Story by Kailyn Lamb
A big red button pulls you in and asks for attention. It’s sitting in front of an art piece, another item that calls for admiration.
The tall pedestal that Christina Sporrong’s “Nine Beating Hearts” sits on is frequently surrounded by people looking at the welded metal where small hooks clang on hollow hearts when that inviting red button is pressed. From across the gallery people can hear the melody of the hearts over the babble of the exhibition onlookers.
Sporrong’s piece is one of 57 in the Taos Contemporary Exhibition at Metro’s Center for Visual Art. The exhibition includes only pieces from artists who live and work in Taos County, N. M.
The center was “looking for work that really fit the contemporary field,” said Cecily Cullen, assistant director and curator at the CVA.
The artists’ hard work shows. There is a wide array of media, colors, and textures, as well as several 3D pieces.
Of the 57 artists in the show, 18 were present at the opening.
The stories behind the artwork are as fascinating as the artwork itself.
Barbara Zaring’s piece, “Terrible Beauty,” is an acrylic painting of several layers with darker colors and some lines on the bottom that look like streaks of lightning. Zaring says that she has always had a fascination with storms, and describes her work as dark and ominous. Even with the feel of a coming storm, the colors have a strong luminosity. She attributes the brightness of the colors to the layering of her paint.
Mimi Chen Ting’s painting, “Wendy’s Groove” is inspired by her previous studio partner who died from cancer. Ting says that the winding, curvy shapes represent her partner’s bravery and generous spirit.
When looking at Ting’s piece, onlooker Betsy Delaney said that she sees cell towers. She also says she is “very impressed with the quality of the art” in the show overall, and encourages everyone to see it.
Artist Lee Lee also has very strong feelings for the show. Lee Lee lives and works in Taos where she says the “community is highly educated and cultured and has stepped out of the mainstream.”
The CVA is located at 965 Santa Fe Drive where Taos Contemporary is showing until Aug. 11.