the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Verne Lucero


2007 recipient, Spanish Colonial Tinwork

Verne Lucero is a master folk artist who first became interested in metalwork in 1994 after retiring from the Española Hospital. His newly acquired vocation quickly brought fame.

Lucero exhibits in the Spanish Colonial Arts Society's Santa Fe Spanish Market and in 1996 won the "Bienvenidos Award for Most Promising New Artist." In 1998 he received "Best of Show for Crafts" at the New Mexico Arts and Crafts Show and has repeatedly taken first place awards at the summer Spanish Market.

Lucero's work is represented at the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. Major projects include extensive tinwork for the restoration of the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona; new chandeliers for the 18th century San Ysidro Mission Church in Santa Fe; and chandeliers for the upcoming renovation of the Santo Niño Chapel at the Santuario in Chimayo. "Verne has taken an industrial trade and made it into a beautiful art form," says Tey Marianna Nunn, chief curator at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. "As a scholar and a curator, I was impressed with his fine artistry, his techniques and his ingenious and inventive twists on traditional New Mexican classic designs."