By the Grace of Light: Images of Faith from Catholic New Mexico

By the Grace of Light: Images of Faith from Catholic New Mexico


The original softcover edition, pictured here, is out of print. The edition for sale here is a beautifully bound hardcover in a slipcase. Available while supplies last. Previously $49.95, now available for $29.95 - a savings of $20.

Perhaps in no other state of the union is the Catholic church and images of faith more ever present in the lives of its citizens — Catholic and non-Catholic alike — than in New Mexico. As one casts a quiet eye across the land, the perceptive viewer soon notices a host of venerable objects that contain some facet of New Mexico Catholic iconography. These include humble adobe churches, low riders adorned with Catholic imagery, hand-crafted santos and well known santo makers, diverse representations of the Virgin of Guadalupe, roadside crosses and many other subjects. Varjabedian spent three years completing this body of photographic work. After considering the richness and beauty of these images and learning of the year-long celebrations being planned-by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Varjabedian sought and received the unqualified support of Archbishop Sheehan in creating an exhibition of his photographs that would be combined with the Archbishop’s words to mark the occasion.


“Craig Varjabedian has made a special study of just such expressions of Southwestern faith, particularly in New Mexico, framing his stunning, black-and-white photographs of churches, crosses and statuary within a landscape long ago deemed sacred by its indigenous inhabitants. . . Within Varjabedian’s lens, symbols of faith are solidly rooted in landscape: In Moonrise of Penitente Morada, or La Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis, as examples, the adobe walls of the church rise from the earth much like the mesas on which they’re built. Sometimes, the connections are more subtle. A portrait of a young girl, for example, decked out in what could otherwise be a bridal gown, awaits her first communion in a field of wild grass and wildflowers. . . boxer Danny Romero holding a bulto — a small statue of a saint — between the mitts of his boxing gloves .. . La Conquistadora shows a bulto of the virgin sitting on a stool next to a stone monument marking the Trinity Nuclear Test Site in New Mexico, the first place on earth where a nuclear weapon was tested. . . Most images carry a subtle, or not-so-subtle, subtext.”
– Malcolm Howard, Artbreak

Photographs by Craig Varjabedian.
Essays by the Most Reverend Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, Mag Dimond and Cathy Wright.
An exhibition organized by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1998
56 pages
ISBN-10: 082631547X
ISBN-13: 978-0826315472


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