Famed Native American sculptor, Estella Loretto, is doing what many artists are doing. She’s diversifying. Talented in many mediums, Estella has broadened her offerings to include small bronzes, paintings and jewelry in addition to the large bronze and stone sculptures she is known for.
I first became aware of her work when I encountered the bronze sculpture of a beautiful Indian saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, prominently displayed in front of the St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe. I was drawn to this statue of a serene and beautiful woman, adorned with turquoise jewelry and holding eagle prayer feathers.
Kateri Tekakwitha, is also known as Lily of the Mohawks, joined the well-known statue of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy in front of Santa Fe’s St. Francis Cathedral in 2002. She is one of the most photographed statues in Santa Fe. Estella Loretto was commissioned to create this beautiful piece. I had always wondered about her creator and recently was privileged to meet with Estella and tour her gallery and sculpture gardens.
When I visited Estella at her lovely home and studio overlooking Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was taken with a design she had chosen for small sculptures and a new line of jewelry. Unfolding Blessings. The round organic design did, indeed, seem to unfold. With each piece Estella includes a poem, which makes the jewelry an even more valuable addition to a jewelry collection or a most memorable gift.
A Living Treasure
Whenever you get the opportunity to visit an artist in their own environment, their home or studio, don’t let that opportunity pass you by. Estella Loretto, whose work is collected internationally and who has work in the Smithsonian, is one of those living treasures. Art lovers and those interested in the cultures of New Mexico would thoroughly enjoy a visit to Estella’s gallery and the opportunity to get to know her. Visits are by appointment
Estella Loretto Website