Paintings in ‘Legends and Myths’ Exhibition, Aug 7 through Sept 11, Influenced by Taos Pow Wow

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Just in time for the 25th annual Taos Pueblo Pow Wow, July 9-11, artist Peggy McGivern shares her unique interpretation of the Pueblo’s sacred dances through her paintings which will be on exhibit from August 7th through September 11, 2010 at Act 1 Gallery in Taos.

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"All Souls Day" oil by Peggy McGivern

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Just in time for the 25th annual Taos Pueblo Pow Wow, July 9-11, artist Peggy McGivern shares her unique interpretation of the Pueblo’s sacred dances through her paintings which will be on exhibit from August 7th through September 11, 2010 at Act 1 Gallery in Taos.

“White boots talking to the dust, kicking, heavy and cumbersome, yet floating … no, flying with the drumbeat ... I am engrossed in who they are, women in dresses of brilliant colors and the men showing their proud masculinity with fur and feather embellishments,” McGivern said.

The opening reception for McGivern’s “Legends and Myths” Solo Exhibition will take place on Saturday, August 7 at Act 1 Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m.

After attending her first Taos Pueblo Pow Wow, McGivern was fascinated by the participants’ transformations as they focused on the rhythm of the dances. She later received a gift, ''Gene Kloss: An American Printmaker,'' which was the catalog raisonné by Gene Sanchez. A catalog raisonné is a systematic and comprehensive annotated listing of all works of a creator in a particular medium which provides essential information on individual works.

Kloss’s etchings gave McGivern a glimpse of the mysterious place between dance, earth and spirit. The events sparked her new “Legends and Myths” series of oil paintings. McGivern’s Exhibition at Act I Gallery occurs simultaneously with exhibition at the Harwood Museum in Taos, called ''Gene Kloss - From Berkeley to Taos,'' June 26 through August 22, 2010.

Working from her photos of the Pow Wow and using the Kloss catalog raisonné as a reference for ancient dances like the Green Corn Ceremony, McGivern’s paintings of pueblo dancers connect her with a lineage of local painters, dating back to the Taos Founders. McGivern’s work is remarkable for its realism, blending transcendental elements into authentic images for a deeper understanding of the feelings evoked by the dances.

McGivern came across a quote by famed writer D.H. Lawrence, who lived in Taos during the early 1900’s, that encapsulated what McGivern experienced at the Pow Wow:

''It is the turning which is so beautiful. The turning of the head and shoulders consecutively through the line, making a sort of wave motion. The drums and the heavy down beat of the dancers’ feet shaking the bells and shells that adorn their legs build up a powerful rhythm. In theater or out I have never seen anything more exciting.''

The artists reception and Exhibition is free and open to the public.

Act I Gallery is located at 218 Paseo del Pueblo Norte Taos, New Mexico, 87571. Contact Anita Ellison, gallery owner, at (575) 758-7831 or actone(at)taosnet(dot)com. For more information, visit http://www.ActOneGallery.com . For information on the upcoming Taos Pow Wow, visit http://www.taospueblopowwow.com .

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