Glorious Jacona

November 11th, 2013 § 0 comments

HG/BSK reflected on their good fortune at living in the Northern New Mexico neighborhood of Jacona after enjoying an innovative dinner at the home of Karen K., the distinguished film producer. Karen lives in Casa Barrancas, a cluster of homes — organized as condominiums — that dwell in the shadow of the Barrancas Cliffs. The homes exist just a few hundred yards from HG/BSK’s home. Casa Barrancas has an extraordinary artistic history. It is the former estate of Cady Wells (he purchased the land in 1935). Wells was a prominent member of the large group of artists (Georgia O’Keeffe is the best known, of course) who settled in the Santa Fe and Taos area of New Mexico during the 20’s and 30’s. Wells was a modernist and his work was compelling. (Google his work and be astounded). O’Keeffe felt that she and Wells were the best of the Southwestern artists. HG/BSK agree. Wells was an early appreciator of Santos, the carved religious figures of Hispanic New Mexicans. He left his collection of 250 Santos to the Museum of New Mexico which created a Department of Spanish Colonial Art to house them. Santos strongly influenced Wells’s series of spiritual paintings. Wells was a close friend, mentor and adviser to Martha Graham, the modern dancer and choreographer (She married dancer Erick Hawkins in the little chapel on the Casa Barrancas property). Architect John Gaw Meem worked with Wells to orient the buildings on the property outward to take advantage of views of the Barrancas (“badlands”), the colorful cliffs that have been carved into sculptured shapes by time and weather. (HG/BSK’s living room, bedroom and portales face the Barrancas, a source of great visual pleasure). Another person who left his stamp on Jacona is the architect Nathaniel Owings (Skidmore Owings Merrill). Owings purchased a considerable chunk of land in Jacona and he (and his talented wife) restored a number of historic adobe dwellings. HG/BSK’s home is on five acres Owings called “the orchard” (Lots of apple trees). His daughter built the main portion of HG/BSK/s home. Jacona remains a neighborhood with a wonderful mix of creative people (poets, novelists, photographers, painters, woodworkers, etc.), farmers and plain folks. And, in HG’s estimation, a very talented potter named BSK.

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