Roxanne Shaw-Galindo. Our Lady of Talpa Altar. 2020. Natural pigments, wood.
Courtesy of Nicolas Otero.
Roxanne Shaw-Galindo began making devotional art at the age of 14. She had an excellent teacher and mentor: her mother, Catherine Robles-Shaw. After watching her mother paint for three years, she picked up a brush and began to paint as well. While they worked, Roxanne and her mother talked about saints and the traditions and techniques involved in creating retablos.
Roxanne’s first time to sell her own retablos occurred in 1995 (age 15) when she was allowed to sell in her mother’s booth at Spanish Market. The next year she was in the youth segment of Spanish Market where she received the Judges Award for Unusual Creativity for an Adam and Eve retablo and a Purchase Award for a Flight into Egypt retablo. Both pieces are now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts.
Her work has continued to receive awards. In 1997, Roxanne was awarded third place at Spanish Market for a triptych retablo; and in 1998, she received the award for Best Retablo in her age division (13-17) for a large piece featuring Guadalupe, San Miguel, San Rafael, San Gabriel, and a Guardian Angel.
In 1999, Roxanne participated in a Developing Artist program offered by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society in which she was apprenticed to Gustavo Victor Goler. This provided an outstanding opportunity for her to focus on the techniques of planning and carving retablo boards.
Together, Roxanne and Goler analyzed works by the old master santeros by visiting the collection of Larry Frank, the author of New Kingdom of Saints. They also studied contemporary styles and techniques used by modern-day santeros by visiting galleries and artist’s studios in Santa Fe. Roxanne was fortunate to have another devotional artist in her family, and learned many more traditional techniques from her cousin Rubel Jaramillo.
In 2000, Roxanne graduated from the youth segment, entering Spanish Market as an adult, and was awarded the First Place Award in altar screens. In 2003, she received another First Place Award at Spanish Market, for a 16" x 26" altar screen shown featuring Santa Teresa de Avila, Santo Nino, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, N.S. de Purisima Concepcion, and San Antonio. Roxanne received a First Place and an Honorable Mention for Large Retablos in 2004 at Spanish Market. In 2005, she won 2nd place in Large Retablos, and then in 2007 Best of Show at El Museo de las Americas; The Altar Girls Exhibit. That same year, she also won First Place in the San Pasqual Category at Spanish Market. In 2010, she was awarded First Place in altar screens for a beautiful carved altar including six saints.
Roxanne now resides in Nederland, Colorado where she continues to create her retablos and altar screens as well as venturing into the carving of bultos. Now a wife, a mother of two, and a professional medical records clerk, Roxanne is continuing her devotional artwork and plans to expand her carving horizons.