Baron who is originally from New York, has lived in Taos for two decades and for a time was a member of the Taos Watercolor Society. He is a featured artist in the Taos Historical Museums New Masters of Taos Series., started by Taos Historic Museums Director, Margo Beutler-Gins, who has more than a passing interest in the Blumenschein and its history.
Margo, an incredibly talented artist herself, grew up around art; her great-grandfather was Bert Phillips and her father, Bill Beutler grew up in Taos and was a well-known Art Dealer in the Southwest. Margo was born here but moved to Scottsdale with her family as a girl. She returned to N.M., met and married her husband Joshua Gins (also from an old N.M. family in Albuquerque), and they both moved to the Carolinas where they raised their two sons before returning home.
Margo has been stealthily and busily energizing the Museums ever since, with events happening frequently at both the Martinez Hacienda, and at the Blumenschein, where next week, Bill Baron will be featured.
I emailed Bill a few questions and he responded promptly.
1) This is pretty cool! Margo(Beutler-Gins) is doing some great stuff over there. Chris Bundy’s show last winter, Bill Whaley is there, teaching classes, and now your show. Are you excited about showing your work in that hallowed, and now clearly, once again, community space?
BB: Yes, Lynne, I am absolutely excited and humbled to be showing my work at the Blumenschein.
2) How long have you lived here in Taos, and how did you come to work for the “News”?
BB: I bought a home here in 1993, got seduced back to New York city and finally settled here in 1996.
As far as my work with the Taos News, I had been noodling a cartoon character in my spare time. After moving here I turned him into a Northern New Mexican gentleman of Spanish heritage. I thought if I had to write and illustrate a strip in Spanish it would improve my Spanish . My Spanish was a mix of Puerto Tina, Haitian, Cuban from living in Manhattan for over 20 years. I submitted some samples of what I wanted to do to Jerry Padilla, Editor of Crespúcalo in the Taos News.
The strip is now 20 years old. Teresa Dovelpage did a wonderful story on Umberto’s 20th birthday in the Taos News.
I was asked by an editor whose name escapes me to do an editorial toon. I have been doing the editorial cartoons for 19 years.
3) That said, you are as Margo says, “an artist in your own right” – which brings me to the next question; what are you hanging in this show?
BB:I will be hanging my work in watercolor, oil etching and engraving. The bent will be western and northern New Mexico theme.
I was originally going to show a broad spectrum of the work I do in nudes, abstraction and sculpture. After I assembled a mockup of the show it looked too confusing so I decided to hold that material for another show and concentrate on the western and northern New Mexican themes.
4) Will you make a cartoon of the event?
BB: I’m not sure if I will do a cartoon of the event or not… we shall see.
For more on Bill Baron and his show at the Blumenschein, please visit the sites linked below. I have included former Taos resident and Taos News contributor, Teresa Dovelpage’s interview with Bill also.
All images thanks to Bill Baron