Sunday, August 8, 2010

Art in Santa Fe

It's Sunday--the day before Monday (aka manual labor day)--and I've decided to spend it in Santa Fe. Santa Fe is about an hour south of Taos, but decided it was worth driving the hour there and hour back. Taos is cute but small, and I explored the area on Saturday, so I felt I could go somewhere else today...

I LOVE Santa Fe, or at least what I've seen of it (which is not very much). I drove here with only one mission in mind--to go to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum-- but instead of immediately satisfying my desire to see art, I accidentally ran smack into the middle of an arts festival in the main plaza! It was very much like the Allentown Art Festival that happens in Buffalo, only picture southwestern style art, weavings, metalwork, etc. The town center itself is filled with shops, cafes, etc. almost in a New Orleans style...super concentrated, lots of galleries, live music in the plaza. Seems very walkable, at least in this section of the city.

After exploring and grabbing a fabulous gelato at Ecco, I went to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and was surprised and delighted by the exhibit. I hadn't realized how cool of a woman she was! There was a quote on the wall I thought my aunt Judy would appreciate...essentially...if all people were trees, then she could get along with them much better. Thought that was pretty funny. Anyway, being an accomplished woman painter when men were telling her she couldn't be is reason enough for me to like her, but what really struck me was not about feminism; it was how she viewed her art. Her abstractions of flowers or landscapes or shapes were how she felt about the object in question. Not a novel idea I suppose, but it struck me because I had recently been telling a friend about displaying what you feel in your everyday life...a bright colored vehicle isn't necessarily an indicator of "I'm a tool, I want everyone to notice me," and it very well could be that's the brightness they feel in their life (though not in every case...I consider yellow trucks just obnoxious attention grabbers). This idea of displaying happiness on the outside invites others to engage with your happiness, to share, and to make a connection...

The other part of why I enjoyed this exhibit so much was one of the quotes I read on the wall, about why she paints. Unfortunately I didn't write this one down either, but it was about how painting is the way that she gives back to the world...she did what she loved to do, and by doing that, she was contributing to the world in the best way she knew how. Exactly. Like my Nonna used to sing to me: "do what you love, love what you do..." It's like displaying your feelings in your everyday life; pursue something that you love to do, you will be happy, and through your own happiness you can contribute meaningfully in the best way you know how (again, not in every case...I doubt even if you loved to screw people over in business transactions that you would ever be contributing meaningfully...)

Headed back to Taos soon...meeting Jeff/Tania/Joe and visitors for a potluck dinner. Tomorrow is back to work, and SO looking forward to it!


  1. Great post! I love Santa Fe! If you are still there, go check out my friends paintings also there is an amazing tea house, 821 Canyon Road. they have amazing green tea, and oatmeal.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm back in Taos for the moment, but I really want to explore Santa Fe a bit more, so I'm thinking of going back there next weekend...