Spanish Colonial Mission Series


Scott W. Parker

There are 17 Spanish Colonial Mission Churches in the state of New Mexico that date to the 17th century. Some of these are vibrant and active today while others lie in ruin. When Spanish explorers pushed north from Mexico in search of riches they traveled with missionaries who searched for “souls.” The Spanish Colonial Mission Church Series - 2011 is a collection of chalk pastel drawings of the Mission structures that were built on the Pueblos as a result of the introduction of Spanish Missionaries. This series is the tangible result of my inquiry into the history of New Mexico. The confluence of indigenous cultures with european culture through exploration fueled by ideas of colonization of both territory and “souls” is very much apparent in modern New Mexico 400 years later. These images represent history of the many lives lived and lost in the communities where the Missions were built. These images represent the traditions of people living today and the memory of the consequences of colonization. After centuries of politics and power struggles many of the active existing churches exist on the Pueblos where the people maintain their native beliefs and practices too.
The leadership of each Pueblo determine their own law, laws that extend to every visitor. In creating this series I honored and respected the wishes of each Pueblo. Some prohibit photography and sketching while other Pueblos allow for making images with permission and or a fee. After visiting each site I returned to my studio to produce these works.

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San Gregorio De Abo Mission - Salinas National Monument

San Esteban Del Ray De Acoma - Acoma Pueblo

San Buenaventura De Cochiti - Cochiti Pueblo

San Augustin De La Isleta Mission - Isleta Pueblo

San Jose (Giusewa) De Jemez Mission

Nuestra Senora De Los Angeles De Porciuncula De Los Pecos

San Lorenzo De Picuris - Picuris Pueblo

Nuestra Senora De Purisima Concepcion De Quarai - Salinas National Monument

San Buenaventura De Humanas (Gran Quivira) and San Isidro - Salinas National Monument

San Ildefonso Mission - San Ildefonso Pueblo

Nuestra Senora De La Asuncion De Zia - Zia Pueblo

Santuario De Chimayo

Santuario De Gaudalupe

San Jose De Laguna - Laguna Pueblo

San Miguel Mission Church

Santa Ana Pueblo Mission