TAOS, N.M. — Colcha embroidery artists from the outskirts of Albuquerque to the northern edge of the San Luis Valley gathered at La Hacienda de los Martinez July 9 to celebrate an art form rooted in southern Colorado and New Mexico.
Colcha embroidery is a textile tradition originating from the ornate mending habits of early Spanish settlers, explained Julia Gomez, who teaches visitors and community members about colonial art at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history museum near Santa Fe.
“It’s a beautiful art. It came early on. It's a New Mexican tradition,” Gomez said. “Other countries have their own embroidery style, and colcha is unique to the settlement time period to New Mexico. This is a great exhibit because it covers all of New Mexico, from Las Cruces to Las Vegas, Peñasco, El Rito, Chimayo, Albuquerque, Taos and more — and southern Colorado, from San Luis to La Veta to Saguache.”
Gomez said seeing dozens of works from the region exhibited for the first time “gave me the chills. It’s a dream come true. I think it's a wonderful show, and I appreciate all of the work done by so many.”