Anita Romero Jones
(1930 - 2013)
Anita Romero Jones said that she first brought home a piece of firewood, probably piñon or cedar, to carve. But her husband knew that would be difficult, so he found her a piece of aspen. Soon, Romero Jones was turning out versions of St. Francis (patron saint of Santa Fe and animals), St. Agnes (patron saint of children, engaged couples and gardeners), St. Pasqual (patron saint of cooks and kitchens), St. Cayetano (patron saint of gamblers) and her favorite, the Virgin of Guadalupe, that she began exhibiting at Spanish Market in 1974. Santeros, or saint makers, were overwhelmingly men when Romero Jones began, but soon she was accepted as a santera. Her sister, Marie Romero Cash, who like six of the seven siblings became an artist, said Romero Jones was known for combining tin altar screens with painted and hand-carved figures. Soon, she was being called a “legendary artist” and was winning awards at the annual Spanish Market.