Forty-five years ago, Glenn and Sandy Green started a gallery on a shoestring.
Over the years, they've brought us "greats" like Allan Houser.
...And they're still at it today By K.C. Compton
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Focus Santa Fe Magazine January/February/March 2004
Under Radiant Skies

Glenn Green Galleries has a superb new Santa Fe venue.

By Charlotte Berney

Glenn Green Galleries, a commanding presence in the art community for almost forty years, has raised the art experience to a whole new level. The new Sculpture Garden and Gallery outside town—just a short distance from the Plaza in Tesuque—displays art the way it ought to be seen, in a spacious and beautiful setting.

The purpose of the move was to feature more sculpture in natural surroundings, says Glenn Green. In addition to the garden, the five-and-a-half-acre property includes a large, elegant gallery that is open by appointment.

The art found outside and inside covers a range of world-class artists whose sculpture, painting, basketry, prints, photography, and jewelry represent the finest in artistic expression. Consider these: the sculpture of Allan Houser and Eduardo Oropeza, the paintings of Kenji Yoshida, and the Rainforest Basketry of the Wounaan. The gallery exhibits the work of over forty outstanding

Glenn Green Galleries’ Tesuque sculpture garden and gallery are complemented by art showcases downtown and the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. Daughter Kerry Green manages all three art venues.

Why this extensive dedication to art? "We enjoy the creative process," says Sandy Green, who first saw Allan Houser’s work in Arizona in the early seventies. Glenn and Sandy Green represented Houser’s work for over twenty years and helped develop his distinguished career. She adds, "When we discover an artist whose work is special and who has a unique approach, we respond. To be able to promote their work is very satisfying."

Step onto the Sculpture Garden grounds, located next to the well-known Tesuque Village Market, and you find yourself in a serene setting with ancient cottonwoods, apple trees, and an expanse of meadow. The open sward accommodates monumental sculpture while side gardens provide intimate spaces for strolling and contemplation.

"We’re pleased that we have a variety of spaces to work with," says Kerry Green. "When you see the works in a natural setting, you can see the possibilities of living with art."
In the meadow, several of Allan Houser’s monumental signature pieces, "Sacred Rain Arrow" and "Illusion" (a semi-abstract image of a Buffalo Dancer carved in steatite), are a testimony to that artist’s immense talent. Guy Dill’sabstract steel sculptures provide a fascinating contrast to the figurative work.Throughout the grounds are the striking bronze sculptures of Eduardo Oropeza. His figurative works, such as "Horizontes" and "Las Tres Cabezas," touch the humanity in everyone. They often contain passages of straw that symbolize the vulnerability of life while the metal represents its strength. A California artist, Oropeza lived in one of the guest houses on the property for a time. Sandy Green remembers, "He loved this garden, especially the birds."

The sculptures are rotated with much thought given to placement. With plenty of space around them, each piece sets the imagination free to roam through cultures, images and time.

Leaving the meadow, one enters another place of poetic beauty. The enchanting "white garden," surrounded by greenery and white flowers, has a delightful Old World feeling. According to the Greens, it has been a popular setting for weddings. Now, with a stone gateway and sculptures along the periphery, it is an exquisite space that lends itself to dreaming and reflection.

Follow the garden path to the rear of the gallery and you are within what feels like an old New Mexican hacienda. An arroyo cuts through the hilly grounds dotted with sculptures and birch trees. In and around the patio are smaller art works such as Oropeza’s "Calaca Contemplando la Vida" (death contemplating life).

"The grounds are beautiful in all the seasons," says Kerry Green. "In the fall, the cottonwoods turn gold, and when the snow comes, it’s tranquil. In summer, there’s so much green everywhere." The large, old trees around the gallery provide shade and a lovely ambiance.

The high-ceilinged gallery contains both large and small-scale art works and should be approached like a museum—with sufficient time to do it justice. The paintings Kenji Yoshida renders in oil, copper, and gold and silver leaf lend rich tones and abstract movement to the walls. Yoshida is a Living Treasure of Japan, and an exhibition of his works opened the Asian Wing at the British Museum. Guy Dill’s abstract geometric sculpture is on view. He has work in the major museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Norton Simon, the Smithsonian, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney. Helen Stanley’s contemporary paintings are large, bold, and exciting.

The Greens have long had an interest in the art of indigenous cultures. After discovering the basketry of the Wounaan tribe in Panama, they set about raising consciousness about the people and their remarkable work. Using palm fibers and natural dyes, the Wounaan create tightly-woven pictorial and geometric baskets with rich colors in a variety of sizes. Due to the tribe’s isolation, their basketry has been little known but is growing in recognition. The gallery has a large selection of the finest Wounaan baskets by different artists.

Finding artists with "a unique approach" has led the Greens to unexpected discoveries. Glenn Green has long represented the works of Melanie Yazzie, a multi-talented artist whose prints and ceramic sculptures enliven the gallery’s offerings. She draws on her Navajo heritage to create piquant, evocative works. Yazzie travels frequently to other parts of the world, and while The Gallery Wallcollaborating on art inNew Zealand, she met Maori artist Wi Taepa. After Taepa was introduced tothe Greens, the gallerybegan representing his ceramic and bronze sculpture, which is inspired by Maori culture and rendered in a contemporary style.The work of young Maori artist, Noelle Jakeman, has recently joined Taepa’s in the gallery.

Over the years, Glenn Green Galleries has remained consistent in its vision of presenting the best art work and promoting it well. Visit the Sculpture Garden during daylight hours and call for an appointment to enter the Gallery. Art of this quality is both a rarity and a pleasure and must be experienced.