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Woman sculpted Southwest-inspired nacimiento

My Nativity -- called a "nacimiento" -- is a Southwestern image of the Nativity scene. It is sculpted from the red clay of the earth -- the desert -- and has blue-glazed accents, representing the rain's life-giving force of grace. The figures are...

My Nativity -- called a "nacimiento" -- is a Southwestern image of the Nativity scene. It is sculpted from the red clay of the earth -- the desert -- and has blue-glazed accents, representing the rain's life-giving force of grace. The figures are displayed on an antique wool weaving. 

I sculpted this nacimiento for my parents when I was a teenager, and my father found the weaving in Chimayo, N.M., near Santa Fe. My parents and I spent many wonderful times traversing the Four Corners area of the Southwest, and one memorable Christmas in Santa Fe.

I have made many nacimientos for loved ones. But there is something about my parents' set -- it's the best one I have made.

When my dad passed away, and my mom, the nacimiento returned to me.

Sweeney lives in Duluth. She is an artist and teaches art at Morgan Park Middle School.

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