Thursday, February 26, 2009

Land of Enchantment - Part One

Last week I had the good fortune to find myself visiting old friends and making new ones in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

One of the highlights was meeting the artist Ann Dunbar who teaches art to 7th graders part-time at The Bosque School and works in her home studio creating these whimsical mixed media assemblages and ethereal three dimensional dresses.

Many of her pieces are culled from visits to the Albuquerque Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays.

Theses dresses takes hours and hours as she painstakingly folds and glues the pieces together. The New Mexico winter light was perfect the day we visited for catching some of the amazing detail that goes into these creations.

If you happen to be in Albuquerque next month you can catch her work at the artspace116 Gallery.

In this time of economic uncertainty and global warming it's refreshing to see such delicate beauty and memory keepers made from found objects and recycled treasures or simple everyday objects.

Here's Ann outside her home with one of her creations - a background in fashion design as well as fine art certainly influences her creativity as does her affinity for Mexican folk art.

The room below shows one of her works on the wall below Turkish divans inspired by a trip to the Ottoman Empire.

This is is one of my favorite photos of her white glassine dresses much like the ones that caught my eye in Seattle last summer where Curtis Steiner the owner of Souvenir in Ballard featured her work - I fell in love with the delicate array and feel fortunate to have brought one home to enjoy every time I walk by the window in my home where it catches the light.

Here you see one of Ann's pieces with her yellow ceramic collection and the Mexican influence very apparent. One of her pieces was drawn and then sewn onto a backing and quilted before being hung in a shadowbox frame - I can't even begin to comprehend the focus and patience it must take to realize that kind of vision!

The day before we went to visit Ann my friend Pamela & I made a pilgrimage to 10,000 Waves in Santa Fe on Artist Road - the Japanese style bathhouse with massage and skin treatments provides the perfect retreat. Everything from the koi in the pond to the sound of water and the scent of hinoki wood helps to decompress and recharge your batteries.

One of the best places to have dinner or a well mixed Margarita is High Noon in Old Town.

If you need lodging check out Casa de Suenos - after a good nights sleep in one of the casitas you'll begin to know why New Mexico license plates remind you it really is a land of enchantment.