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BernCo Presents Art Show, Workshops by Renowned Artist Catalina Delgado Trunk

Learn more about papel picado, Dia de los Muertos traditions

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County will present an art show as well as two free workshops by renowned artist Catalina Delgado Trunk this month, Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins announced today.

Delgado Trunk is one of the world’s leading papel picado (cut paper) artists and is internationally known as an authority on Dia de los Muertos and other Mexican artistic and cultural traditions and customs.

Her work has received numerous awards and honors, and has been showcased in more than 20 solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. She lives in Albuquerque.

“We’re lucky to have so many talented artists that call Bernalillo County home, and who are willing to share their work with the community,” Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins says.

Delgado Trunk’s art show begins Oct. 21 and will be on display in the County Manager’s Office on the 10th Floor of the City-County Building until Dec. 16. Several of the pieces in this exhibit will remain in Bernalillo County’s permanent public art collection.

Papel picado is the Mexican craft of paper cut into elaborate designs. The county’s Cultural Services Section will host two free papel picado workshops with Delgado Trunk in October.

The first is Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bachechi Open Space Educational Center, 9521 Rio Grande Blvd. N.W. The second is Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the South Valley Library, 3904 Isleta Blvd. S.W.

Space is limited, so please RSVP to Cultural Services by calling 505.468.1279. All materials will be provided.

The Mexican art of papel picado has roots in European, Asian, and Pre-Columbian artistic traditions.

Traditionally, the art of making papel picado has been passed from generation to generation.

The Aztecs used mulberry and fig tree barks to make a rough paper called Amatl.

When tissue paper became available, artisans began to layer 40 to 50 layers of tissue and punch designs into them using fierritos, a type of chisel.

The technique of hand cut paper is traced to the 18th century when paper was imported to Mexico from China.

The word for tissue paper in Spanish is papel china, literally translated as “Chinese paper.”

Papel picado spread throughout Mexico and from there to the United States and Europe in the 1960s.