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Don Usner Salon at Plaza del Cerro, Chimayo

Historic Santa Fe Foundation presents
Portraits of Chimayosos by Don Usner, from the Chimayó Museum Collection Exhibition and talk

Historic Santa Fe Foundation presents the June Salon El Zaguán monthly lecture series with Don Usner on Chimayo and the Plaza del Cerro. Usner is an active member of the Chimayo Cultural Preservation Association (CCPA), a group that helped to found the Chimayo Museum just off the Plaza del Cerro. CCPA is actively working with Historic Santa Fe Foundation and Cornerstones to repair Casita Martina and the adjacent oratorio. Usner will speak about past projects and current and future efforts to repair buildings on this historic fortified plaza and its history and importance to the community.

The talk is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 3pm in the sala of HSFF offices located at 545 Canyon Road, Suite 2, Santa Fe. There is no charge for admission for members and the non-members entry fee is $5. RSVP is required to 505-983-2567 or Membership information on our Join & Give page.

Don Usner has spent decades documenting the history of Chimayo in words and in photographs. When he began work on his Master’s thesis on the Plaza del Cerro in Chimayo, he realized that studying the plaza’s historic buildings without also portraying the people who inhabited them would produce nothing more than a discussion of “lifeless shells.”

Portraits of Chimayosos by Don Usner, from the Chimayo Museum Collection. will also be on exhibit in the sala. The exhibition continues through June 30, 2018.

Don Usner was born in Embudo, New Mexico, and grew up in Los Alamos and Chimayo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in geography at the University of New Mexico. He has authored and provided the photographs for several books, including The Natural History of Big Sur; Sabino’s Map: Life in Chimayó’s Old Plaza; Benigna’s Chimayó: Cuentos from the Old Plaza; Valles Caldera: A Vision for New Mexico’s National Preserve (winner of a Southwest Book Award in 1996); Chasing Dichos through Chimayó (a finalist for a 2015 New Mexico—Arizona Book Award); and Órale! Lowrider: Custom Made in New Mexico. Usner has also published articles and photographs in serial publications, and recent public exhibitions of Usner’s photography include prints in the show Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico at the New Mexico History Museum; and in Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders, at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Usner teaches photography and works as a writer and photographer in Santa Fe as he cultivates his lifelong interest in cultural and natural history.

TO RSVP, Contact Jacqueline Hill at or call 505-983-2567.