Jaune Quick-to-See Smith at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe

Jaune Quick-to-see-Smith at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum 217 Johnson Street Santa Fe NM

It’s actually hard to remember back before the O’Keeffe Museum was here. Of course, the Santa Fe lightbulb joke asks how many Santa Feans it takes to change a lightbulb (Answer: three, one to do it and two to reminisce about how it used to be!). But, truly, a trip to the O’Keeffe is so ingrained in a Santa Fe visit now, that it seems like the museum has always been here….and for that we are very grateful.

Georgia On My Mind, Oil 1986, Collection of Yellowstone Art Museum

We are also grateful that the O’Keeffe continues to highlight the work of contemporary women artists, a commitment that one imagines O’Keeffe herself would approve. On January 26, the fourth exhibition of the Living Artists of Distinction series, entitled “Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Landscapes of an American Modernist,” opened in the rear galleries of the museum. How perfect that exhibit shows that Smith had Georgia on her mind!

The Great Divide, Oil 1987; Collection of St. Paul Travelers

A Native American artist from the Salish band of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai nation of the Northwest, Ms. Smith was born in 1940, received an M.A. at the University of New Mexico, and is a familiar presence to art-going public of the Southwest. Her modernist impulse is played out in active brushwork and expressive imagery, vastly different from O’Keeffe’s technique, but still posssessing that same sense of place found in the still landscapes painted by O’Keeffe.

Like O’Keeffe, Smith works in a variety of media, and the pastels and oils on display present a compelling demonstration of her abilities.  The artist says, “My work comes from a visceral place – deep, deep…,” and the work says so.

Trees are Burning, Pastel 1991; Courtesy LewAllen Contemporary

No doubt, viewers will have favorites.  The pastels appear more restrained, both in palette and and activity, while the large oil paintings feel agitated and full of color. I found myself in reverie by the Wallowa Water Hole pastels, with their more limited palette and simple lines. And I enjoyed the contrast of colors between two large canvases, Playground, which is painted in the primary, clear colors to which children most easily respond, juxtaposed against the lively Great Divide, soaked in the rich pinks and turqouise associated with our desert landscape.

Playground, Oil 1987; Private Collection

When I viewed the show, I headed directly to the galleries, so as to see the work with fresh eyes, then wandered back through the O’Keeffe’s. One of the things that is so enjoyable about these exhibits is how they make one notice different O’Keeffe works that one my not have been pulled to previously. After spending time in the Smith exhibit, a deceptively simple O’Keeffe watercolor and graphite piece from 1918, House with Tree – Green, suddenly drew me to a halt. Fresh eyes are a good thing!

Go see the Jaune Quick-to-See Smith show…it’s up until April 29, so you can make more than one trip and discover for yourself the pleasures of this small museum and its big mission.

SOFA Santa Fe

SOFA West Santa Fe 2010 takes place at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center located on the northeast corner of West Marcy and Grant Avenue from August 4-7.

No, no, not a seating arrangement…it’s an acronym for Sculptural Objects and Functional Art! And this exciting art fair returns this year to Santa Fe in August to add to the rich panoply of art that summer brings to us every year.

SOFA West returns to Santa Fe!

Taking place at our spacious Community Convention Center from August 4 through 7, SOFA West: Santa Fe is an opportunity for westerners and their art-loving visitors to see what other large art markets (read Chicago in November 2011 and New York in April 2012) deem as praise-worthy representations of the new and unusual in three-dimensional art objects. Last year’s outing was obviously a hit, since the show is up in dealer participation from last year’s 28 to this year’s 35 exhibitors.

The exhibit actually opens on the evening of Wednesday, August 3, 2011, with a frisson of exclusivity, an invitation-only “First Look” private preview for supporters of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation from 5-6:30 pm and SOFA VIPs beginning at 6:30 pm. The invite-only reception will be followed by a new Opening Night Public Preview which begins at 7 pm. Tickets are $50 and will be available on sofaexpo.com or at the door, and the Opening Night festivities continue until 9 pm. General admission to the fair begins on Thursday, August 4 and runs through Sunday, August 7, 2011, from 12 noon to 6pm daily. Tickets are $15 for a single day pass and, for those who just can’t get enough of a good thing, die-hard art aficionados can pay only $25 for the four-day run of the show.

Carol Naylor: Te Mata Peak, ZeST Contemporary Gallery

Jimin Kim: Tracks, Charon Kransen Arts

This year, the Art Fair Company also hosts an exciting addition to SOFA West, by welcoming the Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art, which partnered with SOFA Chicago last fall. Outsider art continues to grow audiences with each exposure, and in a town like Santa Fe, with a historic folk art tradition, this show is sure to be of interest to viewers and collectors alike. The Museum of International Folk Art had a stunning outside art show several years ago, which included the work of Martin Ramirez and was a big local hit. The presence of  Intuit brings the leading dealers and galleries of self-taught art and outsider art, non-traditional folk art and visionary art to the exciting artistic mix that SOFA visitors already appreciate.

Martin Ramirez: Caballero on Horseback, Carl Hammer Gallery

Deborah Barrett: Stitched Portrait, The Ames Gallery

In conjunction with the exhibit, SOFA continues its tradition of informative lectures and artists’ demonstrations. There are also a number of special public events that sound quite inviting! On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at an all-day affair from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, Dr. Bruce Bernstein, the Executive Director of SWAIA (the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, host organization of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market) will be leading a tour of the gorgeous Acoma Pueblo, 1 and 1/2 hours southwest of Santa Fe. While the $300 per person cost of the day trip may seem a bit pricey, combining the beauty and rich cultural history of Acoma with a erudite guide like Dr. Bernstein makes this a truly one-of-a-kind experience. For more information or to register, contact Recursos/Royal Road Tours at 505.577.9659.

Acoma, the Sky City

On Friday morning, August 5, 2011, a there will be a private  backstage tour of one of Santa Fe’s cultural mainstays, the Santa Fe Opera. You’ll visit the busy costume shop and props shop, and peer into the inner workings of the talented Opera staff first-hand. The tour begins with a 9:15 am coffee klatsch at SOFA West: Santa Fe, in the lobby of the Convention Center, and transportation to the Opera grounds is provided. This private event is limited to just 40 people, and tickets are $25 per person, obtained by contacting Julie Oimoen at  [email protected].

The Crosby Theatre, Santa Fe Opera: Photo Robert Reck

Also on Friday, August 5 at 2pm, gallery clients who have been fortunate enough to receive VIP cards can drop in to the VIP Lounge, where SOFA West welcomes Victoria Price, designer and art historian, for a lively talk about the adventures of collecting art. The daughter of actor Vincent Price and long-term resident of Santa Fe, Ms. Price’s past includes a stint appraising and selling art from various estates and collections, so she has a wealth of entertaining information to share.

SO, now that you know…get off your sofa or out of your hotel room and head to the SOFA West Santa Fe Expo, where your mind and your eyes will be treated to some cutting-edge art that can easily hang above your sofa, adorning your home and showing your art cred, when you get back home.

Gallery photos of artists’ works courtesy of the Press Room page of SOFA West: Santa Fe

Spanish Market = Timeless Santa Fe Travel

Summer in Santa Fe is the time of year when we celebrate the deep Hispanic roots of La Ciudad Diferente. It’s a satisfying experience to encounter a place that honors its traditional arts and, at the same time, celebrates the ingenuity of those artistic descendants who are drawn to more contemporary expressions of the heritage.

Spanish Town, Spanish Names!

Spanish Market means many things to many people. For some, it’s enough to enjoy the festive appearance of the Plaza, dressed up to remind us of the enduring legacy of the conquistadors and settlers who braved the ardors of the New World. For others, it may be the food, rich and spicy, tantalizing the taste buds with the thought of fresh green chile yet to come. For most, however, especially steadfast Santa Fe visitors who return annually at this time, it’s the opportunity to see how the artistic heritage of the past lives on today through the hands and the talents of over 200 artists. Delicate straw applique and colcha embroidery are crafts may have waxed and waned through the years, but thanks to a number of dedicated artisans, one can still encounter these humble traditional art-forms today. Painstakingly painted retablos and hand-carved bultos never go out of style, as befits an aesthetic so thoroughly entwined with its religious roots. And the weavers will be there to remind us that the heat of summer will soon enough be followed by the appeal of soft, warm wool.

Intricate Colcha Embroidery: Museum of New Mexico Collection

Presented by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, Spanish Market is making its 60th anniversary appearance on the Santa Fe Plaza over the weekend of July 30-31.  Market hours on Saturday are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; on Sunday, the Market runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In conjunction with the Arts Market itself, chock-a-block with both familiar and new faces, a special Market Mass will be celebrated at our gorgeously renovated St. Francis Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 31, at which time the public is invited to the join in the blessing of the Spanish Market art and its artisans.  After the blessing, a procession begins at the Cathedral and winds around the Plaza, led by a cheerful Mariachi band.

The Beautiful Reredo at St. Francis Cathedral

There are a few informative events celebrating the Spanish heritage that will also take place over the weekend. On Thursday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m., a free “Layman’s Lecture About the Saints” will take place at the historic Santuario de Guadalupe, located at 100 South Guadalupe Street.  Lecturer Marina Ochoa, curator and archivist for the Office of Historic-Artistic Patrimony, Archives, and Museum of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will discourse on the particularly meaningful saints depicted in many of the retablos and bultos one is likely to encounter at the Market.

Santa Fe’s purveyor of  “todas cosas Espanolas,” The Spanish Table, located at 109 North Guadalupe Street, complements the weekend with two flavorful themed events to honor the Market. On Friday, July 29 at 12 noon, a Spanish sausage sampling complete with a lecture on how to make and cure your own Spanish-style sausages will be presented by Robert Fettig, with Flamenco guitarist Joaquin Gallegos on hand to provide an appropriate musical background. On Saturday, July 30, also at 12 noon, the staff at the Table will cook a gigantic Paella in front of the store.  This is a great time to learn how to make this signature Spanish dish, and you can receive a recipe, ask questions and enjoy!  Best of all, these events are also free to the public!

Paella? Muy Sabrosa!

Spicy Chorizo!

To enhance this rewarding arts weekend, Santa Fe also welcomes the 25th appearance of the Contemporary Hispanic Market, held adjacent to the Plaza on Lincoln Avenue and mirroring the hours of the Traditional Market. With 134 different booths, each featuring a different twist on the Hispanic arts, this is a multitude of riches in and of itself! Those who are drawn to use their talents in newer art forms appreciate this opportunity to exhibit, and both casual and serious collectors enjoy the chance to converse with some of New Mexico’s well-respected Hispanic artists. This display of contemporary Hispanic works showcases individual expression in the mediums of painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, weaving and much, much more. In other words, this weekend is an artistic two-fer!!

Glorieta: Painting by Robb Rael

As with all of the summer Santa Fe Plaza events, the sun will likely be a constant visitor, so pay attention to our summer weather and dress accordingly. That’s the only caveat though, the rest of the weekend is yours to enjoy…or as we say aqui, bienvenidos y disfrutele mucho!