Author Profile: Dr. Ronald Maestas

Folk Art

This is the sixth in a series of Q&A interviews with artists and writers participating in the Pendaries Art League 16th Annual Art Show to be held July 6 – 7, with an opening reception on July 5. There will be a robust body of work by talented creative spirits. Consider it Christmas shopping in July for a unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life. And you will be supporting the arts in the best possible way, by purchasing something created with love and dedication.

Dr. Ronald W. MaestasWith in-depth research, retired New Mexico Highlands University professor Dr. Ronald W. Maestas, has created La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes, y Padres – (The Faith of My Friends, Neighbors, Relatives, and Parents), a book full of rich details about Colorado santeros and santeras. In the forward to the book, Dr. Anselmo F. Arellano wrote: Lifestyles, diverse social and cultural habits continue to affect these people (santeros and santeras) and their families and friends, who now live in different areas of the United States, but they continue to retain their faith and an important aspect of their culture, a sincere devotion to their santos. It is sincerely hoped that this book will provide others with a better understanding and appreciation of this cultural and religious experience that has been retained among these families for centuries.

From an article in the Conejos County Citizen: With deep roots in the San Luis Valley, Dr. Ronald W. Maestas has completed La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes y Padres, (The Faith of My Friends, Neighbors, Relatives and Parents) a book on Colorado santeros and santeras, the historical and cultural legacy of Hispanos in New Mexico and southern Colorado. Read more…

Below are his responses to questions about his work and the publication of La Fe de Mis Amigos, Vecinos, Parientes, y Padres – (The Faith of My Friends, Neighbors, Relatives, and Parents)

Q. What genre do you work in?
A. Hispanic traditional colonial art.

Q. Why that genre?
A. This genre represents hundred of years of Hispanic art in New Mexico and southern Colorado

Q. What inspires you?
The quantity and quality of santero, santera art.

Q. What is your preferred work environment as a writer?
A. I do my best work in the wee hours of the morning. I am able to concentrate without any interruptions

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
Pope John Paul II; he was the most humble man I ever met.  I was fortunate to be in his presence twice in my life!

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as a writer?
That I was fortunate to showcase the work of many of New Mexico’s Hispanic traditional colonial art. The artists opened their hearts, their homes to allow me to write about their fantastic work

Q. Where can your work be purchased?
A. My books is available on and from me directly. I self published the book; it will soon go into a second edition.  I have included additional artists.  Therefore, I will also self-market the book.  The book is available at Donnlley Library, West Las Vegas High School Library, and the Las Vegas Rough Rider’s Library.

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