When you stay at our hotel in downtown Santa Fe, you make a difference in the community. Hotel Chimayo supports cultural and artistic ventures by featuring regionally-inspired design, custom artwork, decor and cuisine. The work of more than 70 local artists is featured at Hotel Chimayo.
As a continuation of this tradition of supporting cultural preservation and advancement, we donate a portion of every room night's revenue to culturally and artistically significant endeavors. Through our partnership with the Chimayo Cultural Preservation Association we support their mission of preserving culture and traditions for future generations.
The Chimayo Cultural Preservation Association was created to document and preserve the unique history of the Chimayo community. The association is working to build an archive of historical photographs and documents, gather oral histories, maintain historic buildings, and increase community awareness of Chimayo history, culture and traditions.
The Chimayo Cultural Preservation Association operates the Chimayo Museum, located in Chimayo, New Mexico at Plaza del Cerro. The location is the center of the original Spanish Colonial settlement established in 1740. The museum is dedicated to educating the community about the history and culture of Chimayo and northern New Mexico. The museum features photographs of the Chimayo area dating back to the 1800s.
Los Maestros is an ongoing program of the Chimayo Cultural Preservation Association. It is designed to teach the children of Chimayo the hands-on skills of New Mexican folk art, an artistic heritage that has been passed down for many generations. The art classes are held once a month at the Chimayo Museum. Subjects taught include tinwork, straw applique, traditional wood carving, weaving, micaceous pottery, colcha embroidery and traditional painting on wood and hide. The students range in age between nine and seventeen. They pledge to stay in school, resist drugs and to be respectful and well-mannered during all activities. Los Maestros partners with Hotel Chimayo for their students to sell their artwork at the hotel at semi-annual art fairs and is also connected with the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and Spanish Market.
For over 400 years artisans have upheld a tradition of Chimayó art that speaks to the rich tapestry of story and craft in the community.
The utilitarian craft of weaving introduced by Spanish colonial settlers in the 1700s has been transformed by time and talent into today's rich combination of time-honored symbols with modern aesthetic and techniques. Multi-generational workshops produce stunning tapestries, including those of award-winning artisans Irvin Trujillo of Centinela Traditional Arts, Robert Ortega of Ortega's Weaving Shop, and Karen Martinez and Carlos Martinez.
Chimayó's weavers rely on locally available wool and cotton yarns. The wool is gathered from a local breed of heritage Churro sheep, whose undyed wools display a stunning variation of ecru, cream, brown and black. Many natural plant dyes are used to expand the color palette to include the desert hues of the New Mexico landscape and sky.
Chimayosos work in local woods, carving rustic, Spanish colonial-style furniture and devotional artwork. Many of these artisans, whose woodcraft has been passed down from grandfather to father to son, create santos and bultos (three-dimensional statues of saints) and retablos (devotional paintings on wood) as striking evidence of the importance of spirituality in Chimayó history and life. Other artists perfect the folk art of straw applique, also called straw inlay, which is exceptionally inlaid on wooden crosses and nativity scenes.
Modern techniques and materials have also found their way into Chimayó art. Many local art galleries showcase Spanish Colonial tinwork, which involves painstakingly hand-punching geometric, floral and religious designs into metal for mirror and picture frames or light fixtures. Oviedo Carvings and Bronze, owned by Marco and Patricia Trujillo, uses the lost wax process in a bronze foundry that produces magnificent, contemporary sculpture.
Of course, Chimayó art also honors its pre-Spanish artistic heritage. Several local art galleries feature both traditional and contemporary local Native American art, including the jewelry, pottery and rugs of the nearby Santa Clara, Pojoaque, Zuni, Jemez, Cochiti and Ohkay Owinge Pueblos, as well as from the more distant Navajo Nation and Acoma Pueblo.
Some local art galleries and studio spaces offer workshops, demonstrations and tours for anyone wanting to know more about how to paint a retablo, spin or weave Churro wool, or photograph the magnificent local landscapes. To learn more, inquire at the Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe concierge desk.
The Chimayo Weavers
The Centinela Weavers of Chimayo by Mary Terence McKay & Lisa Trujillo
Ortega's Weaving Shop
Oviedo Carvings and Bronze
Across Frontiers: Hispanic Crafts of New Mexico by Dexter Cirillo
New Mexican Tinwork: 1840-1940 by Lane Coulter and Maurice Dixon, Jr.