
Keith lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his wife Jana.
Return of the Corn Mothers
What is a Corn Mother?
From Taos, New Mexico to the Hopi mesas of Arizona, the oral traditions of story continue to shape the living culture of the Pueblo peoples. Historically, one central figure in these traditions has been the Corn Mother, the giver of life. This legendary entity is important to the Pueblo cultures, as she is synonymous with Mother Earth and represents growth, life, creativity, and the feminine aspects of the world.
Although her influence diminished with the coming of the Spanish conquest and the introduction of Christianity, Pueblo communities still preserve their knowledge of the Corn Mother. Some legends say that she will return one day to bring harmony and enlightenment.
This collection of portraits and stories is about todayís Corn Mothers. They are women who live, study, and work in the Southwest: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Texas. Some are native, indigenous to this region. Others have journeyed here, as thousands have done for centuries, from other places. They all share an ability to pull from the past all that is sacred and holy, and to create a future that is filled with promise.
This is a multi-generational and multi-cultural exhibit, which represents the continuation of a story that is always evolving.
'The show is based on the Pueblo myth of the Corn Mothers, said to have sung in the essence of creation, including the sacred Kachinas. The exhibition, a 2007 Rocky Mountain Womenís Institute award winner, features multi-cultural and multi-generational women from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, who embody the spirit of the Southwest.
One of the most unique exhibitions to come out of Colorado, the showís focus is a photo exhibition of women who have earned accolades for community activism and creative endeavors. Each featured woman also recounts in story form her memories of the women who influenced her in her life journey. A documentary clip by CíRodrigo gives a behind-the-scene account of this three-year project.
This project has been made possible by funding from the Rocky Mountain Womenís Institute and the Colorado Folk Arts Council.
Todd Pierson : Photography
Todd Pierson was raised in Alaska where he received a hand-me-down Kodak instamatic at age 7. From those early photographs to the present, he has remained impassioned and enthralled with photography. Todd has been published in numerous Colorado newspapers and national magazines and freelances for EFE, the largest Spanish-language news agency in the world. His photographs have run in publications as far away as Uruguay. Todd balances his photojournalism and editorial work with commercial photography in Denver, Colorado.
Asia Fajardo Wright, composer and musician, who wrote the original score for the video documentary.
Abraxas Marcus Aguilera was born on October 3rd, 1972 in Phoenix, AZ. His parents knew he was going to be a unique individual so, they gave him a unique, one-of-a-kind name. His first name was taken from the movie "Patton". His father's favorite actor, Abraxas Aaran III, was the white dog at the end of the movie. His mother insisted on a normal middle name, just in case he didn't like his first name. Today, he only needs one name: Brax. Brax is the proud father of two daughters and a son. He has appeared on TV, in movies and online as an artist / consultant.
As the oldest of three boys, Brax was extremely intelligent. His mother taught him to read by the age of three and he started school at a private Christian academy. He skipped to first grade at the age of five where he doodled while listening, instead of taking notes. Thus, he received zero's for not turning in his notes but scored 100% on the tests.
Brax started drawing posters for church, comics for fun and educational coloring books for profit. He worked at Copy Max while attending college, studying art and starting a family. He still doodles while listening. He is a quiet worker of the highest integrity and an extremely gifted artist. He creates illusions with paper and ink that let you into his secret world where he also sculpts, photographs and creates digital designs.
Millions of children have experienced his unique style and have enjoyed learning important messages about conservation, resources and character development through his work.
Carl Ruby is a first generation American of German parents. He was born in Syracuse, New York, and moved to a farm of one hundred acres in central New York where he grew up. Carl is a two-tour Vietnam Navy veteran serving with Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Seven. After his military service he obtained a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Western New Mexico University at Silver City, New Mexico, and a Masters of Arts Degree in Educational Media from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, Colorado. Carl is a retired educator with thirty years of service mostly in the Jefferson County R1 School District in Colorado and co-author of four childrenís books , the Holy Mole Guacamole Tummy Tale Series.