Artist Sarah Stolar became art department chair for the University of New Mexico-Taos in 2016. She has been focused on elevating the program to an art school level."Just because …
Artist Sarah Stolar became art department chair for the University of New Mexico-Taos in 2016. She has been focused on elevating the program to an art school level.
"Just because UNM-Taos is a two-year college, it doesn't mean we shouldn't have the same expectation that's on the level of any private art school," she said. "Taos has a deeply creative vibe, and the students are not just young, but lifetime learners as well. From our student artists, you see some highly polished, highly crafted work."
Art patrons can check out the caliber of work for themselves right in the heart of Taos' gallery district.
David Anthony Fine Art is hosting a UNM-Taos art show and fundraiser. The show is titled "12 x12 by 45," and it opens with a reception Saturday (March 24), 4-7 p.m., at 132 Kit Carson Road. The show, which hangs until April 14, is free of charge and open to the public.
The press announcement states that talented student artists will exhibit artwork in a variety of media, including paintings, prints, ceramics and small metal construction within the required size limits of 12-by-12-by-12 inches.
"Last fall, we held a first juried show with the art students here at DAFA," said David Mapes, owner of DAFA as the gallery is commonly known. "As a gallery owner, I was pretty astounded by the quality of the work and how much energy the students put into it. We had customers coming in from Colorado who were surprised to learn that it was a 'student' show. We sold work. It's exciting because you get to see emerging artists," he said.
This "12 x12 by 45" show is an open, first-come-first-serve show for the students.
Mapes is a furniture artist, and he made 45 wood panels that measure 12-by-12 inches; all have the same built-in hanger. All of the artwork is either applied to or permanently attached to the panel made of birch plywood.
"Plywood is good because it's more archival. It lasts better and is not likely to warp or crack. It's been around since the Ancient Egyptians. I made the edges as clear sugar pine," Mapes said.
All of the artist information will be on the back of the panels, so browsing art patrons will be given a printout with images. The works will hang in three rows of 15 each. This uniform display, 12-square-inch panels by 45 artists -- gave the show its name: "12 x 12 by 45."
"Shows like this are important because they give students a chance to see what it's like to work with a gallery and get representation," said Mapes.
Stolar said that last fall's juried show was limited to only 30 accepted applicants. "Part of being an artist, part of that process is getting rejected," she said.
For this open show, she wanted to provide another opportunity for students who didn't get accepted. "All of the work coming out of the UNM-Taos art department is very strong," she said.
Stolar explained why this art show is also a fundraiser. "The art department puts the money into a fund and we use that for various large purchases, such as a brand new kiln, print rollers for print-making equipment, solvents for painters and upkeep for the equipment in our beautiful metals studio for jewelry making."
In addition to students showing, Stolar has a piece in the show as does faculty member Kimberly Henkel (a professional artist). So, this is an opportunity to buy professional artwork at the set $250 price. "We do it for the good of the department," Stolar said.
Heather Bergerson is the UNM-Taos work-study student serving as exhibition coordinator for this event. "I have this opportunity to learn about writing press releases and gathering contacts for everyone involved. I get the group together to talk about the event we're planning. I'm the 'go-to' person if they need help with anything," said Bergerson, a nontraditional art student who is also a working mother.
Bergerson is participating in the show. On her panel, she has an oil painting with a piece of ceramic. She is an interdisciplinary student and is experimenting with different forms of media. "The students are really involved. We have a lot of wonderful artists participating. I'm really excited; it's going to be a very cool show," Bergerson said.
For more information, call (575) 770-5733.
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