Kevin Robb Showing at Pippin Contemporary

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  • July 22nd, 2014

Tip Top by Kevin Robb showing at Pippin ContemporaryPippin Contemporary is proud to be exhibiting Kevin Robb’s stainless steel sculpture. Located on the corner of Canyon Road and Paseo de Peralta in downtown Santa Fe, Robb’s sculpture marks the way.

Kevin Robb literally lives to create. After a massive stroke in 2004, his wife and daughter, Diane and Kelsey supported him with their love, yet it was his artwork that brought Robb back to life. Unable to communicate with words, Kevin now accesses his right brain to create beautiful lines and visual movement in sophisticated sculpture. Daily in his studio, Kevin creates artwork that he loves. Hiring studio assistants to be his hands in the physical work of welding, cutting, and grinding, he oversees every cut, bend, and assemblage of the metal. His ideas are free flowing and he is committed as ever to excellence.

“I don’t create my monumental metal sculptures according to a set plan. The placement of each element is an answer to a question of relationships, which I discover as the work is in progress. I become one with the metal and intuitively know the precise twists and turns that will be required to achieve the desired result of a dynamic contemporary sculpture.”

Robb has placed permanent sculpture Internationally (Mexico, Canada, France, Australia) and throughout the United States. Major projects include a 30-foot sculpture in San Diego, California, 6 major sculptures at the Borgata Casino and Spa, Atlantic City, New Jersey; CSG International Headquarters, Omaha, Nebraska, and Groveland Terrace in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Public art projects include an 18-foot sculpture at the Azle Memorial Library, Azle, Texas; Cities of Edmond, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Wheat Ridge, Colorado; Keller, Texas, and Greenwich, Connecticut. Robb’s work is collected by numerous universities and museums, including the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Kevin Robb offers a resolve to his artwork that is a physical testament to the dedication, expertise, and amazing recovery of a remarkable artist and person.

Being True to My Creative Self…New Work by Aleta Pippin

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  • June 27th, 2014

Pippin continues her path of exploration with new work for her July 2014 show. Light has always been integral to her paintings. Using various mediums and contrasting hues, Pippin’s paintings have a “glow” that expresses as backlighting. She is also a fan of technology and has been researching LED lighting over a year.

In this show, you’ll see the initial paintings using LED lighting, as well as painting on acrylic panels. Following are a few of the finished pieces.

Unlimited Possibilities mm: acrylic, acrylic panels, LED lighting 36x36x2.5"

Unlimited Possibilities
mm: acrylic, acrylic panels, LED lighting


Shades of Green mm: acrylic on acrylic panels with LED lighting 36x12x2.5"

Shades of Green
mm: acrylic on acrylic panels with LED lighting


How Deep Is the Ocean mm: acrylic on acrylic panels with LED lighting 36x12x2.5"

How Deep Is the Ocean
mm: acrylic on acrylic panels with LED lighting


Aleta feels this is just the beginning. These paintings open the door to future work.

Passport to the Arts…Quick Draw – Pippin Contemporary

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  • May 11th, 2014

3rd Annual Passport to the Arts Quick Draw on Canyon Road Saturday, May 10, 2014. The morning started at 11 am on the dot with eight artists located in our sculpture garden racing the clock to do a painting from beginning to end in just two hours while people mingled and encouraged them. Those paintings were sold at auction raising money for the Santa Fe Public Schools Music Education Program. Participating artists: Jason Appleton, Becky Brennen, Michael Ethridge, Cody Hooper, Oliver Polzin, James Roybal, Ann Marie Trapp, Sandra Duran Wilson.


Cody Hooper…checking

Cody Hooper…checking


Jason Appleton talking with Bev Evans

Jason Appleton talking with Bev Evans


James Roybal

James Roybal


Michael Ethridge and Aleta Pippin showing off Michael's painting

Michael Ethridge and Aleta Pippin showing off Michael’s painting


Pretty artist under the Pink Hat? Sandra Duran Wilson, author of four art books.

Pretty artist under the Pink Hat? Sandra Duran Wilson, author of four art books.


Sandy Keller and Pamela Frankel Fiedler

Sandy Keller and Pamela Frankel Fiedler


Rose Masterpol and friend

Rose Masterpol and friend


How do you get a hummingbird down from the skylight? Very carefully…

Hummingbird rescued by Lisa Ethridge (right) and Bev Evans

Hummingbird rescued by Lisa Ethridge (right) and Bev Evans



Hunting for Alfred Morang by Paul Parker

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  • April 1st, 2014

From time-to-time, we’ll post stories written by Paul Parker, Santa Fe Art Club,
We hope you find them informative and interesting.

House Sketch by Alfred Morang

House Sketch, watercolor and ink, by Alfred Morang

I had been thinking about this mission for a long time and I finally find myself in the library seated in front of this antique microfilm viewer the size of a small refrigerator and I have loaded the reel containing the early 1958 issues of the Santa Fe New Mexican.

I was not sure why I had this unremitting need to know more about Alfred Morang. I had first seen his work painted on the adobe walls across from the bar in El Farol on Canyon Road and in Maria’s on Cordova, but I know the real inspiration came from my good friend Jim Parsons in Taos. Jim was an art dealer and appraiser forever and a friend and mentor for 20 years. When he mentioned that Alfred Morang was one of his favorites I knew I needed to pay attention. It was like Willy Wonka telling me about one of his favorite chocolate bars.

It helps that Alfred was such a compelling man, so well versed in music and literature as well as painting. He was the youngest person ever to perform a solo violin concert in the prestigious Jordan Hall in Boston. He was also an accomplished writer. The London Times once called him one of America’s leading non-political short story writers. Erskine Caldwell was a friend of his and he often visited Alfred and his wife Dorothy in Santa Fe. Alfred’s short stories and poems were published alongside Frost, Poe and Mark Twain. I do know the main reason I am so drawn to him is that his art touches me. Behind that art is Alfred’s story, his life experience and that is what drove him to create the art that Jim and I and many others enjoy so much.

There is a very sad part to his story and it is that part that drew me to the library. Alfred Morang died in a fire in his Canyon Road apartment studio on a cold January night at the age of 56. I had wanted to come here to the library and read the January 29, 1958 issue of the Santa Fe New Mexican for some time. I wanted to know the details, I wanted to read what people said, I wanted to know what page it was on and how big the article was. I was scrolling through the microfilm and as I started approaching the day he died I realized I was reading the papers that he probably read unaware he only had days to live.

The closer I got to the issue of the paper I had come to see the more time I took reading the articles and I even started reading the ads. I lingered the longest on Tuesday’s edition dated January 28, 1958. That was the last paper Alfred could have read.

There was an article on that day that I am sure must have caught Alfred’s eye and the headline read, “French Ballet loses Backing”. Alfred never made it to Paris, but his heart was there. His heroes were the French Impressionists and he considered himself to be one of them. Monet and Bonnard were his favorites. The article explained that the French Education Ministry had withdrawn the government subsidy for the production of Francoise Sagan’s ballet “The Broken Date”. The ministry’s action followed a storm of protest. Apparently one dance was performed in a bathroom setting designed by painter Bernard Buffet and was described by some critics as scandalously erotic. I would like to have gone to Paris with Alfred and attended that performance. A French ballet with a bathroom setting designed by Bernard Buffet coupled with scandalously erotic, I am sure we both would have enjoyed that.

That Tuesday the Lensic was showing “Pal Joey” starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak. Kaune’s was having a sale featuring Pork Chops at 59 cents a pound and Swanson’s Pot Pies at four for a dollar with your choice of chicken, turkey or beef. Cherry Motor’s at 607 Cerrillos Road had an ad for the new Rambler American for $1789. The ad proclaimed that one had been driven from New York to Los Angeles using only 80 gallons of gas averaging over 30 mpg. I remembered that time. One week before this ad ran I had celebrated my 12th birthday and becoming a teenager was in sight. Unlike today I was looking forward to getting older and that was the time I began thinking about cars. Chevrolet had just introduced the 283 V-8 a year earlier in the now iconic 1957 Chevy. The fuel economy push left over from the war was fading fast and the Plymouth Hemi and the “Little GTO” were on the horizon. The economical 6 cylinder Rambler American never had a chance.

I read every bit of that Tuesday’s paper. It was as if I felt that Alfred would be okay as long as I did not turn the page, but I knew it was time to see what I had come to see. I took a last look at the classifieds and marveled at an ad for a 2-bedroom adobe with wall-to-wall carpet “close in” for $16,500 and then I hit the button and watched the microfilm reel turn slowly.

The first thing I saw positioned on the top left side of the front page of that Wednesday edition of the Santa Fe New Mexican was a large photograph of a cat crouching on the corner of a charred mattress. The rest of the bed was strewn with papers and tubes of paint. Underneath the right half of the photo was a caption “Mourning for Her Master…This lonely cat was found wandering through the charred ruins of the home of her master Alfred Morang who died in the fire early this morning. The cat is on the bed where he died.” Morang’s friends had commented on his love of cats and noted that he often went hungry himself so he could afford to feed them. Two other cats perished in the fire with him. Unfortunately I discovered that the cat on the mattress in the picture had to be put down because it had extensive lung damage. There was also a picture of Alfred. A cigarette in a holder was hanging from the corner of his mouth dangling over his scraggly beard and he was wearing a black hat with a brim that was tilted slightly to the left making him look decidedly like an artist and decidedly French. The story next to the photo read “Well Known Artist Dies In Home Fire… Alfred Morang, 56, one of Santa Fe’s best known and most colorful Bohemians died at about 1:30 am last night in a tragic fire at his home in the 600 block of Canyon Road.” Friends reported they had last seen Alfred in Claude’s bar around midnight. His apartment was just up the alley out back.

Five days after the fire the New Mexican noted…“Funeral services were held Saturday at the Fairview Memorial Park Crematorium in Albuquerque for Alfred Morang, widely known Santa Fe artist, writer and critic who was burned to death early Wednesday morning in a fire at his home here. The body was escorted to Albuquerque by a group of close friends, including Randall Davey, Will Shuster, Harlan Lizer, Walter Dawley and William Currie. Alfred was transported in a Spanish Colonial coffin made by Abolonio Rodriguez, custodian of the art museum.”

Alfred was born in Ellsworth, Maine in 1901 and came to Santa Fe in 1937. Like many who came here he suffered from TB. He immediately became a fixture in the Santa Fe art scene. He wrote a weekly column for the newspaper and he produced a weekly radio program for 17 years on KVSF called “The World of Art with Alfred Morang.” Most of all he was famous for his enthusiasm for art and his ability to teach and many benefited from “The Morang School of Fine Art”.

Walt Wiggins authored a book published in 1979 appropriately titled “Alfred Morang…A Neglected Master”. Walt uncovered several quotes during his research for his book and my favorites include the following. “When Alfred Morang’s life came to a tragic end in January of 1958 nothing before or since has so shaken the New Mexico art colony. Some say it was a sense of guilt that struck the community for not having shown a greater sense of appreciation for one who, by destiny, was different.” One Santa Fe artist reasoned, “Why shouldn’t Santa Fe be stunned with the loss of Alfred? After all, he taught half of us how to paint and the other half how to see.”

The February 10th 1958 issue of the Santa Fe New Mexican carried the report of the local memorial service for Alfred in Lorraine Carr’s column “It Happened in Old Santa Fe”. Dr. Reginald Fisher, director of the Art Museum spoke first. “Friends this is not a funeral, we are simply gathered here for a creative expression of merit and appreciation of a spirit that has been active in an activity that we in Santa Fe like to call art. Alfred was an inventive, searching and daring spirit as French as Lautrec, yet he never saw Paris. Last week his restless spirit found peace.”

Painter and close friend Randall Davey was next. “I have known Alfred since he arrived back in 1937. He was a kind, a gentle and a humble soul and in all those years I never heard him speak unkindly of his fellow man. He was a great painter; many of you did not think so, because often he sold his work for a mere pittance through necessity. Nevertheless it was great art and the happiest work I have seen in New Mexico. He had a love and a delight for painting and I doubt that anyone will surpass him in this field.”

I hope Alfred enjoyed himself on that Tuesday. I hope he spent some time with friends and some extra time petting his cats. I hope he wrote another poem and put the final touches on his most recent favorite painting before he headed down the alley to Claude’s that evening.

Claude James ran the well know Canyon Road bar where he often spent time and, as legend has it, her rowdy spirit was just what was needed to run that place. I would love to have met Alfred there that fateful night for a few drinks. I’m sure we would have talked through the evening about art and life as we cast occasional glances at the ever present ladies that were often the subject of his paintings and when Claude said “It’s midnight, would you fellows like another one?” I would nod and say, how about a couple of shots of your best cognac. I would love to take a sip, lean back and turn to him and say “Alfred I know you often say that you don’t believe in art for art’s sake, but you believe in art for people’s sake. Can you explain to me what you mean by that, and please…take your time?”

A few weeks after I finished writing this story I found myself engrossed in the details of planning a trip to Paris. I was not sure why, but suddenly it came flooding over me with incredible clarity. Human life really is very fragile and it really is all going to come to an end someday and we do not know when. I knew then I needed to go to Paris and I needed to go now. Unfortunately most people have that epiphany too late in life. They start thinking about the things they never got to do after it’s too late to do them. I knew then that this sudden obsession with Paris was a message from Alfred. Paris was his promised land, but he never made it there and I was going to go for both of us.

I told a friend in Santa Fe this story and he said, “You should do something for Alfred in Paris.” It was a great idea, but what would I do? I had been in Paris 5 days when I suddenly knew. I found an image of a Morang painting on my laptop. I printed it and wrote a bit on the back about Alfred and headed off to the Musee d’Orsay. This time as I enjoyed the paintings I was also searching for a repository for Alfred’s work and I finally found it. I can tell you that a fine example of the genius of Alfred Morang now has a home in Musee d’Orsay on the banks of the Seine and it will take a jackhammer to find it. He is close to Monet and Bonnard, the masters he so admired. Alfred, you finally made it.

Greg Reiche…A Visionary Sculptor

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  • March 26th, 2014

Recently, we had the opportunity to pay tribute to Greg Reiche at an in gallery dinner on March 21st. This dinner, in conjunction with Art Matters – Sustenance, gave us an opportunity to let Greg know how much we appreciate him and his work. Our sense of Greg is greatness in a humble person, a visionary artist in touch with his evolving artistic message. Other attributes – reliable, thoughtful, intelligent, humorous just to name a few. These are the personality traits that you want in an artist, particularly one you are collecting. Prior to the dinner, we had the opportunity to work with Carlo Zanella to do a video of Greg’s artistic vision.

Greg Reiche…Visionary Sculptor

I’m proud to show Greg Reiche’s work at our gallery; it’s strong and beautiful. I believe it strikes that chord in us that says humans are capable of creating something meaningful and long-lasting.

Art of Home Tour, Another ARTsmart Event

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  • March 19th, 2014

There are several events that happen during the third weekend of February in Santa Fe – ARTsmart. They include Edible Art Tour (see our post), a fashion show, Honorary Artist Banquet, Artists Brunch and the Art of Home Tour, sponsored by Santa Fe Properties. This year, Pippin Contemporary had art in a home on Bishop’s Lodge which added that zest to showcase the home properly. Here are some pictures:

Red Rising glass vessel by Suzanne Wallace Mears

This beautiful red vessel is Red Rising by Suzanne Wallace Mears

Stephanie Shank's paintings showing at Pippin Contemporary

These colorful and whimsical paintings by Stephanie Shank add color to the kitchen.

Paintings by Aleta Pippin and Sandra Duran Wilson showing at Pippin Contemporary

Velocity of Light (right) is Sandra Duran Wilson’s mixed media piece and Aleta Pippin’s Into Being oil and oil stick painting is on the easel.

Connection by Eva Carter at Pippin Contemporary

Connection by Eva Carter provides a focal point to enter dining area.

Artwork by Greg Reiche, Cody Hooper, Tony Griffith, Guilloume showing at Pippin Contemporary

As you can see, the living area has amazing views. Starting on the left, sculpture by Greg Reiche, Cody Hooper’s painting over the fireplace, Tony Griffith’s paintings, and a sculpture by Guilloume on the window sill.

Infinite Possibilities by Robert Langford showing at Pippin Contemporary

Infinite Possibilities by Robert Langford shows off in the bedroom.

Soaring through Heights by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

One of Guilloume’s sculptures – Soaring through Heights

Artwork by Suzanne Wallace Mears, Eva Carter, Aleta Pippin and Greg Reiche

Starting in the window sill to the left, fused glass by Suzanne Wallace Mears, another view of Eva Carter’s painting Connection, in the hallway I’ll Wait for You by Aleta Pippin, and Bloom by Greg Reiche.

Edible Art Tour…Another Successful Year

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  • February 22nd, 2014

Edible Art Tour is an annual February event sponsored by ARTsmart Santa Fe. The first event started in 1998 with a handful of galleries participating. Since that humble beginning, ARTsmart’s programs (through 2012) have distributed over $1,000,000 to projects, public school programs, art-related organizations and endowment funds. Edible Art Tour is the largest of the annual events, pairing 30-40 galleries with restaurants. This is the second year that Pippin Contemporary has paired with Jambo Cafe for a taste of African Homestyle cooking. 

Jambo Cafe paired with Pippin Contemporary. Ahmed (cafe owner) seated.

Jambo Cafe paired with Pippin Contemporary. Ahmed (cafe owner) seated.


Continuous crowds throughout the evening.

Continuous crowds throughout the evening.

This annual event is a lot of fun and, as mentioned, the proceeds go to an important cause. Join us next February.

Rest & Meditate, Then Continue On…the Work of Tony Griffith

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  • February 9th, 2014
Buddha Creek #7 by Tony Griffith

Buddha Creek #7 by Tony Griffith

Tony Griffith has a favorite spot along a hiking trail in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, California. A snow melt-fed creek converges with a ground spring to form petite waterfalls and pools. This place is a symbol of renewal and the complex synergy found in nature. Perhaps it is the calm-inducing trickle of falling water or the serenity of the high-mountain stillness that causes Tony to stop his travail up the mountain and rest awhile. Or maybe Tony is compelled to slow down and take it all in because he was born with an innate reverence for beauty. Whatever the catalyst for the artist’s meditative pause, the point is that he rests, meditates – then continues on.

Griffith likens his trips to the San Jacinto Mountains to Zen-like experiences. Much of his work, including the Buddha Creek Series, has been inspired from his mountain visits and he explains, “The abstract landscape oriented composition of the work combines the vast mountain vistas (The background), with the granite boulders and outcroppings defining the immediate intimate spaces (The foreground). The southwest-inspired colors used in the compositions are fueled by the mood, lighting, time of day, scenic orientation, energy and peacefulness inherent in the Zen-like experience of each visit.”

Tony continues, “Space and texture coexist on the same picture plane, inviting the viewer to transcend through solid rock; a metaphor for our journey across life’s obstacles and our struggle with mortality.” The parallels between his physical experience and the power of his artwork are notable: first, Griffith transcends time and space as he travels up the mountain, then as he pauses to rest and meditate on his surroundings, he pushes through the barriers of the common human experience (the binding tethers of the daily grind). He then creates abstract paintings based on his experiences in nature, and it is through those paintings that the viewer is granted access into a journey that if only for a moment, takes the viewer over the obstacles of life and the ever-present consciousness of one’s own mortality.

This is one of the boundless powers of art – its incomparable ability to take us out of our present reality
and gently transfer us to a place of enlightenment and freedom.

The Mountain and the Source by Tony Griffith

The Mountain and the Source by Tony Griffith

Griffith has pursued art personally since the 1980’s and professionally since 2001, specifically after the attacks on 9/11. He needed an outlet to ‘vent his angst’ and connect with the world on a social and visible basis. Over the years, he has learned that art is an ideal medium for moving people on a ‘visceral, spiritual and esthetic level,’ and he employs sensory elements and dynamic principles of art to shift his internal experiences into the visual art form.