After a year's hiatus, the 46th Annual Taos Fall Arts Festival returns in 2021, Sept. 24-Oct. 3. The Taos Fall Arts Open exhibition will take place in the Guadalupe Parish Gym, 205 Don Fernando Street, a block west of the Taos Plaza. 

The festival will reprise the 2020 theme Return to the Earth, Sky, Water /  Regresso a la Tierra, Agua, Cielo, chosen in 2020 by the Taos arts consortium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the return of Blue Lake to Taos Pueblo and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The exhibition is open to all artists residing in Taos or exhibiting work in a Taos art gallery. The exhibition is open, unjuried and accepts all media. Artist submissions are in person on Friday, Sept. 17, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. See for details.

Again this year the Fall Arts Festival celebrates the artistic achievements of some extraordinary artists with recognition and monetary awards. These include awards for the poster artist, lifetime achievement, visionary artists and Kids Give Back.

The poster for 2020/2021 was created by Jonathan Warm Day Coming of Taos Pueblo. His painting, A Place of Stories, depicts a night scene at Taos Pueblo that clearly speaks to the theme, as well as the spirit of the pueblo and its people. Warm Day Coming says he is a self-taught artist introduced to the arts through his mother, Eva Marabal, an accomplished artist and illustrator in her own right. Warm Day Coming remains a resident of Taos Pueblo and was lucky to have grown up when aspects of traditional life were still in practice. His paintings tell stories bringing the Taos Pueblo life and culture alive with skill, rich color and sensitivity. His work is widely collected, and in addition to painting, Warm Day Coming has written and illustrated several books. 

The recipient of the Charles R. Strong Lifetime Achievement Award this year is the sculptor John Suazo, also of Taos Pueblo. A spiritual man, Suazo says, “I believe all things possess life and spirits that communicate, even stone that has witnessed so many things in its lifetime from its beginning to transformations brought about by wind and rain...” A lot of his work also involves stories that he heard from his grandparents and elders. He believes that there is a spiritual quality to Native work that makes people want to connect with it.  A former student of  Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allan Houser, Suazo works in a variety of stones. His work is exhibited in galleries and museums across the country and internationally.

The Martin Foundation for the Arts 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: 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.

The first 2021 Visionary Award recipient is Agnes Chavez. She is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and founder of the STEMarts Lab whose work integrates art, science and technology as tools for social and environmental change. She uses data visualization, light and sound to create immersive and educational sci-art experiences that seek balance between nature and technology. Chavez collaborates with scientists to raise awareness to the importance of scientific literacy to understand the world around us and become informed global citizens. In 2019, she completed Fluidic Data, a collaborative permanent installation at CERN, Geneva, which visualizes data from the Large Hadron Collider. Chavez works with Copolyester, fiber optics, projector, Openframework code and microalgae. She will exhibit a large, immersive installation in this year's festival.

DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo is also a recipient of the 2021 Visionary Award. She says her “work is inspired by the cultural traditions of my Pueblo and Navajo heritage. I paint and draw what I've seen growing up around Taos Pueblo and the Navajo Nation. I incorporate a mixture of styles into each piece I create. . . I use my art to inform my audience about Indigenous resilience.”  Suazo was born and raised in Taos. She attends the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and her work has been exhibited across New Mexico and other prestigious national venues. This year, Suazo was nominated as a SITE Santa Fe Scholar.

The Kids Give Back award recognizes the next generation of artists and their mentors. An early recipient of the 2021 award was given to the Harwood Museum of Art for an installation of origami cranes created by the kids

under the mentorship of Taos artist Izumi Yokohama.

Awards for Best of Show and Honorable Mentions, chosen by juror Albert Handell will be given at the opening reception, Friday, Sept. 24. For a period of 15 years, 1960-1975, Albert Handell’s pastels were included in every book published on pastels in the U.S.A. In 1987 The Pastel Society of America  elected him into the Pastel Hall of Fame, making him one of three living artists so honored. The pastels of Albert Handell enjoy an international reputation. He is known nationwide and abroad for his painting workshops.

This year there are also a number of performances and satellite shows.



Guadalupe Parish Gymnasium,  

205 Don Fernando Street, Taos

Taos Fall Arts Festival

Opening Reception and awards presentation for Best of Show and Honorable Mentions with Christine Autumn performing

Sept. 24, 5-8 p.m. 

John Suazo,

Charles A. Strong Lifetime Achievement Award,

artist talk 

Sept. 25, 1 p.m. 

Jonathan Warm Day

Coming 2020/2021 TFAF Poster Artist, artist talk 

Sept. 26, 1 p.m.

Watercolor Society


Oct. 2, 10 a.m.-12 noon

Group photo

of participating artists

Oct. 3, 5 p.m.

Taos Chamber Music Group 29th Season Opening Concert 

Taos Community Auditorium

133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos

Sunday, Sept. 26, 5 pm

Glam Trash fashion show

Taos Plaza  |  Oct. 2, 4pm-6pm

Must-see TFAF Satellite Events


“I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it,” said Mary Ellen Mark, and she was not alone among photographers in preferring to work in those two basic outcasts of the color spectrum. Ansel Adams, Elliot Erwitt, Robert Frank, and Martin Parr were others who found in black and white (and the almost infinite range of grays in between) the most powerful means of expressing their individual visions.

Photographers were not the only artists to prefer a reduced palette. Henri Matisse called black “the queen of all colors.” Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline made his name with canvases composed exclusively of slashing black brushwork against a white ground. In 2017, curators at the National Gallery in London assembled more than 50 painted objects for a show dedicated to artists working in black and white over a 700-year span of time. As they noted, “Painters reduce their color palette for many reasons, but mainly as a way of focusing the viewer’s attention on a particular subject, concept or technique. It can be very freeing—without the complexities of working in color, you can experiment with form, texture, mark making, and symbolic meaning.”

The seven artists participating in “BLACK & WHITE” all have disparate reasons for working with those “hues,” which physicists do not count as colors at all because they do not have specific wavelengths. Printmaker Jane Ellen Burke calls black and white “elemental, the starting point of learning that helps the eye discern shapes and lines and dimensions without the distraction of color.” Melissa Kennelly says of her drawings in the show that “shades of gray create emotional movement in me and in my work. The simple act of moving bits of charcoal across soft white paper is a pipeline to complex emotion.” Photographer Kathleen Brennan, who started her career 50 years ago in black and white, says the recent prints feel like “coming full circle.” And painter Brian Shields notes that working in black and white offers “serendipity without embellishments.”

All the artists in “BLACK & WHITE” turn to traditional mediums — painting, printmaking, drawing, and photography — but Larry Bell, long affiliated with the California Light and Space Movement, uses the process he pioneered for his iconic cube sculptures of the 1960s to the present to create “vapor drawings” through similar means, exposing sheets of rag paper to electrical currents inside a vacuum chamber. Lesser known are his bronze sculptures based on gestural figurative drawings—the only vaguely representational works in Bell’s oeuvre.

Says the show’s organizer about the artists selected for the intimate space of her Reed Street Studio E,

TJ Mabrey: “Each had an interesting, individual take on the possibilities of black and white, all are based in Taos, and the studio offers the perfect environment for an informal dialogue among the different artists. Larry Bell adds, “See them in their studios. That’s where you’ll see their best work.”

Studio E, 1022 Reed Street, Taos

Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept. 25, 4-7 p.m. 

Open daily: Sept. 25-26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Open daily Sept. 25 – Oct. 3,  1-4pm


A group exhibit by 11 well-established Taos artists, “Outside the Lines” will again be hosted as a Satellite Show of the Taos Fall Arts Festival 2021, Sept. 24 – Oct. 3 at Bareiss Gallery.

The group, known as the Curious Artists, evolved when art seminars at UNM-Taos ended, and the participating artists continued meeting informally to discuss art history, current art events, and techniques; to share new ideas and new work with the other artists; and to receive feedback in a non-judgmental form of critique learned in the seminars. This social interaction and communication was a nurturing stimulant to their curiosity and creativity and has continued.

The participating artists are Jane Ellen Burke, Dora Dillistone, Jan Dorris, Donna Dufresne, Dianne Frost, TJ Mabrey, Marcia Oliver, Robert Parker, Brian Shields, Jameson Wells, and Barbara Zaring.

“Outside the Lines” will open Sept. 24, 4-6 p.m. and remain open each day, 1-5 p.m., through Oct. 3.

Bareiss Gallery

15 Route 150, Taos Ski Valley Rd., El Prado


Nicki Marx Gallery

Open daily: Sept. 25-Oct. 3, Noon-4 p.m.

204 Paseo Del Cañon E, Taos

203 Fine Arts

Ronald Davis (b.1937)

Seven Decades: featuring work

from the 1960s to the present. 

Opening reception: Sept. 25, 4-6 p.m.

Open daily: Sept. 25-Oct. 3, Noon-4 p.m.

1335 Gusdorf Suite i, Taos

Kim Henkel


Open daily: Sept. 25-Oct. 3, Noon-4 p.m.

1335 Gusdorf Suite H, Taos

Sylvie Mayer

and Hazel Elsbach

Painting, Printmaking and Drawings

Open daily: Sept. 25-Oct. 3, 1-4 p.m. 

1337 Gusdorf, Suite K, Taos

Taos Ceramics Center Gallery

The paintings of Marcia Oliver and

ceramic sculpture of Serit Kotowski. 

Artists reception: Sept. 25, 4-6 p.m.

Open daily: Sept. 25-Oct 3, Noon-4 p.m.

114 Este Es Road, Taos 

Julie Lake

Sculpture & Jewelry

Open: Sept. 25-26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

204 Bendix Dr, Suite F, Taos

Eugene Stewart-Huidobro


Open: Sept. 25-6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

1210 Salazar Rd, Suite G, Taos

Pressing On X:

Hanging On A Line

at Stables art gallery

New work by 22 printmakers

Opening reception: Sept. 24, 4-7 p.m. 

Open daily: Sept. 24-Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos


Chimayo Trading Del Norte

Representing the historical classics

and the best contemporary artists.

Open daily Sept. 25-Oct, 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

#1 St. Francis Church Plaza,

Ranchos de Taos

RB Ravens Gallery

Pre-1930 American Indian,

Navajo Textiles, Southwest

Painting and Contemporary Art

Open daily: Sept. 25 – Oct. 3, 10-5pm

1446 Camino del Pueblo Sur,

Ranchos de Taos



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