New Mexican photographer Miguel Gandert’s “Rituales de la Tierra y del Espiritu—Rituals of the Land and Spirit” comes to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art this month.
Gandert’s black and white images document the spiritual and secular rituals of Indo-Hispanic peoples living in the Rio Grande Valley. Whether it’s Comanche dancers in Talpa, New Mexico or a woman in Juarez, Mexico with a tattoo of La Virgen de Guadalupe running the length of her back, Gandert observes them with the same reverence, from anecdotal portraits to ornate ceremonial compositions.
The museum chose Gandert’s work to complement this year’s Big Read book, Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. Big Read is a program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts designed to stimulate reading in communities across the country.
A Day of the Dead-themed opening reception for “Rituales de la Tierra y del Espiritu—Rituals of the Land and Spirit” will take place on November 2 from 6 to 8pm. Miguel Gandert will speak at McKenna Theater on November 3 at 2pm. Noted Anaya scholar Enrique Lamadrid will join Gandert in discussing his work and the book Bless Me, Ultima. The show runs until December 6. Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz. (845) 257-3844; www.newpaltz.edu/museum.