Food and fun, are enfolded in serious discusssion about the diva of divas, Georgia O’Keefe.
Months ago, I set up for this Crizmac workshop called Desert Divas. No, it does not sound as bad, as that sounds. It is really just a revolving group of art ed people (and others) who meet out in Santa Fe, which is a pretty good place to explore art. O’Keefe, Maria Martinez, Pablita Velarde and Roxanne Swentzell all crop up as influential women artists out of this part of the west. Many are native. They become the foundation for this study, which is both feminist and post-modernist.
The other night while in the New Mexico History Museum, I found a show called Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World, which beautifully displays Spanish colonial art from places like Cuzco* and Mexico. This art gave impetus to formal religious art in the New World, as well as becoming a curiosity to young Latino artists, who are rediscovering it form in their recent work. The last section of the show is devoted to those young artists, and I was pleased to see the work of Marion Martínez, who was at Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, years ago with Nancy Walkup.
Mary Ann hides behind her circuit board angel as Marion looks on. (Sorry the better shot, never made it, the card wasn’t in the camera!)
Linda’s piece becomes an interesting broach.
We were all pleased to see her again today with her circuit boards and computer parts, making real that non-art material which has a real aesthetic can through artists be rediscovered and transformed into beautiful works. This became our workshop. While talking to her, I realized the debt I owed her, as the broken toy project, another recycling project done several years ago, was based upon the foundation she had given me.
Bill shoots one of our divas, displaying her circuit board creation.
The reconstructed studio of Pablita Velarde, at her studio (left). Note the grinding stone where she produced color from natural pigment (right).
As Nancy told us, Santa Fe is unique in that there are two museums devoted to women artists. One is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The other is Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts. We went there to see the works of three generations of women, and we did to an extent. Pablita Velarde, Pablita’s daughter Helen Hardin and Pablita’s granddaughter Margarete Bagshaw. Margarete was there, shocking to see in person, as I have admired in videos. She introduced to us a lovely young woman who was having an opening right at that time. This talented young woman is named Kathleen Wall, showing her multimedia work called, Harvesting Tradition. Please visit and support this museum if you can, they are doing a great job, but lack the funding other museums possess.
We also traveled to the Golden Dawn Gallery which features the work of Pablita, Helen and Margarete. There are some beautiful scarves that Margarete has for sale, aside from beautiful paintings and prints. It is wonderful to see Pablita’s work up close and personal, where you can see mica mixed into her pigment. Helen is represented with wonderful painting, but absolutely pristine copper engravings and etchings.
Helen Cordero (left) and the Maria Martinez (right) family group are all represented at Andrea Fisher.
A romp through the Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery gallery should be mandatory for anyone serious about art. This gallery has some of the finest pottery in the city. Many fine examples of pueblo pottery are represented, including Maria Martinez and Helen Codero.
It was a shame that a great meal was ruined with lousy service at the Thunderbird.
For the second time in a row, and the last, not staying with the Plaza Cafe was a big mistake. We went upstairs to the Thunderbird and got some great food and drinks, but a mouthful of bad service. When eight of us asked for separate checks they gave us a song and dance, then charged a 20% service fee for a “large” party. So much for a place which offers a bigger wine list than a menu.
In the Five & Dime General Store is one way to end a night, divas all.
*One wonders why the Catedral del Cusco is full of blank walls, were these paintings extracted from them?