THE SANTA FE THAT WAS, THE SANTA FE THAT IS; SUBHEAD: JERRY WEST'S REMEMBRANCES OF FIESTAS PAST; ; THE NEW MEXICAN.
Byline: DOUGLAS FAIRFIELD
"In some ways, Santa Fe Santa Fe, city, Argentina
Santa Fe, city (1991 pop. 341,000), capital of Santa Fe prov., NE Argentina, a river port near the Paraná, with which it is connected by canal. hasn't changed at all, even since when I was a kid," said artist Jerry West
Having lived here for more than 70 years, West has seen his share of change -- some of it good, some not so good. In an interview with Pasatiempo, he recalled a significant turn in the power structure during the 1960s that he believes had a negative effect on the town. "There was a shift in the tone of Santa Fe in the late '60s when developers came pouring in and created a lot of subdivisions. They became very powerful, and because of their accelerated building activities, the natural progression of development never occurred."
West has been in construction for the better part of
his life, building custom homes and artist studios as a diversion from his art making. "Today, I act more as an advisor, a consultant to small construction crews. And I like that part of my life," he said. "I've always enjoyed working with my hands and being part of a team. For some reason, I've always been good at working with people." West pointed out that many artists are skilled in other disciplines and referred to one of his mentors, his high school art instructor, painter Jozef Bakos (1891-1977), who made furniture and built adobe homes. "Bakos was one of the original Los Cinco Los Cinco is an unofficial collective of Latin American composers living and working in Los Angeles. These composers include: Daniel Catán, Miguel del Aguila, Aurelio de la Vega, Enrique González-Medina, and Carlos Rodriquez. Pintores [The Five Painters] who also crafted furniture for La Fonda," West said. "As a kid, I wasn't necessarily influenced by his style of painting but rather his way of life as an artist and positive outlook on life, and I wanted to be like that."
Today, West is a painter and printmaker known primarily for his narrative work that details his observations and memories of having grown up in New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). . In conjunction with that is his Dreamwork Dreamwork differs from classical dream interpretation in that the aim of dreamwork is to explore the various images and emotions that a dream presents and evokes, while not attempting to come up with a single, unique dream meaning. series, a continuing effort through painting to better understand his personal psyche. "My family was unwilling to look into their idiosyncrasies, and my dream paintings help me get through that," he said. His less symbolic work, however, conveys his love for Santa Fe and features a cast of characters with whom he has been acquainted throughout his life.
This may be best exemplified in his commissioned mural for Santa Fe City Hall, Recuerdos y suenos de Santa Fe (Memories and Dreams of Santa Fe), done in 1989 (see Page 59). At 18 feet in height and 14 feet across, the mural covers an entire wall and commemorates the history of Santa Fe. It is populated with myriad actual and imagined people as well as specific events particular to Santa Fe. West referred to old photographs, oral tradition, and his own memories in conceiving the composite image, but it was a vivid dream that inspired the story line.
"Amarante Tapia -- we called him Big Joe because he was such a big man -- was the janitor at Santa Fe High when I taught there for 10 years. I and a couple of other colleagues used to play practical jokes on him, and he never turned us in, but rather took it in stride Adv. 1. in stride - without losing equilibrium; "she took all his criticism in stride"
in good spirits . Of course, he pulled his share of jokes on us, and it was always in the best of fun. To me, Big Joe represented all that was good in a person; he accepted his life as it was and never complained. So in the mural, I envisioned Big Joe leading this long procession of people from the high school to the Plaza, sweeping the pathway for everyone like some kind of pied piper Pied Piper
charms children of Hamelin with music. [Children’s Lit.: “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” in Dramatic Lyrics, Fisher, 279–281]
See : Enchantment , representing the collective past of Santa Fe."
Many of West's paintings depict the Plaza and downtown Santa Fe. The artist described the inspiration for one particular painting, Early Morning Snow, Ravens, and a Cathedral Called Saint Francis (2008), in a catalog essay: "Early mornings with new fallen snow, before any car has tracked it up, can be especially mysterious and lonely and lovely. Ravens seem to be very much alive and eagerly scour scour, scours
1. the chemical and physical cleaning of fleece wool.
see dietary diarrhea.
see secondary nutritional copper deficiency. the city for anything exciting. The mood and magic jars my memory back to 1942. At the beginning of the Great War, our family lived in an old adobe house at 524 Canyon Road. Our papa Hal was away in Texas working at a German internment camp. My older brother Jack had a bicycle and a paper route. He delivered the Santa Fe New Mexican to the east side of Santa Fe. And I, I sold Saturday Evening Posts downtown." In the lower right corner of the painting, is West as a boy standing outside the entry to La Fonda, ready to sell his magazines, with arms raised to
the ravens flying overhead.
"I consider myself a Santa Fean," said West, who came here from Glendale, Ohio, by rail at the tender age of 1.
"My mother was a teacher in Ohio, and my father -- Harold "Hal" West -- was a self-taught artist from Oklahoma who became friends with Will Shuster and Gustave Baumann. He was just a funky artist trying to make it and for awhile worked under the Works Progress Administration Works Progress Administration: see Work Projects Administration. program. But I still remember getting off the train in Lamy," he said.
Despite his father being an artist, and despite having taken art classes under Bakos, West did not fully realize his artistic calling until later in life. "My dad never gave me the slightest lesson in drawing or painting, but I remember watching him make art; I just grew up around it." Attuned at·tune
tr.v. at·tuned, at·tun·ing, at·tunes
1. To bring into a harmonious or responsive relationship: an industry that is not attuned to market demands.
2. to the sciences, West graduated from Colorado State University Colorado State University, at Fort Collins; land-grant with state and federal support; chartered 1870, opened 1879 as an agricultural college, assumed present name in 1957. There is a veterinary teaching hospital, an agricultural campus, and a research campus. with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and holds a master's degree in field biology and mammalogy mam·mal·o·gy
The branch of zoology that deals with mammals.
[mamma(l) + -logy.]
mam from The University of New Mexico The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a public university in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was founded in 1889. It also offers multiple bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs in all areas of the arts, sciences, and engineering. . He taught biology and history at Santa Fe High School Santa Fe High School may refer to:
NMHU is notable for enrolling a majority Hispanic student body. , where he got his Master of Arts Master of Arts
a degree, usually postgraduate in a nonscientific subject, or a person holding this degree
Noun 1. Master of Arts - a master's degree in arts and sciences
Artium Magister, MA, AM degree.
West suggests that his work is informed as much by writers and poets as it is by visual artists. "The writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who did Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude One Hundred Years of Solitude
encompasses the sweep of Latin American history. [Lat. Am. Lit.: Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude in Weiss, 336]
See : Epic , is very inspiring for me, as are writers like him. But I so love the work of Goya too. I admire that he broke out of the mode of religious imagery and felt free, if not obligated ob·li·gate
tr.v. ob·li·gat·ed, ob·li·gat·ing, ob·li·gates
1. To bind, compel, or constrain by a social, legal, or moral tie. See Synonyms at force.
2. To cause to be grateful or indebted; oblige. , to portray human suffering." Indeed, some of West's images contain strong imagery, pictures that are politically motivated and anti-imperialist in content. "Those paintings that some people consider strong, both visually and emotionally, come from my search to understand my personal psychology," said West. This is evident in Prairie Scarecrow Scarecrow
goes to Wizard of Oz to get brains. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]
See : Ignorance
can’t live up to his name. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Am. (1991), a painting that presents a life-size figure of a dead soldier, partly bandaged and decomposing but standing in a cornfield, still equipped with grenades hanging from two belts of ammo that crisscross his chest. "My work is certainly about storytelling, and some of my allegorical paintings are very serious," he said.
As Fiesta rolls around for another year, West holds fond memories of past celebrations, and several of his paintings portray the event. "In the early days, Fiesta was truly a gathering of people, not only the locals, but folks from the smallest villages made the trip to Santa Fe. People of all ages and from all walks of life got dressed up and came together to stroll around the Plaza, and the celebration seemed to last for days. I simply loved that as a young child. But now there are masses of people, and the elderly stay away. The local flavor of the celebration has suffered somewhat because today Fiesta is more of a commercial production. But it's a complex scene today. In fact, I remember when there were no galleries in town; yet today, there's an incredibly talented group of people moving paint around, and that's great." <