La Ultima Exhibición, curated by Augustine Romero, is organized around the visual interpretations of Rodolfo Anaya’s acclaimed book, Bless Me, Ultima (1972)—a portrait of life in rural New Mexico as seen through the eyes of a young boy during World War II. The rural life was a hard life but it was also a magical and spiritual space. Religion and cultural identity offer no clear answers to the most difficult questions of life. Ultima, a spiritual healer, helps her grandson Antonio create his own moral balance and independence. Through many trials and tribulations, Antonio learns that he must come to his own moral conclusions about struggles and tragedies of life.
Augustine Romero, an acclaimed visual artist and curator, is the curator of the South Broadway Cultural Center and the Kimo Theater—both City of Albuquerque art venues. Romero first conceived the idea for this exhibit in Fall 2006 when an earlier version of this show, titled La Ultima Grande, was featured at the South Broadway Cultural Center Art Gallery. The National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum is thrilled that Augustine Romero has agreed to re-curate a 2018 version of his original and widely popular exhibit. The exhibit features works by Jesús “Cimi” Alvarado, George C de Baca, Sylvia Ortiz Domney, Christian Michael Gallegos, Roberto Gallegos, Eric Garcia, Kristina Gonzales, Nacho Jaramillo, Al NA’Ir Lara, Chism Bernal Lujan, Oscar Lozoya, Chris Ray Melendez, El Moisés, Derrick Montez, Paloma Paz Nava, Gabriel Luis Powers, Chris Rivera, Rebecca H. Hernandez Rosser, and Catalina Salinas