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Roberto Cardinale, Ranchos de Taos Church

Media File

Scale model of Ranchos de Taos Church

Roberto Cardinale
Born in Pueblo, Colo., Roberto has a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy earned while a Benedictine monk, an MA in Art from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Doctorate in Art Education from Arizona State University. He has been a professor of art at the University of Northern Colorado, Ohio State University, University of Arizona, and Boston University (where he was Director of the Program in Artisanry). He has been president of the San Antonio Art Institute and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, and currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Roberto Cardinale builds small churches, missions and synagogues out of wood. The finished sculptures are handsome, semi-rustic earth-toned structures.
It was natural for Cardinale to choose to build places of worship. For five years he was a practicing Benedictine monk and from this evolved his interest in religious architecture. All of his sculptures are tributes to spiritual places, "the intense, physical manifestation of a community's beliefs."
Although Roberto spends many long hours researching these historical buildings, his houses of worship are not meant to be built exactly to scale, rather they are scuptural interpretations. The weathered effect is achieved by a great deal of carving, scraping, staining and painting. Using artistic license, Cardinale chooses unusual colors as well when he creates these beautiful works of art.
Ranchos de Taos Church, 2012
Painted wood
13 × 12 1/2 × 15 1/2 in. (33 × 31.8 × 39.4 cm)
Gift of Roberto (Bob) Cardinale