Designer Patricia Michaels to kick off free summer artist presentation series


The Couse-Sharp Historic Site's inaugural First Saturday Open House is planned Saturday (June 2) from 3-5 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., Taos Pueblo designer Patricia Michaels will present a talk and brief fashion show next to the site's Luna Chapel at 146 Kit Carson Road.

Models will show some of Michaels' fashion work, and she will speak about her design process and inspirations, including the Taos Society of Artists, according to a Couse-Sharp Historic Site press release from program manager Regina Scherffius.

"Gazing as a child at the paintings of the Taos Society of Artists expanded my worldview and inspired a higher range of appreciation for art and my Native heritage," Michaels said in a prepared statement.

During the open house, Scherffius writes, visitors can tour the studios of E.I. Couse and J.H. Sharp, two of the founders of the TSA, and enjoy a stroll through Virginia Couse's historic garden. Docents will be present in every room providing in-depth knowledge of the E. I. Couse home and studio, the Kibbey Couse laboratory and machine shop, and the exhibition "J.H. Sharp: The Life and Work of an American Legend" in the recently restored 1915 Sharp Studio.

Michaels is one of more than a dozen Taos Pueblo artists who will be featured in the upcoming exhibition "Full Circle: Taos Pueblo Contemporary," which opens in the Luna Chapel July 7. Each of the site's First Saturday events will host a demonstration by one of the artists.

For example, Ira Lujan will demonstrate his glass blowing technique July 7. Other artists planning to exhibit include jewelers Cassandra and Michael Dukepoo, Ken Romero, Maria Samora and Sonny Spruce, photographer Debbie Lujan, painters Jocelyn Martinez and Jonathan Warm Day Coming, potters Yellowbird Samora and Angie Yazzie, sculptors Dawning Pollen Shorty and John Suazo, and mixed media painter Ryan Suazo.

All First Saturday events at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site are free to the public; donations welcome. Entrance to the site is at 146 Kit Carson Road. Parking is free in the municipal lot about a half block east of the site on Kit Carson Road. Because of the site's nature as a place of historic preservation, the buildings and grounds are not handicap accessible.

The Couse-Sharp Historic Site reflects the original goals of the Taos Society of Artists and continues to promote their mission. The site includes the home and studio of E.I. Couse, the garden designed by his wife, Virginia, the workshops of his son, Kibbey, and the two studios of his neighbor and fellow artist, J. H. Sharp. Couse's studio and darkroom are maintained in a state very close to how he left them upon his death in 1936.

The site also brings to light the contributions of the models from Taos Pueblo and other indigenous groups who sat for their paintings as well as the Native artists whose work was collected and used by both artists.

For more information, call (575) 751-0369 or email