By Janet Webb, November 3, 2015
“Visionaries.” This word has been bantered about at many tables I’ve sat around in recent months.
A small group of Taos art geeks have been discussing the continued relevance of what the art patron, author, and visionary, Mabel Dodge Luhan accomplished nearly 100 years ago when she relocated to Taos. Her introduction of internationally renowned modernists—painters, writers, and philosophers—to the town of Taos definitely changed this community. And in turn, the Taos aesthetics these creatives infused in their work affected the entire modernist art movement.
“Visionary Artist” was the name bestowed on winners of Taos Fall Arts Festival’s 2015 awards. One awardee was Matt Thomas, the visionary responsible for The PASEO outdoor art festival, an event that I believe will change Taos forever. (See my post in August titled “Can an Art Festival Change a Community?”)
Another Taos visionary, and a 21st century innovator, has changed the face of architecture, green building, and now perhaps the global refugee issue. He is Mike Reynolds.
In the early 1970s, Mike Reynolds developed his “Earthship Biotecture” theories in Taos with homes built of rammed earth, old tires, used beer cans and other discarded materials. Greater World Earthship Community ten miles northwest of Taos is one of many international clusters of off-the-grid communities that follow Mike’s plans for more responsible living.
Reynolds and his team have just posted a “call to arms” to organize an answer to the Syrian refugee crisis: “We are proposing/planning a small city prototype that is the campus of an International Earthship Academy that teaches Syrians (alongside Europeans) how to build a city for themselves while at the same time demonstrating to all of Europe and the world a sustainable approach to living that uses no infrastructure and no fuel. We all know this is possible. The Earthship concept and the Earthship Army are now powerful and experienced enough to do this…” See October 27, 2015 Earthship Biotecture post.
Consider the possibilities. And remember, this visionary started right in Taos.
Following are my photos at Greater World Earthship Community from August 2014.