ARVADA, Colo. — When she received the phone call in 2018 telling her she was to be honored as a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow — the highest honor for traditional and cultural arts in the United States of America — Josie Lobato almost hung up.
“I thought it was a scam,” she said. “I didn’t believe them. I told them they must be kidding.” When the phone call was over, she had her daughter reverse-call the number. It went to a Congressional line.
The esteemed recognition for Lobato, 87, came after the artist spent decades creating colcha embroidery works depicting heritage scenes from her hometown of San Luis and instructing students on the art form of colcha embroidery. Four of her intricate hand-embroidered works — La Sierra, El Milagro de San Acacio, Los Penitentes and La Llarona — are part of a group show at the Arvada Center now through November 13.