ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico folk artist soars to new heights with the 2015 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta poster.
Victoria de Almeida faced criticism in the past for being “too regional” with her artwork, but it’s that connection to home and sense of place that make her a logical choice to represent New Mexico to an international audience.
The 2015 poster reflects the cultures and artistic industries in New Mexico, de Almeida says, along with elements of a very personal nature.
“I’ve got to paint what I connect with in order for the actual message of the painting to be genuine,” she says, explaining the appearance of her grandmother’s house, and the church in which she was baptized and both she and her parents were married.
A friend suggested de Almeida look into submitting work for the Balloon Fiesta, and she started the process. Time passed as de Almeida was busy producing 17 new paintings for Contemporary Hispanic Market and a show in New York. Upon finishing the enormous task of preparing for these shows, she was lying down to take a nap when she got an email from a Balloon Fiesta representative asking for a submission within two weeks. Forsaking a well-deserved rest, she jumped up and started to work.
A painting of the size and detail of the Balloon Fiesta poster would normally take de Almeida a month to complete, but she managed to accomplish it in less than half that time.