This week we remember another artist whose sculptures are very accessible to New Orleanians — Enrique Alferez. Born in Mexico in 1901, he has a colorful story that includes serving under Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution. But we'll focus on his artistic pursuits. Alferez's early training came under his father, who studied art in Europe and carved religious statues for churches and chapels in Mexico. After coming to the U.S., the younger Alferez studied and practiced his trade in Chicago.
He came to New Orleans in 1929, and his first commission was to carve statues for Holy Name of Mary Church in Algiers. His best-known works include several sculptures, statues, fountains and carvings in New Orleans City Park, created during the Great Depression through the Works Progress Administration. In addition to many private commissions, Alferez's long list of public projects also includes artworks at Audubon Park, Charity Hospital and Lakefront Airport. He died in 1999 at the age of 98, but remained active into his 90s.
For a map of his public art and details about touring his studio, visit www.enriquealferez.com.