Art

Where does the magic of art begin?

Taos Fall Arts satellite event welcomes visitors to the Reed Street studios

By Virginia L. Clark
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 9/18/19

Reed St. Studio Artists Jane Ellen Burke: Burke has been printing in Taos for the past 18 years. Her most recent images have been made with simple squares colored in transparent inks of various …

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Art

Where does the magic of art begin?

Taos Fall Arts satellite event welcomes visitors to the Reed Street studios

Posted

Walking into an artist’s studio is a bit like slipping into Albus Dumbledore’s Pensieve — that hallowed vessel used to sort meanings from a mass of thoughts, ideas or memories — rousing both an excited curiosity and a confusing delight for “Harry Potter” fans.

What 1022 Reed Street studio artists are working on will be shared in a 2019 Taos Fall Arts satellite event Saturday (Sept. 21) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. According to the announcement for this one-day open studios event, visitors can get up close and personal with the artists’ works, exploring “printmaking, painting, pottery, drawing, jewelry and sculpture all in one location.”

Print wizards TJ Mabrey and Jane Ellen Burke avow there is a “monoprint magical moment.” Mabrey explains that monoprints are “singular prints. Just one. Just once. What fun. Make mistakes, and they might turn out beautiful. Make another mistake? Pitch to file 13! Print and learn.”

Burke is working with squares of color overlays, “using the press and etching inks that are highly transparent,” she says. She notes, too, “It doesn’t get muddy. You can do four or five layers before the color begins to combine.” She used to do black and white drawings, but since studying with University of New Mexico-Taos printmakers Jennifer Lynch and Ann Rankin, she switched mediums.

“Printmaking is very enticing,” Burke says. “The possibilities are enormous – always changing, always a surprise. There are accidents that happen and can’t be repeated. Sometimes they’re happy accidents – but sometimes they’re not. It’s just been really fun to see what comes up.”

In addition to her latest series of prints, stone sculptor Mabrey is also showing her exquisitely flowing stone piece “Grrass Bound,” inspired by Gregory Bateson’s (1904-1980) syllogism: Men die. Grass dies. Men are grass.

“I strive, through my sculpture,” Mabrey explains, “to make the point that nature and humans are the same. To destroy one is to destroy the other. But we live in an unprecedented time in history when humans seem intent to do both by denying that we are all part of the whole.”

Art writer and artist Ann Landi, who founded Vasari21.com, a community site for artists, is also showing recent work, hanging in the same studio with Mabrey’s and Burke’s work. She’s presently refocused on her writing, but enjoys her recent forays into her free-flowing Dura-Lar medium. Her larger series of strongly colorful, contemporary collages is untitled, while the smaller works of ebbing, flowing and crashing blues is titled the “Beach” series.

“I guess the main point I wanted to make is that I don’t take myself too seriously as an artist, though I’ve been pleased with the most recent collages and hope to get back to them one day,” Landi notes in a postinterview email. “And having studied art history for six years in my 20s, and written about art for almost 25, I know I’m a long way from doing the kind of work I most admire. Maybe that’s a project for my old age.

“What fumbling around with paint and canvas and experimenting with collage have taught me, however, is how very difficult it is to come up with something truly original,” she concludes. “Maybe that exercise helps sharpen my eye, and for sure it gives me a greater appreciation of what the members of Vasari21 go through to arrive at a voice that seems heartfelt and genuine.”

Jivan Lee will be displaying his most recent impassioned oils he works en plein air. Dan Enger will be hosting Georgia Neumann’s pottery studio and displaying some of his drawings and Nathaniel Lowe will be at hand to regale visitors with various metal and blade smithing work.

This one-day event offers a chance to visit these artists, see new work created during the past year and purchase some art to take home or give as a gift.

Reed St. Studio Artists

Jane Ellen Burke: Burke has been printing in Taos for the past 18 years. Her most recent images have been made with simple squares colored in transparent inks of various shades, creating a multiple range of blended colors and shapes. See janeellenburke.com.

Dan Enger: Known for his colorful and iconic Day of the Dead characters, Enger is inspired by regional history, folklore and legend. “Taos is an outpost on the frontier,” he says. “Spirits and magic thrive in this rugged, ancient land where double rainbows abound and coyotes lope through town.” See facebook.com/dan.enger.1.

Ann Landi: Primarily an art journalist (a contributing editor of ARTnews and founder/editor of Vasari21.com), Landi started working with Dura-Lar about two years ago and has been making collaged abstractions on panel. These have varied from exercises in geometry toward wilder agglomerations of shape, color and texture. See vasari21.com.

Jivan Lee: An oil painter based in Taos, Lee studied painting at Bard College in upstate New York. Made predominantly en plein air – his paintings are colorful, textural, energetic responses to the Western landscape in its many forms. See jivanlee.com.

Nathaniel Lowe: Inspired by growing up in the workshop of his noted sculptor father, Maurice Lowe, and with a 20-year background as a high-end custom jeweler, Lowe has forged a career as a crafter of objects. He is a refined metal worker and romantic yet practical blade smith. See nathaniellowe.com.

TJ Mabrey: An established sculptor in stone, with a studio in Italy for many years, Mabrey added printmaking upon moving to Taos in 2012. This past year has been an eye-opening exploration into the limitations of paper, ink and pressure of the press, creating embossed prints that strive to be three-dimensional. See TJMabrey.com.

Georgia Neumann: With a passionate need to work with her hands and create, Neumann was a production potter for over 20 years and now spends her time exploring the possibilities of clay. She also makes jewelry with clay beads and crochets recycled rags. Where will the clay take her next? She is the owner of At Home in Taos on Taos Plaza, where her work can be seen. See Etsy/AtHomeInTaos.com.

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