Ray Baca

Type
Individual
Role
Artist
Identifier
BacaRay
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>Santero
Heritage
Hispanic
Medium
Straw;Wood
Biography
A few years ago, while recuperating from an accident, Ray Baca was walking around his neighborhood when he came upon a neighbor working on a retablo. He was fascinated, so he tried to reverse engineer a piece to figure out how it was made. As his interest in Spanish Colonial art grew, Ray visited Spanish Market, discovered encrusted straw appliqué, and signed up to take a workshop with renowned straw artist Jimmy Trujillo...That was six years ago. Since then, Ray has become a regular contributor to Spanish Market, where he was accepted and won a design award the first year he applied. He prides himself on using traditional techniques and materials, harvesting straw from nearby farms, and gathering piñon sap and lampblack to make his own varnish and resin...Every piece Ray makes is one of a kind. He doesn’t use templates or draw his designs out first. Since straw has a grain to it and fractures easily when cut, he has to work with what he has and prefers to design as he goes. A simple piece can be done in a few hours, but more complicated mosaics can take 200 to 300 hours...“It gives me time to meditate and reflect on myself and my art,” Ray says. He sees the art as an expression of his Catholic faith. “It’s for a purpose—I’m not just trying to make money at it.”...Ray shares his talent with his daughter, Anjelica Mariah Baca, whom he started mentoring five years ago. She has participated in Spanish Market for the last four years, and has won numerous awards. . [Retrieved on 11/14/2017 from: http://www.artinnewmexico.com/articles/colcha_embroidery_encrusted_straw_applique'.htm]
Geographic names
Albuquerque
Related people/organizations
Jimmy Trujillo (influenced by)
Anjelica Mariah Baca (is child of)