Show Preview | ARTsmart Dinner & Auction

Santa Fe, NM
La Fonda on the Plaza, March 3

Barry McCuan, Nambe Cottonwood, oil, 30 x 48. Courtesy of Ventana Fine Art.

Barry McCuan, Nambe Cottonwood, oil, 30 x 48. Courtesy of Ventana Fine Art.

This story was featured in the February 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

This year, the art students at Santa Fe High School meditated on their favorite places and transferred them to the canvas. Under the mentorship of landscape painter Barry McCuan, the students created artworks that reflect the artist’s style and philosophy about the world around us. The works are for sale during the 2018 ARTsmart Dinner & Auction, held on Saturday, March 3, at La Fonda on the Plaza.

Each year ARTsmart hosts the gala as part of its overall mission of promoting the arts in public schools across northern New Mexico. The event is by far the largest fund-raiser for the organization and also features music and desserts by students. Doors for the event open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased through the organization’s website.

McCuan, who is represented by Ventana Fine Art, spent four weeks with the students to teach them how to use oil paints in a limited palette to render the landscape. “It was pretty amazing to see them all turning out,” the artist says. “The quality and the presence of the paintings the kids were doing were amazing.” McCuan says he wanted to teach the students how to make the process easier, especially because it was the first time many of them had used oil paints. Although the class used water-based oil paints due to the classroom setting, they learned how to mix colors and how the paint behaves on the canvas. For their subjects, McCuan asked the students to think of their favorite outdoor spaces because, “if you’re going to have to work, you should go to your favorite place to do it,” he says. “That’s what I do—it’s good therapy.”

Most of the works created by the high-school students are landscapes and are presented in a silent auction during the event, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the student. The other portion of the artwork sales benefits the art teachers in purchasing supplies for their classrooms. McCuan’s work COEUR DE FERME—PROVENCE is also available during a live auction. Local fifth-grade students bring hand-painted ceramic plates and flowerpots—a tradition for the event. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
505.992.2787
www.artsmartnm.org

This story was featured in the February 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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