Being a working artist up here on the High Road is different from any other place I’ve ever lived. First of all, I’m part of a very serious, diverse and close-knit artist community. There are more artists living in this tiny village than I’ve experienced at any other time in my life. We all know each other; we socialize. Truchas and the other villages on the High Road are living, breathing artist’s colonies.
Many of us, while also being represented by galleries that are owned by others, as I am at Hand Artes Gallery here in Truchas, run our own galleries where we show and sell our own work. We pay rent, manage and “sit” them, meaning we work in the galleries meeting visitors. Anna Karin (see previous post The Old Adobe Church, the Wolf and Survival) and I share a gallery called The Anna Karin Gallery. This will be her 7th season and the name is well established—I saw no reason to change it, so everybody, just know when you’re looking for my personal gallery, it’s The Anna Karin Gallery, OK? We are beginning our second year together.
My situation is somewhat unique in that Hand Artes Gallery is in the same village where Anna and I run our personal gallery. Many artists up here also show in Santa Fe or Taos, for instance, but not often so close to home. Most gallery owners, representing a local artist, would not allow them to independently show their work in the same small town. Many have non-compete clauses in their contracts covering the whole corridor between Santa Fe and Taos. But Bill Franke, at Hand Artes Gallery, cares about my career; he cares about me, so he not only allows it, he supports it.
As I said in a previous post (Anna and Jeane Take Albuquerque), we lost our gallery space TWICE last season. We didn’t know where we would land this year. But we’ve found our spot! It was Pierre Delattre’s studio/gallery for years (see http://ortenstonedelattre.com/Pierre). I’ll be writing posts on both Pierre and Nancy later. Pierre moved his gallery to Taos and the building’s been empty a very long time. It needs work and we’ve just begun so, of course, I wanted you all to be a part of creating our new gallery space.
Three of the rooms still had false ceilings so we’ve started by tearing those out to expose the old vigas and beams. There’s work to do inside and out, plastering, painting, hanging lights… But this is part of what we do up here to earn our livings. It’s very hands-on and, as I discovered last year, nurturing. I met people while sitting the gallery that have become good friends.
We don’t know what this season will bring but, whatever the future holds, we begin it now, one foot in front of the other, by creating this new place we can call our own. We welcome you on our journey.
Love to you all,
Jeane (and Anna)