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Taos is New Mexico True
A group of people enjoying an art installation

Transforming community with art and art with community

Local and national artists will come together in Taos this fall to participate in The PASEO 2023 festival on September 15 and 17. The festival will feature works, ranging from low-tech to new media, united by their active engagement with the public and with place, whether projecting on Taos’s adobe walls or lighting up Kit Carson Park.

The Paseo Project’s mission is to transform art through community and community through art. In addition to The Paseo Project’s annual outdoor art festival in Historic Downtown Taos, they also host several collaborative community projects each year, and a socially-engaged artist in residence program.

Since 2014, artists from all over the world have brought projection, installation, and performance art to the streets of Taos for this free two-night event.

A few highlighted artists from The PASEO 2022 were:

Christopher Schardt, CA: Paraluna
Christopher Schardt is an artist, programmer, and engineer who has turned his focus to LED art in recent years. Paraluna is a giant, spinning disc of LEDs. Live classical music is amplified through speakers on the ground while choreographed animated patterns are displayed on the disc above. The disc is held up by a boom lift, allowing the disc to be raised, lowered, and tilted, to dramatic effect. The animated display includes images from space, videos of the natural world, motifs from cultures worldwide, and dazzling computer-generated patterns. Paraluna will be presented with live music from Taos artists.

Nina Lutz, AZ/MA: Ofrenda Digital
Nina M. Lutz is Phoenix born computer scientist and designer. As the world rapidly changes and various instabilities threaten traditions that rely on public space, Ofrenda Digital seeks to serve as an artistic, educational, and archival piece. Originally started as a research project regarding different artistic archival methods for cultural traditions, this artwork uses dynamic projection mapping to immerse the user in Día de Muertos and imagery of its celebrations. Furthermore, the piece shows the diversity of the communities that celebrate this tradition with original media from their celebrations, along with providing the ability for users to interact with the ofrenda.

EarthSeed Black Arts Alliance New Mexico: Tales Of An Afrofuture
Earthseed Black Arts Alliance New Mexico focuses on centering and amplifying Black voices in Northern New Mexico as well as collaborating with Indigenous artists, artists of color, and the city’s artist community. This multimedia and multidimensional installation and performance will combine site-specific ritual action, mixed-media sculpture, film, and live DJ performance by the founding cohort of Earthseed Black Arts Alliance to create an immersive experience that spans the expanse of Black grief, celebration, healing, and transcendence.

Christian Ristow, Taos NM: Face Forward
Christian Ristow is well known to Taos audiences — a beloved local artist, and a regular co-conspirator with The Paseo Project since the very first festival. His large-scale interactive sculptures are influenced by the underground robot performance-art scene in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a decade of creating special effects for the film industry in Southern California. Face Forward is a large metal representation of the front of an androgynous human face, in which each of the major fascia muscles which are responsible for conveying some fragment of the totality of a facial expression is individually controlled by one of a series of levers which are arrayed in an arc, mounted on the ground, approximately 30 feet in front of the face. Individual members of the festival-going public may operate individual levers and play their part in the orchestration of an ongoing “river” of facial expressions.