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Art for a Good Cause at Santa Fe's Intimate Meikle Fine Art Gallery

By Marina I. Jokic

Joyful, daring, and vibrant paintings and sculptures are the defining elements of the Barbara Meikle Gallery. Meikle's goal is to make art that can be enjoyed by everyone, art that is both boldly expressive and meaningful for the observer. She uses gallery funds to support animal rescue efforts in the region, which is a crucial personal cause for her.

The gallery provides an intimate environment in which to view carefully chosen pieces by select artists. Visitors can enjoy an eclectic mix of art, from paintings to sculpture. Meikle has chosen to feature artists Robert Burt, Andrew Carson, David Shanfeld, Randy O'Brien, Gilberto Romero, and Carla Spence.

The gallery primarily showcases Meikle's work along with paintings by Burt and Spence, wind sculpture by Carson, ceramics by O'Brien and glass by Shanfeld. After obtaining a degree in painting and printmaking, working in galleries in New York, Chicago, Denver and Santa Fe, Meikle wanted to create a space to sell her work and the work of a select few whose style fit into the distinctive concept of the gallery. She likes to keep a small-scale operation for a reason. "I've learned that the business side of the gallery will take over my studio time completely if I let it, so keeping things simple is key," she says.

To someone who is not from the region, Meikle points out, Santa Fe can best be described as a thriving mecca for those established in the art world as well as for the younger, up-and-coming hopefuls. "Santa Fe is a unique city, there is no other place in the world where you can walk to 100 galleries, which are on Canyon Road, and my gallery is part of that," Meikle points out. It's a wonderfully nurturing place for artists because art runs deep in the veins of the community, from visual and musical to performance and literary. There is no shortage of opportunity for aspiring artists. With over two hundred galleries, Santa Fe is a magnet for the artistically inclined. People come from all over the world, not just to collect art as a business transaction or an investment, but because they truly love and cherish it.

"My work is very personal, colorful, evoking the bright light and dramatic landscapes of the area, so I suppose it is Southwestern," Meikle adds. She has learned her techniques from 19th century European painters and 20th century American expressionists, incorporating both styles in her work. Even though she borrows formative methods and techniques from earlier masters, Meikle strives to create her own unique style as a female painter and sculptor.

Meikle is inspired by the seasons, and her landscapes usually reflect the current time of year. She brings in donkeys, horses, eagles and owls to the gallery from the various animal rescue organizations several times a year, starting in April, to model for her. She paints them on the spot, and gives a portion of the sales for each piece to the rescue organization. The next event will be hosting Bindy the therapy donkey from Equine Spirit Sanctuary from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, June 25th. Meikle hopes to raise a lot of funds for the animals.

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