Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DAY 83- Art & in the Pursuit Of Warm Clothes...

I woke up to a thin layer of snow in the morning.  The weather reports had said there was supposed to be snow in Santa Fe on Sunday but I was still surprised it happened.  I put on my warmest clothes so I could go to breakfast; it was a very chilly walk across that parking lot.  On the way back I stopped at my car and dug around in my cycling gear bag.  Thank goodness, I had the cold gear in with my cycling stuff or I would’ve really been up the creek.
Photo- A church not far from the Georgia O'Keeffe Art Museum.

An hour later I was taking the shuttle bus from the hotel over to Santa Fe’s Plaza.  From there, I walked over to the Georgia O’Keeffe Art Museum.  I should say that I walked around it and finally found it.  It’s rather an understated adobe structure and doesn’t come off as the usual art museum.  I went in and paid the entry fee; the whole time my teeth are chattering.  The gal behind the counter said I looked pretty cold and if she had an extra jacket she would’ve given to me.  She mentioned that the man in the red shirt would be giving a talk on Georgia O’Keeffe at 10:30AM.  She also went on to say that no photos within the museum were allowed.  I went over to the man in the red shirt and asked him where the talk would take place.  He said in gallery No.7 at 10:30am.  He told me it was the largest gallery and pointed the general direction of where it was.
Photo- The understated outside of the Art Museum. I almost walked right by.

I was off to start viewing some of the museum before the talk.  The first room had quotes and a few well-spaced pieces of Georgia’s.  Most people walk right up to a painting or a piece of art.  I have the habit of looking briefly up close then stare at it from a distance.  It was rather interesting because it seemed like the security was keeping a close eye on me because of my out of norm behavior.  There was security in every room.  In the second gallery was where more art was displayed and there was a tour of some sort being given.  I continued my same pace and just went around the group; only half listening to what the female tour guide was saying.  I finally started to warm up and took off my jacket; being watched closely by the security staff.

I breezed through the third gallery and didn’t venture into the 4th.  I went straight to the 7th gallery room where the man in the red shirt had just barely started the talk.  I found a sit among the other listeners.  He talked about Georgia’s upbringing, her schooling in art, how she became a teacher, gave up on art for a while and then picked up art again in her life.  He also talked about her husband and how she eventually came out to live in New Mexico.  He talked about her being on the cutting edge of modernism in art.  How this museum is the only museum in the US that is focused on a female artist but that over half of the artists in this day and age are women.  I found it all very fascinating.

But I especially found it fascinating when the man in the red shirt talked about how Georgia was very independent and traveled alone going for days on end in her car in search of subjects that interested her.  People thought she was crazy and I have to say that even a woman in our time has that same bit of stigma from some people.  I very much felt a kin to Georgia in that moment. 

When I left the museum, the man in the red shirt was out front and he asked me what I thought.  I told him it was a wonderful museum and experience.  He said that’s why he committed himself to being a docent since 2006.  I thanked him for his talk and said that I sort of felt a kin to Georgia when he talked about her travels alone.  I told him I was on a long road trip and told him that it was 83.  Wow! He said now that’s a serious road trip.  He said to enjoy and be careful of Santa Fe’s sidewalks.  He was convinced that they were there long before the city was ever built.  I laughed and thanked him; some of them are in terrible shape.
Photo-The Chuck Jones Gallery.

Next, I was down and around the corner and saw a Chuck Jones Animation Art Gallery.  I went in and was greeted warmly by a tall black dreadlock haired man behind a desk.  He asked how I was and I said Cold.  He laughed and said he appreciated my honesty.  I laughed and said maybe I should stop there.  The gallery was pretty cool.  There’s art from Warner Brother’s Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, and others.  There’s Dr. Seuss artwork too.  Quite a bit of it was numbered reproductions of the originals done by Chuck Jones.
Photo- Another gallery that I really liked in the area.

Down the street a little farther, I came across another gallery that sparked my interest.  It had sculptures of cougars on benches in front of its windows.  I went in and saw quite a wide range of styles and types of artwork.  I grabbed some of the cards for some of the artists that I like what they do.  Three out of the four artist’s cards I took were all self-taught artists with no BFA.  Wow!  That surprised me because most the time in Utah I’ve found quite often the opposite.
Photo- A layer of snow in the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Further down the street is the New Mexico Museum of Art.  I went in.  After paying the entrance fee, I’m directed out through an open courtyard area to the actual art museum.  Through the courtyard I walked and through another set of doors into a foyer area.  I decided to keep right.  The first segment is large more modern type art fixtures that I never seem to understand or get for the most part.  Then, the art museum takes a venture into “Scenes Seldom Seen” and features a couple of photos with Georgia O'Keeffe in them and one taken by her.  Then, there was also a painting that is done by her too.  It also features other well-known New Mexico artists but I don’t recognize any of them.  Upstairs there was a show on glass that was very interesting.  Back down the stairs I went and turned left this time.  This area talked about New Mexico’s art history and asked about what art is and who is determined to be classified as an artist which this area contained more art that I just didn’t get.
Photo- The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

Next I walked around the square and ended up over by the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.  It looked as though it was being refurbished.  So I just admired the beautiful outside of it for a bit.  Then, I walked over to the Chapel of Loretto and saw the Miraculous Staircase.  The all wooden stairs that was built by a carpenter for the nuns to get to the choir loft which contains no nails.  The stairs were wonderful wood but the chapel area itself was beautiful too I thought. 
Photos- The amazing Miraculous Stairs and the beautiful chapel.

I grabbed a bit of lunch and something warm to drink at the Blue Corn Café.  Then, I went through a couple of gift shops while burning time till the shuttle bus came; about another 15min.  I had had enough of this walking around in the cold weather.  I needed to see about getting some warmer clothing.  The gal that drove the shuttle told me where some stores were on the way back to the hotel and when I got back I jumped in my car in search of warm clothing.  I ended up at Kohl’s and purchased a turtle neck sweater, a fleece hooded jacket lined with Sherpa fur, a sweater cardigan, and another long sleeve shirt.  I figured that should do me and it only set me back about $80.  You gotta love Kohls!

Next, back at the hotel I put on warm clothes in preparation of going out for dinner.  The Cow Girl Restaurant had come highly recommended.  I parked my car and went in only to find that they had a large group had reserved much of the restaurant and the bar area was packed with customers and more customers waiting to sit.  The gal offered that I could get take out but I didn’t want to sit in my hotel room and eat.  I swung by three others that were on my list but they were closed on Sundays.  I felt a bit like I was in Utah.  A bit disappointed, I finally decided to go to a chain restaurant (Outback) that I saw earlier when I was at  Kohls. 

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