ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Millicent Rogers Museum will venture into the virtual with a Southwest Artisan Market next weekend.
Slated for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 29, the inaugural event will be streamed live in a “home shopping” type format online through the museum’s store at millicentrogers.org.
More than 20 renowned New Mexican artists will participate in sales, including glass artist Ira Lujan; fashion designer Patricia Michaels; jewelry designer Maria Samora; tin worker Nicholas Madrid; designer Penny Singer, contemporary Tewa potter Jody Naranjo; jewelry designer Randy Montoya and jewelry designer Marilynn Nicholson.
The market’s co-chairs include clay and mixed-media potter Kathleen Wall; conservator, carver and lithographer Gustavo Victor Goler; and jeweler, photographer, videographer, painter and sculptor Douglas Magnus. Each artist will prepare a 2-3 minute video clip about their work.
“It was an effort to keep the artists busy and market their art,” Goler said in a telephone interview from Talpa in Taos County. “They’re all going through the same transition. Their venues are not around.”
The pandemic forced the cancellation of Santa Fe’s annual Spanish Market, while the Santa Fe Indian Market moved to a virtual event.
A renowned santero, Goler was raised in Santa Fe before moving to Taos in 1988. Born into a family of art conservators and restorers, it was natural that he would put chisel to wood.
“I started carving when I was 13,” Goler said. “They put me to work on the saints; I would carve fingers.”
He soon opened a small conservation studio in Santa Fe, carving saints as gifts to his patrons. Soon gallery owners were buying his carvings. In Taos, he scoured books on the subject, especially works about the older saints.
“I wanted to know about the history,” Goler said. “I didn’t know it in-depth.”
The legendary New Mexico collector Larry Frank (his collection of santos now sits in the New Mexico Museum of Art) helped by giving Goler access to his collection.
“At the same time, the contemporary santo work was beginning to pick up,” Goler added. He was soon winning awards, including a 2017 New Mexico Governor’s Award and being named a Living Legend in Taos in 2018. Goler’s work can be found in publications, museum and private collections, and churches around the country.
The artist will be bringing two large pieces and a smattering of small works to the market.
An enthroned St. Joseph sits in a ’58 Cadillac. Goler carved St. Anthony holding a traditional holy book and a lily.
His “Santa Barbara” features a gently curved wind-blown cape. He also carved an image of Rebecca at the well from the Old Testament.
Goler juried into Spanish Market in 1988 and has won many awards, including the Master Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016.