Twelve Women Artists

women at cooper's garage

12 Women: Art from Four Taos Collections at Cooper’s Garage

A unique collaboration is happening in Taos. Four artists and their partners are putting on their curatorial hats and inviting the community to enjoy selections from their art collections in weekend pop-up exhibitions.

The idea started in February with artists Ron Cooper and Larry Bell and an empty 5,000 sq. ft. warehouse in the industrial area of Taos, aptly named Cooper’s Garage. That exhibition showed their own artwork plus a contribution from an artist/clockmaker they both collect. In March, they showed their classic cars (Ron) and twelve-string guitars (Larry), perhaps not Art, but their inspirations. In April, their longtime friend, Gus Foster’s photography was part of the exhibition. Collectors Carl and Dora Dillistone joined the collaboration.

The next pop-up will take place in Cooper’s Garage on Mother’s Day weekend and will present work by twelve women artists. Each artwork is part of one of the four art collections. The group plans to mount a series of group shows of women artists from the four collections throughout the year, interspersed with themed shows of their own work, recent and past.

“12 Women: Art from Four Taos Collections” will present female artists born in the decade of World War II ––1938 to 1952 to be exact. Each was art school-trained during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism and came of age during the feminist movement of the 1960s. Each eventually found her way to Taos–– and most continue to live here.

The public is invited to view work by these artists, learn more about their lives, and perhaps meet them in person. The show will be open from noon to 5:00pm on May 11 and 12.

Meet the twelve artists.

Nora Anthony, b. 1941, New York City, came to Taos in 1972, works in paint on canvas, writes Haiku poetry.

Lynda Benglis, b. 1941 Lake Charles LA, works in Taos with Hank Saxe on her ceramic sculptures, also creates wax paintings and latex sculptures.

Alexandra Benjamin, b. 1952 New York City, moved to Taos in 1992, her work with paint on paper is experimental and intuitive.

Jane Ellen Burke, b. 1945 Oklahoma City, moved to Taos to be director of TCA in 1976, works in line on paper and printmaking.

Anna Bush Crews, b. 1949 Taos NM, traveled in Africa and Europe for decades before returning to Taos in 2014, currently makes sculpture in mixed media and uses photography and video.

Dora Dillistone, b. Mississippi, raised in Texas, came to Taos for a class in Larry Bell’s studio in 2000, moved here in 2009, works with dirt and pollen and natural elements.

Lydia Garcia, 1936 – 2023, was a santera, a painter of saints.

Sandra Lerner, b. 1941, Philadelphia PA, came to Taos for two Wurlitzer residencies, her paintings are investigations of the natural world: pattern, repetition, interplay of opposites.

Annell Livingston, b. 1941 Houston TX, first came to Taos in 1986, is inspired by nature and color, works mostly in watercolor on paper.

TJ Mabrey, b.1941 Eagle Pass TX, moved to Taos a decade ago, carves stone and is a printmaker.

Marcia Oliver, b. 1938, Florida, arrived in Taos in 1968 for a Wurlitzer residency, paints with line and water.

Mimi Chen Ting, 1946 – 2022, was born in Shanghai, lived in San Francisco and in Taos NM, worked in paint and printmaking.

Learn more about each woman HERE.

Taos art collectors
The Collectors: Carl and Dora Dillistone, Janet Webb and Larry Bell, Ron Cooper (not pictured) and Sandra Lerner, Alexandra Benjamin and Gus Foster at Cooper’s Garage in Taos. Photo by Sasha vom Dorp.

12 Women exhibition in a nutshell

Who: Dora Dillistone, Alexandra Benjamin, Sandra Lerner (these three are collectors and artists, pictured above at Cooper’s Garage) along with Nora Anthony, Lynda Benglis, Jane Ellen Burke, AnnaBush Crews, Lydia Garcia, Annell Livingston, TJ Mabrey, Marcia Oliver, Mimi Chen Ting.

What: A two-day pop-up exhibition curated from four Taos art collections

Where: Cooper’s Garage, 200-B Bendix Drive in Taos

When: May 11 and 12, noon to 5:00pm


Learn about past exhibitions in Cooper’s Garage

Inaugural exhibition, February 10-11, 2024, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper and Johnny MacArthur

Cars & Guitars, March 9-10, 2024, objects from the collections of Ron Cooper and Larry Bell

Gus and Ron and Larry, April 13-14, 2024

Larry Bell’s Time Machine, part of the April exhibition

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