May 23, 2001

Subject: FW: call log
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:42:01 -0600
From: "May, Laura" <>
To: "''" <>
CC: "Nunn, Tey" <>


This call came in on Wednesday May 9. I really think this should be investigated with all law enforcement groups.

I suspect the caller learned got the museum phone number from the America Needs Fatima people who featured the Museum and Our Lady in their newsletter ( since the caller said he had the museum mailing address somewhere). The web site that is sending us the form submission email is

For the safety of all, I think we need to know this group is not connected to terrorist anti-abortionist groups. Further, as this caller has made at least one threatening call that we know about, his activities should be monitored.

If anyone needs to talk to me about this, my work number appears below and my home number is ... I will need to verify their credentials before I release any information.

Hang in there, Chica. All blessings-Laura

Laura M. May
Special Events Coordinator
Museum of International Folk Art

-----Original Message-----
From: May, Laura
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 1:51 PM
To: McCarthy, John
Cc: Perea, Andy
Subject: call log
Importance: High
Sensitivity: Confidential


The call came in to 476-1200 just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2001. The call display gave the orginization number as 714-626-4099. The caller was male, possibly Hispanic, I could not guess as to the callers age. His first request was for the address of Alma Lopez. I replied that I did not have that information, I had an email address, or he could write to the museum and we could forward the letter on. I asked if he wanted the museum's mailing address. He said he thought he had that info around somewhere and then began to rave about blasphemy against our blessed mother and he wanted Alma's address so he could go and burn down her house. He added that Catholics would not take this shit. I interrupted him to ask if he wanted the museum's address and he said yes. I gave him the PO box number, thanked him for his call and hung up to call you and left message on your voice mail.

I strongly suspect this individual is on the mailing list for and received a letter in the mail from America Needs Fatima Organization. I do not know much about this organization, but the authorities might. As the area code of the caller is close to Ms. Lopez, I ask that this threat be investigated by all possible law enforcement. Please feel free to contact me at any time for more information, my home # is ...

As this message is senstive, please do not forward to anyone without letting me know.

Laura M. May
Museum of International Folk Art


Subject: [CHICLE] Regent under Fire
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:19:14 -0600
From: chicl <chicl@UNM.EDU>
Reply-To: Chicano literature discussion list <CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU>
To: CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU

Frank V. Ortiz, Museum of New Mexico regent, is under fire and several calls have been made for his resignation for his views and letters that he wrote regarding the controversy over the Our Lady art work.

In some correspondence Ortize wrote:

At issue is whether or not a state funded museum in interpreting curtorial rights granted by the First Amendment uses sound judgment when it exhibits works equivalent to the impact of "Savages," "Niggers," "Faggots,: "Kikes," "Dikes," (sic) "Greasers" in the community at large.

The Sensitive Materials Committee called Ortiz's comments dangerous. The committee wrote:

The committee believes that the racist ehpthets you use as a metaphor for the museum's decision to exhibit this artowrk are inappropriate, inaccurate and dangerous hyperbole. By using this metaphor, you are accusing the museum of cultural racism that simply does not exist.

There is more in the Albuquerque Journal, Wednesday, May 23, 2001. Pages A1 and A2.

Regent Ortiz has opposed the artwork and has said and done more behind the scenes. His actions are documented in public documents.


Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 01:30:54 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <>

CyberArte, as curated by Tey Marianna Nunn, is a slam against the Catholic institution and is a bulldozing of traditional culture, as in the tradition of religious folk art in NM which is based on PenitenteCatholic expression.  Nunn's commandeering of Catholic ritual forms, such as oratorio, altar (with computer as the tabernacle), Catholic votive candles, frames referent to tinwork which traditionally framed religious art, Alma's secular prints presented as if they were Stations of the Cross, a call for "ofrendas" (to the computer?) is sheer ignorance, as in ignore ance. 

Nunn as a 21st-century secularist demands that God can and should be ignored. CyberArte: Tradition met Nunn's computer-altar and gets sent to "Trash Bin". Nunn's secularist-revolt installation is a parody of Catholic ritual and if she wants to vent with this mock-chapel installation,  she should rent a private gallery space to do so., just like I would have to. To exploit a state museum to do so and to use her position as a state employee to make this anti-church statement is, in my opinion,  a violation of the separation of church and state. Alma's poster-idol-to-the female-body, "The Lady of Holy Carne",  is just a pawn in Nunn's and MOIFA's game which actually serves the dominant culture view.  

  Chicl, , aka Teresa "M", is misinforming about the protesters with her assertion that they were "not above violence"; they were simply vocal about wanting to get into the meeting. These protesters' idea of "action" is reciting the rosary.   Nunn and Alma did not get a chance to say their piece because the MUSEUM was unable to organize a meeting to accomodate 600 people in attendance, so the meeting was cancelled.  Get real, Teresa whoever you are.                                 PRS<  Santa Fe, NM                                                

 p.s. to gberajano:  "He who seeks to find his life shall lose it, and he who loses his life, for My sake,  shall find it."

Subject: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] re: dorinda's post from chicle)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 02:56:34 -0000
From: "michael sedano" <>

hey, sedeno, recognize yourself? I wish teresa had described in more detail so sedeno could see his blind hatred through the reasoned and eyes of people who don't know his aztlannet persona. btw, teresa marquez, a real-life woman, is also a cameo character in a rodolfo anaya novel, shaman winter.

regards, mvs

Subject: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] p.s. to sedeno
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 03:00:39 -0000
From: "michael sedano" <>

my friend matthew reminds us "what does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet suffer loss of his own soul?" to which i add a modern secularist twist for sedeno, "what does it profit an ideologue to lose an argument yet continue to beat his dead meat to death?"

regards, mvs



Subject: [CHICLE] Wrongful use of First Amendment Rights(fwd)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 14:58:12 -0600
From: chicl <chicl@UNM.EDU>
Reply-To: Chicano literature discussion list <CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU>
To: CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2001, 11:02 PM +0000
From: Octavio Romano <oromano@TQSBOOKS.COM>
Subject: Wrongful use of First Amendment Rights
I wish teresa had described in more detail so sedeno could see his blind hatred through the reasoned and eyes of people who don't know his aztlannet persona.

This is a request to the moderator, Teresa Marquez, who holds opinions contrary to mine, to kindly furnish me with the reason for this abrupt and unannounced termination.

The major theme stated for the naked virgin exhibit is freedom of expression. It appears clear that Chicle's moderator does not believe in the First Amendment, except only when it agrees with her opinions.

Octavio Romano
Ph.D.UC Berkeley


Subject: [CHICLE] Wrongful use of First Amendment Rights (fwd)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:07:24 -0600
From: chicl <chicl@UNM.EDU>
Reply-To: Chicano literature discussion list <CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU>
To: CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU

Octavio: At this time you are not yet banished from the Chicle list. As I have explained in previous postings there are problems with the computer center's new system. I am meeting with the computer people tomorrow.

Moreover, I informed the list that I would be out of the office for a time.

What makes you think that your opposing views are the reason for your perceived banishment? I am still getting postings from you. Give me a
break with your complaints. I have been getting messages from other
Chicleras/os that they have been denied the right to post to chicle or that they have been dropped from the list. Even as moderator of Chicle I was denied the right to post from my personal email.

It is great to be in America where I can form opinions and express my views without fear of repression from those who hold opposing thoughts or ideas.

The First Amendment Rights are there for interpretation, right or wrong.


Subject: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] Re: don octavio answering his own Chicle tonteria
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 03:04:51 -0000
From: "michael sedano" <>

if, as you say, you are "banished" owing to your opinions, why ask for an explanation why you were "banished"? with this variety of illogic, perhaps it's not too late to demand a refund on your unm tuition?



Subject: [CHICLE] Hola, Raza (fwd)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:21:42 -0600
From: chicl <chicl@UNM.EDU>
Reply-To: Chicano literature discussion list <CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU>
To: CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2001, 6:37 PM +0000

This is Joe Olvera . Isn't it funny how life makes sure that what goes around, comes around? I remember when I was kicked off la lista - I forget the name of the guy who owns that list - because I criticized Octavio Romano - the Chicano icon from Berkeley, Califaztlan. I kept hitting Octavio on that list, because es un mentiroso. He reneged on a contract we had signed in 1976, whereby he was going to publish my book: "Asolear Marmol Ojos: Book of Thailand." After promising that he would publish my mss. in 1977, nothing evr came of that. I worked for Octavio in 1976 at Berkeley, when he was publishing under the Tonatiuh International banner.

He was also involved in a court battle with his former partner Herminio Rios C., over control of Quinto Sol. I was his editorial assistant, mail room clerk, flunky, and unloader of books. I once unloaded 10,000 copies of Rudy Anaya's Bless Me Ultima. Octavio told me that he wasn't going to publish my Thailand book after all, because it was too sexual, and he felt that the Chicano nation wasn't yet ready for my brujerias and pendejadas.

Yet, we had a contract. Later, he told me that he would hand over the typeset manuscript to me, if I could find a publisher.

Even after I told him that I had such a publisher, he reneged even on that.

Oh, the things I could tell you about Octavio - enough to write a book.

Anyway, the guy who owns la lista said that if I didn't behave and if I didn't quit knocking Octavio, he would kick me out. Well, I made it easy on the guy. I removed myself from the list, although I understand from a friend of mine that he ran one of my columns awhile back. Como se llama ese vato? Que curadas, raza? Here we are - self assured, modern, cosmopolitan chicaspatas - yet, we are still kicking each other around.

I've read Octavio's criticisms concerning the work of Alma Lopez, and I wonder where his head is. He is preaching censorship - which doesn't surprise me. Didn't he censor my book, and arbitrarily decide not to publish it after all?

Asi es que, aguanta bara, carnal. I don't think Teresa would ever kick you off the list. If she had, how come you're still writing? Come on, Octavio - play nice. Alma Lopez is an artist, and it's an artist's job to challenge, to question, to be iconoclastic. I think her Virgen Morena rendition is a true work of art, and kicks ass. So, lay off the censorship noise. Remember the cartoon you used to run in Grito del Sol - "El Yo Yo?"

That's you all over again, Octavio. Yeah, you have the right to not agree with Alma Lopez, but you don't have the right to expect everybody else to follow your line of thought. Que no? Orale!

Sin Fin


Subject: Sacreligious work
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 12:50:54 +1000
From: David Obeid <>
To: "''" <>

Dear Miss Lopez,

I write to you to let you know how offended I am by your blasphemous treatment of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Please take whatever steps are necessary to have it removed from display.

In Jesus and Mary,
David Obeid



Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 03:00:47 -0000
From: "Jenny O'Grady" <>

I think your statue of the Virgin Mary is absolutely disgusting and very distasteful. You are a very, very disturbed person. How dare you call yourself a catholic!! You are a big shame to our religion and I think you need serious help. I spit on you.


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:04:49 +1000
From: "fredy fred" <>


What you have done to the Mother of God is a sacrilege. You have no love for God, his Mother and the church. Because if you did you would not create such a thing. This is a sign of a person who hates the Catholic Church.

Our lord said to St. Peter (The Popes are their success today), Matthew 16:18 "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

That's right, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

This is a great offence against God. By committing this great offence you have lost all sanctifying grace. Meaning you are not on Gods side anymore, you are a slave of Satan now. The only way you can restore this grace with God is by confession.

I pray for you that you realise what has been done and the grave of its sin committed and to repent for it. What killed me when reading about this is that it said you are a catholic. I couldn't believe it.

Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy on you)




Subject: Fwd: Message rejected by system
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 00:33:37 EDT

May 22, 2001

Alma Lopez, Raquel Salinas,

As I view the on going situation with 'the virgin' controversy I cannot help but noticing your defenses which are a concern. I've seen the portraying of the Blessed Virgin Mary in art form, plays, motion pictures films, etc., and has had positive impact toward many in the community. She is a reflection of God's goodness. I don't believe that Mary's intentions were for people to reveal her in a bikini to deliver worldly messages.

Today's society mentally of a women in a bikini is generally a sensual message and nothing more.

No one is attacking you as an artist or being a woman, nor your rights being violated but, rather a particular work of art that is tasteless and offensive.

I am a cook with rights as well and cooking is also an art. But, if I prepare a dish that is tasteless and offensive I must get rid of it and not play victim; and has nothing to do with my being a cook.

What I am also noticing is if Mary the mother of God is a hero and a strong woman why then was she replaced by you in a worldly sense? Now who is being insulted? You claim that you're a better Christian than those attacking you! A good catholic Christian does not deface a sacred image especially that of 'Our Lady of Guadalupe,' which was imprinted in heaven and not by any h human artist on earth. The image i for all time.

Many people that are not catholic are in your defense not so much for the artwork or your rights but using it as a tool against the Catholic Community and others are not sensitive to our beliefs. There are also a few people who are not spiritually oriented {Catholics} that place greater value on materialistic things than on sacredness. It is also sad that many non-Catholics do not try to understand our faith and much less respect it.

You also mentioned 'naked male angels'. Angels are spirits and are neither male or female they have no gender. And Christ being crucified on the cross in a 'loincloth,' was the manner in which he died and not an artist conception. He died by evil men.

You giving thanks to Mr. Villegas for creating the forum for thousands to see; you might be enjoying these few moments of worldly gain, but I would be concern with the spiritual effect it might have on you on the long run. The Catholic Church may not have much power over material matters but spiritually it has the final word.

Yours truly,
Julian Sanchez


Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 04:53:52 -0000
From: "tony souied" <>

Hello Alma,

I have seen the picture of Our Blessed Lady in a two peice swimsuit. It is disgusting and a sacrilege. I take it u have no fear of God or Our Queen.

From your name I c that u might b a catholic. If so, it is a shame beyond comprehension. I hope u stop this! God Bless!




Subject: The Virgin Mary
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 16:11:17 +0800
From: "Sajbens" <>
To: "Alma Lopez" <>

Dear Ms. Lopez,
I saw the picture you did of the Blessed Virgin and it just made me think that she has nothing in common with the kind of woman you portrayed her to be.  There is nothing liberating about it.  It's just another example of a female thinking that showing her bare body somehow makes her more feminine or powerful.  It only seems exploitive. The Blessed Mother is nothing like the woman in your picture.  Would you stand in front of Christ like that???  It's a picture of defiance and is demeaning to Her.  She always did the will of God in everything.  You said you were a Catholic, does that mean that you regularly take part in Communion and Reconciliation and the Sacraments of the Church?  Did you spend alot of time in prayer with God asking if a picture like this was His will or did you just do as you like without a thought to it?  How long did you take to discern this in serious prayer time? 
Sadly, this image only exploits women and definately offends.  What good comes out of it, except alot of publicity for you.  It all seems so self serving.  Please pray.  May you look to the Holy Spirit in guidance and peace to you.
Erika Sajben


Subject: E\' una profanazione! E\' un sacrilegio!
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 05:02:57 -0400
From: DegAng <>

"Deus non irritetur"!
E credo che la citazione non abbia bisogno di traduzione.
E' una profanazione grave nei confronti della Vergine Maria. NON E' ARTE!
E' solo un volgare e deliberato atto di libertinaggio nei confronti della nostra religione.
L'autore dell'articolo sottotitola: "Un'opera religiosa [...] scandalizza i benpensanti [...]": E' VERGOGNOSO
Stento a credere che possa essere considerata un'OPERA e men che meno RELIGIOSA! E da "cristiana cattolica" come si usa dire "praticante" mi RIFIUTO CATEGORICAMENTE DI ESSERE DEFINITA "BENPENSANTE".
Questo è il minimo, è un miliardesimo della reazione che ogni persona al mondo che si osi definire "cristiana cattolica" dovrebbe manifestare!
Certo è disarmante e quanto mai doloroso comprendere, da queste vili e scellerate manifestazioni, quale punto di degrado etico, morale, psicologico ed esteriore stia rasentando la DONNA MONDIALE!
E, da donna convinta della propria fede, della proprio morale, e' altrettanto doloroso costatare quanto silenzio raggiunga l'indifferenza (o peggio il consenso!!) dell'UOMO MONDIALE davanti a tanta immoralità, tanta profanazione, tanto sacrilegio.



Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 03:34:14
From: "Khalil Elias" <>


Your portrayal of Our Lady of Guadalupe is not art, but a direct reflection of your feminist view.Our Lady was neither a feminist, nor independent. Our Lady relied on God.

You won't be remembered for your talents rather your controversial and overly opinionated publicity stunt. Why don't you go and make a mockery of Buddhism or Islam (not that doing that is right either).

You have offended me and many others, I'm sure you wouldn't like anyone to make fun of your own family. In this instance you have made a mockery of the "Mother of God".

I leave you with this.
"Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen"

How could anyone who considers themselves a Catholic and meditate on this, portray Our Lady in the way you have.


Subject: No support
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 07:30:35 EDT

You will get no support from me. You are disgracing the name of a beutiful person, the true Virgin Mary. You will have to face God one day. God help you



Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:08:17 +0100 (BST)
From: jane dot <>

I am sorry that you should use some one like saint Mary to show your digustng taste and the wish to show your deformed body, I suggest you get a life rather than trying to portray those in your dirty mind as holy characters, I must say I am a moslem but feel so sad what christianity is coming to and how they are beating at their own roots, may God himself guide you to the right path so that you need not disrespect the mother of Jesus for your worldly desires; fame!! and $$


Subject: support for "Our Lady" image
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 06:43:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Elvidge <>

I am writing this letter as a sign of support and respect for the digital image of "Our Lady". Being a catholic myself and growing up in a very religious home in Bernalillo I find that the objections and protests being brought against the artist are unfounded and have little basis for complaint. The critics are saying that this is offensive for the numerous followers of Guadalupe being as she is portrayed in a different light than normal. She is not wearing a thong or showing HER breasts, she is merely covered by flowers and tactfully at that. Where are the objections for the passage that says that Noah yelled at his children for covering his naked body? He was nude if I'm not mistaken? They cannot assume that there ideals are the same as the rest of the state and what offends them offends the rest of us. In my opinion Guadalupe is beautiful and any image of her that is meant to be a sign of respect should not be vilified but embraced!!! The critics are merely upset that the image requires the viewer to think about the preconcieved notions about the church and catholism in there own light, something they obviously do not like. Let people make up there own mind and see what happens, if someone is offended by the image than they do not have to view it but there cannot take away the right for me to view it. I recently heard something that sums up my feelings for the artist "You go Girl!!!"

Robert Elvidge
catholic,member "Our lady of Sorrows" in Bernalillo
where Guadalupe is highly regarded.


Subject: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:11:55 -0500
From: "Kelley, Katherine" <>
To: "''" <>

I, also, am of Mexican descent. I am an Artist living in New Orleans. I think the picture of "Our Lady" is a disgrace to God and His mother. You have found a cheap way to make a buck. You will have to stand before God and explain why you were disrespectful to His mother. Everything is Heaven is totaly pure and holy. You have turned the God sent image into a lustful image, so men will think of her in an evil way.

It's never too late to remove the trash off the display case and may The Blessed Mother forgive you and your thoughts.

Katherine Kelley


Subject: Re: [CHICLE] CHICLE: approval required(D5062C17) (fwd) (fwd)
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:38:20 -0600
From: chicl <chicl@UNM.EDU>
Reply-To: Chicano literature discussion list <CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU>
To: CHICLE@linux08.UNM.EDU---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2001, 4:43 PM -0600
From: miguel angel acosta <>


Here's some things to think about. Food for thought.

1) I find it very interesting that the "original" image of the Virgen de Guadalupe is itself a cultural appropriation of the indigenous Tonatzin but with modifications (16th century cyberarte) that made it more acceptable to the european minds.

2) I also find it very interesting that this, the most Mexican of images, is embraced so strongly by a population that according to the Alb. Journal, finds it very difficult to admit being Mexican (ethnically).

3) Finally. It seems to me that if we are going to wage battle for cultural preservation or at least respect of our practices and traditions, we should begin by demanding the Downtown Action Team and the Alcohol pushers/dealers/cartels stop using 5 de Mayo and other holidays as excuses to get Mexicans drunk and diluting the real meaning of the holiday.

Imagine if they did something similar for Memorial Day, somewhat of an equivalent.

Miguel Acosta



Subject: Re: Don't burn my home.
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:03:28 -0700
From: "Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson" <>
To: <>
References: 1


I'm glad to hear the news about the exhibit, but obviously distressed to hear you are being threatened. Thats really terrible, I'm sorry. I'm sending you and your casita good vibes to stay safe.

Take care


Subject: Lady of Guadalupe
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 12:09:38 EDT

Poor taste.  No redeeming effort.  Why?

Paint/draw/photograph whatever but why this.  What's the use?  Pick on someone/something else to show off your ability/art.

Do porn. or something else if need be.


Subject: Mary
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 13:13:19 -0400
From: "Thomas J. Willke, MD" <>
To: <>

Not that it makes a difference, but may God have mercy on your soul.  Did you ever read the first two commandments-or have you found some way to desecrate them also?


Subject: Mary
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 14:03:58 -0400
From: Ed Toner <>
Organization: @Home Network

This is nothing but obscene blasphamy. Take on like this to Mexico, and depict Out lady of Guadelupe, and you'd most likely be stoned to death. Diversity is out strength. Yeah, right.

Ed Toner


Subject: Folks:
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 15:53:27 -0400
From: "Preston, Steve (CRTRES)" <>

This is a very reasonable painting and should remain on display within the Museum. Are all our tastes to be subjected to the whim of those who are offended and complain? If someone does not like the painting, then they may say so, but to have the painting removed is ridiculous.

This is not an offensive painting taken outside of the religious context. If I am right, this would not be the first time that the Virgin Mary was portrayed less than fully clothed. Art is art and does not have to comply with anyone's rules. It may offend, but I think all art will always offend someone.


Subject: about your piece
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 14:32:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: dontknow somethingpretty <>

I heard about your work in the news but thought nothing of it. Then for a discussion in my chicano art class your name came up and we began to talk about your piece. I first found it stupid, As an artist I felt you started all this to get more publicity not only for your piece but for you as an artist. I was going to leave it like that but instead I went to your website and read your artist statement. I dont like the work, not becasue its offensive but its not my stle. I think its cool you did somthing that you liked and inspired you. I also believed you did the answered good in responding to that activist email. I believe they do not understand art, and I think he was a stupid machista who has believes women should be one way and not the other. Activist like him who are all down with brown pride should worry about hunger in their country and uniting as humans rather than a race instead of a little art piece, I doubt hes all religious, look at how hard and angry he talks? religion is one thing you just dont talk about, it gets people all roudy out. But continue to do art that you like, either way people will hate and love you so do what you want to do.


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:22:29 -0500
From: "Caleb Foshee" <>
To: <>

Ms. Lopez:

I am a firm believer in our right to free speech. In fact, I would not be one of the people to protest against the expostition of your piece of art "Our Lady." As a student of law, I am well versed in the First Amendment and regard it with great reverence. I also must mention that I would never encourage anyone to be a patron of the any museum that displays this piece. As a Catholic in a very non-Catholic state (Oklahoma), I cherish every bit of the church and those who uphold its teachings.

Unfortunately, you have blatantly undermined the Blessed Virgin in your artwork.

While your arguments of freedom of speech and "showing Mary in a modern sense" are good for the liberal media and schismatics among the Catholic Church, there are many, especially converts who cherish the Church for its Tradition, who find this work offensive. I look at the work and praise you for your originality but there are some things that should be, and for the most part are, held in reverence. Your replacement of the Blessed Virgin with a barely dressed hispanic woman is inherently wrong. While the Virgin of Guadalupe is seen mainly as an icon of the hispanic community, one must remember that She has been declared the Patroness of North America. One must also remember that the Virgin Mary was not hispanic, She was Jewish. Another abhorent attack on the Church and push of the feminist agenda is your replacement of Juan Diego with a topless hispanic woman. Only in the feminist (or pornographic) world would a topless woman be seen as powerful. You show quite a bit of uneducated audacity in this move. As a Catholic and a believer in the Constitution, I must say that you have created an offensive and untasteful work of art, but due to your First Amendment right I will not try to censor you and your efforts. I also realize that the Fourteenth Amendment contains an equal protection clause and the presence of your work in a state based institution violates this by persecuting one faith and not all faiths. All that I ask is that you remove your work from this state based institution and place it in a private gallery.

Caleb Foshee


Subject: a lotus for you
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 16:04:05 -0700
From: "Eloisa de Leon" <>

Dear Alma,

Patricio Chavez has filled me in with what has been going on with you. (He and I worked together at the Centro Cultural de la Raza as curators.)

I just wanted to say that my heart is with you and that I support you and your work (it's beautiful). I hope that you will be able to teach us all something from your experiences when the fire of it all has finally died down. You have so much to proud of--of your art and your strength and all of your accomplishments.

I pray that you are kept protected from crazy people -- I am sending you love and blessings.

Best Regards,
EloisaEloisa de Leon
Artist in Residence
UC MEXUS at UC Riverside


Subject: [AztlanNet: ARTS|LETTERS] Dorinda y Frida
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 23:35:50 -0000
From: "Pedro Romero Sedeno" <>

Dear Dorinda, do you still have the posting of Irene Blea's view? (around May 10?).              

I inadvertently deleted it -a  Mental Menudo breakdown, I guess.        I wanted to see if she mentions Jeannete Rodriguez and her book Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican-American Women, 1994. Univ of Texas Press.

As per my views, I wish Alma Lopez, nor her fans,  no ill will as mi gente.  I just think her pseudo-Guadalupe posters are stupid and unethical. Too Hollywood. Sorry. And the CyberArte show is even more problemmatic.

As per Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, I think it is significant that they, as Mexican, secularist  and radical as they were, never commandeered the Guadalupe image in their work.  Creo  que tenian respecto por, o por lo menos, temor del fervor Mejicano Guadalupano, una tradicion desde hace siglos.  Right on, mom and pops.


Subject: Our Lady
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 20:38:11 -0400
From: "Bill Rigg" <>
To: <>
CC: <>, <>

Hello Ms. Lopez,

I'm one of the multitudes introduced to your work by the silly media "controversy" surrounding the CyberArte exhibit. A comment and a question:

Although I'm neither Hispanic nor Catholic, I entirely support your work in both its content and quality, and its social vision. I find your expressions fascinating, and urge you to be strong and continue.

Reading MOIFA's statements yesterday, I'd also like to congratulate them for remaining rational in the face of ignorance.

My question is: Are you, or MOIFA, producing prints of your exhibited work?

I'm interested in purchasing a copy of "Our Lady" and "Heaven, Lupe and Sirena". Possibly others, but since I live in Ohio I didn't get a chance to see the exhibit...:)

Thank you...

Bill Rigg


Subject: lucky
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 22:16:39 -0600
From: Coco <>
To: Alma Lopez <>

Hi Alma...Just wanted to express support and say how lucky one is when the church goes after them in these times we are living in...great publicity. Just think...not too many years ago the church would have tried you...done a bit of torture to keep the sadists happy and in practice...then burned you at the stake with an audience to cheer on the flames. Although I am sure some "Christians" would still love to light the fire they just cant get by with it anymore. I guess one might say the church has come a long way. Enjoyed your words as well as your art.

Keep on, Dan McCoy - Santa Fe