Zozobra Art Exhibit Call for Artists - SantaFe.com

It’s time to fire up your creativity for the 2023 Zozobra Art Exhibit! As the date draws closer to Zozobra’s annual date with his immortal foe the Fire Spirit, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe is seeking submissions of Zozobra-themed artwork. As an artist, you have the answer to fighting Zozobra’s gloom –– by creating your one-of-a-kind artwork in the image of the Santa Fe icon everyone loves to hate. Winners will be put on display during ZozoFest, from Friday August 25 to Sunday, August 27, 2023, at Santa Fe Place Mall.

September 1, 2023 will be the 99th presentation of The Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra, Santa Fe’s unique cultural celebration.* Which means, before we know it, Zozobra will make his dramatic return, so it’s time to break out those pencils, markers and paintbrushes. Santa Fe’s biggest narcissist wants YOU to make him even more infamous! Paintings, drawings, collage, sculpture, jewelry, digital art, ceramics, beads, tile, fabric –– there’s no limit on media.

Artwork in the ZozoFest Art Show must be primarily of Zozobra, but other characters from the Zozobra tradition, including the Fire Spirit, Gloomies, and Torchbearers, are also welcome. Images inspired by or representing Will Shuster or Los Cincos Pintores will also be considered.

Entry Rules

Entering art into the ZozoFest Art Show is free. Details can be found at the Zozobra Call for Artists page. You can also reserve your space in the Zozobra Art Exhibit with the reservation form. To reserve your spot, you must complete a submission for each artwork that you wish to show, including a description of your artwork. You will also be required to upload a JPEG image of your work. Image size must be at least 1500 pixels on the longest side, but no larger than 3000 pixels. Please name your image file as “YourName_ArtworkTitle.jpg.” The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 4, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

After you submit your artwork online, you will receive an email response to let you know when and where to deliver your artwork. Please plan ahead accordingly, as any artwork not delivered on time cannot be included in the exhibit.

See Zozobra burn by getting your Zozobra 2023 tickets.

*About the Burning of Zozobra

Artist William Howard “Will” Shuster, Jr. created the first Zozobra in 1924 as the signature highlight of a private party for Los Cinco Pintores, a group of artists and writers who made their way to New Mexico in the 1920s. He was inspired by Easter Holy Week traditions in the Yaqui Indian communities of Arizona and Mexico, in which an effigy of Judas is led around the village on a donkey and ultimately set alight. Shuster and his friend, E. Dana Johnson, editor of the local newspaper, came up with the name Zozobra, which in Spanish means “anguish, anxiety, or gloom.”

Shuster’s creation first burned in his backyard in 1924 as a 6-foot effigy, and over the years, has grown to a towering 50-foot high marionette. Made of wood, wire and cotton cloth and stuffed with bushels of shredded paper, which traditionally includes obsolete police reports, paid-off mortgages, and even divorce papers, Zozobra is a dark and eerie character, part ghost and part monster. Since those early days, the people of Santa Fe, families, and friends new and old, have annually made their way to Fort Marcy Park, a few blocks from the historic Santa Fe Plaza, to view this one-of-a-kind Labor Day Friday pageant.

Shuster personally oversaw the construction of the Zozobra figure until 1964, when he gave his detailed model and an archive of drawings and scripts to the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe for their successful continuation of this historic tradition. As the story of Zozobra continues into the 99th and 100th year, Kiwanis of Santa Fe and Hutton Broadcasting have teamed up to produce a centennial documentary, to be premiered in 2024. For those wishing to share personal stories of Zozobra, fill out the form here.

For additional information about the Zozobra Art Exhibit, please email Zozobra Art Chairman Ama Ortiz at [email protected]. For more information about the Burning of Zozobra, visit the website.

This article was posted by David Salcido

Please Share!

Featured Businesses