[02] Sean Wells y Delgado

Sean Wells y Delgado, SanteraI am a 5th generation Spanish Colonial Artisan.  My family is traditionally a family of tinsmiths.  I, along with my brother Jason Younis y Delgado all studied the practice of tinwork under our grandmother, the matriarch of our family, Angelina Delgado.  However, it was clear early on my brother showed the necessary talent and passion to pursue the family craft.

So, as I sat in the studio, listening to the rhythmic pounding of tin as Angelina educated Jason on the techniques and traditions, I would paint.  I painted on whatever was available.  My grandmother was not a painter, but knew she needed to foster my interest.  She showed me some basic Saint forms with great enthusiasm and encouraged me to enter the children’s market.  I took second place in the youth market and sold very well.  It was a great warm up for the adult market.  However, the distractions of life took over and I lost touch with the art for many years.

Now that I am back in New Mexico and enjoying watching my brother hone his tin talents, I began to develop my retablo interest once more.  My Grandmother once again encouraged me to pursue the art despite the fact that I was now raising two toddler boys.  She connected me with a santera, Arlene Cisneros Sena who took me on as a student.  She was wonderful, inspiring and intimidating.  I also had the opportunity to work with living legend santero Juanito Jimenez.  They have very different styles and techniques, so it was a great way to see the degree of flexibility in the parameters of acceptable Spanish Market juried artists (which tends to appear narrow in its described guidelines).  But, more importantly, I could see what they had in common.  They share an adoration for telling the stories of our common history.  They share a reverence for the images that they paint with love and grace.  And, they  both demonstrate independent spirits that seem to rise above the everyday in both art and life.

I am just starting to feel like I can call myself a Santera this year (2010).  I am looking forward to this journey and am glad you have an interest in coming along for the ride!



  1. Do you make the Delgado crest available for sale? What about a .jpg version?

  2. The Delgado crest is available for sale. It’s at Tintero Gallery $125. My brother was going to add a tin frame on it, but hasn’t had time. That would be an upgrade you could discuss with him. I have just listed it in my online store.


    I will be offering posters of the image soon. Too many things I want to do, but your question will surely light a fire under me to get back on that! Thank you!

    If you click on the crest, you can read an article on the painting of the retablo crest.

    • I’m writing a Delgado family history book and would love to use your crest within the book (either as a picture on one of the pages or as the front cover). Of course it would be credited to you. Would you approve of me using your version of our family crest? Do you have a .jpg version? Appreciate your favorable consideration. I’d be willing to pay a modest fee if necessary.

      Anthony Delgado

      • Anthony, I meant to reply to this forever ago. Please contact me at sean@delgadoarts.com and I’ll get you what you need if you are still working on your book. ~Sean

  3. Hello, I have several tin items, going back to Angelina Delgado. I love these items, but I’m downsizing. Do you have any suggestions? Thank You!

  4. Hi Sean my name is Travis we were both in Mrs.Nordbees class (hope I spelled that right) then in the sixth grade I moved to California .I still have that package of letters,and pictures the class sent me. But you know how life is, you just lose touch. Anyway my mother sent me one of your post cards today,I guess she got it from one of your shows.She has retired out there,and sends me stuff from there every now and then. Well I’ll let you go,I looked you up after I got the card and it was cool to see you and your brother all grown up. One more thing,do they still call you “Pooky”?

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