Millicent Rogers Museum honors its namesake's prized connection with Taos Pueblo in an annual show and sale of works by invited artists from the village.
The sixth annual Taos Pueblo Artists Winter Showcase is Saturday and Sunday (March 10-11), 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., at Millicent Rogers Museum, 1504 Millicent Rogers Road, northwest of El Prado.
An opening reception is planned Friday (March 9), 5:30-7:30 p.m., to which the public is invited for free. Admission to the weekend showcase is free to Taos residents. Nonresidents are subject to regular admission.
Wintertime is traditionally when Taos Pueblo closes its doors to outside commerce, so this show allows visitors and locals to buy directly from many of the Native artists physically present during the weekend sale. Usually you have to travel from gallery to gallery at the Pueblo or all over Taos county, and typically the artists are in their studios hard at work, not on-hand to meet and greet visitors all in one place. So, this winter gathering is an eagerly anticipated showcase for both artists and buyers.
"We understand that during the annual winter closure these artists are impacted with no income," Kathleen Michaels, a Millicent Rogers Museum Program Manager and co-curator, said. "We also understand that there is an interest in people who are coming here. We're hoping for some sort of exchange with the Pueblo. So, with this one weekend, we are bringing over 20 artists from the Pueblo to you."
Paintings, sculpture, glass work, pottery, photography, fashion design, jewelry, drums, fry bread (while it lasts) and more will be featured during this two-day show and sale, with 21 of Taos Pueblo's finest artists present to talk about their work, their medium of choice and what influences have helped shape their work to date.
"We have established artists who have been recognized with awards from museums and art shows who are opening the doors for emerging artists who just need the chance to be discovered," Michaels said. "You will find that no matter how well-known these people are, they are down to earth and filled with stories to share about their inspiration for their creations."
In a press release, Michaels said it has been her "life's mission to promote the artistry and history of Taos Pueblo. Together with Ilona Spruce, tourism director of Taos Pueblo, we have been able to create a unique opportunity for the people of Taos Pueblo to form friendships and interest from the neighbors of Taos and abroad."
Famous Taos Pueblo sculptor John Suazo expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Spruce and Michaels for the pair's unstinting efforts to make this event a success for Taos Pueblo artists.
"Kathleen and Taos Pueblo Tourism have done an excellent job promoting the artists of Taos Pueblo," Suazo said in an interview last weekend. "I think these are some of the finest artists you'll find represented right here in your own backyard. You don't have to go to Santa Fe or Arizona to see this."
Now in his 43rd year of sculpting, Suazo said he'll be showcasing a variety of items, from little and middle-sized pieces, "a few four-footers," etchings and engravings on flat panel stones.
"I love doing these engravings of Taos Mountain with the Pueblo down below and the Buffalo Pasture. Taos Mountain has always been my favorite subject." Suazo is also carving monuments with animals and various illustrated stories, depending on what customers want. Bring him an idea and see how he can celebrate it in stone.
Painter, illustrator and author Jonathan Warm Day Coming said he's excited for the show, sharing work with buyers and his coup of being named one of the 20 "Invited Artists" whose art banner was chosen to hang in Taos Plaza through the year. The name of the banner image is "The Dream I Had." Warm Day Coming is bringing small original paintings, gicelée prints and cards to the Millicent Rogers showcase.
Michaels will present her wall art, inspired from the fabrics she hand paints. She is taking her "fabric painting to the next level of interior design," she said. On Sunday at 1 p.m., you can catch up with her during a gallery talk.
"Don't forget," she reminds us, so we don't miss her gallery talk. "It's daylight saving time, so the clock moves forward on Sunday."
Other invited showcase artists include: glass artist Ira Lujan; India ink on clay board artist Jocelyn Martinez, who is also the 2014 poster-award winner for Taos Historic Museums; micaceous pottery artist Dawning Pollen Shorty; traditional drum maker Luis Romero; jeweler Jacqueline Gala; Ryan Suazo, Patrick Trujillo, Suann Davin and many more traditional and contemporary artists.
Michaels notes that because Taos Pueblo tourism personnel must volunteer their time assisting in behind-the-scenes details of such an undertaking, it is hoped they will consider working in a museum environment. "It gives the younger generation an opportunity to become inspired with this and also for them to gain a referral for their portfolios for future prospects."
In partnership with Taos Mountain Casino, the opening reception is free to all.
For more information, call (575) 758-2462 or visit millicentrogers.org.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The print edition of this story misidentified MRM Program Manager Kathleen Michaels. The error has been corrected in this version.