Message from the Executive Director (Fall 2017)Message from the Executive Director (Fall 2017)

Thirty years of conferences! WOW! We have been to so many wonderful places across the U.S. Santa Fe remains among the favorites. This year marked the third conference in Santa Fe, and it was, indeed, one of the best in the Folk Art Society’s history!

Thanks go out to our chairs of the conference – Betty-Carol Sellen and Marti Burt, who selected the beautiful and comfortable Hotel Santa Fe and Spa – a Native American hotel owned by the Picuris Tribe. We enjoyed its collection of Native American art, the flute player and the tribal leader who led our group in prayer to open the Saturday night auction. The best part of the whole hotel experience was the welcoming attention and services received from the entire staff, especially Andrew Young, director of group sales, and Mary Brophy, director of catering.

Betty-Carol and Marti opened their home and folk art collection to us on Friday for which we are most grateful. Their help and advice have been invaluable in organizing this conference. Other generous hosts were Richard and Joan Chodosh, Joan Vernick, Bruce and Mary Anne Larsen, JoAnne and Bob Balzer, and Rick Finney and Jerry Walter. We were amazed and delighted to see each collection of Native American, Hispanic, Northwest Coast and Contemporary Art. Experiencing art in a special home setting is always a rare and much-appreciated treat.

Artists Arthur Lopez and Bernadette Marquez opened their home and collection as well as their studios. Both are award-winning artists – Arthur for his contemporary santos and Bernadette for her beautiful silver creations. On Sunday, we traveled to Cordova on the High Road to Taos to visit artist Sabinita Lopez Ortiz, who had an abundance of her natural-wood carved santos on display and for sale. The Folk Art Society presented Sabinita’s Tree of Life as its annual gift in memory of Herbert W. Hemphill Jr. to the Museum of International Folk Art during the conference.

With three outstanding speakers on tap for the society’s annual symposium, we enjoyed the presentations by Jeff Snell, CEO of the International Folk Art Alliance; Felicia Katz-Harris, MOIFA Curator of Asian and Oriental Folk Art; and Laura Addison, MOIFA curator of European and American Folk Art, who guided us through the museum’s Tramp Art exhibition. Many thanks to all of them!

Randall Lott chaired the society’s benefit auction, carefully putting the donations online for four weeks with Bidding-for-Good and taking care of the live and silent auctions at Hotel Santa Fe on Saturday night. Vali Braselton and Cindy Solesbee assisted Randall, and crowd-pleaser Tina Cox again served as the auctioneer. Santa Fe artist Eluid Martinez assisted with the art donations, photographing them and transporting them to the hotel. We appreciate all the hard work this successful auction entailed as well as the prize pieces of art donated by artists and Folk Art Society members.

Valuable assistance with registration was handled by Allen and Terri Johnson, who loved greeting our group of 105 who came from more than 18 states and Canada. This introduction barely captures the fun, educational and social events that took place October 19-22, 2017, and you can read about it in greater detail in this issue of the Folk Art Messenger.

Ann Oppenhimer. Executive Director