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Magdalena fundraiser sells crosses of all kinds

Exhibit organizer Matt Middleton points out a handmade cross from southern Mexico. All crosses are for sale and the show continues every weekend through the summer months. (John Larson/El Defensor Chieftain)

Well over 300 crosses are on exhibit in Magdalena as a fundraiser for the Samaritan Center Thrift Store. “The Light of the Cross – An exhibit of the planet’s most enduring symbol,” is admission free and all crosses are for sale.

Organizer Matt Middleton has filled the walls of Casa Santiago, the former home of Paula Daves on Highway 107, with handcrafted and manufactured crosses collected from across the United States and Mexico, as well as Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

“The owner, who had to leave the area for medical reasons and now lives in Wisconsin near the Mayo Clinic, thought this would be a good idea – she always wanted the home to be a place of healing,” he said. “Maybe this is as close as it will get.”

Middleton and others have been collecting the crosses for the show and sale over the past two years.

“It’s the largest private collection of crosses ever exhibited in New Mexico,” Middleton said. “They’re made of wood, metal, straw, resin, clay, leather, plastic, glass and crystal.”

A particularly unique one is a Celtic cross handcrafted by Wild Goose Studio in Ireland.

He said the collection includes crosses from artists’ studios, manufacturers in China, Europe and the United States, “as well as the tables of prison dayrooms, summer Bible schools and home workshops.”

“We also have a number that came from the Holy Land,” Middleton said.

There are also postcards, some prints and drawings, outdoor crosses and more.

Crucifixes are part of the collection.

Prices begin at around $10, but most will be in the $40 to $60 range, Middleton said. “Many are one-of-kind works of fine art.”

The onsite exhibit and sale at Casa Santiago will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 14, which is the Catholic Feast of the Holy Cross.

“After that the crosses will be sold through eBay,” he said.

The show is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through the summer. Casa Santiago is on State Road 107 a mile south of Highway 60.