An open letter: To the community from Taos Artist Organization

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Dear Taoseños, near and far:

One of the highlights of the Fall Arts season in Northern New Mexico is the Taos Artist Organization Labor Day Studio Tour. Now entering its 10th season, TAO wishes to thank the community, residents, tourists, and business owners for your outstanding support of local artists in this year’s studio tour. A preview gallery was hung at the Sagebrush Inn and the tour itself was open for the three days of Labor Day weekend.

It’s been a decade now since Taos Artist Organization began, and we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Town of Taos, Taos County, The Taos News and our wonderful sponsors and many visitors to our annual Labor Day Studio Tour. While total visitors counts are difficult to track, we know that the peak number of visitors to a studio this year was nearly 190, our highest patronage so far. We had visitors from 24 states and several foreign patrons in addition to New Mexico. Art sales significantly exceeded expectations, owing in no small part to the generosity and loyalty of Taoseños, near and far.

This year’s tour featured emerging and established artists from various techniques, including: Lynn FitzGerald (pottery), Peggy Griffey (fused glass), Mari Hawkes (pottery, raku & garden art), Kathryn Hayden and Jeremy G. Landau and (photography), Yavanne Jaramillo (furniture), Dennis and Sylvia Luftig (raku & ceramic sculpture), and Eve Messick (encaustics), Scott Messick (fused glass), and Laura Quilligan (fiber arts). Mixed-media artists included Jan Dorris, Lynda Jasper-Vogel, Danielle Kennedy, Caren Lorber, Nicki Marx, and Barbara Moncivais Sager.

Painters included Mark Asmus, Bill Baron, Katherine Bensusen, Jeanine Borree, Bob Cooley, Jane Dunlap, Donna Gorski, Mary Beth Hill, Inger Jirby, Live Johnson, Lydia Johnston, Ron Larimore, Abril Mondragon, Linda Rauch, Anita Rodriguez, Margaret Tange, Dennis and Karen Tasa, Maureen Tibbs, Don Wallis, Krysteen Waszak, and a memorial studio for Janet Price.

The tour is made possible in part by our wonderful financial and in-kind donors: New Mexico Arts and the Taos Arts Council as well as Ace Rio Grande Hardware, Centinel Bank, Casa Gallina, Cid’s Food Market, Creative Framing, El Monte Sagrado/Taos Mountain Gallery, Five Star Burgers, Inger Jirby Galleries, Knight Financial, King Mortgage, Lions Club, Martyrs Steakhouse, Mondo Italiano, Peoples Bank, Premiere Properties, Sagebrush Inn, Taos Inn, Taos Lifestyle, Trading Post Cafe & Gallery, Wolfgang’s Spa Works.

TAO sprang from an idea by visual artists Bren Price (still a member of TAO), John Staple and David Vedoe in the summer of 2007. They envisioned a movement that saw artists supporting artists which led to the crafting of our enduring mission: “To create a forum for visual artists and the greater community to work together to inspire and promote one another.” The first tour was held in 2008.

Thanks to all our tour artists and member artists, this year’s tour was a great success for our artists and community. We hope to see you at next year’s tour.

Miriam Foranda, president of Taos Artist Organization, wrote this on the organization’s behalf.

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