Born on April 11, 1951 in Trinidad, Colorado, Meggan Rodriguez DeAnza graduated from South High School in Pueblo, Colorado and received a BS degree in graphic arts and an AAS in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern Colorado. She received a MA in printmaking from Adams State College. She has two daughters: Julie and Jennifer. Meggan is an artist and an art teacher at Skinner Middle School in North Denver.
Meggan enjoys learning about santos as she makes santos. She has visited many old churches in northern New Mexico. She had a traditional Catholic upbringing and her mother is a specialist in Spanish American Folklore. Meggan made her first religious image when she was 12 years old and has made santos for 14 years, while also putting religious images into her contemporary art work.
Meggan learned how to make santos by viewing images in museums and then attempting to make them herself. Meggan participates in about 2-3 exhibits, festivals and gallery shows pertaining to santos every year. Since Meggan became an art teacher, she's taught about santos in a variety of settings. She's demonstrated her artwork, technique, and lesson plans in a variety of venues in the metro Denver area. Among them: the Denver Art Museum, the Museo de las Americas, the Public Education Coalition, Artes del Pueblo, the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, the Chile Harvest Festival, and the Aurora Historical Society.
SUBJECTS AND SOURCES
Her favorite image, "Our Lady of Sorrows," is the patron of the most churches in all of northern New Mexico. She identifies with her most because of the patron's relationship to the plight of women. She's named three other additonal subjects: Santo Niño de Atocha, San Isidro, and Doña Sebastiana. Meggan has looked at a plethora of images in churches, scholarly articles, holy cards, magazines, museum exhibits, her own collection, other santeros' collections, traditional ceremonies in moradas as well as church functions. Among the places where Meggan's attended are Chimayo, San Luis, and Trampas. Meggan cited Jose Aragon and Patricino Barela as two santeros who have influenced her work. She appreciates Aragon's minimal use of color and design and Barela's use of abstraction. For her Madonna and Child images she looks to European photographs.
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES
Meggan tends to recycle boards, platters and tin cans as part of her santos. Borrowing from much of her contemporary artwork print style, most of Meggan's retablo's are faceless images. She uses brilliant turquoise, purple, and orange paints which are toned down with oil stains. She tries to keep the style of drawing throughout her work whether it be a retablo or a linolium cut. She looks at a lot of different images which she interprets into her personal style.
Meggan Rodriguez DeAnza received a Public Education Coalition grant called "Retablos in my Neighborhood" to teach santos at Skinner Middle School.