Arts

Heritage Fine Arts opens with 'Gratitude'

Gallery presents a taste of old and new of the historic Taos art community

By Virginia L. Clark
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 4/16/19

There's a new kid on the block, albeit an art lover and rather famous music writer and producer who's been in and around Taos for nearly 40 years. Tree Menane is the name and the …

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Arts

Heritage Fine Arts opens with 'Gratitude'

Gallery presents a taste of old and new of the historic Taos art community

Posted

There's a new kid on the block, albeit an art lover and rather famous music writer and producer who's been in and around Taos for nearly 40 years. Tree Menane is the name and the new gallery he's opening is Heritage Fine Arts, located in the former Total Arts Gallery space at 122 Kit Carson Road.

"Fine art and more" is one of the ways Menane describes his gallery. "We are one of Taos' foremost Western art galleries representing acclaimed traditional and contemporary Western and Native American artists." Formerly, Menane ran the Seldom Creek Ranch Gallery on Camino de la Placitas.

The grand opening reception for Heritage Fine Arts is Friday (April 19) from 5 to 7 p.m. This opening show is a spring invitational of artists' works created on the theme of "Gratitude," an apt concept he feels, because it's Easter Saturday and he thinks there's plenty to be grateful for, "just don't listen to the news anymore," he says, half joking.

Thirty-five great artists

"There's the exciting work of Robin Lieske and the popular Taos landscapes of Tatiana Koch," Menane points out, adding that throughout the gallery are displayed the pottery of Mary Witkop and the stunning bronzes of Navajo sculptor Peter Teller.

"We'll be featuring 35 great artists from our gallery and around the country in this show," he said, including the stable of artists he's featured for almost four years at Seldom Creek Ranch, like painters Malcom Furlow, Anderson Kee, Tim Nevaquaya, Virgil Stephens and Buck Taylor, among others.

In the past year or two, Menane has added more artists, like the very popular Chuck Roach, and Bill Baron - award-winning Taos painter and longtime op-ed caricature artist for The Taos News.

"I just sent some of Bill [Baron's] mini works off to Los Angeles and London - they sold before I could even get them up on the wall," Menane said of the miniatures section in the gallery he was hanging during the first week of April, in preparation for the Heritage Fine Arts grand opening.

"I like it when people buy the stuff I like - and, of course, the pieces I would have taken home - they're sold," he added with a rueful grin.

Many people know of Menane's music career collaboration with Academy Award-winning songwriter/producer Mentor Williams, the brother of songwriter Paul Williams. Mentor Williams moved to Taos and lived with country music singer Lynn Anderson until her death in 2015. Menane considered Williams a "brother," because they were so close. Menane first happened upon Taos in the early '80s on a visit traveling from an early home he built in Sugar Loaf, Colorado; and whereupon he bought one of his first pieces of Taos collectibles from Tally Richards Gallery, formerly located on Ledoux Street, off the southwest corner of Taos Plaza.

"I finally moved down here to find out why I kept coming back here," Menane says about making Taos his home. After 40 years "writing, picking, performing and producing," Menane is now CEO of DoubleCheck Music and is busy creating and producing new work of his own and that of new artists. All of which brings a little hit of rock 'n' roll to his traditional and contemporary Western art involvements.

By summer Heritage Fine Arts will have an "Artisans Garden" in the former sculpture garden of the Total Arts Gallery, part of the historic, adobe-walled Wengert Patio flanking the gallery's portal.

"We're just working on the Artisans Garden right now. Where there used to be a sculpture garden, we'll have different art demonstrations, flute-making and playing, when the weather permits," he said, adding that silversmith Mike Silberhorn is planning on doing silverwork demos. Portrait artist Mary Carol will bring her big blue macaw parrot and do pet and people portraits in the garden as well.

Avid collector

At Seldom Creek Ranch, Menane presented a wide assortment of "very reasonably priced, aftermarket, truly collectible pieces" by Earl Biss, RC Gorman, Frank Howell, Amado Pena, Charles Collins, William Acheff, Ed Morgan, Thom Wheeler, Dennis Haggerty, Ray Vinella, Veloy Vigil, John Steele and many, many others.

Menane says he was a pretty avid collector of traditional and contemporary Western and Native American fine art in the decades preceding at his ranch location (which he just closed March 31). So many collectors have already heard about the move "off the ranch and into town," however, they've been calling Menane and asking if it's true. So, yes, the collectors' grapevine intel on the new digs is correct.

"This 'Gratitude' show will be up through Sunday, May 5," Menane said. "That's Cinco de Mayo! Anyway, we're planning another show in July or August, it depends on what all is going on in the county. Like, for Michael Hearne's Big Barn Dance we always do something special, like wine, food, music - we jump into the county's events with both feet."

At press time they were up to their elbows in painting and hanging the new gallery to be ready for the grand opening on Saturday. For more information, visit heritagefineartstaos.com or call (575) 751-7348.

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