Wolf Schneider is an accomplished writer, editor and movie unit publicist. In fact her resume would be intimidating if she wasn’t so approachable and down to earth. She, clearly, is genuinely interested in others and enjoys doing interviews. (Check out her website wolfschneiderusa.com and particularly her blog, in which she writes about Santa Fe’s lifestyle, focusing on nature, restaurants and the arts). Wolf came to Truchas the other day to interview artists for a piece she’s writing for the Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper. It’s about many of the galleries up here. She let me follow her around to photograph some of the interviews so you all could go behind the scenes.
My day with her started at Bill Loyd’s outdoor bell gallery (see previous posts The Farmer’s Mantra and Bill Loyd’s Sign For Tooley’s Trees), at the home he shares with Anna Karin (see previous posts The Old Adobe Church, the Wolf and Survival and The Art of Anna Karin). Wolf loved Bill’s bells! What’s not to love, right?
Then we met over at Cardona-Hine Gallery where she interviewed my friends Barbara McCauley (see previous post A Journey of the Soul) and Alvaro Cardona-Hine (see previous posts Renaissance Man and The Treasure).
Next came Trish Booth and Leonardo Pieterse’s Ghost Pony Gallery (see previous post Trish Booth: Painting History).
And Eric and Peggy Luplow’s eL Gallery (see EricLuplow.com).
We ended up at the gallery that Anna and I share (see previous post Anna Karin Gallery, Truchas, NM: Before and After). Anna met us there and Wolf interviewed us both. I didn’t stay for the other interviews so I can’t tell you about those. But I can tell you her questions to us were challenging, like, “Aside from the diversity of the art and artists, why should someone come to Truchas? What makes you special?” My main focus has always been the art, so it was tough to come up with an answer. But Anna had two ideas: It is an adventure and it is majestic.
Truchas is old. Very old. It was settled by Spanish colonists in 1754 when several families were granted land by the king of Spain. Many of those families still live here. Until sometime in the 80s the road into the village was dirt, so it was challenging just to get here. As a result, Truchas was isolated and untouched by many of the cultural changes that were affecting much of the rest of the country. To this day, the place feels like a cross between Europe and the villages of Spain. And yet it has its own sense of the wild west. It’s a little rough and tumble.
When Robert Redford came to Truchas to film The Milagro Beanfield War (see previous post Robert Redford’s Milagro Beanfield War in Truchas), he said of the locals, “Those people believe what they believe. They are the way they are. They’re quirky. They’re unpredictable. They’re in a land that is so powerful and magical there’s no way you can control it. This is real for these people. They do believe in ghosts. They believe the deceased come back and talk to them and bother them.” And that says it pretty well. This place and its people are quirky—a little unlike anything you will find anywhere else. Those of us who move here and stay here are a little quirky too. We have to be. Add to that the palpable power of this land and its sense of enchantment (the old ones who went before DO still walk these hills and paths, I have no doubt), and you have something that speaks of adventure.
Then there is the majesty. Truchas is situated at 8100 feet, high atop a ridge that overlooks the Espanola Valley and Jemez Mountains. It’s crowning glory, though, is the mountain that watches over the village, the majestic 13,000 foot Truchas Peaks. It is a force in and of itself. William deBuys says in his wonderful book, The Walk, “The mountains rise not like a thing, but like the spirit behind things, or like spiritedness itself. They rise like meaning. They rise with purpose and clarity. They rise like a promise of understanding in an ambiguous and paradoxical world. They rise not like hope itself, but like the promise that something as grand as hope might exist. The mountains rise like meaning to the sky.” Indeed. Do you think that’s worth a trip up the High Road to Truchas? I do.
When Wolf asked what was different about our gallery, what makes it stand out, we were also a little stymied. All the galleries in Truchas have great art and are owned by diverse and interesting people. So why should someone stop by to see us in particular? As I’ve lived with this question, what I’ve come up with is this: Anna and I, together, are the reason. We are two independent, strong willed, somewhat tough, women who have spent much of our adult lives taking care of ourselves. We’re hard working artists who have been making our way, living the dream, for a long time now. But then we came together as partners in the gallery and something rather beautiful has happened: we have fun. We laugh a lot. We are inspired and we inspire. We believe in an artful life. We know it’s possible. People who come into the gallery are always moved by what we’ve put together in this 200 year old adobe home. They appreciate the art and they love to hear our stories and to tell us theirs. They leave energized. Many have reached us back to tell us about returning to their own creative processes because they paid us a visit. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
Wolf’s article will be published in May in the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Bienvenidos Summer Guide. I’ll do a post about it as soon as it’s out, with a link to the story, so you all can see Wolf’s take on this adventurous, majestic place I am privileged to call home.
Love to you all,
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