New Mexico State Library

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Artist Ric Sarracino Donates Portrait of Octavia Fellin to the Library

(Gallup, NM): Artist Ric Sarracino has donated a portrait of Octavia Fellin to the Octavia Fellin Public Library. He painted Ms. Fellin in 2009 as part of a series of twenty-five famous Gallup residents. Each of the paintings was completed in an hour using one brush and nine colors.Gallup-Fellin-Portrait

Mr. Sarracino is a passionate supporter of the library.  He considered Octavia Fellin a mentor and remembers when he would ask for a book and she would pull it off the shelf for him without so much as a glance at the card catalog. Ms. Fellin would share her knowledge of art, painters she especially enjoyed, and the research she was doing on the history of Gallup.  “She enriched my life in so many ways. It was an honor to have the opportunity to paint her,” Sarracino said. “At one point I told her there was no such thing as bad art.  She said to me ‘I beg to differ.’ Over the years, I have thought about her comment and have come to agree.” Library Director, Mary Ellen Pellington said “it is my pleasure to accept this portrait on behalf of the library and our community. It is a great tribute to a woman who did so much for Gallup.”

Octavia Fellin was Gallup’s Library Director from 1947 to 1990 and upon her retirement the library was named in her honor. Ms. Fellin had been offered a position with the San Francisco Public Library. However, on her way she stopped in Gallup to visit her family, volunteered at the library and never left. She was committed to building quality library services, programs, and a collection for the community she loved.  Ms. Fellin touched the lives of three generations and knew everyone by name.  She was a lifetime member of the New Mexico Library Association and involved in the New Mexico Municipal League.

Ric Sarracino is a painter and playwright. He is noted for his portraits and murals depicting Gallup’s rich culture including:  Hispanic Heritage, Gallup Community Life, and the Japanese Mural honoring Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura.  He is always interested in feedback concerning his work and can be reached at

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