William Cabrera, Folk Artist

El Nicho Folk Artist Spotlight

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William Cabrera was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He grew up in Grants, New Mexico, where he still lives. Grants is a mining town in western New Mexico. It is a town removed from the northern part of the state where most Hispanic artists live and work. Thus, Cabrera is largely self-taught. As a native New Mexican, his love for working wood comes from a long family history of wood craftsmen. He is content to. create his woodworking and carving where he started in his father's garage. As a
boy, Cabrera watched his father in his workshop, building the family home. He began carving when, at the age of six, he found two pocket knives in his father's shop, making little cositas (little things) with which to play. After college, circumstances led Cabrera to make and sell his wood craft as a full time occupation. "I love my Spanish heritage, and I greatly enjoy using colonial New Mexico designs in my wood craft and carvings."


Cabrera is honored to be a part of Traditional Spanish Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 1985. His works are in the collections of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society; the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of New Mexico, the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, and the Maxwell Museum; University of New Mexico. His work has also been sold through the Smithsonian Institution and the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. One of his art pieces was presented as a gift to His Grace Christopher Columbus XX de Carvajal, Duke of Veragua, Spain, for the Quincentennial of the Discovery of America. To each of his customers, Cabrera says, "thank you for buying my art, my creations are dear to my heart, four hundred years of Hispanic heritage go with it.