The group of seven archangels carved by the artist José Lucero are located in the Santa Fe River Park along Alameda street. Originally made in 2005 from trunks of dead trees, the angels underwent significant restoration in 2013, according to their original state. Rain and rodents produced significant damage to the wood, hence the artist used techniques for maintenance and restoration of wet boats.
An inhabitant of Santa Fe, Lucero is a blend of Spanish and Native American. To paint his angels, he uses natural colours like walnut shells for brown hues. The angels are inspired by prints of the eighteenth century and they represent the communion between the earthy parts of our world like greenery, forests, and the celestial ones like the planets.
Wood carved angels enjoy an important tradition in Santa Fe, and in New Mexico, at large. Louise Ortega of a renown family of angel carvers and artists is another example of an artist who employs natural forms (her angels are made of wood found in natural shapes near the lakes of New Mexico) to convey the idea of how human angels are.
*Photo credits: Rod Jacobs
Sources: https://www.abqjournal.com/224635/carved-archangels-to-undergo-rehabilitation.html [accessed 21st April 2019]
https://www.madeinnewmexico.com/products/new-mexico-art/louise-ortega-angels [accessed 21st April 2019]