There are only a handful of historic properties left in town that express the art, culture, history and creative passion of Taos like the home of artist Ernest Blumenschein, one of …
There are only a handful of historic properties left in town that express the art, culture, history and creative passion of Taos like the home of artist Ernest Blumenschein, one of the co-founders of the Taos Society of Artists. He brought his family to the area in 1919 and continued to live at 222 Ledoux Street for over 40 years.
The Taos Historic Museum organization maintains the space today as a museum and gallery to reflect the life and times of the artist, and an impressive collection of the Blumenschein family's art. There is a special opportunity right now to tour the home and take in an exhibit featuring local artists George Schaub, Frederick Aragon and Lydia Johnston. The show, "Three Visions," is as eclectic in artistic viewpoint as Blumenschein himself and the TSA, and will be on view until July 26.
According to Rob Nightingale, Taos Historic Museum volunteer and artist-owner of Wilder Nightingale Fine Art at 119 Kit Carson Road, the response to the exhibit's opening night on June 22 was exciting. People commented they "liked the complementary styles of each artist. The art did not fight against one another." He added, "Some attendees had never been to the Blumenschein. Not only did they love the show, they loved the home and museum and were thrilled about this discovery. That was one of my goals, and I am happy that it was a success in that regard, not to mention some sales, which not only benefit the artists but also benefit the museum."
Nightingale said the theme of the show was intended to "introduce artworks with a creative contemporary edge to a museum steeped in traditional Taos landscape."
The Blumenschein House as a venue for this show made sense, he continued, because "they are creating something different in a small museum and getting people in the museum interested in contemporary modern abstract styles and introducing them to the history of one of the Taos Society of Artists."
Photographer Schaub has been in Taos for decades. In his artist statement, Schaub said he has "always been thrilled by the color, texture and designs of the area. I use photography to record places that strike a chord, and as a starting point for further visual exploration."
About his new work the artist said, "My recent work, spanning the last five years, is creating abstractions of images using crafts I have practiced for many years - hand-coloring using alternative photographic processes, linocuts and pastel, pencil and charcoal drawing. As I work, I explore composition and shape to find a representation that speaks not to what 'is' but to what, in my mind, lies within. The goal is to discover an essential visual experience and sense of place that express the various icons and apparitions that are, to me, so prevalent in this area."
Aragon is a multitalented designer, illustrator, animator, filmmaker, musician, songwriter and actor. He was awarded a grant from the 2008 State of New Mexico Governor's Cup National Geographic All Roads Film Project for an animated film based on one of his original songs, "Mystery's Night." In 2009 he received the State of New Mexico New Vision Award for a film based on his song, "Dark Is My Light. Aragon also co-starred in the film "Taos: The Movie."
According to the event press release, Aragon "sees the world as ripe for interpretation -- and believes that nowhere on earth is more beautiful than the American Southwest." As a painter Aragon, derives inspiration from "its cultures, landscape, and history."
Johnston's oil paintings "creates a sense of place without providing all the details, drawing you back to find something new." In her artist statement she noted, "I am an oil painter living and working in Northern New Mexico. My paintings are full of vibrant colors. When you look at one of my paintings, I want you to sink into it and be transported. My work is moving toward abstraction. I create a sense of place without providing all the details, drawing you back to find something new. I want my paintings to have a mystery, to allude to the familiar while remaining ambiguous. By hinting at things, I hope to trigger your imagination, allowing you to connect profoundly."
The Blumenschein House is open daily except Wednesday and Thursday. Admission is $8; $7 seniors; $4 youth 15-5 years. For more information, call (575) 758-0505.
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