Jean Anaya Moya
Jean Anaya Moya. San Isidro en toda su Gloria, 2017. Basswood, homemade gesso, natural mineral pigments, cochineal bug, piñon sap, varnish wax. entire piece: 15 × 15 1/2 × 2 in. (38.1 × 39.4 × 5.1 cm).
Courtesy of Steve & Jean Anaya Moya
Jean Anaya Moya fuses two traditional New Mexican art forms in her work: straw appliqué and retablo painting. During the state’s 200-year Spanish Colonial period, residents worked with materials at hand, adapting their resources to create devotional pieces when ivory, precious metals and European tools and materials were not available. Their works became the earliest pieces of straw marquetry and locally carved wooden saints based on Spain’s baroque religious art.
Moya, a fourth-generation artist from Galisteo, New Mexico, is both a skilled santera and straw appliqué artist, applying ornate straw work to her painted wooden panels. She was artistic from an early age, and considers her mother her first inspiration. While raising six children, her mother managed to express her creativity by painting, drawing and working in tooled leather. Moya followed that artisitc path and first learned the art of retablo carving and painting when she studied at Santa Fe Community College with Jacqueline Nelson. She learned the technique of wood carving from Felix Lopez and Spanish colonial furniture maker Matthew Duran; and mastered the art of straw appliqué at the Museum of International Folk Art studying with Charlie Sánchez.
And Galisteo, her family’s home for generations, has supported and inspired Moya’s artwork. It allowed Moya to grow up around many artists who lived and worked there, witnessing a variety of creative expression.
As is true for most artists, Moya has melded the different media and art forms into her own style. She carves pine retablos for the background of her pieces, the traditional method, then often uses modern commercial glue, varnish, and paint to achieve a glossy finish. She is inspired by family and cultural traditions, and her Catholic faith. Her mix of both old and new has resulted in award-winning artwork. Starting young, she was Santa Fe High School Artist of the Year in 1978. As a mature artist, she won first place in straw appliqué at Expo New Mexico in 2010, and first place for painted bultos at the 2012 Spanish Market.