RAIR | 2012
Jerry West | Santa Fe, NM
“I was raised with a large, wonderful family in Santa Fe and the surrounding mountains and prairie worlds. All of the things and people that passed through our lives imprinted my psyche and very much informed my later paintings.
After years of schooling—grade, junior-high, high school, college, graduate school, military, park service—I returned to Santa Fe to teach. I taught for ten years history and biology. Though I had drawn and done art since childhood, I began art studies with Elmer Schooley at Highland University in 1964. By 1970, I had earned an art degree and had a graduate show. I also quit teaching in Santa Fe and began my ‘art career.’
Since my graduate show in 1970, I've done a variety of activities, all of which I hoped would inform my painting. I've made etchings at Bob Blackburn's printmaking workshop in New York. I've traveled to Crete, Europe, Mexico and India. I have spent years designing and building custom houses in the Santa Fe area. For many years I did artist-in-resident programs in schools, youth diagnostic centers, prisons, senior centers. From 1990 to 1993 I was a visiting teacher in painting and printmaking at University of New Mexico and at University of California at Santa Cruz.
I've shown work in group shows and solo shows in many cities. I've been in a few galleries—such as Heydt-Baer, Arlene LewAllen and Linda Durham in Santa Fe; Sebastian-Moore in Denver: Bernice Steinbaum in New York. But mostly I've shown out of my own studios in Denver, Boulder, San Francisco, Las Vegas (NM), Santa Fe and Serafina.
I've been in many publications and received a few awards—most recently the Mayor's Award for Outstanding Artist in Santa Fe, October, 2012; and in 2010, the Distinguished Artist of the Year by the Rotary Club of Santa Fe. And, too, my work is in some public collections: The Pepsi Co., Inc., New York; The Cleveland Museum of Art; The Albuquerque Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe; New Mexico State Capital permanent collection; and The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal.”
“Most often I call myself a storyteller/poet/artist. My thrust as an artist is to attempt to inhabit the world around me. My art activity becomes a meditation on objects, plants, animals and people, histories and the disappeared as well as the ghosts and the myths. I draw on a myriad of cultural and family stories, personal experiences and dreams. My paintings tend to become psychological, allegorical landscapes. This year, 2012, my focus was on Roswell."