By Janet Webb | May 16, 2014
Last year, Gus Foster, photographer, art collector, former museum curator, and longtime Taos resident, donated a huge collection of art that he had purchased from or traded with Taos artist friends to the Harwood Museum of Art, a museum he has been passionately supporting for years. The exhibition, Highlights from the Gus Foster Collection, which opens this weekend, is the first public showing of the donated work — about 120 of a total of 391 works donated are on display.
This art exhibition has a deep personal connection for me. Gus Foster has been a family friend for the entire 41 years I have lived in Taos. Over the years, many of the 83 artists in the collection sat at my dinner table in Talpa with my partner of 30 years, Larry Bell, along with Gus and his kids. More than 40 of Larry’s artworks are in the collection. Gus and Larry are longtime friends and business partners. Together, they built and share the Ranchitos Road studio complex in Taos. Back in the 80s, Gus and I partnered in publishing his own work–panoramic photographs–as 12-month calendars. This collaboration led to his annual poster-calendar panoramas that locals look forward to every new year.
When the Harwood asked my company, Webb Design Inc., to design and produce the exhibition catalog it felt like a personal tying of a ribbon around four decades of Taos life. It was a fulfilling experience, knowing the timeline and artworks of each artist so intimately. Some of the snapshots in Evan Mauer’s essay are from my family album. The limited edition catalog, designed by my Webb Design Inc. colleague, Burrell Brenneman, is 96 pages and is available for sale in the Harwood shop. (Only 1000 copies were printed, so, purchase your copy sooner rather than later!)
I hope you will take the time to see this monumental show. It’s an amazing overview of artists working in Taos at some point over the past forty years. Many continue to live and work here. Some have moved away, some have passed away. Many have a connection with the Los Angeles art scene, as do Gus and Larry.
Highlights from the Gus Foster Collection opens Saturday, May 17, 2014 at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos and runs through September 7, 2014.
Guided tours of Highlights from the Gus Foster Collection will be conducted every Sunday at 1 p.m. while the exhibition is on view. Group tours may be scheduled by contacting the Harwood Museum of Art at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highlights from the Gus Foster Collection
May 17 – September 7, 2014
The Harwood Museum of Art
238 Ledoux Street, Taos, 575-758-9826
Gus Foster’s panoramic photos are on exhibit in Santa Fe at 333 Montezuma Gallery and in Taos at Centinel Bank of Taos, main branch.