The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced Josephine Lobato as one of their 2019 National Heritage Fellows.
The National Heritage Fellowships—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts—recognize recipients’ artistic excellence and support their continuing contributions to the country’s traditional arts heritage.
“We are thrilled to have a Colorado artist among the recipients of this prestigious award,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “With all of the amazing growth in Colorado, it’s important for us to honor our tradition bearers and honor the diverse expressions and historical richness of our cultural heritage.”
Josephine Lobato expresses her San Juan Valley history and culture through the art of colcha embroidery. This colcha form of embroidery is a traditional Spanish colonial style of needlework which entails the creation of intricate textiles that describe aspects of culture such as everyday life or mythical legends, and oftentimes recreating events from the present and past. These beautiful textiles can be used as coverlets but also have intrinsic value in their artistic elements.
Fellowship recipients are nominated by the public, often by members of their own communities, and then judged by a panel of experts in the folk and traditional arts. The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, which sends its recommendations to the Arts Endowment chairman, who makes the final decision.
Previous NEA fellows from Colorado include Francis Whitaker (1997) of Carbondale for Ornamental Iron Work and Eppie Archuleta (1985), a Hispanic Weaver also from the San Luis Valley.
Review the complete list of 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows.