Charles M. Carrillo (b. 1956 in Albuquerque, NM) is an artist, author, and archaeologist known particularly for creating art using Spanish colonial techniques that reflect 18th century Spanish New Mexico. Carrillo has blended craft, conservation, and innovation throughout his career as a santero, a carver and painter of images of saints. The depiction of saints for religious purposes dates to the 18th century in Hispanic New Mexican communities.
Carrillo’s work has shown throughout the country and is in many permanent collections in museums throughout the United States including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Denver Art Museum.
Carrillo is also the winner of numerous awards including the National Heritage Fellowship Award bestowed upon him by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Carrillo earned a doctorate in anthropology/archaeology from the University of New Mexico, but his true commitment to tradition has led him to work within the religious community of northern New Mexico as an artist and an advocate. A generous mentor, he has inspired numerous artists to pursue the native techniques, values, and devotional spirit of the santeros.