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A classic gift for the holidays, New Mexico Magazine is once again producing two calendars: one featuring photographs from our annual contest and one featuring local artists.
Throughout the year, Special Projects Art Director Terry Smith keeps an eye out for artists as he tours galleries across the state and browses online catalogs. This year, he found Jim Jennings during a visit to the acclaimed Acosta-Strong Gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe.
“I was looking for artists who had wildlife or contemporary elements in their landscapes,” he says. This year, he chose to feature just two artists, instead of the usual four, because of the strength of their work and how they complemented each other.
Finding the artists is one of Smith’s favorite aspects of his position with New Mexico Magazine. “The calendars are a service to promote New Mexico and New Mexican artists; it’s part of our mission to expose people to the beauty and majesty of the state through artwork.”
Baltimore native Barbara Clark left a career as an accountant to build a new one as an artist in Corrales, a place that fills her eyes and inspires her paintings with its adobe buildings, backyard chickens, and rolling lands. She works in pastels, oils, and gouache, often painting en plein air, to craft a sense of New Mexico’s rural environs. Since 2006, she has, through hard work, earned awards, representation in galleries and the Range Cafe, and displays of her paintings in local hospitals, as well as on the Better Call Saul TV show. “For anyone who dreams of a different life,” she says, “my story is important because it shows all things are possible. My journey brought me here, without the financial assistance of a pension, inheritance, or a partner … and now I paint. I understand how lucky I am.”
Jim Jennings’s landscapes evoke a naturalist’s wisdom leavened by a Southwesterner’s whimsy as conjured with a graphic artist’s sure hand. Born in El Paso, Jennings migrated to Santa Fe in 1997 to seize the artist’s life, working especially in oils. He reinterprets his natural surroundings, often depicting the land we stand upon as the most minimal of a foundation for his boldly dramatic and wildly expansive skies. The acclaimed Acosta-Strong Gallery on Canyon Road carries his works. “Painting, to me,” he says, “is both a discipline and a meditation. It’s a time to observe, a time to connect, both inside and out. It’s a time to get lost in my inner wilderness, and to discover what is there. I enjoy the challenge of expressing this world with paint on canvas.”
This year's photography calendar features winning photographs from the 19th annual New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest. The photo contest is open to amateur photographers who derive less than 50 percent of their annual income from photography. Contest categories include: People, Landscapes, Animals, New Mexico Experience, Mobile, Nightscapes, and New Mexico State Parks. Last year, there were 1,387 images submitted by 136 photographers. After days and hours of review by a panel of judges, the winners were announced. A selection of winning photographs was chosen for the 2021 calendar.