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Collectors Corner!

 Ed Sandoval Gallery's Newsletter

102-B Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM 87571
(575) 770-6360
Would the Real Amarante Please Stand Up?
Most of you know that the inspiration for the old man in my paintings, El Viejito, is the character of Amarante Cordova in John Nichols' novel, The Milagro Beanfield War . I lived in Truchas during the filming of the movie, spent time with the actor, Carlos Riquelme, fell in love with everything that this character represented and began to paint him. In Taos history, however, there is a real-life Amarante who is eerily similar to that fictional character....

I am sometimes asked if my El Viejito is based on Amarante Martinez, a local man who has since passed away. I remember watching Amarante shuffle slowly along the streets of Taos. Walking deliberately while aided by two canes, he was often heading to Kentucky Fried Chicken (he loved it) for crispy drumsticks or to run some errands. Since he didn't have a car, a kind passerby would usually stop and offer him a lift.

From what I understand, Amarante lived in a run-down shack in Ranchos de Taos that was heated only by a wood stove. It didn't work very well, so he was always covered with black soot from head to toe. I didn't know him well, but as I watched him shuffle along, he did indeed bring to my mind the other Amarante in John Nichols' novel (and later Robert Redford's movie).

Maybe Amarante Martinez influenced all of us more than we know... I have read that John Nichols knew (or knew of) Amarante Martinez...he once said he didn't base HIS Amarante directly on our Taos Amarante, but maybe he (like me) was influenced by him to some degree? Who knows? Maybe we both owe him a debt of gratitude. Fact and fiction are often wonderfully intertwined in this mystical world of ours....
Amarante Cordova: The Milagro Beanfield War
Amarante Martinez: Taos Area Resident
The Lodge at Los Alamos
Founded in 1917 by Ashley Pond II, the Ranch School was modeled after the Boy Scouts of America. Young men from wealthy families engaged in college preparatory courses and a rigorous outdoor life.
I’ve written about my boyhood memories of this secretive military town, such as the holidays when family members had to apply for passes to visit ( read here ), in elementary school when an explosive device killed one of my friends and maimed another ( read here ), when JFK and Lyndon Johnson visited the Los Alamos High School in 1962 ( read here ), and how our small club hired hip bands and held rocking sock hops ( read here - scroll past JFK story ). Today, I’m tying together history and high school dances.  

When Robert Oppeheimer was named the Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project, he needed a location to build the secret nuclear research campus that would (it was hoped) produce the first atomic bomb. He remembered attending the Ranch School as a boy on the remote Pajarito Plateau in New Mexico. 

With his new goal in mind, Oppenheimer thought the location was ideal. It was sparsely populated (very important since the chance of blowing up the whole region was quite real), could be isolated and hidden easily from the outside world, and, best of all, had existing buildings that could serve as command posts as the housing and the research laboratories were constructed. In 1943, the war effort appropriated the school and more than 800 acres. 
What does this have to do with me? The Ranch School’s log buildings are still there, and they are BEAUTIFUL. I recently took a friend to tour Los Alamos, and we went into The Lodge. This is usually the setting you see in 1930’s videos of the Boy Scout-ish young men as they are taking classes, learning to ride horses and playing sports. Visiting The Lodge brought up all kinds of memories, especially of our club’s dances.

My buddies and I would hire nationally known musicians (like Fats Domino) and throw sock hops at the Recreation Hall, which is very near The Lodge. Now...if you get a group of high school boys together, they are going to get into all kinds of mischief. We were no different. One buddy’s father was the President of the Elk’s Lodge and had in his possession the key to their liquor cabinet. Well, you can imagine what happened…my buddy (who will remain nameless)...would sneak out his dad’s keys and “borrow” some vodka.

We held a lot of dances during the winter, and tons of snow would be piled around The Lodge and the nearby Rec Hall. My buddy would hide the vodka in the snowbanks near The Lodge, and we would creep over there to have some swigs before, during and after the dances. It was all harmless fun. I can't remember any fights or anything negative happening. Looking back, if taking swigs of vodka was the worst we did, we did pretty well.
High School Days: Prom Photo with Valerie

For a four-minute video with historical footage of The Ranch School and the birth of Los Alamos, click HERE .
Black Mesa on the Road to Los Alamos ( 23 Mile Drive North of Santa Fe)
Me Painting My Cowboy Hat
Couse-Sharp Historic Site’s Gala Weekend
If you haven’t toured the property, the Couse-Sharp Historic Site includes the home and studio of E.I. Couse, garden designed by his wife, Virginia, workshops of his son, Kibbey, and two studios of his neighbor and fellow artist, Joseph Henry Sharp. Couse and Sharp were two of the founding artists of the Taos Society of Artists in 1915. Today, Virginia Leavitt (“Ginnie” - Couse’s granddaughter) runs the beautiful and historically significant property.

In June, Ginnie and her staff put on a wonderful series of unique, fun events. I and other Taos artists painted custom cowboy hardhats for a special silent auction. The wine and hors d'oeuvres reception featured sneak-peek “hardhat tours” of their future museum facility that includes The Lunder Research Center . There were also book signing events with scholars of the Taos Society of Artists, along with the opening of a temporary exhibition, Joseph Henry Sharp's Montana. 

More information: http://www.cousefoundation.org , email " contact  admin@couse-sharp.org " or call the office at 575-751-0369.
Featured New Paintings

To inquire or to request a high-resolution photograph, please contact Ed at 575-770-6360 or  edsandovalart@gmail.com . For all available paintings, click HERE .
NEW: "The Pinon Pickers" (36" x 48")
NEW: "Pinon Path" (30" x 40")
NEW: "Evening at Taos Pueblo" (18" x 36")
NEW: "The Apple Tree" (20" x 20")
Shout Out for Fellow Artist Chris Morel
I love to see fellow artists thriving, especially Taos area artists! We recently drove down to Santa Fe to attend Chris Morel's opening called "One Man's Home" at Nedra Matteucci Galleries. I was so impressed! It was one of the nicest and most fun openings ever!

The gallery is incredibly beautiful - this historic building offers not just interior collections , but backs up to a huge outdoor sculpture garden with a pond and fabulous shade trees.

Chris is a man of many talents: a well-known musician who has played around Taos for years, wonderful artist and all-around good guy. Click HERE to see Chris's collection.
Some of Chris Morel's Paintings at Nedra Matteucci
Chris and Me at the Opening
Farmers Market
It's summer, and the Taos Farmers Market is in full swing every Saturday until October 26. It has what you'd expect, like delicious fresh produce from local farms, but it also has unexpected and eclectic offerings...

For example, you can have your palm read, and for $10 you can get an original poem on any subject. Yes, there's a guy sitting with a typewriter - choose a subject and get a poem! AND, every now and then, Zorro makes an appearance. See ya there.
Taos Farmers Market
Would you like to be a featured collector?
If so, please send your personal story and photo(s) to edsandovalart@gmail.com.
Ed Sandoval Gallery  
 102-B Paseo Del Pueblo, Taos, NM 87571
www.edsandovalgallery.com | (575) 770-6360 | edsandovalart@gmail.com