TaArt Museum At Fechin Studio, the exhibition welcomes a host of eclectic and deeply talented Taos artists starting this month.
Christy Schoedinger Coleman, executive director of the museum, said the artist lineup includes the series premiere, Peggy McGivern which opens September 11 through October 17, followed by ZoÃ« Zimmerman exhibiting her pandemic still lifes titled “Covanditas” . Matt Thomas creates works inspired by Nicolai Fechin for a show from December 2021 to January 2022. In late winter and early spring 2022 there will be studio works by Izumi Yokoyama and Solange Roberdeau.
There is an opening reception at the Taos Art Museum this Saturday (September 11) from 1 pm to 3 pm for the Peggy McGivern show, titled “When I was six, I was a horse”. This exhibition is a retrospective of McGivern’s 40-year career as a professional artist and is held [at the time of the release of] his illustrated memoir of the same name has just published, “When I was six, I was a horse”.
McGivern works serially with a color palette reminiscent of the 1940s – richly toned burnt oranges and rusty reds with subtle brass and lime green, held together by warm plum and soft charcoal shadows she portrays the people and places she encountered on her travels around the world.
Tempo met McGivern and asked him a few questions about his work and process. Here are the highlights.
What brought you to Taos, what sustains you here?
My mother was an artist and when I was young she always told me about this beautiful place, so when I traveled for my art I would come and discover it for myself. I started exhibiting my work at Gallery A years ago at Taos in 2005, then at Act One and now at Jones Walker of Taos. I show across the southwest to Denver, Scottsdale and to Giacobbee Fritz in Santa Fe. My husband and I bought a home here 13 years ago while we were still living and working in Denver. I traveled to Taos sometimes three times a month to paint, so when my husband retired we were delighted to be here full time. My gallery, Jones Walker of Taos, does a fabulous job for me.
Please describe your creative process.
I work with all mediums, sometimes together. I start with a blind outline drawing, it gives me exaggerated lines and movements. I block in color, sometimes using the opposite color I’m going to end up with. It will give me depth. Then I will apply layer after layer and scrape until I get what I want.
Toulouse-Lautrec, Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira, Milton Avery and my mother.
Why is this exhibition important to you?
This retrospective tells the story of my artistic journey for more than 40 years as a professional artist. The work in the series is one of my best work ever. This ranges from past work from the 1980s to the present day. I will also have a dedication of my illustrated book “When I was six years old, I was a horse”, which is the title of the retrospective. I had planned this retrospective a year ago but we canceled it because of the coronavirus. Now we’re moving forward with the show even though the Delta variant is here, so I feel like I’ve been preparing for this show for years.
Being in the Fechin Studio is meaningful. I feel a connection with the artists who came before me. Taos is unique in that sense. Christy [Schoedinger Coleman] and everyone on the board greeted me and also welcomed every new idea I had for the show. I think they are open to all artists in the same way.
What can our readers expect to see in the exhibit?
They will see the painting “When I was six years old, I was a horse” and many other paintings published in the book of the same name. There will be more than 75 paintings in the exhibition, most of which will be for sale. Some works are on loan from corporate and private collections. For example, the title painting belongs to Denver Children’s Hospital.
How did you get through the pandemic, how did it affect your creativity?
Much more creative. Unfortunately my retrospective got canceled, but it just gave me an extra year to create.
Yes! When I teach a workshop, everyone in the class is elated by the time it ends. Art gives us hope. We are not war, we are not hate, we are not superficial. The creative spirit lives in each of us.