Alfredo Arreguín, The Key to the Garden

The Key to the Garden, 2010, oil on canvase, 60" x 48", graciously donated by the artist to the Arizona State University Hispanic Research Center.

Aggreguín says he was inspired to create the piece when Regent's Professor and Hispanic Research Center director Gary Francisco Keller began the Saint Francis and the Americas/San Francisco y las Americas project. Long having used images of the Madonna as a symbol for his love of nature, Arreguín realized that Francis of Assisi was a perfect male symbol for his themes of stewardship and care for the world around us. The Key to the Garden has the luminous quality of a stained-glass window. The artist included a golden cross to symbolize love, the key that opens the gates of the Garden of Eden. The faces surrounding the main figure of Saint Francis represent humanity, the butterflies signify the spirits of the dead, and the birds denote a celestial choir bringing the sweet sound of angels’ music to the magical garden.