Published December 19, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE — The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) is pleased to announce the winners of its 8th Annual Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest, which was unveiled on Monday, December 5, with a record-breaking 76 submissions from across New Mexico. In the following week 20 official judges visited the exhibition at 2401 12th St NW, Albuquerque, to select contest winners based on such criteria as creative use of edible materials and authentic depiction of Pueblo architecture.
The 20 judges included artists Glendora Fragua (Jemez), Wayne Gaussoin (Picuris, Navajo), and Penny Singer (Diné), as well as local media leaders like Royale Da (San Ildefonso) of KOAT News and Maggie Grimason, Art and Literature Editor of the Weekly Alibi. Others represented the city of Albuquerque and state of New Mexico, including Maria Berry, wife of Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, and New Mexico Tourism Department Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham.
“Being a part of an amazing group of judges was a great delight for me this holiday season,” says painter Marla Allison (Laguna), whose solo exhibit “Consumed by Design” will open at the IPCC in February, 2017. “To see the immensely creative work of adults and children in edible art was impressive. It was really hard to pick, and I took over an hour with all the skillful entries of the houses, church scenes, and even deer dancers made of peppermint and pretzels.”
The Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest is a 21st-century tradition that celebrates Pueblo heritage through creative depictions of traditional and modern Puebloan architecture. Entries depict everything from cliff dwellings to adobe structures, all in edible gingerbread with decorative details like gumdrops, cereal, and chocolate candy. Contestants represented a wide range of heritages, including tribal affiliation with not only the Pueblos of New Mexico but the Navajo, Cherokee, and Chickasaw nations.
“The Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest is a must-see for the Albuquerque area,” says Justin Kii Huenemann (Diné), President and CEO of the Native American nonprofit Notah Begay III Foundation, who served as a judge for the contest. “The creativity, fun, and quality of the gingerbread houses are top notch. I am already looking forward to next year!”
While many of the judges noted how difficult it was to select from the largest-ever selection of skillfully crafted entries, the first, second, and third place winners were clear in both adult and children’s categories.
The 8th Annual Pueblo Gingerbread House Contest will remain on display for the public to enjoy through Sunday, January 8, 2017 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St NW. Although official judging has closed, in the weeks ahead visitors are encouraged to cast their own votes for the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Isleta Resort and Casino. People’s Choice Award winners will be announced on Thursday, January 5, and also include cash prizes.