NICHOLAS HERRERA

2016 New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts Recipient
  
  
  

above photo credit: David Michael Kennedy

NICHOLAS HERRERA

Nicholas Herrera is an Outsider / folk artist from Northern New Mexico. His relatives were among the early settlers who came to New Mexico with Onate in 1598. Nicholas is a descendent of landowners, farmers, artists, and soldiers.

As a young man he walked a wild and precariously thin line until a sudden near-death experience, involving a car accident, transformed his trajectory in life.

He now lives a simple life in pursuit of meaning and metaphor through his art as a modern Santero who creates bultos, retablos, and large-scale works from recycled metal. Through the use of wood, natural pigments, and mixed media, Nicholas has exhibited works both locally and nationally that reflect the heritage of traditional santero art and address important contemporary social and political views. His strong personality and his independent spirit determine his powerful paintings and sculptures that depict — aside from the religious icons of his Catholic faith — images of the hardship of rural life, the demons of drugs and alcohol, and the horrors of war and terrorism ...

Meet Nicholas Herrera
  Produced by the Smithsonian Art Museum
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... Nicholas’ artistic abilities are diverse and each piece speaks of a spiritual nature that transcends traditional religion. He has many life accomplishments with worldwide recognition. His art is featured in over 30 museums worldwide, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Nicholas has also been referenced or written about in hundreds of books and publications including two biographies, Nicholas Herrera: Visions of My Heart and High Riders, and Saints and Death Cars: A Life Saved by Art. He has also received numerous awards and recognition, including the 2006 Award of Distinction from the Folk Art Society of America.

Nicholas has a rich history of supporting and helping others find their own artistic path and to give back to the community. From teaching small school children and troubled teens how to make retablos, to galvanizing a group of artists to create an alter screen for a renovated church, Nicholas has developed his craft fully. His inherent talent, and natural need to create, reveal a deep connection to his past. Nicholas has taught children’s workshops through the Spanish Colonial Art Society, the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, the Chicano Arts Festival in Denver, and at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles, among others. Through the years, Nicholas has provided many free seminars and lectures at public libraries, area schools, museums, and churches. Not only has he opened his home to the local youth through residential apprenticeships, he frequently shares his story, art, culture and heritage with international, national and local visitors. Nicholas is still truly a New Mexican “village artist,” residing on his family’s land within the community in which he grew up.

Nicholas has donated countless pieces of art so that organizations, nonprofits and public programs as well as personal friends in need, may benefit by the sale or auctioning of his artwork. He has made numerous donations to museums worldwide as an effort to unify people and cultures. He continues to assist the local moradas and churches with restorations and renovations of religious artwork.

SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS

Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, New Mexico, 2016
National Folk Art Society, National Award of Distinction, 2006


SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque, NM
American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY
American History Art Museum, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
DePaul University Museum, Chicago, IL
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY
Espanola Convento Museum, Espanola, NM
Flatwater Folk Art Museum, Brownsville, NE
Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO
Gene Autry Museum of American Heritage, Los Angeles, CA
Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM
Herberger College of Fine Arts, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
La Inglesia de Ojo Caliente Museum, Ojo Caliente, NM
Longwood Center for the Visual Art, Farmville, VA
Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM
Museum of American Folk Art, New York, NY
Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM
Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts, Santa Fe, NM
National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL
Price Tower Arts Center, Bartlesville, OK
Regis University Collection of New Mexican Santos, Denver, CO
Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
San Andrea Della Valle Theatine General House, Rome, Italy
Sangre De Cristo Art Center, Pueblo, CO
Santa Fe Children's Museum, Santa Fe, NM
Sheldon Museum of Arts, Lincoln, NE
Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
The Southern Ohio Museum, Kenny Galleries, Portsmouth, OH
Spanish Colonial Art Society Collection, Santa Fe, NM
Taylor Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Colorado Springs, CO
The Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL
The Terra Foundation of American Art, Paris, France
University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
William and Ann Oppenheimer Collection, Richmond, VA

Available Work


Nicholas Herrera, Espiritu del Cerebro
Espiritu del Cerebro
Retablos, Wood with Natural Pigments
23 x 19
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, La Bendición de Los Muertos
La Bendición de Los Muertos
hand carved painted wood with natural pigments
16 x 28 x 12.5
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Zapatero Cruz
Zapatero Cruz
Bultos, Rusted Metal
26 x 17 x 9
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Corazón de Oro
Corazón de Oro
Retablos, Wood with Natural Pigments
23 x 19
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, San Jose
San Jose
Retablos, Wood and glass with Natural Pigments
28 x 23.5 x 2.5
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, San Roque
San Roque
Retablos, Wood with Natural Pigments
45 x 28
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Cráneo Esgrafiado
Cráneo Esgrafiado
Retablos, Wood with Natural Pigments
29 x 26
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Espiritu des los Mujeres Santas
Espiritu des los Mujeres Santas
Retablos, Wood with Natural Pigments
72 x 55
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Cristo Crucificado
Cristo Crucificado II
hand carved wood with natural pigments
40 x 27.5 x 8
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, La Fiesta del Rito
La Fiesta del Rito
hand carved wood with natural pigments
23 x 48 x 5
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, St Francis Preaches to the Birds
St Francis Preaches to the Birds
hand carved wood with natural pigments
21 x 11 x 9
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Santiago and StJames
Santiago and St James
hand carved wood with natural pigments
, 15 x 24
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
hand carved wood with natural pigments
29.5 x 18.5
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, San Miguel
San Miguel
hand carved wood with natural pigments
27 x 21.5
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Alma de Corazon
Alma de Corazón
handpainted wood with natural pigments
19 x 21
inquiry
Nicholas Herrera, Cristo de Mi Corazon
Cristo de Mi Corazon
bronze
22 x 18 x 8
inquiry
View Installation
Solo Exhibition 2014