Mary Ortega, Woodcarver

El Nicho Folk Artist Spotlight

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Taking Flight with Mary Ortega

When meeting Mary Ortega for the first time, one gets the sense of being a long-lost family member returning to the fold. The oldest daughter of legendary carver Ben Ortega, Mary's life is a treasure chest of heartwarming stories and beloved keepsakes. The original carvings of her father proudly decorate her Santa Fe home, along with one-of-a-kind pieces carved by her talented family members.  

Mary's genuine warmth and contagious enthusiasm overflow into every aspect of her life, including her folk art. For Mary Ortega, art is for the birds, literally!  For years Mary has been thrilling visitors to Santa Fe with her carvings of birds of a feather perched on wood gathered from the New Mexico wilderness. Creating her pieces from piñon, cedar and cottonwood, each little bird is its own unique treasure, many depicting nervous bird parents awaiting the hatching of their springtime eggs.  Her flock of hens, all with their own unique names, stories and personalities, bring joy and laughter to the heart. With Mary's carvings, the details are wonders to behold.   

Mary Ortega is an active participant in Santa Fe's Spanish Market and her work is proudly available at El Nicho. 

Santa Fe Folk Artist Mary Ortega

Santa Fe Folk Artist Mary Ortega displays her flock of birds wood carving. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

Mary Ortega and her folk art bird

Close up of Mary Ortega's bird with tiny chick on its head. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

Mary Ortega and her folk art bird

Close up of Mary Ortega's bird with tiny little eggs. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

Mary Ortega and her guardian angel

Mary Ortega's guardian angel from her private collection.

Mary Ortega and her bird storyteller

Mary Ortega's bird storyteller from her private collection. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

Ben Ortega St. Francis

An original carving of Ben Ortega's St. Francis form Mary Ortega's private collection. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

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Mary Ortega's piñon bird family from her private collection. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

Ben Ortega St. Francis

An original carving of Ben Ortega's St. Francis from Mary Ortega's private collection. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

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An original carving of Ben Ortega's Christ on the Cross from Mary Ortega's private collection. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

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The wood pile at Mary Ortega's studio, from which great things are made. Photo © 2017 Robert Arrington

Address

227 Don Gaspar Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Contact

(505)984-2830

©2017 El Nicho, Inc. Website and Photography ©2017 Robert Arrington. All rights Reserved.