The Taos Fall Arts Festival Committee has announced the winners of the Peter and Madeleine Martin Foundation for the Creative Arts Visionary Artist awards.
They are Taos artists Sarah Hart and Siena Sanderson.
“The Visionary Artist award is an affirmation for actively working and exhibiting artists who contribute to and invigorate the growth of the living art community in Taos,” a TFAF statement reads. They are described as “artists whose works innovate, challenge, and bridge the boundary between the traditional and the cutting-edge. In creating their own paradigms, they bring generations together through inventiveness and originality combined with respect for the roots of this historic art colony.”
Owner of Hart Print Shop and co-owner of Ennui Gallery on Bent Street, Hart came to Taos from Chicago to open a print shop after the passing of her boyfriend and mentor, K.J. Hart’s mother is credited with her introduction to many art mediums as a child, including linoleum block, an early inspiration for her printmaking, the TFAF statement continues.
“In these times of instant gratification,” Hart states in the announcement, “I find it important to savor and revel in the process of making art. My work examines a balance between the technical discipline of printmaking, and the unaffected imagination and creativity that I believe makes art approachable and sincere.”
Taos has offered Hart an unconventional entry point to her art career: event posters. “By presenting both information and imagery, her posters create unique, intimate moments with viewers,” the TFAF announcement states. Hart’s “distinctive artistic and printing styles have created hundreds of posters for live shows in and around Taos, nonprofits, bands, schools and businesses. Hart Print Shop has become a mainstay in the Taos community. Typically printed on the inside of old beer boxes, Hart’s posters have become coveted local collectibles over the years – many Taoseños boast extensive private Hart poster collections, grabbed from the bulletin board at Cid’s or the windows at the World Cup.”
Sanderson is a “family navigator” for Las Cumbres Community Services. Originally from Florida, she arrived in Taos as a Wurlitzer fellow in 1983. Her earliest inspiration was her father’s garden, which has informed her artwork and life’s work. She lives in Arroyo Seco with her husband, Mark Goldman, where they raised their son, Ian.
Sanderson has been working with children and creating art in Taos for more than 30 years. She brought art directly to Taos neighborhoods with her creation of the Neighborhood Arts Project. This program developed into SmArt House, an after-school program now run through Youth Heartline. She was part of the ongoing SEED exhibits that designed a children’s educational component, teaching the science of seeds alongside artwork inspired by the images of seeds.
“Through her work with Las Cumbres Community Services, Sanderson provides services to Taos families and their children, including the Nurturing Center at Enos Garcia and the Juvenile and Adult Detention Centers,” the TFAF statement continues. “During the past year she has worked with the Juvenile Detention Center staff to create a garden and her hope is to bring art to the Detention Center residents. She feels the urgency of supporting the children in our community and believes the arts are key to providing an opportunity for our youth to express their feelings.”
The Creative Arts Visionary Artist honorees will be recognized at the 2017 “Taos Open” exhibition opening reception and award ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Gymnasium, 205 Don Fernando St. For more information on this year’s Taos Fall Arts Festival, visit taosfallarts.com.