By Janet Webb, updated September 23, 2014
On September 26, 2014, twenty-six artists will present 20 outdoor art installations that will change the landscape of Taos art. A stretch of historic downtown Taos– a half mile of Paseo del Pueblo Norte, from Kachina Lodge to Taos Plaza, then another quarter mile west to the Guadalupe Gym–will be the “canvas” for unconventional art installations, performance pieces, projected light and sound, and who knows what else.
The artists are among about thirty who were invited to propose art pieces for the one-day event by a group of Taos advisors (full disclosure, I am part of this group) who envisioned a new kind of outdoor art festival. A voting process based on appropriateness, budget, and artist’s resume narrowed the slate to the 20 installations.
Seed money for The Paseo’s first year was supplied by the 40-year-old Taos Fall Arts Festival, whose board of directors saw a necessity to broaden the scope of art presented in its two annual exhibitions. The Paseo’s outdoor venue will serve to lead the audience along a route that passes the six indoor venues where Fall Arts exhibits will be installed: Kachina Lodge Conference Center, Taos Art Museum, Taos Inn, the Stables Art gallery, the Old County Courthouse on Taos Plaza, and Guadalupe Gymnasium.
The 26 artists featured in The Paseo are an international mix. There are artists from Bulgaria, Austria, Britain, the Ukraine, and Turkey. Six artists currently live in Taos — two were born there. New Mexico communities represented in the artist list: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Penasco, and Questa. There are artists from New York, Portland OR, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Marfa TX. Six of the installations at The Paseo will be collaborations by two-artist teams.
The works to be shown in The Paseo are “art” but their roots are based in physics, botany, music, mathematics, robotics, indigenous cultures, dance, fashion, and theater.
The Paseo planning team took a huge leap of faith with the scale of their plans. Getting the artists to Taos, supplying funds to cover the installation costs, documenting the six-hour event on video and film, promoting the event to a national art audience, cost well over $20,000. A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign raised $23,000.The Museum of Outdoor Art in Denver has contributed funding and will be listed as the main sponsor, and scores of individuals have contributed to enable all 26 artists’ expenses to be covered.
The 26 artists committed to participating in The Paseo:
Chistopher Bowen and Julie Brette-Adams
Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman
Agnes Chavez and Kamen Dimitrov
Ben Link Collins
Claire Cote and Anna Keleher
Julian Mock and Alyce Santora
Sasha Vom Dorp
Find out more about each participating Paseo artist at paseotaos.org