September 7 - 30, 2019

Norlynne Coar: Palimpsest

Taos: Magpie at Overland Ranch
Norlynne Coar: Palimpsest

Opening reception, September 7, 5-7:00pm.

From the Artist: "My paintings are multi-layered: layers of color, added, removed and repainted over time. I want viewers to look beyond the surface, to go into the color and wander through the textures into another place. Nature, energy and light inspire me. I grew up on the Pacific coast, and the influence of the ocean, sky and horizon is obvious in my art. Nature and artists erase, rework and re-create. Not unlike a wave or Zen enso? – the circular beginning and end continuing one after the other, in a wheel of birth, death and rebirth. Like new leaves popping up on barren winter branches and saplings springing up from the roots of dead trees; like old paintings surfacing under masterpieces; and like artists working and then re-working their pieces to create new works of art atop what was there before."

Norlynne Coar first came to Taos in 1979 and made strong connections here that have thankfully pulled her back and forth since. Coar’s resume is loaded with experiences that most could only dream of. She is an incredibly dynamic artist, weaving through mediums seamlessly and still making time to keep the Taos Fall Arts Festival expanding evolving. Coar initially landed in Taos with a friend of a friend, Ron Davis, who owned an art supply store on Kit Carson Road at the time. After about a month of living in an apartment attached to store and helping out, anthropologists Curt and Polly Schaafsma invited her to house sit their little adobe out in Arroyo Hondo because Curt had accepted a museum position in Santa Fe. During this time the Taos art world centered around the Stables and Coar’s paintings were included in several shows there, her ceramic masks were shown at the Clay & Fiber Gallery behind the Stables, and later in the spring, four independent artists had a show at the old armory on Civic Plaza Drive.

She says of this period in her life, “For income, my friend, who was managing a restaurant up in the ski valley, gave me a winter job. Every morning four of us would meet at about 6 :00am and pile into one vehicle or another to ride up the mountain. Fortunately I had graphics and typography skills that were in demand, so when the ski valley closed for the season I worked for both the Taos News, then located behind Taos Plaza, and Taos Magazine, which used the Columbine Printers typesetting equipment.”

Eventually Coar moved back to Los Angeles and worked for a magazine publisher and graphics franchise. She started studying yoga with a number of B.K.S. Iyengar's teachers and went to India to study with him to further her credentials. Next she moved to Italy to paint and began an art career working with art consultants, publishers and wholesalers that allowed her to go back and forth between California and Italy. One of the galleries Coar was working with at the time commissioned her to do a large collection for Hilton Hotels in San Francisco and Las Vegas. She was then able to build a house and studio on Blueberry Hill and include Taos in her travels.

“The 1990 S&L debacle hit my art dealers in California very hard, so I needed to get a job. Rod Goebel hired me to run his gallery, which I did while continuing to do monotypes for a gallery in San Francisco, as well as showing at a small gallery in Santa Fe. When Rod died, Paul Johnson urged me to get a real estate license and come work with him, which I did. We worked together for about three years. For several years I was back and forth between artist residencies and house sitting in Portugal, France, Italy and Spain with the in between stints in Northern California. I joined a ceramics studio in Berkeley and got a painting studio about a block away. Since my work focuses on themes, this arrangement gave me the opportunity to work not only with photographs I'd taken in Europe but to extrapolate with paint and ceramic sculpture.”

Since moving back in 2017, Coar has been busy with creative work and the Taos Fall Arts Festival. She first volunteered to assist by taking in art submissions, next was asked to join the board, and now in her third year with the festival, she has introduced concept-themed exhibits inspired by the many eclectic shows she experienced in Europe. Coar helped orchestrate last year’s Beyond the Horizon / Más allá del Horizonte, and this year's, Of Heaven and Earth / Del Cielo y De La Tierra. As a board member, Coar is responsible for the creation and placement of advertising, marketing and promotional materials, gratefully assisted by graphic designer Anna MacGruder.

As chairperson of the poster committee, she works closely with the artist on the creation of the poster. When needed, Coar photographs or advises artists on their photo submissions. We are lucky to have her in Taos and I am thrilled to represent her work at magpie.

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