Artaos: A contemporary gallery on the move

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Forget the old guard and how it "used to be," there's a new kind of Taos artist on the block and they're shaking up the industry, one brush stroke at a time.

After nearly two years on the scene, Artaos owners Jason Rodriguez and Aya Trevino are challenging the status quo of arts in town and delivering art in ways unique to the Taos area. Promoting Southwestern art, not as landscape photos or coyotes in the distance but in more contemporary mediums, Rodriguez and Trevino are trying to bring together local Taos artists to deliver a new model of art gallery that helps the community as well as the artists within.

"(We're) trying to build a sustainable environment that supports everybody, not just the artists," Rodriguez said.

Artaos has recently been seen around town in their mobile art gallery, MAG, bringing their content to people at events rather than waiting in the studio for people to filter through. Their latest major idea is to pair up with El Camino Lodge on Paseo del Pueblo Sur and run a weekly, locally owned and operated art market with the empty space in the hotel's parking lot. The venture, if approved by town officials, would bring in a potential of 28 artists for the spaces available to the market. While the project is yet in its beginning phases, Rodriguez and Trevino said they are looking for community members to rally behind them and bring the idea to town officials.

According to Rodriguez, there are less than 10 major art festivals annually in Taos and many feature artists or owners outside of Taos. The new art market idea would centralize artists south of the plaza and give travelers and locals a chance to explore other talents in town. While discussing the idea, Rodriguez and Trevino spoke about the benefits to local business that the art market would have, including foot traffic to the hotel as well other businesses in the area.

"We want to see the underrepresented artists here in Taos County thrive," said Trevino.

While Artaos' founders seek support for the art market, they have several ways they are connecting with the community and local schools. Working hand in hand with the Taos Integrated School for the Arts, Artaos put up an augmented reality mural at Ziggy's Frozen Yogurt. The mural combines art stills with visual media to create motion effects with a smartphone app. In addition, Artaos will be printing on-demand shirts for the 3rd annual StarTribe: Uniting of the Tribes event this weekend at Taos Mesa Brewing where they will be printing a variety of over 20 designs for customers at the event.

"There's no business like Artaos in town," Rodriguez said.

The duo have been spreading the Artaos name around the state and are continuing with their MAG to showcase artists and bring art to the community. More information on their art market will follow as it is available, but in the meantime Artaos can be reached at www.ARTAOS.com, on Facebook or by phone at (505) 316-0237. For more information or to assist the group in their efforts, contact them or visit their events around town.

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