Editor’s Letter | Making Connections

By Kristin Hoerth

Guests mingle at our anniversary party in Santa Fe in April.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Southwest Art magazine—as well as the 25th anniversary of our sister publication, The Collector’s Guide, an annual handbook to art in New Mexico—we recently hosted a wonderful cocktail party in Santa Fe. Ventana Fine Art on Canyon Road generously hosted the event, which brought together gallery owners and artists from New Mexico and beyond.

It was a treat to have this opportunity to connect with so many people who make the art world go round. As I told the guests that night, the very best part of my job is being able to connect passionate art-lovers with wonderful artwork—and that simply wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of the many gallery owners across the West who bring talented artists to our attention.

A few weeks after our celebration, I was lucky enough to attend another event that brought collectors together with great art—the fourth annual American Masters exhibition and sale at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. There, in a Fifth Avenue brownstone filled with American art history, top painters and sculptors exhibited stellar pieces. Among the participants were Richard Schmid, Quang Ho, David Leffel, Steve Kestrel, Jeremy Lipking, Dean Mitchell, Dan Ostermiller, and John Stobart. During the show’s opening reception, while a jazz band kept the crowd entertained, I had the pleasure of connecting with a number of collectors who had journeyed to Manhattan from across the country.

Both of these gatherings came at a perfect time, because this issue of Southwest Art is all about making connections, too. In our special section on Mentors & Their Students, you’ll learn about the many ways in which some of today’s top artists are passing along their knowledge, instructing and inspiring a new generation of painters. “We’re all standing on the shoulders of people before us,” says North Carolina painter Scott Burdick, who, along with his wife, Susan Lyon, has been a mentor to a number of students. “It’s our obligation to pass that on to the next generation of artists, who will pass it on to the next.” That sentiment is eloquently echoed by Burdick and Lyon’s student Patty Bailey Sheets, who describes the phenomenon as “a nice little staircase. They’re passing down to me, and I pass down to my students. It’s a continuum.” I hope you enjoy reading about the teaching processes of the mentors, as well as discovering the impressive works of some talented newcomers to the art scene. –July 2011