Donors support Luther Bean Museum and Salazar center


ALAMOSA – The Adams State University Luther Bean Museum and Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center hosted a fundraiser on July 15, attended by 63 people. The event included a welcome by President Beverlee J. McClure, and comments by Ken Salazar, who urged participants to support the university and museum. Master Santero Geronimo Olivas ’93 gave a presentation on the creation of retablos and santos.

The Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center was established by a generous donation from the Emma and Henry Salazar family in 2016. The gift to the institution provides scholarships, funds for the museum improvement through the virtual Salazar Center, and a student museum internship. The fundraiser will become an annual event to aid further development of both the museum and Salazar Center.

The evening included opportunities for patrons to “adopt” an artifact, bid on silent auction items, and purchase museum memberships. Silent auction items included a San Isidro Labrador Santo made and donated by Geronimo Olivas; a watercolor painted and donated by Stephen Quiller; a ceramic pot created and donated by Cloyde Snook; and two ceramic vessels created by Sister Mary Lavey and donated by Suzy Husmann. 

According to Tammy Lopez, executive director of the Adams State Foundation, the fundraiser generated $1,000 in “Adopt an Artifact” pledges and $2,695 from the silent auction, and garnered four new Luther Bean Museum memberships.

Housed in the Luther Bean Museum, the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center is dedicated to preservation of the natural and cultural resources of the upper Rio Grande region. The Luther Bean Museum collection reflects the rich history and archaeology of the Rio Grande in Colorado. This ranges from the ancient history of Native Americans in the Rio Grande gorge to exploration from Santa Fe into the San Luis Valley that began in the 1700s, and the first settlements in Colorado, begun immediately after the Mexican-American War in 1848.

For more information on supporting the museum through adopt an artifact opportunities or to purchase a membership, call 719-587-7151 or email [email protected].

Captions: Ken Salazar addresses friends and family at the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center fundraiser on July 15. Courtesy photos

Adams State alumnus and Master Santero Geronimo Olivas ’93 demonstrates the art of creating santos at the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center fundraiser on July 15.