Springtime for the arts

By Bill Knief

Posted in | Tags : , ,


Alexia Mellor had lived in England and France, upstate New York and Seattle by the time her mother Jan suggested she come to Taos for a visit. What started out as a two week vacation turned into a two year introduction into the world of the practicing artist. At 28 she took Gary Cook’s art class at UNM-Taos and began to explore the local art scene.

“I had heard great things about Gary and thought this’ll be something fun to try,” she explained in a phone call last week from Boston. “Something I had never done before. And it just opened up from there.”

Mellor worked at the Millicent Rogers Museum, studied painting with Ray Vinella and worked in his studio, and enrolled at the Taos Institute of Art. This spring she is graduating with an MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the Boston Globe has just recognized her as one of six up and coming artists in the region. “There are a lot of art schools in Boston, so it was really a privilege to be a part of that group,” she said.

This summer Mellor will be going to Turkey on a travel grant to complete her thesis, and if time allows before teaching duties begin in the fall, she plans to return to Taos for a quick visit. I asked her if she had any advice for artists who were just beginning their careers.

“The key for me is in trusting that inner voice, and seeking out people who will support it. You need that circle of support: the conversations, the structure, the formalizing of your ideas. Then you can explore whatever medium is appropriate to that idea, whether it is monoprint, photo, painting or a performance piece. You need to expose yourself to different ways of doing and making art.”


Internationally known Flamenco dancer and UNM-Taos instructor in the Arts Academy Teo Morca has just been named dance teacher of the year by Dance Teacher Magazine of New York. This is the first time a Spanish Flamenco dance teacher has been selected for this award, and a three day celebration is scheduled for July in New York City.


The UNM-Taos Art Academy’s annual Spring Art Show is slated to begin May 3 with an opening reception from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the TCA Stables Art Gallery. According to Gary Cook, head of the Art Academy, it is the largest annual public event produced by UNM-Taos. Sponsored by a generous grant from UNM-Taos Student Government, the non-juried exhibition will showcase paintings, drawings, jewelry, prints, ceramics, sculpture, photographs, short films and woodworking by students of all skill and experience levels alongside seasoned professional artists. The opening reception will be catered by the Culinary Arts Program, and the show will run through May 14.


Kevin Mahoney, Coordinator of Film, Video and Theater Programs at UNM-Taos, has been invited to participate in the Script-to-Screen event sponsored by the Screen Actor’s Guild of America in Houston, Texas. His original screenplay, Clayton, will be given a full staged reading before an audience comprised of industry professionals, actors, directors and producers.

About The Bill Knief