Art

Artist celebrates 'Being Here'

Victoria Ryan's inaugural show at Jones Walker Gallery is called her 'love letter' to Taos

Tempo staff
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 10/23/19

Artist Victoria Ryan may have started out in California, but her creative heart seems to have settled in New Mexico. To prove the point, her exhibition that opens this week in Taos is titled, 'Being Here."

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Art

Artist celebrates 'Being Here'

Victoria Ryan's inaugural show at Jones Walker Gallery is called her 'love letter' to Taos

Posted

Artist Victoria Ryan may have started out in California, but her creative heart seems to have settled in New Mexico. To prove the point, her exhibition that opens this week in Taos is titled, 'Being Here."

The show, which opens with a reception Friday (Oct. 25), 5-8 p.m., at Jones Walker of Taos art gallery, is "the culmination of my first several years living and painting in Taos. I moved here from the north coast of California in early 2016 after spending my entire life living all over that state. These few years in New Mexico have had a deep impact on my life, physically, creatively, emotionally and spiritually. I have taken my time connecting with this place and with my own response to it as a painter, and am proud to present this body of work at Jones Walker."

Ryan said in an announcement that the work she will be showing is from "a continuum starting in late 2017. Landscape has always been my jumping-off point and while my paintings always speak to nature, it is the interplay with emotional and spiritual concepts that drives me."

She adds that living in Taos and "exploring within the sometimes sweet, sometimes dark but always complex and interesting confines of this place has lent itself to this unfolding."

Like many artists not native to the area who began settling here since the early 20th century, Ryan said she is intrigued by "the light, the unrefined landscape, the specific color palette, the particular personality - [all have] led me to a newly evolved visual vocabulary."

Beyond the purely visual, Ryan also appears to have been positively affected by personal experiences which have added to her growing affection for Taos. "Profound life experiences have added to the mix as I confined myself to just paint for the past few years before introducing my work here," she writes. "These paintings and works on paper are about life, love and relationships. They are a chronicle of loss, joy, change, friendship, male and female energy and possibility. They are also a love letter to this town, this area and this state."

Ryan's oil-on-canvas paintings began with "walks with my brother in town and images from my own property. Later pieces are about hikes with friends and connecting with this landscape that is so disparate from anywhere I had lived before. Themes of connection emerged. I have worked in soft pastel for 40 years and had set them aside for a good while. Returning to them for these series of works has been incredible as the dryness of the medium and the richness of the pigments mirror this place. Animalistic images emerged from the land pieces, which pleased me greatly. Finally, looking up, I began the cloudscapes which are about life and love and all that is. I step into these bodies of work simultaneously now, like a dance of inward, outward and upward."

Ryan has a degree in painting and drawing from California State University at Long Beach in 1982. She said she has been exhibiting her work since then. It can be seen in many private and corporate collections including the Mayo Clinic and UCSD Medical Center. She has also received numerous awards such as from the Pastel Journal's Pastel 100 and The Humboldt Arts Council.

"Being Here" will be on view through November.

Jones Walker of Taos is located at 127 Bent Street in Taos. Call the venue at (575) 758-7965 or visit joneswalkeroftaos.com. For more information on the artist, visit victoriaryan.com.

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