For the art lover, standing before one of Estella Loretto’s monumental pieces is not an ordinary experience. For those who appreciate all the aspects of inspired beauty, the effect is instantaneous and profound. One immediately senses that the piece is not merely an example of impeccable craftsmanship, masterful execution, or an interesting blend of shapes and color, but a great deal more. The awareness that the creation that enters the eye and touches so deeply has a soul of its own is undeniable and startling.
Estella Loretto is an accomplished sculptress, a painter, a designer, a craft woman, and a jewelry maker, but it is especially in her sculptures that her extraordinary talents live and breathe as a force of nature. The figures are men, women, children, or animals, each and every one of them blessed with extraordinary character and sensitivity. Their creator takes clay in her hands with obvious reverence and immerses herself in the process, without haste, in complete serenity, lost in the act of creation, standing back occasionally as a new mother in rapture before the miracle that has emerged from her body. One has the sense that Estella is not so much at work, but that she is re-creating herself and her healing environment by expressing her unbound love for Mother Earth and her creatures. She depicts the tradition of her pueblo people with devotion, and profound gratitude. She brings to life bronzes that talk to us in her native Towa, to tell us how they are here to preserve a culture, to pay homage to Earth-loving tradition, to make us aware of what surrounds us, and to cherish it.
At home, Estella is the master of her environment. Her garden is populated by some of her most poignant guardians. Her “Peaceful Warrior” looms above others, a gentle giant that watches over an impressive garden as well as the birds that nest inside his hand-held drum. Next to him, “Re-awakening” is caught in the middle of his dance. Her latest creations, the rain dancers, inspire tranquility as they gently turn their heads in response to the breeze while her hummingbirds fill the space with color and wonder. Inside, “Having Faith” inspires contemplation, while many other bronzes stand, self-possessed in their beauty.
Estella Loretto represents the soul and magic of New Mexico, but especially her Jemez Pueblo people with quiet pride and devotion. Her art is an awe-inspiring experience that should not be missed.
Blessed Kateri graces LA Times Travel Section
a feature story about Santa Fe, NM, Estella Loretto's monumental
bronze, "Blessed Kateri," graced the front page of
the Travel Section of the Los Angeles Times on Sunday,
October 3rd, 2010.
Read an excerpt of the Article
“Building for the Future” - “…Loretto offers ‘Morning
Prayer” sculpture for protection of students and staff at the Santa Fe
Indian School.” - The Santa Fe New Mexican, 2003
“Artists at Home – Inspired Ideas from the Homes of New Mexico Artists” -
Book featuring Estella Loretto, published 2003
“Hoping for Sainthood” - Albuquerque Journal, August 17, 2003
“The Lily of the Mohawks – “...Estella Loretto assumes
new prominence in Santa Fe & the West” ” - Santa
Fe New Mexican's Pasatiempo, August 15-21, 2003
“New Face for St. Francis Cathedral” - The New Mexican, May 6, 2003
“Artist Estella Loretto with Archbishop Michael Sheehan …at the
unveiling of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha” - Albuquerque Journal,
“The Art of Bronze Casting” - Native Peoples Magazine, October 2000
am committed to the passion of the creative expression.” -
The New Mexico Millennium Collection – A
Twenty-First Century Celebration of Fine Art
in New Mexico, Fresco
Fine Art Publications, 2000, pp. 117
“A Peak into the Sanctuary where Women Artists Live, Work, & Pray” -
Mountain Living Magazine, October, 1999
“Pueblo Artists:Portraits” -
Toba Tucker, The Museum of New Mexico Press, 1998