Rita Flores deWallace

2008 Corn Mother Honoree


Rita was born in Galeana, Nuevo León in the late 1930s. Her small town in the mountains of Central Mexico was famous for its fruit orchards. She spent her formative years traveling all over Mexico with her family and studying the traditional folk arts of the indigenous people of the region. She studied dance with the prestigious Bellas Artes Academy in Mexico City for six months and then continued performing with their Coahuilan dance troupe for the next twelve years. During this time, she mastered many artistic skills. She taught throughout Mexico as a master artist, renowned for her papier-mâché, paper flowers, and folk dancing, and especially for her bordado mágico (magic embroidery).  
In 1978, Rita met her husband-to-be, John Wallace,
a teacher from Denver. She moved to Colorado, where she continues to teach at schools, universities, and museums as a master folk artist. She has received numerous awards for her work with the community. These include the Rex Morgan Award from Denver’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) for contributing time, talent, and spirit to positively impact the cultural community; Centro San Juan Diego’s Las Madrinas Award; Denver Public Schools Lena Archuleta Community Award; a two-month exhibition at the Onda Arte Latina gallery in Portland, Oregon; a tribute event and month-long exhibition and celebration of her art at Denver’s Corky Gonzales Library; a two-week exhibition and celebration of her art at Denver’s Chicano Humanities & Arts Council (CHAC) gallery; and the Colorado Council on the Arts Master Artist Award. She continues to tour throughout the United States.



La burla es la careta de la ignorancia.

To make fun of someone is the mask of ignorance.

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