Anthony Ortega
Associate Professor
Department of Fine and Performing Arts
Regis University
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Course Listings:

Intro to Drawing

Introduction to Painting

Advanced Painting

Painting Studio

Drawing Studio

Life Drawing


Design Foundation

New Mexico Santo Tradition

Art and Culture

Diversity and Cultural Tradition: New Mexico Santo Tradition, RCC 400D
Themes in Art History: New Mexico Santos Tradition, FAHS 408J
The Arts in Catholic Tradition: New Mexico Santo Tradition, CAS 410

Monday and Wednesday 9:00 to 10:15 AM

Office: Claver Hall 133 C

Office Hours:

Monday and Wednesday 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.

Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00 A.M. to 9:25 A.M.

Phone: 303-458-4286, E-mail:


Please turn off your cell phone during class time.

No text messaging allowed during class time

Course Description:

In this course we will explore identity through an understanding of how Catholicism, history, tradition, culture and the arts have shaped the diverse experiences of Hispanics in southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Central to this course is the 300-year-old artistic, cultural and religious tradition of the New Mexico santos (saints). This course includes sessions devoted to lectures, seminar discussions, story tellers, videos, the Regis santo collection, meetings with local artists as well as studio sessions. The course culminates in a final research and studio painting project on a New Mexico santo resulting in the student creation of a retablo.

Attendance: Four absences will result in a one letter-grade reduction for the course, seven absences grade will be lowered two full steps, nine absences grade will be lowered to an F.

Important Note Regarding Missed Exams or Assignments: You cannot make up an exam if you miss it. In case of a valid excuse, such as death in the family or grave personal illness or injury, (which would need to be documented and signed by at least two parties) you can make up the credit by writing a 5-page essay. You must first discuss the details with me. Late assignments will be accepted up to a week after the due date, but at the reduction of an entire letter grade, for example from an A to a B.

Academic Integrity Policy

Consistent with the College’s Academic Integrity Policy, I will report all violations of this course’s academic integrity policy to the Dean’s office.  Students who have committed multiple instances of academic dishonesty can be subject to institutional penalties like probation, suspension, or expulsion, in addition to the penalties for this course.  The Academic integrity policy is described in the Bulletin; detailed information about the policy and the appeal’s process can be found in the Dean’s office.

Course Withdraw Policy: Students are expected to know and observe the published deadlines for (a) dropping the course and (b) Withdrawing from the course. These deadlines are published on the University’s Academic Calendar, which is available in the Bulletin, the course schedule, and is in the Dean’s Office? Please observe the following Dates: Last Day to Drop the Course: August 29, 2016; last Day to withdraw from the Course (No refund): November 13, 2016. THESES DEADLINES ARE NOT FLEXIBLE.

Learning Support: If you have a documented disability requiring academic adjustments, please contact Dr. Joie Williams, Director of Disability Services (303-964-3666,, Clarke Hall, 224).  She will review your documentation with you and help determine appropriate, reasonable accommodations.  Following the meeting with Dr. Williams, please make an appointment with me to discuss your accommodation request in light of the course requirements.  You may self-disclose and request academic adjustments at any time during the semester.  However, I strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible because accommodations are not provided retroactively and adequate lead-time is required.

Required Materials (available at the campus bookstore)

“Santos and Saints, The Religious Folk Art of Hispanic New Mexico” by Thomas J. Steele, S.J.

Or an electronic copy at:


Books on Reserve at Dayton Memorial Library:

  • “Tradiciones Nuevomeicanas, Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” by Mary Montano
  • “The Regis Santos, Thirty Years of Collecting 1966-1996”, by Thomas J. Steele, S.J., Barbe Awalt & Paul Rhetts
  • “New Kingdom of the Saints, Religious Art of New Mexico 1780 -1907”, Larry Frank, Red Crane Books
  • “Transforming Images: New Mexican Santos In-between Worlds”, Claire Farago and Donna Pierce

Chapters/readings from the above books can also be found on the following link,

Regis Santo collection can be found with images of retables and bultos on the following link,

 Each week there will be several readings, from several sources. The readings taken together will become the basis for class discussions, visiting lecturers, santeros and videos. Though not every reading will be analyzed and discussed in detail in class, all the readings are necessary to prepare students for the complex ideas and contexts we are trying to understand.

The course will be a positive learning community in direct proportion to students’ able and informed engagement in class discussions. When students prepare for class, therefore, they should prepare to actively participate. Class time is more productively and interestingly spent if everyone is prepared to participate with their questions, concerns, comments, insights, difficulties, etc. The course requires active student participation, whether in the discussion of the readings, visiting lecturers, presentations and or videos that will be shown in class during the semester. Thus, the course will operate, for a great part of the time, as a seminar, which needs full student participation. In this sense, the reading on time of the reading assignments is a must, as well as class attendance.

Reflection papers/Short Essays

The objective is to give you the opportunity to reflect on the following presentations:

  • A curator
  • Two story tellers
  • Three santeros
  • Field trip to the Denver Art Museum santo collection
  • Journalist and photographer
  • Exhibition of Contemporary Colorado Santeras at the Dayton Memorial Library
  • Traditional Hispanic dancers (Recital hall Peter Claver Hall)
  • Musical performance and pre-lecture (Recital hall Peter Claver Hall)
  • Videos

            “Bless Me Ultima “ and “Devoted to the Saints”

How to prepare for class presentations:

  • See how the presenter and or DVD’s relates to the New Mexico santo tradition. In order to write these essays, you must attend the talks and videos presentations.
  • Connect the readings with the presentation and cite the sources.  You are required to include one citation from the reading in your paper.
  • You are required to ask a logical concrete question relating to the presentation. Use the question (your question) and the presenter’s answer in your paper.
  • Report on the presenter and focus on what they say about their work. Comment upon both the presentation and how it relates to the New Mexico santo tradition. Your response paper should focus on content and not on the style of which the presentation is given. Ten short essays will be assigned and they will be due at the beginning of the following class period. IF CIRCUMSTANCES PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING THEM IN AT THAT TIME, YOU ARE GIVEN A GRACE PERIOD OF ONE WEEK BUT YOU ARE DOCKED ONE LETTER GRADE.

Essay Format: 2 -3 pages typed, 12-point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, with standard one-inch margins, handwritten essays will not be accepted.

Heading: Upper LEFT-hand corner of page 1 should include:

Student Name


Date Submitted 

Essay style: A basic essay writing is required, consisting of an introductory paragraph stating your thesis statement; several paragraphs focus on critical analysis of the assigned materials and topics. Essays should have proper use of grammar and no spelling errors.

Essay Notes: When you refer to ideas and insights drawn from articles, presenters and books-you must cite these sources. You are required to connect the readings with the presentations/videos with a citation from the readings.

Please use MLA style for your essays

Regis Writing Center

The Writing Center is a free resource for Regis College undergraduates. All writers, no matter how proficient, benefit from working with a writing consultant. These peer consultants will help you at any point in your writing process, from brainstorming for ideas to organizing a draft to polishing the final version. You get immediate and personal feedback about your writing as well as answers to your questions. Appointments are recommended. Drop by the Writing Center in Loyola 1 or call (303) 458-4039 for more information.

Small group presentation, in conjunction with course lecture, there will be small group presentations. Groups will consist of 2 to 3 students and they will create a 10-minute presentation on a topic previously agreed upon with the instructor. You and your partners will want to think through what the primary issues and themes that is at stake in the texts, articles research and analyze how these ideas are integrated into the New Mexico Santo tradition and or culture

Format: The presentation should follow the following format:

A brief introduction of the theme or issue, as you understand it, in the texts we read for the day. (Don’t provide an interpretation for the entire text. That’s what we’ll be doing when you finish).

Some kind of visual aid that points to the New Mexico Santo tradition and or culture (short power point of 6 images)

Describe: What connection you see, how is it similar or different, and why is it important?

Include a question or two to stimulate class discussion.

Handouts and PowerPoint: Handouts and visuals are good. If you use PowerPoint, email it to me ahead of time. Warning: Do not overload slides with text or rely too heavily on it. Use it for visuals or quick information (graphs, data, etc.).

Write-Up: Each presentation requires a 2- 3 page analysis of your presentation (not the literature) to be turned at the same time as the presentation. Do not read from this paper. The presentation should be extemporaneous (i.e. carefully prepared but delivered without notes or text). You want to engage your peers in your topic and give a thorough analysis of its importance.

Retablo painting, oral presentation and paper assignment On a pine board you will create a composition using your knowledge of the New Mexico santo tradition. You can use images in the Regis Santo collection, the textbooks, power point presentations, as inspiration for your composition. After completing your retablo, you will write a 2-3-page paper and prepare a 5-minute oral presentation. The paper and oral presentation will explain the ways in which you have incorporated the santo’s biography, symbols, iconography, colors etc. into your retablo. Your understanding of the concepts, as well as the application of these concepts to the project, will serve as criteria for grading.

Grade Percentage Spread                      

10 points –Tom Riedel, curator of Regis santo collection

10 points- Video, “Santero Art of Devotion”  

10 points- Diego Martin, el Vaquero, presentation by story teller Angel Vigil

15 points – Denver Art Museum paper, presentation by Jose Esquibel

10 points - Maria Josef Jaramillo Carson, presentation by story teller Vangie Sena

10 points – Journalist and photographer Juan Espinosa

10 points- Video on “Bless Me Ultima”

15 points – Lorenzo Trujillo Lecture and performance at Regis Recital Hall

10 points - Second presentation from Tom Riedel on 20th Century Revival

10 points- Santera, Teresa Duran reflection paper

10 points –Santera, Lynn Fresquez reflection paper

10 points –Santero, Jose Esquibel reflection paper

10 Points-Traditional Hispanic dance presenters Herman and Patsy Martinez

15 Points-Colorado Santera opening reception at Dayton Memorial Library  

40 points - Exam 1

20 points – Final Exam

35 points retablo painting, paper and oral presentation, 20+10+5=35

20 points small group project

270 points total  

You will be able to drop 3 of your lowest reflection paper grades.

Grading System   

Final grade will be base on 240 total points                               


230-240 points



216-229 points



208-215 points


201-207 points

B -


192-200 points



184-191 points



177-183 points



168-176 points



160-167 points



153-159 points



144-152 points


59% or below

143 points or less



Lecture, power point, small  group presentation,  presenter or studio project

Readings and links

August 22



August 24

What is a Santo? What is a retablo/bulto?

New Mexico History in a Nut shell

Read, Chapter 1, Conquistadors y Pobladores: Historical Over view in “Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas/ Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” in library reserve 

Lecture one PDF of power point

August 29

DVD on Devoted to the Saints” 25 minute video,


 Read Chapter 2, Artes del Espiritu: Religious Arts in “Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas/ Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” in library reserve

Lecture two PDF of Power point

August 31

Visit Regis Santo collection at the Dayton Memorial Library and presentation by Tom Riedel, Curator of the Regis Santo Collection, we will meet in room 310 in the library.

Read at Library reserve “The Regis Santos, Thirty Years of Collecting 1966 -1996” 

Lecture of Tom Riedel PDF of Power point

September 5

Labor day no class


September 7

Holy Art, Holy Artist”

Small group project- Hermanos Penitentes Small group project presentation

Refection papers due on DVD "Devoted to the Saints" and  Tom Riedel, Regis Santo collection

Read Chapter 1 in “Santos and Saints”


Lecture Three PDF of Power point

September 10

Re-schedueded for Saturday October 15

Saturday late morning at the Denver Art Museum, Spanish colonial art presentation at 11:00 AM by Jose Raul Esquibel

September 12

Diego Martin, el Vaquero, presentation by Angel Vigil

TED X front range talk

September 14

“Santo Space : Pre-Renaissance and Post-Renaissance”

 Reflection paper on  Angel Vigil

Small group project- Jose Dolores Lopez (Unpainted santos)

Read Chapter 2 in “Santos and Saints”

Lecture Four PDF of Power point

September 19

The Holy Persons God, Virgin, Angels, Saints

 Small group project- Gloria Lopez Cordova and Marie Romero Cash

Read Chapter 3 in “Santos and Saints”

Lecture Five PDF of Power point

September 21

Maria Josef Jaramillo Carson, presentation by Vangie Sena


September 26

“Bless Me Ultima”, DVD

 Reflection paper due on Vangie Sena

 Small group project- Charlie Carrillo 

September 28

"Bless Me Ultima, DVD" continue


October 3

“Old Saints in a New Land”

 Reflection paper due on “Bless Me Ultima”

 Small group project- Patrocino Barela

Read Chapter 4 in “Santos and Saints”

Lecture Six PDF of power points

October 5

“The Mirrors of the Holy Persons”

 Land grants, Sangre de Cristo Land Grant, Community rights and access to the land 

Link for La Sierra, Sangre de Cristo Land grant  pages 18 to 26

Read Chapter 5 in “Santos and Saints”

Lecture seven PDF of Power points

October 10

No class mid semester break


October 12

“Saints and Prayer” 

Small group project presentation

Land Use, La Acequia, La Vega, Vara strips and Jacales

Read Chapter 6 in “Santos and Saints”

Lecture eight PDF of Power point

October 15 Saturday late morning at the Denver Art Museum, Spanish colonial art presentation at 11:00 AM by Jose Raul Esquibel Molleno Altar Screen
The Guardian Angel
Death Cart


October 17

Exam 1

Reflection paper due on DAM Santo collection


October 19

Juan Espinosa

Journalist and photographer

October 24

Herman and Patsy Martinez

Recital Hall, Peter Claver Hall

Piesas Sociales, Valses, Polcas and Shotis  

Traditional Hispanic Dance

Read Chapter 6, Bailes y Fandangos Social Dance in “Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas/ Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” in library reserve 


October 26

Herman and Patsy Martinez

Recital Hall, Peter Claver Hall

Piesas Sociales, Valses, Polcas and Shotis  

Traditional Hispanic Dance

Read Chapter 6, Bailes y Fandangos Social Dance in “Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas/ Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” in library reserve

October 26


Lorenzo Trujillo lecture and performance

Pre concert lecture at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Performance at 7:30-9:00 PM

Link for tickets:

Read Chapter 5, La Musica de la Gente:Secular and Religious Music in “Tradiciones Nuevomexicanas/ Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico” in library reserve 


October 31

20th Century Revival, by Tom Reidel, Curator of the Regis Santo Collection

Reflection papers due on  Juan Espinoza, Herman and Patsy Martinez

Read Chapter 12 in “Transforming Images: New Mexican Santos In-between Worlds” at reserve library

November 2

Jose Raul Esquibel, Santero, presentation

reflection papers due on Tom Reidel and and Lorenzo Trujillo

 Jose Raul Esquibel PDF

You Tube interview

November 7

Teresa May Duran, santera presentation

You Tube interview link

November 9

Lynn Fresquez, santera presentation


November 10 Santo Exhibition
Dayton Memorial Library
Fire Place Lounge
opening from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Talk to the Santeras see thier retablos and have some refreshments

November 14

Studio time creating a retablo main hall room 101

Reflection papers due on Jose Esquibel, Lynn Fresquez and Teresa May Duran


November 16


Studio time creating a retablo main hall room 101


November 21

Studio time creating a retablo main hall room 101


November 23

No class Thanksgiving break


November 28

Studio day main hall room 101


November 30

Retablo presentations


December 7

Final exam @ 8:00 AM