Only in Taos would a broken wagon wheel lead to a key piece of our local culture, but that is exactly what happened back in 1898 when Bert G. Phillips and Ernest L. Blumenschein found themselves stranded in a land that very quickly began to captivate and inspire them. They decided to lay roots in Taos and soon thereafter the Taos Society of Artists was formed. This weekend, at the Taos Ski Valley Summer Arts Festival, we celebrate the deep art culture of this area. For the second summer, local artists will showcase their work, which ranges across a variety of art including jewelry, leather, mixed media, photography, paintings, prints, and fibers.
We talked to two returning featured artists about their art and unique mediums.
Minna White of ‘LANA DURA‘ uses wool felt for her art. “Wool felt is terrific!” she says. “Wool is the oldest fabric humans ever utilized, the same fabric the Mongolians use to cover their yurts and have for thousands of years.” Minna first began working with wool when she starting raising sheep in Vermont in 1983 with the goal of “giving sheep a job.” She has since relocated to Taos, where she discovered Navajo-Churro sheep. This sheep, an old breed that was brought across the Atlantic by the Conquistadors in the 1500’s, is now the only kind of wool that Minna works with. “Navajo-Churro wool is very special. This wool grows nearly an inch monthly and in lots of natural colors so I use no chemicals, only the natural colors.” Minna will be showcasing her wool felt runners, wall hangings, floor rugs, bags, and other items at the festival.
TJ Patton and Rock of ‘Winter’s Hope‘ also use a unique fiber for their art. “We have a small alpaca ranch. We process our own fiber from start to finish and turn it into art.” They have worked with all sorts of animals over the years, and have taken a ‘holistic approach’ to the care of their fury friends. In 2009 they acquired six alpacas, which produce soft but study yarns that make for unique clothing and art. Their tag line is “Home Grown, Hand Spun, and Heart Felt.”
We encourage you to come experience the artwork showcased by these, and many other, great artists this Saturday and Sunday. The event, located outside The Bavarian, goes from 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM both days, and there is no charge to enter. Live music will play 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, and there will also be a kids craft tent.
For more information about the event, click here.
There are still spots available for featured artists. If you are interested in showcasing your art, contact Kaela Gillum at firstname.lastname@example.org