Back from Taos and The Poetics of Place

• Tuesday, May 05, 2015 •

Highlights From Our Retreat with Workshops; The Poetics of Place, 
Taos, New Mexico

A week ago, those of us who attended “The Poetics of Place,” at the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan Place in Taos, New Mexico, were trying to get settled back into our daily routines in the “real” world. But we carried with us the glow of our time spent together in this extraordinary place among such exceptional artists and writers. Our teachers, artist Rebecca Crowell and writer Cecilia Woloch, created a fertile atmosphere in which students were encouraged to draw from both the present environment and the past artists and writers who had stayed in this same house over the years to bring forth new inspiration in their own works.  Take a look below at a photo journey of our event.

The Mable Dodge Luhan House

The Artists with Painter-Instructor Rebecca Crowell ~ The Writers with Poet-Instructor Cecilia Woloch

The Food is Art at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House

Kitchen at the MDLH with Chefs - to the side board

The Idea of "The Poetics of Place" was for artists and writers to consider the creative ancestors who stayed 
at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in the past - (D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin, to name but a few) 
and to contemplate the role of "place" in the work to be done, during the Retreat-Workshop, and after. Above are pics that show
a meaningful exchange between the artists and writers where a painting inspired a poem that inspired another painting.

Most nights we held "Salons" after dinner. Rebecca Crowell presented on the artists who were hosted by Mabel at her house. 
One of the striking paintings is above, left, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ranchos Church, New Mexico, 1930-31. 
Some of us went with Rebecca to visit the church. What a living "sculpture." It was after hours and the church was closed.
We had so many questions 
about the church and its history. In the above far right photo you can see the Priest of this church
who happened upon our group 
and blessed us with a history of the church, the early missions,
the Tiwa Peublo native Americans and Taos. We later returned to view the 
Church's "mystery painting."

Another session that was powerful for all who attended, was when the Instructors swapped groups, providing an interdisciplinary session.
Above is Poet-Instructor Cecilia Woloch leading the artists in a creative writing session....

...while Painter-Instructor Rebecca Crowell first gave a demo of painting
with cold wax medium 
and then the Poets painted.

The Above show excursions to the Rio Grande Gorge, art in the studio, poets visiting the studio, 
an evening salon, and an excursion to see the "Earth Ships" of Taos (on Earth Day).

Norma Hendrix, Executive Director of Cullowhee Mountain Arts