Arlene Cisneros Sena
(b. 1952)
Folding altar screen, 2000

Born in San Luis, Colorado, Arlene Cisneros Sena drew and painted at an early age. One image of a "farm boy with a piece of wheat coming out of his mouth" caught the attention of her father Fred "Mr. C" Cisneros. He later asked her to show some drawings to Josef Bakos, a well-known artist and one of Santa Fe's famous Cinco Pintores. The images Bakos critiqued were Sena's renderings of the Beatles: John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Sena's first career was as a highly creative and successful cake decorator. "I could draw anything on a cake!" she says. Now a nationally and internationally acclaimed artist, this santera creates religious images resplendent with natural pigments and gold leaf. Sena says she was inspired to use gold leaf because she is fond of things that glitter. Her individual artistic style is intricate and detailed. She has even been known to depict German Brown Trout in her work since they are native to New Mexico (see the image of San Rafael in the altar screen in Arte y Amistad). Her work is in many private and public collections. Sena also has a piece (done in collaboration with fellow Santa Fe artist Lawrence Baca) in the Vatican.

In the summer of 2003, after more than 500 hours of work, Sena completed a major chapel altar screen for the Saint Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe. Inspired by a tea set she had as a child, Sena collects Blue Willow China as well as crosses.

Folding Altar Screen
handmade gesso, pigments, 23k goldleaf and piñon varnish

More About Web Sites about this Artist:


Introduction |
John Gallegos | Gustavo Victor Goler | Nicholas Herrera | Arthur López|

David Nabor Lucero| Diana Moya Lujan | Jerome Lujan | Jean Anaya Moya |

Mel Rivera
| Arlene Cisneros Sena | Luis Tapia | Sergio Tapia |

Selections from the Diane & Sandy Besser
Collection of Contemporary Hispanic Art