Michael McCormick is a born raconteur with too many tales of adventure and intrigue to recount here.
McCormick, long a fixture on the Taos Art Scene, in fact holds an MFA in English Literature.
Born and raised in the American Heartland, he went to school in a small agrarian community in Michigan before receiving his MFA from the University of Montana where he studied literature and art history.
After graduating he went to England, following his dream of becoming a poet (and indeed, a rather fine poet, he happens to be) before heading to Mexico City where he worked for the United Nations Security Council and briefly, for the C.I.A.
His clandestine involvement with an underground South American political movement, is yet another chapter in the book of Michael’s life, but Mexico City is where he met his beautiful Japanese wife, Yumiko who was studying at the University there and together, they eventually moved to Taos, where they settled and raised their three children.
Michael’s charmed life has brought him into contact with many famous and infamous people; he’ll drop names like Octavio Paz, W.H.Auden, Michael Hamburger, Gunther Grass, Dennis Hopper and Bill Clinton as if they lived next door. To some it may seem implausible, but for those who know Michael, it’s simply the world he’s always traveled in.
In Taos, through his childhood friend, the renowned artist, Jack Smith, Michael was introduced to former actor and Buddhist monk, Bob Watkins who was part of Dennis Hopper’s intimate circle of friends. Through Watkins, Michael would meet and befriend the who’s who of Taos which has served him well during his years here as one of the foremost gallerists in the South West.
Life has thrown him a few curves, including the tragic and shocking death of his and Yumiko’s son Ryoji, a few summers ago, but Michael is nothing if not a survivor who has reinvented himself time and again, and continues to do so.
Michael has long been involved in the community as a philanthropist, giving much of his proceeds to charity and is perhaps best known for the work he did as the co-founder of Childrite here in Taos, throughout the 80’s and 90’s. His dedication to the future of this community made the premature loss of his own child, all the more heartbreaking.
Walking into the Michael McCormick Gallery is a treat for the senses. The stunning collections of the artists he represents, hang salon-style in the high ceilinged rooms.
The names of the artists are well known; Miguel Martinez, Malcolm Furlow, Shelbee Mares, Jen Weddle and Bill Baker among others, are all stellar contemporary artists but Michael also has private collections of rare Bill Ranes, Michio Takayamas, R.C.Gormans, and Rembrandt etchings pulled from the Master’s own plates, part of a Requile published in the 18th Century.
Michael McCormick’s artist receptions are legendary here in Taos and he has several openings coming up this summer, including new shows of Shelbee Mares’ and Bill Baker’s work. We’ll keep you updated here.
Meanwhile do click on their link for more info but be advised their site is in the process of being updated so forgive any glitches.
Photographs of Michael and Gallery Director, Jamie Garrison by Bill Curry