Friday, October 28, 2005
Roswell: Trying to Wrap Up My Feelings About It
NOB HILL--Thinking back to this week's trip to Roswell one thought keeps coming back to me: the quality of their art museums is truly amazing. See Tuesday's post below for details about the Roswell Museum & Art Center. Tuesday afternoon Ken and I went to the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. We thought we would check it out before we left for Albuquerque.
The Anderson Museum is the result of Roswell's Artist-in-Residence program. About half a dozen artists are provided with living quarters and a studio for 6 months. They used to receive a stipend, although I am unsure that it still applies. At any rate, the artist owes nothing except a piece of artwork to the museum.
The Anderson is quite large...and it is stocked with nothing but work from former and present participants in the A-I-R program. Figure it out for yourself: say 10 artists per year since maybe 1975...let's see, 300 artists. Whoa.
And these people are not slackers. There are several Luis Jimenez drawings and sculptures, Skinny Schooley has several, ABQ artist Frank McCollough, and about 297 others. It is an amazing collection.
But the overriding thought I have is how farsighted those Anderson boys were to start the program in the first place. There is a Jimenez drawing on Ebay right now with a buy-it-now price of $17,000. It doesn't take too much savvy to figure out that if your selection of artists is pretty good, it will not really be a money-losing proposition. I was told that the Roswell program is actually the best in the country in terms of its generosity.
My final thought is this: Go to Roswell. Go for the UFO's...stay for the art. I have flown to Chicago to view the Monet exhibit. I flew to Los Angeles for the Van Gough showing. They were worth it, even though you have a 2-hour reserved viewing time and there are long lines and crowded galleries. The Roswell experience is more like you are in the room by yourself. Just you and Hurd, Wyeth, O'Keeffe, Jimenez, Schooley, Bromberg, and many many more.