Kathleen Spencer Johns
Boulder, CO, USA
The Taos Paintings are a collection of painting inspired by the Pueblo and painted from a place of love, compassion and respect. The paintings started out as a fund raising effort for the Senior Center at the Taos Pueblo but turned into so much more. The energy and beauty of this place captured my heart and the paintings express this experience. Sometimes life connects people from different walks of life in a powerful way. This connection can last beyond the final resting and inspire you to do more, give more and live more It was with meeting and working with Lillian that and her untimely passing that this project was born.
Lillian Romero was the back bone of the Senior Center on the Taos Pueblo. Already into her early seventies she wasn’t able to retire as she felt there was so much more to do and so many more dreams for the center she hope to bring into existence. So she continued to work, to dream and to motivate others. Illness was what stopped Lillian’s ability to work but it did not stop her dreams. The center will be renamed to the Lillian Romero Senior Center and little by little the hope is to raise money to continue Lillian’s work through expanding the programs and the facilities that support the elders of the Taos Pueblo.
Creating art that will carry the history and mystery of a place is a challenge that can some times be overwhelming. When you are creating for another purpose as well it makes the work even more intense to produce. In the instances of the Taos Pueblo paintings this combination of challenges allowed me to be more expressive. I was not just copying the surface reality but allowing the depth of spirit to awaken on the canvas. The body of work is unlike the typical depictions of the Pueblo and reaches into the ancient mystery and energy that imbues this place. My hope is to let the art speak quietly and powerfully of the amazing spirit of a place that has been inhabited for over 1000 years by a people that continually honor its beauty and spirit.
In giving back to the Pueblo I hope to enhance the work that Lillian started and dedicated her life to through increasing the assistance offered to the elders of her beloved Pueblo. All of the paintings are painted with this driving force as well as with the beauty, power and connection that lies beneath the physical.
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