The Envision Gallery at the Overland Ranch Complex is known for the fantastic kinetic wind sculptures (by Lyman Whitaker) that spin and twirl in the gardens outside the Gallery.
“They’re like a billboard!” Envision Gallery owner Jimmy Murray told me when we talked recently. That might be so, but there is far more going on inside this gallery than the whirligigs blowing in the wind.
Originally opened by his brother Scott, (who paints under the moniker Mieshiel) in 2003, Jimmy bought him out in 2005 and has run the gallery ever since.
Jimmy and Scott Murray were literally born into the Art World. Their father, John Murray was a “photorealistic madman” says Jimmy.
John Murray was also an Art Director at an Ad Agency in NYC where the boys were raised in a loft in SoHo before it was SoHo. Their mother also worked in the Arts so it was inevitable they’d grow up to become artists themselves and/or become patrons of the Arts.
Jimmy and I first met during the early 90’s when we had both relocated to Taos from the City. We must have crossed paths during the 80’s because we hung out at the same places, breathing the same rarefied Downtown air during those halcyon days, before gentrification destroyed the last remnants of the City’s Bohemian edginess.
That rarefied air is evident the moment one enters Envision. The space itself is an anomaly in the rustic complex; spare, very modern, very white and airy, it is more akin to galleries in Chelsea’s (NYC) Art district than anything remotely South Western.
The art too is ultra contemporary and edgy even. Reto Messmer’s fanciful Bone sculptures sit side by side with Ted Egri pieces and Katie Woodall’s mixed media narrative paintings.
Mieshiel’s work is here too; intricately rendered, surrealistic takes on the regional landscape that evoke Carlos Castaneda’s tall tales of Naguals in the Mexican desert and Terrance McKenna’s psilocybin visions. Mieshiel captures the underlying soul of the South West sans kitsch.
Jimmy currently has another project in the works. A film he made as a Graduate student with George Haas in 1984, (starring Andy Warhol’s Factory star, Jackie Curtis), called Speak The Truth, has been rediscovered and there are plans to show it with some fanfare attached in NY fairly soon. We’ll post updates here on the blog!
Envision is a must for any art lover visiting Taos and meanwhile do check out their site linked below this post. If anything, you’ll be convinced that there is more to Art in Taos than meets the eye.
All images c/o Jimmy Murray