News & Events / News - Announcements
Register for a Zoom version of La Luz de Taos Gala lecture
to be presented May 21, 10 a.m. Mountain Time
Due to the necessity of having to vacate our original lecture venue so it can be used as a wildfire command post, we have moved the La Luz de Taos Gala lecture to the auditorium at the Harwood Museum of Art. Because the auditorium is smaller than the other venue and cannot accommodate all who would like to attend, our colleagues at the Harwood have offered to stream the lecture via Zoom for those who can't get a seat.
We are also opening the online version to others as an educational endeavor. Register by clicking here.
La Luz de Taos Lecture - PARDS: The Taos Society of Artists
The Taos Society of Artists was a series of partnerships that affected not only the artists personally and professionally, but also the reach of the TSA beyond Taos. Despite their conflicts and collisions, they remained fiercely loyal to the aims of the TSA even after it dissolved in 1927. Historians partnered with the TSA artists to ensure their works was not forgotten. The Couse-Sharp Historic Site continues that commitment, particularly in its newest partnership: The Lunder Research Center. This lecture will discuss those evolving and fluid partnerships in the context of American art, including art of the American West.
Our speaker is Michael R. Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Mr. Grauer holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art history from the University of Kansas; the Master of Arts in art history from Southern Methodist University; and the Master of Arts in history from West Texas A&M University. He has began his career at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and has been a curator of art for 35 years. He has curated over 150 exhibitions on Western art, culture, and history and authored 70 publications. He was the University of Kansas Kress Foundation Department of Art History’s distinguished alumnus for 2012. In September 2021, his recent book, Making a Hand: The Art of H. D. Bugbee, received the Western History Association Wrangler Award for Best Western Art Book for 2020. He was inducted into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame at Dodge City, Kansas, as Cowboy Historian for 2021 in October.
La Luz de Taos: An exciting new contemporary art exhibition and sale
Taos, NM—Couse-Sharp Historic Site has traditionally held a biennial gala and art auction to support its programs, which became over the years the hottest little art shindig in the West. After having to cancel the event in 2020 and 2021, the organization decided to come back this year bigger and better than ever with a new format: La Luz de Taos, a significant exhibition and sale, plus the roster of entertaining and educational events attendees have come to know and love.
La Luz de Taos exhibition is now open at the brand-new Lunder Research Center on the downtown Taos campus of Couse-Sharp Historic Site. It features 39 of the most exciting contemporary artists working in a variety of media, including painting, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, and fashion.
The show can be seen online at laluzdetaos.org. All work will be sold at fixed price via live draw at the May 21 gala celebration. Those unable to make it to Taos can purchase absentee ballots so you can put your name in the draw to buy your favorites.
The Lunder Research Center focuses on the Taos Society of Artists (TSA); E. I. Couse and J. H. Sharp were two of the founding members in 1915. “The TSA left a profound artistic and social legacy,” said Davison Packard Koenig, executive director and curator at the Site. “Inspired by the light, landscape, culture, and people of Taos valley, these 12 artists shared their skills and resources to achieve together an impact that far outweighs what they could have accomplished as individuals. Their shared vision, of creating a uniquely American art, permanently influenced not only the world of art but also prevailing perceptions of Native America and the West. The assembled artists in La Luz de Taos represent a breadth of backgrounds, drawing inspiration from the vast landscape and culturally diverse peoples of Taos and the American West.”
“Together their work presents a contemporary vision of our region, its people, and the nuanced history and traditions imbued in the landscape,” Koenig added. “In many ways, the TSA’s legacy rests with these artists, to remind us of the beauty that surrounds us and to encourage us to appreciate the richness of culture that makes us stronger as a people and a nation.”
The artists of La Luz de Taos 2022 are Tony Abeyta, Bill Acheff, Clyde Aspevig, Thomas Blackshear II, Carla Bogdanoff , Eric Bowman, G. Russell Case, S. M. Chavez, John Coleman, Nicholas Coleman, Glenn Dean, Josh Elliott, Phil Epp, Susan Folwell, Chloé Marie Burk, Tammy Garcia, Victor Goler, Walt Gonske, Logan Maxwell Hagege, Brett Allen Johnson, Jerry Jordan, Jivan Lee, Petecia Lefawnhawk, David A. Leffel, Ira Lujan, Mark Maggiori, Sherrie McGraw, Patricia Michaels, Ed Mell, Paul Moore, Chris Morel, Pat Pruitt, Cara Romero, Maria Samora, Russell Sanchez, Roseta Santiago, Ed Sandoval, Ed Smida and Jim Vogel. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of artist Kang Cho, a good friend of the site who passed away in December 2021.
"Our seventh biennial gala comes at a watershed moment for the Couse-Sharp Historic Site,” said Richard Rinehart, president of the organization’s board of directors. “In many ways it’s a debut of what we’ve been building here in Taos during the past few years of accelerated growth. The historic site is looking better than ever, and The Lunder Research Center is now a beautiful physical presence. We want to share our excitement as we continue the work to make our archives, library and collections accessible to everyone who loves this art and history as much as we do.”
The big weekend kicks off Friday, May 20, with the VIP grand opening of the eagerly awaited Lunder Research Center. Incorporating the remnants of Sharp’s home, the state-of-the-art museum facility is the repository for documents and art created, and artifacts collected, by TSA members. Besides the Dean Porter Gallery where La Luz de Taos hangs, it includes an archive, collections storage, research library, and curatorial and office space.
Saturday morning, May 21, will feature a lecture by TSA scholar extraordinaire Michael Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. His dynamic talk will whet the appetite for the afternoon’s gala and art sale at El Monte Sagrado Resort. Attendees will chat, wine and dine, and enjoy music from a very special guest. There will be bidding throughout on an exquisite collection of curated silent auction art. Of course, a centerpiece will be the drawing to determine which lucky buyers will be able to purchase works from La Luz de Taos.
The evening winds up with a celebration of the 90th birthday of Virginia Couse Leavitt, art historian and guiding light of Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Cake will be served, and the focus will be the unveiling of a bust of Ginnie created by Ed Smida for installation at the site. Donors will be honored with their names on a plaque associated with the spectacular bronze. These contributions will go toward The Lunder Research Center construction costs.
On Sunday, ticketholders who wish to visit the historic site will be treated to a VIP open house featuring a demonstration by renowned painter Sherrie McGraw.
“We planned for many years to preserve the Couse Archive for future generations of scholars, but never dreamed we could achieve the wonderful result that we have. These accomplishments were only achieved with the great support of numerous friends,” Leavitt said. “So many people want to see the new building that our gala this year had to be totally rethought due to great demand, and it is shaping up to be the best ever, with extraordinary art and national exposure.”
Mark your calendars for La Luz de Taos: an exhibition, gala and art sale like you’ve never seen before, benefiting Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Tickets to the weekend should sell out quickly.
The Board of Directors of The Couse Foundation at its June 2020 meeting instituted a National Advisory Council and adopted the initial slate of eight members. “We are delighted that nationally known authorities and experts have enthusiastically agreed to be available to the board to advise us as needed,” said Tim Newton, board chairman.
The council broadens the geographic reach of leadership for the Foundation, provides access to areas of expertise that otherwise might not be represented among board members, and ensures that key former Foundation officials can remain involved and available to share their experiences and institutional knowledge with the board, its committees, and Foundation staff.
Members, who serve on a year-to-year basis, will be kept up to date on Foundation and Couse-Sharp Historic Site activities and issues and invited to attend board meetings as warranted. Carl Jones, who served as board chairman until this year and is a former president, will serve as the initial liaison between the board and the council. The three former board members who are now serving on the council were those who served the entire nine-year maximum board term as established in the bylaws.
“The fact that these eight outstanding individuals are associated with us is a great asset as we build and navigate the future of the organization,” Newton said.
The inaugural members are:
Council Liaison to the Board of Directors
Former President and Chairman, The Couse Foundation
Arroyo Seco, NM
Former Board Member, The Couse Foundation
Caroline Jean Fernald, PhD
Executive Director, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
University of California at Berkeley
McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, OK
Founder and Former President and Chairman, The Couse Foundation
Palm Desert, CA
Dean A. Porter, PhD
Former Director, Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame
Former Director, Charles M. Russell Center, University of Oklahoma School of Visual Arts
Thomas Brent Smith
Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma
Marie Watkins, PhD
Professor Emerita of Art History, Furman University