Art briefs


 Local featured in feminist exhibit

A recreation of a sculpture by local artist Sandra Orgel Crooker is part of a  museum’s exhibit about ground-breaking feminist artists. Crooker’s “Linen Closet” is included in the “Claiming Space: Some American Feminist Originators” exhibit at the American University Museum in the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, D.C., which runs until Jan. 27.

The show focuses on 19 founders of the Feminist Art Movement in America, highlighting their innovative large-scale pieces of the 1970s. For these artists, claiming physical space was an empowering act, according to a press release. Reversing stereotypes about women’s work, they made objects that were large and politically confrontational. The show’s focus thus reiterates the original feminist initiative to claim space for women in the arts and society.

Crooker was 19 when she entered the Feminist Art Program at Cal Arts in 1971. “What has served me over the years is the confidence and competence I developed by learning basic carpentry, plumbing and electrical skills,” she said in a written statement. “I learned a joy and ease of using my hands. For the major part of my adult life, my artwork has focused on painting and sculpting images of woman transforming and how I see ourselves as non-physical beings.”

Crooker said the image of the Linen Closet is still meaningful today because “we are all emerging and transforming consciously.”

Slab-built masks

Open Space Gallery is spotlighting the work of Gyana Pendelton, its Artist of the Month for November, with a reception, Saturday (Nov. 24), from 5-8 p.m.

Pendelton’s pottery work began in California and has grown from primarily functional pieces in earth-tone colors and textures to the sculptural pieces she is now producing in Taos. She will be exhibiting slab-built masks, which are pit-fired in the traditional American Indian way, producing what she describes as black and gray “smoke-clouds,” decorated with found objects. Functional stoneware pottery will also be on exhibit, reflecting the same elements that inspire her masks.

Open Space is located at 103-B East Taos Plaza, underneath Ogelvies. For information, call (575) 758-1217.

New spirit

See new works by Ouray Meyers and Carlos Sandoval at a reception Saturday (Nov. 24), 3-6 p.m., at Spirit Runner Gallery, 303 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For information, call (575) 758-1132.

Vendors for Taos Pueblo fair

The Taos Pueblo Professional Development Team is seeking vendors for its holiday arts and craft sale, Saturday (Dec. 8), from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Taos Pueblo Community Center. Booth space is $40 and available by calling (575) 758-5819. Craft vendors must provide their own table and chair set-up for the 8-by-8-foot space. They are asked to donate an item for a benefit raffle. The application deadline is Dec. 7.

Art and poetry

Enjoy a cup of spicy hot wassail and welcome the winter season in the warmth of the New Mexico sunshine as painted by Santiago Chávez. Accompanied with poetry by his brother Ron Chávez, Santiago will host a reception Sunday (Nov. 25), 1-5 p.m. at his gallery at 103-F East Taos Plaza, underneath Ogelvies. Call (575) 758-3390.

Fechin painting resurfaces

Nicholai Fechin was in his pre-Taos period when he painted “The Wood Engraver,” which is set for the auction block. The selling pre-sale estimate for the portrait is $400,000 to $600,000, according to the John Moran Auctioneers’ Web site.

Fechin had just emigrated to the United Sates from Russia when the portrait, done of William G. Watt, a Pennsylvanian engraver and graphic artist, won the Thomas R. Proctor Award for Portraiture in the 1924 exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York. Three years later Fechin settled in Taos, and the painting remained in private hands for 60 years.

The John Moran Auctioneer’s will offer the work, which it claims is arguably one of Fechin’s masterworks, at a Feb. 19 event called “Important California and American Paintings Sale.” Bidding is available in person, by phone, absentee and on the Internet via eBay Live Auctions/Live Auctioneers. For more information, call (626) 793-1833 or visit


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