Andrea (Drew) Bacigalupa

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Bacigalupa was not only a gifted artist but a splendid raconteur and author of ten books of fiction and memoirs, which he also illustrated. As Andrea (or “Drew”) told the story, he did not set out to be a liturgical artist. A World War II veteran, he had just graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art and needed money to take further courses in Florence, Italy, when an old army buddy offered him a commission he could not afford to pass up--painting two altarpieces for a Roman Catholic church in Cokesville, Pennsylvania.

This set the pattern for his life. When Bacigalupa moved with his family to New Mexico, he was drawn to the region’s rich tradition of religious art. Inspired by Dominican Father Blase Schauer’s principles of “sacred environment,“ he created cutting-edge liturgical designs in keeping with Second Vatican Council reforms for church interiors in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

During his years making art-by-church-committee, Bacigalupa often sought solace in the notebooks of Michelangelo (another beleaguered ecclesiastical designer!) but came away strengthened in his conviction that art made for God’s glory should not be saccharine, sentimental, or stereotyped.



“Andrea (Drew) Bacigalupa ,” Westport Public Schools Digital Collections, accessed February 28, 2020, https://collections.westportps.org/items/show/1931.

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Item: Indian Dancers in San Felipe Indian Pueblo, Felipe, New Mexico (People) dcterms:creator This Item