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An Art-Driven Life: Creative Workshops with Artist, Gallerist, and Teacher Linda Storm

An Art-Driven Life: Creative Workshops with Artist, Gallerist, and Teacher Linda Storm

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We tend to think of art as an introverted, solitary pursuit — painters alone in their studios, writers hunched over keyboards, musicians chasing melodies inside their own heads — and certainly anyone who has at least tried any of those things knows there is a kernel of truth in that idea. But by and large, today’s interconnected society both facilitates and demands greater social and community involvement from our artists, both as a means of promoting one’s own work as well as contributing to the arts community in general. Linda Storm of Santa Fe has embraced this aspect of the art world, engaging on multiple fronts as an artist, gallerist, educator, and arts advocate.
We tend to think of art as an introverted, solitary pursuit — painters alone in their studios, writers hunched over keyboards, musicians chasing melodies inside their own heads — and certainly anyone who has at least tried any of those things knows there is a kernel of truth in that idea. But by and large, today’s interconnected society both facilitates and demands greater social and community involvement from our artists, both as a means of promoting one’s own work as well as contributing to the arts community in general. Linda Storm of Santa Fe has embraced this aspect of the art world, engaging on multiple fronts as an artist, gallerist, educator, and arts advocate.

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Published by: SantaFe CreativeTourism on Nov 03, 2013
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 Santa Fe Creative Tourism is proud to present Linda Storm's ongoing workshops:  Paint Your Own Miniature Wearable Art , The Sensorial Experience of Art  (a workshop for children), and The Magic of Primary Colors. For more information, please visit lindastormart.com
 
, santafegallery.biz  orsantafecreativetourism.org.
"Raven Storm 1." All images © Linda Storm. Used with permission.
 An Art-Dri ven World: Creative  Workshops with Artist, Gallerist, and Teacher Linda Storm
 by Luke Fannin We tend to think of art as an introverted, solitary pursuit -- painters alone in their studios, writershunched over keyboards, musicians chasing melodies inside their own heads -- and certainly anyone who has at least tried any of those things knows there is a kernel of truth in that idea. But by andlarge, today's interconnected society both facilitates and demands greater social and community involvement from our artists, both as a means of promoting one's own work as well as contributing tothe arts community in general. Linda Storm of Santa Fe has embraced this aspect of the art world,engaging on multiple fronts as an artist, gallerist, educator, and arts advocate.
 
Ms. Storm, who owns Last Gallery on the Right on Canyon Road, is quick to point out that even thisrole, which has been hers now for two years -- and which many of us view, perhaps unfairly, as aslightly unfavorable, all-too-businessy aspect of the arts world -- is much more about the peopleinvolved than the bottom line. "I'm not just an art dealer or a business owner," she explains. "Irepresent artists... I feel strongly that art is a language, and I'm trying to get more of that languageout into the world."
"Crunch." All images © Linda Storm. Used with permission.
 As a gallerist, Ms. Storm carries that mission forward mostly in the traditional sense, with shows andopenings designed to promote her artists specifically and the Santa Fe arts community in general. Butit also provides the opportunity to collaborate within her community on multiple levels, to view other businesses and venues both as potential extensions of her gallery, as well as fitting homes forher artists' work. For Ms. Storm, the creativity involved in the art gallery business does not end withthe artists themselves, but continues through the vision and imagination of the gallerist. As noted, Ms. Storm's unique combination of talents allows her to engage the arts world in various ways. Appropriately, her own artwork encompasses everything from tiny "wearable"canvas-pendants to seven-foot-tall triptychs, often depicting subjects steeped in whimsy --
 
 butterflies and ravens, fantastical skies, and (arguably her best work) aspens. Though she's alwaysloved drawing and painting trees, Ms. Storm is particularly drawn to aspens: "There's somethingmythic about them," she says. "A grove of aspens is usually all one big plant. That makes them thelargest organisms in the world." These qualities -- whimsy, fantasy, and a broad, multi-generationalappeal -- seem to find their way into every aspect of Ms. Storm's prolific artistic life, from her own work to the imaginative and visionary artists she represents, and to the fun, exploratory workshopsshe teaches. As a licensed Montessori teacher, Ms. Storm believes strongly that everyone has an innate desire andability to learn. The Montessori approach recognizes that although education may be a largely socialactivity which happens at the group level, learning is entirely individual. "That's something I useevery day in my life," she says. "Everyone, from the child on up to the adult -- and the artist -- learnsindividually." Ms. Storm regularly applies artistic and creative approaches to her students' academicstudies, and her regular creative workshops, which range in focus from basic color theory to art andsensory integration, utilize this same Montessori approach. Many parents, she says, are seekingalternatives to the traditional educational model in an effort, as she puts it, "to keep that spark intheir child's eye." And whether teaching children or adults, Ms. Storm's goal in her workshops is thesame: to give people the opportunity to connect, explore, and discover -- to take full advantage of their innate desire to learn and create.The vision and spirit of advocacy Ms. Storm brings to education and the arts would be important toany community, even one that embraces cultural arts as enthusiastically as Santa Fe. But even as she works to help individuals, Ms. Storm's scope continues to broaden. In addition to donating theproceeds from her own art to the local Montessori school, she is currently in the planning stages of ashow which would represent emerging artists and students from the Bobea Arts Centre in Kenya.Founded by Pascal Chuma in 2007, the Bobea Arts Centre is dedicated to making education andcareers in the arts accessible to children who otherwise lack the means to pursue a fine artseducation. For this show, the Montessori school would serve as an annex to the gallery, highlightingthe important connection between education and the arts that is so central to Ms. Storm'sphilosophy. "It's such a rare and wonderful opportunity," she says. "Everyone I've talked to has said,
yes, yes, yes
."It's what we hope for -- a society that only says
yes
 to art,
yes
 to education,
yes
to outreach. Thanksto Linda Storm and her remarkable engagement with the art world, we're a little bit closer to it.

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