Charles M. Carrillo

Charles M. Carrillo (b. 1956, Albuquerque, NM) is an artist, author, and archeologist 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 works have shown throughout the country and are a part of many permanent collections in museums in the United States including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, and the Denver Museum of Art among others.

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, Charlie has inspired numerous artists to pursue the native techniques, values, and devotional spirit of the santeros.

Charles M. Carrillo is featured in the Messages episode of Craft in America.

L: Charles M. Carrillo, San Isidro Labrador – St. Isidore, Adrian Aragon photograph

R: Charles M. Carrillo, Mark Markley photograph

In this clip, artist Charles Carrillo shows us carvings and paintings of his favorite saint.

See objects from Craft in America: Expanding Traditions, a seven-city traveling exhibition that ran from 2007-2009, and other Virtual Exhibitions

Important craft artists are featured in the Book. Learn more

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