The second in the series of Parks Gallery’s Showcase Exhibitions, “Elizabeth Haidle: Hypothetical Creatures,” opens Saturday, August 4, with a reception and artist’s talk from 3 to 5 pm. Haidle will be exhibiting paintings and prints of human/plant/animal imagery that spring from the rich, surreal loam of her imagination. “This series is part of a life-long love of all things surrealist,” Haidle says. “I still think that surrealism, with its inspiration derived from the exploration of the unconscious in the world of dreams, and the even wackier notions proposed by quantum physics, is one of the more important and enduring contributions art history has made to everyday life.”
“A good friend of mine once said, ‘You’ve got to have transformative experiences to survive in this world we live in!’” she continues. “For me, this struck a very true note – inventing creatures and seeing the bizarre truths that are reflected in them is one such way of finding transformation.”
According to gallery owner Stephen Parks, the Showcase Exhibitions are intended to present work by singular artists who haven’t received the exposure in Taos that they deserve. “I’m always looking for originals,” Parks says, “artists who have a vision I’ve never seen before and who render that vision with exceptional skill. When I started looking for people to include, I asked Jina Brenneman, curator at the Harwood, for suggestions. She mentioned Haidle, and soon after I saw two of her paintings in a weekend show at the Stables Gallery, ‘An Occasion for Art.’ Immediately I thought, Bingo!”
Haidle, who moved to Taos in 2006, is also an art educator and accomplished book illustrator. For a number of years she designed and taught after-school art programs at the Harwood Education Center, and she developed the art curriculum for Roots and Wings Charter School in Lama. Among her illustration credits is Encyclopedia of the Exquisite (Random House, 2010), and she is at work on Raven-Boy, a surrealist graphic novel. In her spare time, she plays the singing saw, washerboard, and banjo “with anyone in town who will tolerate my amateur musical status,” she says.
“Elizabeth Haidle: Hypothetical Creatures,” will be on view at Parks Gallery through August 23.