"We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not." - John Wesley Powell
From O’Keefe, to Abbey, to the ancient petroglyphs that pepper the red rocks of the desert, the dramatic landscapes of the American Southwest have long been fertile ground for creativity and artistic exploration. Leading the first group of white men down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, John Wesley Powell poignantly captured the sense of wonder one experiences when first exploring the canyons, mountains, and sweeping expanses of desert that characterize this part of the country. But along with thrill of the new, the other treasure of the Southwest is its wealth of history, embedded in both the cultural fabric of the region and the very rock formations that comprise the landscape, intricately carved by geological time.
We are pleased to showcase three very different artists whose work represents the confluence of discovery and tradition that defines our unique corner of the world. Santa Fe-based Ellen Koment’s tactile encaustic paintings capture the striking pigments of the desert in fresh, contemporary abstractions. Durango, CO resident Ray Phillips crafts complex mixed media pieces that, while paying direct homage “wild west” imagery, also lead the viewer through the intricate and thoughtful maze of referential materials embedded in the layers of his work. And finally, one of our newest represented artists, Stephanie Del Monte brings a modern eye to the timeless art of weaving, creating stunning tapestries that evoke both the natural world and the rich history of traditional crafts.