A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Luis Tapia is a self-taught, contemporary artist. Like many in his generation who grew up during a time of cultural homogenization—as well as the emergence of movements for civil rights and social consciousness—Tapia was determined to learn more about his culture. He began carving santos, studying them in churches and in the collections at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Around the same time, he helped found La Confradia de Artes y Artesanos Hispanicos, which has been instrumental in the contemporary revival of Southwest art.
Jonathan Yorba Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (New York and Washington, D.C.: Watson-Guptill Publications, in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)