Fall is a beautiful time of year in New Mexico when the light changes, so when Mom announced that she was driving north to attend the opening of the Taos Art Festival, I did not hesitate to go. It was an inspirational weekend, from the opening Friday night to the studio visits we made on Saturday.
Angie Coleman in her Taos studio.
We stopped by the studio of Angie Coleman
, an artist my mother has known since the years she and my dad lived in Taos. Angie creates woodcuts, but is also a painter and pastel artist. She graduated from the California College of Arts & Crafts in 1972, the same year I arrived at the college.
As a former printmaker, I loved seeing the process behind the
woodcuts, such at Angie’s inking palette or the different blocks she cuts for multiple color runs.
Angie Coleman's Inking Palette
After lunch at Caffe Renato
, we dropped by the Stables Art Gallery to see the Wet Paint
exhibit by students of Taos artist Leigh Gusterson
. Displayed were brilliant (literally wet) oil paintings after their 5-day workshop with the artist.
Call it serendipity, but among the group was Judi Goolsby
, a former book art student from Austin and now a resident of Santa Fe. I also enjoyed sharing London stories with Elizabeth Porter, originally a native of Las Cruces, NM, now a London antique dealer of Chinese porcelain.
Judi Goolsby & Elizabeth Porter at the Wet Paint show.
The greatest inspiration came from viewing the work of the late Melissa Zink, a memorial exhibit held in the Fechin studio of the Taos Art Museum. Pictures do not do justice to the magic of Zink’s mixed media world, from small ceramic scenes to large bronze cast figurines with layers of ancient book typography and other imagery. Whimsically, sculpted faces emerge from cast alphabet characters.
Melissa Zink memorial exhibit at the Taos Art Museum
Taking collage and mixed media to an ultimate height are Melissa’s BOSH!WORKS, her last major works (an acronym for Bibliomania, Obsessive, Serial, Haphazard). Made from type drawers cut and hinged to open like a book, each section displays a fragment — maybe a piece of marbled paper or a handwritten letter. The outside cases are adorned in a collage of old, cut up book covers in cloth or leather, yet all pieced together with a reverence or love of books. In her own words: “Everything I find most beautiful and moving is in some way connected to books.”
The show continues through October 25 at the Taos Art Museum, while her work is represented by the Parks Gallery in Taos.