On any given day, San Luis artist Huberto Maestas can be found in his studio working on a sculpture for the Pueblo Riverwalk or for clients across the United States. He is among the many talented artists who call the San Luis Valley home.
A blue sky day in San Luis at Huberto Maestas’ foundry.
Huberto begins his day at his family’s ranch outside of San Luis, near the unincorporated town of San Pablo. By mid-morning, he shifts his focus to his studio and foundry in the town of San Luis, where he’ll work on a multitude of projects throughout the day.
Revealing the fruits of his labor, Maestas breaks the cast to see the iron within.
San Luis is the oldest town in Colorado with a present-day population of 600. Legions of tourists make the trek to San Luis to visit the Shrine of the Stations of Cross, which Huberto created as part of a town project to honor its heritage and spiritual roots. The first edition maquettes of the Stations of the Cross are in the permanent collection of the Vatican Museum in Rome.
Maestas working with fire.
During his day, it’s not uncommon to find Huberto passing time with visitors who stop by to chat and to see his latest work. His outgoing personality invites strangers and acquaintances alike.
A larger-than-life, commissioned piece depicts an early explorer with characteristics uncannily familiar to the sculptor himself.
If you pass through San Luis and find Huberto working, you just might arrive in time to watch him heating the bronze to a workable 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit or sanding a piece before it is cast.
The 2-man process requires hoisting molten bronze from the foundry fires and pouring it into each hot cast.
Or maybe you’ll find him standing in front of his studio doorway smiling and passing the day away with the family and friends who are inevitably by his side. He works not in solitude but in celebration of his surroundings and the artist's life he’s made.
Maestas has a selfie moment with his neighbor’s horse in San Luis, Colo.
Story and Photography by: Alamosa Citizen