Krissa Maria Lopez
Krissa Marìa Lòpez. Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, 2006. pine, home-made gesso, natural pigments, wheat straw, leather, beeswax. Private Collection
Krissa Maria López was first introduced to the arts through straw appliqué. She enjoyed working with straw and worked to perfect her technique, winning 1st Place in straw appliqué at Spanish Market in both 1994 and 1995, while in her early 20s. She might have continued her career in straw if it hadn't been for a year of study at the Instituto de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua in 1994. It was there that she discovered her love for painting.
While at the Instituto, López’ painting teacher encouraged her to paint an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She loved the medium and quickly adopted it as her own. During a second trip to Mexico in 1996 López visited cathedrals and art museums where she developed a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people and their traditions, which she incorporated into her art. Once back in Santa Fe, López was fortunate to work with noted Santa Fe artist Michael Bergt who taught her how to paint with egg tempera, the medium in which she now regularly works. She credits him with challenging her to take her painting skills and techniques to a higher level.
All of López’ pieces are motivated by a deep sense of spirituality and faith. Upon viewing her work, one senses her close connection with the images that reflect different stages of her life. She often portrays powerful female figures that give her strength and solace.
López maintains that her father always taught her to honor their traditions and keep them alive through a strong family unit, education and art. "I strive to maintain the dignity and authenticity of what was created by my ancestors, not replicating what they did, but using their work as inspiration for my own creations."
López received a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. Her husband, Daniel Moya, also an accomplished artist, is a member of Pojoaque Pueblo and she sometimes incorporates Pueblo imagery and designs into her work. New ideas and inspiration also evolved from trips she took with her husband before they began to raise a family. They traveled to Puerto Rico, Central and South America, Europe and China.
López was among the first youth exhibitors in Spanish Market in the 1970s and she has participated in Market ever since. In addition to receiving awards in straw appliqué, she won the 1997 William Field Design Award; 2nd Place in large retablos and 3rd Place in small retablos in 2002, and 3rd Place in large retablos in 2003.