SchoolArts Room

Drawn by Curiosity: El Rito, New Mexico

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Jan 30, 2018

One of the things we love about New Mexico is the diversity of art and cultures. Driving around you never know what you might find. We were interested in going to El Rito, a tiny town not far from Georgia O'Keeffe's home in Abiquiu, to search out a famouns restaurant and an outsider art installation. Most everything is on the two-lane road that goes through the town. A number of artists (Nicolas Herrera and David Michael Kennedy) live here in a beautiful landscape and they have open studios in the fall. (We'll be back).


Many historical buildings are still standing, some under restoration. We arrived before the restaurant, El Farolito, opened so we wandered down to the small cemetery at the end of the road.





 At the cemetery we found these amazing tombstones, arrayed in a line, each depicting a different scene. This one shows a stovetop and chiles. Mary G Varoz, 1911-1990







This one featured builder's or carpenter's tools. Perfecto A. Martinez, 1913-1988





 And this one had books and a ruler, perhaps for a teacher. Margaret G Martinez, 1910-1988





Here they are placed in a line.



An outsider art feature we were looking for was the Mars Polar Lander, built from scrap and found objects. You couldn't miss it; it was right in the middle of town.






This building used to be a grocery store and garage.





El Farolito is famous all over the state and we were not disappointed.





Green chile chicken enchiladas.





El Farolito is so small and has no sign on the front. We drove by it two times looking for it.
















 Mars Polar Lander














Lovely old church.