Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Poeh Center and Roxanne Swentzell's Tower Gallery

On the way up to Taos from Santa Fe is the Poeh Cultural Center and Museum as well as Roxanne Swentzell's Tower Gallery.  The structures themselves were hand built by Roxanne, a Pojaque Governer and her family.  They are so beautiful and earthy that when I was first there I was focusing more on the architecture and building materials than I was on the artwork on display.  The Poeh Center has a wonderful diorama that you walk through.  At the beginning you are lead up as if you are emerging from the earth (like the Native American Pueblo people believe the did at the beginning of creation) and there are lights in the ceiling shining down like stars.  As you are lead through the scenes are divided up to represent the four seasons, then the invasion of the Spanish, and finally a more modern room with a T.V. and other contemporary amenities.  All of the figures were built by Roxanne Swentzell.  Roxanne's mother was from the Santa Clara Pueblo and her father is of German descent.  Her figures are very emotive as she couldn't speak when she was a young girl and first began creating figurative sculptures out of clay as a way to communicate with others.

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