While most kids conjured imaginary friends when they were growing up, Sarah Atlee fabricated religious deities.
She said while growing up in New Mexico, she was influenced by the Catholic visuals that were ever present in the Land of Enchantment, and that one of the religious elements that interested her most was patron saints.
"I loved the way that a person's faith collides with their secular life and the little artifacts that pop up in everyday life because of that," she said.
Atlee's collection of imagined patron saints, "Heavens to Betsy and Other Saints for Everyday Living," concludes its run tomorrow at a.k.a. Gallery, 3001 Paseo.
"'Heavens to Betsy' is the patron saint of idioms, nail-biting and hospital corners," Atlee said. "I can remember hearing (the phrase) from my mother or grandmother when I was really little and adults were trying to keep the language real clean around me."
She said among her favorite pieces in the show are Watcher Yennough, the patron saint of first impressions; Camellia Sinensis, the patron saint of tea; and Miki Mae Maluso, the patron saint of multitasking.
"They say there is a saint for everything, but I feel we can go further and designate a saint for every little mundane thing in life," she said. "I think that makes life just a little bit more interesting."
While most children stop pretending to have imaginary friends, Atlee said she has no intentions of stopping her saint concept.
"The patron saint project is too much fun," she said. "It will definitely have a continuation in the future."
For more information, call 606-2522 or visit www.akagallery.net. "Adam Kemp