Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Andrea “Drew”  Bacigalupa

Drew Bacigalupa

Honored October, 2008

Drew Bacigalupa

When the Art in Public Places program sent out a call in 1979 for entries in a competition to enhance a second-floor hallway in Santa Fe’s newly renovated City Hall, most of the responses envisioned a grand historical mural. But not Drew Bacigalupa’s. Upon studying the wall, he felt that few members of the public would go there, or see and react to art installed there. What he pictured was something outside the building, which would always be in view of Santa Fe residents and visitors alike. Moreover, he wanted it to be simple.

The competition rules were flexible, so he proposed a single life-size bronze statue of the city’s patron, St. Francis of Assisi. Drew was chosen, and then had to finalize the design. Known for his love of animals, St. Francis has countless times been depicted with birds on his hands and shoulders. But Drew rejected this cliché. His statue had to be Santa Fe-specific. Today his “St. Francis and the Prairie Dog” stands at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Marcy Street, and is one of the city’s most beloved works--as shown by scarves, flowers, notes, and other mementoes left for the statue.

As a writer/artist, Andrea “Drew” Bacigalupa has spent a lifetime thinking unconventionally. With his wife, Ellen, he opened the first studio/gallery on Canyon Road, the Studio of Gian Andrea, more than 50 years ago. His numerous books, short stories, newspaper columns, sculptures and images have won many honors, including a 2007 Mayor’s Recognition Award for Excellence in the Arts.