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Sacred Art, Tradition That Remains

Text and photos by Antonio De Jesús Aguado

The disciples of Genaro Almanza want to keep his memory alive through an exhibition of religious art at the Casa de la Cultura. Works in painting, sculpture, cardboard, and glass will be part of this exposition prepared by artists such as Ángeles Almanza (Genaro’s daughter), Hermes Arroyo, José Luis Rodríguez, and Alejandro Cerritos. The collective exhibition is being set up to let people know that this kind of art is alive in the city and to show them that artists continue working and restoring sacred works. Some of the pieces will be for sale.

Religious Art Exhibition
Several artists
Fri, Sep 5, 5pm
Casa de la Cultura, Mesones 71
Free entrance

Hermes Arroyo is known in the city for the creation of the cardboard giants, called mojigangas, that he brings to life, starting with sculpture that later is covered with cardboard, painted, and dressed with showy outfits. However, this time he will show another facet of his work, saints made of cardboard.

Ángeles Almanza, who provided this information, was working on a sculpture of our Lady of Loreto at the time of the interview. The image was a virgin made of wood that she expected to finish before the exhibit. Ángeles will show virgins, angels, and other pieces. The saints in glass were created by Alejandro Cerritos.

The exhibition will open on Friday, September 5, at 5pm, and will be open to the general public at the Casa de Cultura Monday through Saturday from 9am-7pm until September 19. Along with the exhibit will be brochures with information about the artists.

Genaro Almanza, “El Santero (maker of religious images),” was born in San Miguel on December 12, 1928. He learned this type of art from his father, Donato Almanza, who was a disciple of an artist who left San Miguel in 1929 during the Cristero War. Almanza is renowned in the city for his involvement with the local traditions, especially for bringing back the  nativity scene to the Jardín Principal. He was always open to instructing others about how  to create religious images. Now the students pay homage to the “grand master,” Almanza, who died on February 3, 2010.


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