Nicholas Herrera (1964)


 Nicholas Herrera always displayed an innate creative sense.  As a child, in El Rito, he carved wooden figures and boats as well as adjusting his existing toys "to make them my own."  In 1990 a head-on automobile accident resulted in a near-death experience for Herrera.  After recovering, he knew there was a reason he lived, and he turned full-time to making art.  His work evokes a deep sense of place and his life experiences.  He tackles autobiographical, cultural, social and religious subject matter.  His themes vary widely from the daily life and struggles of the Northern New Mexico Hispano communities to the international conflicts of terrorism and war. 

Click here to watch the video "Meet Nicholas Herrera"

His lineage is steeped in the carving tradition of Northern New Mexico.  His father and grandfather before him were artists in the tradition, and Nicholas has been tagged as "Santero of El Rito" by contemporaries.  Though his style and some of his themes stem from traditonal arts, his own personality is very strong in his work and lends a more contemporary, street-vibe.  In addition to representing saints and Catholic imagery, he depicts the demons of drug and drink and dishonesty interacting with the spiritual imagery which has developed into a rich vocabulary of the spirit striving for grace on a sometimes-impure earth.


Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, permanent collection
The Terra Museum of American Art Chicago, Illinois
The Terra Foundation of American Art in Paris, France
Foothills Art Center Golden, Colorado
The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Illinois
Luce Foundation Center for American Art Smithsonian Washington, DC
Autry Western Heritage Museum Los Angeles, CA
The Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico
American Folk Art Museum in New York City, NY \ Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe, New Mexico
DePaul University Museum Chicago, Illinois
Price Tower Arts Center in Bartelsville, Oklahoma
National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, New Mexico
Millicent Rogers Museum Taos, New Mexico
Sheldon Museum of Arts Lincoln, Nebraska
Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts Santa Fe, NM
Taylor Museum Colorado Springs, Colorado
Santa Fe Children’s Museum Santa Fe, NM
Sangre de Cristo Art Center Pueblo, Colorado
Regis University Santo Collection Denver, Colorado
Arizona State Museum- The University of Arizona
Espanola Convento Museum, Espanola, New Mexico
Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
San Andrea della Valle Theatine General House Roma, Italy
Museo del Bario, New York, NY
Albuquerque Museum, New Mexico


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