Strike a pose

Photo Lea Rae, courtesy Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance

Eleven New Mexico artists have created human-sized art for Mannequins on Parade, a project of Pride 2021, hosted by the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance. Artists include painters, photographers, illustrators, and fashion designers. The theme is “electric, eccentric, and eclectic!” They are adorning the kinds of mannequins you’d see in department store windows and the headless dress forms used by tailors and seamstresses.

Mark Frossard, 40, is transforming his mannequin into a component of his current painting series, which focuses on the seven deadly sins and seven heavenly virtues as taught in Christianity. Frossard generally paints human forms and, like the paintings, his mannequin has cubist influences, with some of the hallucinogenic qualities of Francis Bacon’s work.

“I did all of these paintings that were inspired by sculpture. What’s going to be interesting about the mannequin is that now a painting inspired by sculpture will be on a 3D object,” Frossard says. “The series includes the seven deadly sins but, for the mannequin, I’m going with the seven virtues. It will be an uplifting piece. I’m probably going to dress it in a wig and maybe some minimal jewelry and other items of clothing.”

Andrea Isabel Vargas, 40, is making what she describes as a “magical” designer silk scarf called Spirit Sparkles. “A scarf is an accessory where gender does not matter. The flecks of copper and gold within the palette of firework colors were inspired by Katy Perry’s 2021 presidential inauguration performance [of her song ‘Firework’]. Spectrum of light, sequins. That’s the essence of transformation,” she says. She’ll drape the mannequin with the scarf, and says that only time will tell if she will add further adornments. “I’m being intuitive. I’m still in the imagination phase.”

Other artists include the couture fashion designer Orlando Dugi (Navajo), painter Alvin Gill-Tapia, and actor and singer Leah Leyva. Artists were selected by the board of HRA Santa Fe and have agreed to volunteer their time and talents. The mannequins will be displayed during the month of June at such locations as the main lobby at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital (455 St. Michael’s Drive), Goler Fine Imported Shoes (125 E. Palace Ave.), Santa Fe Public Library (145 Washington Ave.), and Maverick’s of Santa Fe (80 E. San Francisco St.). On June 26, the mannequins will be sold through an online silent auction, with proceeds benefitting HRA Santa Fe outreach programs. For a location map and other information, go to

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