Santa Fe • Taos & Napa • Sonoma • Marin

Art, Galleries & Museums

A SEA Gallery

Ess. G. Web '19.jpeg

"History: I had started a co-operative on Canyon Road with friends in the late 70's which became quite successful. After that I spent two decades in a variety of Santa Fe galleries as well as museum shows; the progression of the 'downturn' of the first decade of 2000 made me feel a different paradigm was necessary. A SEA Gallery [Association of Socially Engaged Artists] was first established as a non-profit in 2010 with a Benefit for Haiti after the earthquake/tsunami. Asking about 15 well-known artists and others well known to me, to donate works of art to sell to contribute to the rebuilding of Haiti; with everyone eager to do so, it was a very positive step. I loved presenting such wonderful work to the public and being able to help where there is a dire need. Earlier in the 90's, several artists and I began having meetings at my studio, discussing the state of art in Santa Fe and its relationship to global and domestic politics. Most of the artists either were or had been political activists, against war, corporate exploitation, empire, etc. and committed to protecting and honoring the earth. Over the years since that time I have thought a lot about the artist's role as mirror to a society, addressing social ills and aspirations.

This idea was so different from the prevailing model in Santa Fe of ‘successful' artists making a recognizable product for wealthy private collectors or corporations. Much of the art shown was about prestige and investment. The art I was drawn to in major art centers in the USA and in Europe was deeper and more challenging than that. It seemed the Santa Fe ‘art scene’ had become increasingly commercial. After the benefit showing I decided to keep the gallery open, eventually moving it to the SF RAILYARD (which was burgeoning as an alternative art neighborhood), in the form of a hybrid co-operative, inviting six mature professional artists to join me.

As the lack of collectors city wide increased, economic necessity made artists drop out. I ended up being the sole owner. After four years, the impact on the Railyard businesses of the secret cell tower on Hotel Santa Fe, as well as the resulting health issues, forced me to move again. In September 2015 A SEA Gallery opened at 836 A Canyon Road; it also serves as an additional studio space needed due to downsizing. [In 2015 I gave up my large beautiful studio on the Northeast edge of town, and am dividing my studio work between two spaces.] As well as focusing primarily on figurative work, every artwork in the gallery is original and unique to the artist and made solely by hand (as opposed to computer generated). The gallery also frequently features the work of guest artists.

-Monika Steinhoff"

A SEA Gallery
539 B Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 988-9140

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