The mag­gicc of ‘Earth Fire Paint’ un­veiled at Stu­dio o 1107-B

Tempo - - CONTENTS - By Laura Bulkin

Abu usy hub of the con­tem­po­rary ar rt world is hid­ing in plain si ght in a light, airy space be etween Mesa’s Edge and Namb e onn the north side of Taos Plaza a. Th hat space is Stu­dio 107-B, the bra ain­child of multi-tal­ented Tao os artista Maye Tor­res.

On a re­cent af­ter­noon, the stud dio saw a stream of vis­its from m lo­cal and international ar­tis sts, writ­ers, gallery-own­ers and d friends as well as buy­ers draw d wn by the fresh col­lec­tion of wor w rld-class work.

Keep K ping up with a steady para p ade of ex­hi­bi­tions since the venu v ue opened a few months ag go, Tor­res is de­but­ing “Earth Fi ire PPaint” at a re­cep­tion planned Sa aturd day (May 12) from 4-7 p.mm., aat Stu­dio 107-B. The show con tinu ues through June 17. “Thi s exxhibit fo­cuses mainly on ce­ram mic aartists work­ing in a va­ri­ety of uses s,” TTor­res said. “Ce­ramic ves­sels are the mee m et­ing of earth and fire, then painted wit th glaze. So: Earth Fire Paint. We were e inn­spired by the clay shows be­ing or­rgan nized by some of the Kit Car­son RRoa ad gal­leries.”

Six­teen arti ists, in­clud­ing Tor­res her­self, will be repr r re­sented in the show. Brian Sh­hield ds moved here decades ago from Baar­cel lona, Spain, to teach art in the San Lui is Val­ley in Colorado. He and his part­ner (and Ami­gos Bravos co-founder), poet Sawnie Mor­ris, will be col­lab­o­rat­ing on a piece for the show en­com­pass­ing vis­ual me­dia and po­etry. “It’s ex­cit­ing to see this his­toric gallery space bring con­tem­po­rary art back to the Plaza, and I’m thrilled to be part of it,” Shields said. Mor­ris, in­ci­den­tally, is also the fi­first Taos Poet Lau­re­ate.

“Brian is an ac­tion pain­ter,” Tor­res said. “He has a di­rect­ness with medium, a spon­ta­neous use where there’s a happy dance with the can­vas.”

Stephen Kil­born and John Hutson both cre­ate func­tional art­ware out of clay. “They use clay cups and plates and plat­ters as their sur­face to paint with in­cred­i­ble glazes,” Tor­res said. “Stephen’s a born artist and a master with his medium. John is in­cred­i­bly pro­lific. He spe­cial­izes in carv­ing amaz­ing tex­tures into his clay, and has a color palette of vivid or­anges, reds and blacks.”

“If I had to de­scribe my work in one word, it would be ‘eclec­tic,’” Hutson said.

“Michael Gor­man is a nephew of the late R.C. Gor­man, and will soon be con­tin­u­ing that legacy and open­ing his own gallery here in Taos,” Tor­res said. “He fo­cuses on raku fir­ing his ves­sels. Mercedes Mon­toya is a mul­ti­me­dia maker who’s been in Taos for years.

She’s usu­ally at art fairs, so we’re lucky to have her. Carl GrayWitkop works with bur­nished pit fir­ing, with carv­ings that are re­ally ex­quis­ite.

“We’re for­tu­nate to have two bril­liant clay artists from Taos Pue­blo. Jer­a­lyn Lu­jan Lucero does sculp­ture with mi­ca­ceous clay. She’s pi­o­neered in­no­va­tive, con­tem­po­rary uses of tra­di­tional Taos clay and is work­ing in ex­cit­ing new forms. Dawn­ing Pollen Shorty comes from the Track fam­ily legacy f pot­ters. She is a mul­ti­me­dia artist who has been fo­cus­ing on sing the mi­ca­ceous clay for sculp­tures and ves­sels, and she also paints beau­ti­fully.” Ron Cooper moved to Taos from Los An­ge­les in the 1960s. “He was one of the first of those L.A. guys to come here,” Tor­res said. “He has done spec­tac­u­lar work with sculp­ture made from ce­ramic torsos of peo­ple’s bod­ies, painted with glazes. Kath­leen Fer­gu­son’s eative jour­ney has taken her m Taos to the Mid­dle East, e she stud­ied the silk road ught for 12 years in Qatar. k was ex­hib­ited in New ity at the Whit­ney Bi­en­nial. ah Rael-Buck­ley is orig­i­nally Al­bu­querque and has been a ce­ramic artist most of her life. I love her imag­i­na­tive use of clay, wo­ven with New Mex­ico le­gends and quotes from her ex­pe­ri­ences in life.”

“My soul­ful re­la­tion­ship with clay is about en­rich­ing, nur­tur­ing, for­giv­ing, cre­at­ing and re­mem­ber­ing,” RaelBuck­ley said.

Gretchen Ew­ert was raised in Mora. “I think she’s a mul­ti­di­men­sional artist from another uni­verse,” Tor­res said. “She’s tech­ni­cally ex­cep­tional, and she com­bines an­i­mal forms with peo­ple and ar­che­typal ob­jects. Her art­work links science and myth and the ‘ra­tio­nal world.’” Said Ew­ert, “Ev­ery­thing I do refers to the nat­u­ral world and me in it.” Marcia Oliver came to New Mex­ico to paint in 1969 and has been work­ing and show­ing here for most of her life. “She is one of the most ex­tra­or­di­nary ab­stract artists,” Tor­res said. “Her work is like the sub­lime lan­guage of dream time. Marcia has pow­er­ful use of art and paint that talks to our sub­con­scious. “Hank Saxe is not only an im­por­tant ce­ramic artist him­self, but over the years he has fa­cil­i­tated many other artists, host­ing them to work in his Taos stu­dio and as­sist­ing them with tech­ni­cal as­pects of sculp­tural de­vel­op­ment. Hank has a very di­rect way of ma­nip­u­lat­ing the clay, and re­ally other-worldly ar­chi­tec­tural forms emerge. Jim Wag­ner, so well known as a pain­ter, has also been work­ing in Hank Saxe’s clay stu­dio for decades. Clay gives him that sur­face for his bril­liant color skills. Jim’s sub­ject matter can be so de­light­ful and whim­si­cal. We’re ex­cited to show him. Jim’s au­then­tic, play­ful use of ma­te­rial never fails to wow the au­di­ence.”

Tor­res traces her own clay work to early child­hood ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with mud­pies. “Grad­u­ally I worked my way up to fig­u­ra­tive sculp­ture. I find clay has a mem­ory of what it wants to be, and I’m like the hu­man guide to these forms. Some­times an­gels are just us­ing your hands.”

Her pro­foundly evoca­tive work in­deed seems to have a time­less, other-di­men­sional qual­ity, beau­ti­fully in­ter­weav­ing antlered deities with ex­alted hu­man forms and es­o­teric scripts.

“I think be­ing an artist is an hon­or­able curse,” she re­flected. “It’s our job to carry the torch in dark­ness, and that’s our in­ten­tion with this gallery. One of our goals is to start the Re­nais­sance 2020. We’re do­ing it with art because rev­o­lu­tions are too bloody. Taos has al­ways been a hot­bed for the arts and for equal­ity. I think we’re still fight­ing for that equal­ity.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, call (575) 779-7832.


GALLERY OWNER Maye Tor­res, taken New Year’s Eve 2017

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