the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Irvin Trujillo


2015 recipient, Individual Artist

"Irvin Trujillo is a seventh generation master weaver who has taken Rio Grande weaving to new heights of mastery and innovation in a career spanning 50 years," said nominator Michael Pettit, a writer and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. "Every weaving pays homage to a profound tradition in his family, community, culture, and state; at the same time they assure traditions will find new vitality going forward," Pettit said. Trujillo has mastered traditional dyeing and weaving methods, and then brought innovations to those techniques and tools. "All of which he has shared freely with his peers and the public," Pettit said. "No weaver in New Mexico—none in the Southwest—enjoys or deserves a higher reputation than Irvin Trujillo." The Denver museum has purchased two of Trujillo's weavings that will be featured in Creative Crossroads: The Art of Tapestry, which opened on May 28, 2015. Trujillo learned the art of weaving at age 10 from his father, master weaver Jacobo "Jake" Trujillo. In 1982, in partnership with his father and his wife, Lisa, Trujillo opened the Centinela Traditional Arts studio and shop. Trujillo was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship in 2007 for lifetime achievement in Folk and Traditional Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), our nation's highest honor in the field. "Irvin has not only continued the weaving tradition in his family for seven generations, but he has reinvigorated Chimayó weaving by drawing upon his engineering and music experience to create large, richly colored and exquisitely intricate tapestry weavings," said Helen R. Lucero, the retired director of visual arts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, who co-authored Chimayó Weaving: The Transformation of a Tradition. "In my opinion, Irvin is by far the best New Mexican Hispanic weaver of all time."