G. Phil Poirier
G. Phil Poirier is a master gem cutter and goldsmith residing near Taos, NM. Having discovered the art of metalsmithing in a high school art class, Poirier has studied metalsmithing for over 35 years. He has also worked with many other masters in the fields of goldsmithing and lapidary. His jewelry is classic and unique, functional and durable, intricate and stunning. Phil has acquired a unique combination of techniques, designs, and skills which include: Engraving, Repousse, Raising and sinking, Lapidary, Granulation, and Toolmaking.
Poirier prefers to alloy and mill his own metal, allowing him more freedom of color and gauge. He cuts his own gemstones enabling creative design and form. Ancient methods and designs such as those used by the Etruscans, the Egyptians and the Greeks are a frequent source of inspiration for his work, as are the natural forms of feathers, leaves and waves. He makes a great deal of his own tools which enlarges his palette and allows him to create his vision. Poirier is known for combining Old World excellence with new and innovative design.
In May of 1987 he was commissioned to cut the largest cabochon of gem lapis-lazuli known today, and in 1992 was commissioned to create a memorial goblet for the Spertus Museum of Chicago, in honor of the 11 athletes that died at the Munich Olympic games in 1972. Phil has created custom jewelry pieces for the Millicent Rogers Museum of Taos inspired by the Millicent Rogers southwest collection. In 1998 he participated in the Yaw Galleries' Functional Vase Project with SOFA (Sculptural Objects Functional Art) NY. He was one of five artists invited to The University of New Mexico Harwood Museum exhibit "Objects, Five Master Craftsmen".
Recently his work has appeared in several books including "100 Rings", "The Craft of Silversmithing", and 500 Wedding Rings".
Each year Phil teaches techniques and tooling that he has invented at venues around the world including the University of Central England's Jewellery Design School.
Phil believes time to be his most valuable element in creating his jewelry. Nothing about a Poirier piece is rushed or mass-produced as he is committed to quality and strives to push the limits.
Born in The Bronx, New York City, in 1933, Julian Robles has been living and painting in Taos, New Mexico, since 1968. He is dedicated to recording the ceremonials of the New M
Born in The Bronx, New York City, in 1933, Julian Robles has been living and painting in Taos, New Mexico, since 1968. He is dedicated to recording the ceremonials of the New Mexico and Arizona Indians before their valued rituals are lost. "I find it exciting to capture the life and color of an Indian ritual," he declares. "It's exhilarating to paint the air around the bronze head of a Pueblo Indian." His mother, who was also an artist, recognized Robles' talent when he was only six years old. Robles went on to study art in high school in Jersey City, New Jersey, and then at the Pratt Institute in New York City, eventually serving as a technical illustrator in the U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1958. Posts in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Amarillo, Texas, allowed Julian to take frequent painting trips to New Mexico, prompting his eventual relocation to the area. After military service, Robles remained in Amarillo to teach and to paint portraits until 1961 when he returned to New York City to work as a commercial artist. A painter and sculptor, Julian Robles is known for New Mexico paintings of Indian figures, often with ceremonial dress, as well as pueblo scenes and landscapes. Many of his canvases have glowing light and bright use of colors, especially purple, red, and turquoise. His affiliations are: Founding Member of "The Taos Six," Pastel Society of America, and Pastel Society of the Southwest.
Gustavo Victor Goler
Gustavo Victor Goler was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico among a family of Latin American art conservators and restorers. Goler’s early years were spent apprenticing in his family’s conservation studios where he learned wood carving skills by helping conserve and restore 18th, 19th and 20th century Saints from Latin America and New Mexico. Goler began carving Santos in high school as a hobby, creating a few pieces a year that he would give to family and friends. In 1986, he opened up a small conservation studio in Santa Fe, NM where he specialized in the conservation of Santos. He began to take his own artistic profession more seriously by showing his Santos and Retablos in galleries and participating in small exhibits.
In 1988, Goler was juried into Spanish Market where he has continuously showed for the past twenty-four years. His high level of craftsmanship and innovative design have garnered him 24 awards which include eleven first place awards, two Best of Show awards, the Archbishop’s award, the People’s Choice award, as well as numerous 2nd Place and Design awards. Among the carvers at Spanish Market, Goler is often sought after for his advice. He has mentored developing artists, and has instructed many carvers. He has taught classes regularly for children and museum docents, and for a handful of artists that have come to his studio for long-term apprenticeships.
During the last twenty-five years, Goler has been involved in in-depth research of New Mexico Santeros. His research and interest has led him to study both old and contemporary Santeros from New Mexico and around the world. Along with his study of artists and their history, Goler has immersed himself in the study of the history of Saints and their iconography. His technical ability as a woodcarver and his in-depth knowledge of materials has allowed him to create pieces that have a very individual style. He continues to challenge himself by pushing further toward the limits of his art form and is known for his high level of technical proficiency and progressive ideas.
Aside from Spanish Market, he has participated in many different individual, museum and group shows with some of New Mexico’s award winning artists. He has presented his work in shows and exhibitions in other states and in different countries. In 2005, he exhibited a 17- year retrospective show of his personal work at The National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM.
His work as an art conservator for the past twenty-five years has exposed him to many historic New Mexico Santos in churches, museums, and private collections. In 1995, he was retained to restore the altar and its screen in the church of Santa Cruz de la Canada, New Mexico. Upon completion of this important project he was invited to present a summation of his work at the Smithsonian Institute. This unique conservation opportunity included working with parishioners from the church. After that presentation, he was again asked to participate in another symposium at the Smithsonian Institute. This included a show with other Santeros and Santeras from New Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. The symposium discussed techniques, materials and designs from artists and conservators of Santos from their respective areas. In addition, Goler lectured on techniques and organized the participating New Mexico artists and their presentations. The art show included venues at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. From his participation in the symposiums, he was asked to exhibit his work in an international show in Puerto Rico where he represented the New Mexico Santero by showing examples of his work and by lecturing on the New Mexico Santero tradition.
He has also conserved and assessed all of the Santos from the Martinez Hacienda Museum, the Harwood Museum, and the Millicent Rogers Museum, all in the Taos area.
His work in the conservation field has stimulated great interest and continual study of old New Mexican Santos with particular emphasis on their identification. His reputation as an expert conservator has led to his involvement and work on several large private collections in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The most notable with which he was involved was that of Larry Frank for which he served as the main conservator for twenty years. Upon Mr. Frank’s death, his 259 Santos were purchased by the state of New Mexico and now reside at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.
Goler has served as a board member of the Harwood Museum and the National Hispanic Cultural Center where he furthered his education in art. This involvement has allowed him to continue to promote the art of the Santero. His expertise has helped these institutions grow their collections and acquire a better understanding of the Santero history. In 2007, he was asked to curate his first show, “New Mexico Carvers”. The show, which ran for three months at the Harwood Museum, explained the traditions and the chronological progression of devotional carving from 1790 to the present. Goler’s knowledge of New Mexico Santero history, his technical ability as a carver and artist, and his in-depth knowledge of conservation have made him a highly sought after artist.
Presently, he works on conservation projects which include private collections and he continues to lecture regularly. More importantly, he has continued to immerse himself in his studies and challenges himself artistically to continue to improve, and elevate the quality of the art form. His work can be found in publications, museum collections, private collections and churches around the country.
His mother, who was also an artist, recognized Robles' talent when he was only six years old. Robles went on to study art in high school in Jersey City, New Jersey, and then at the Pratt Institute in New York City, eventually serving as a technical illustrator in the U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1958. Posts in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Amarillo, Texas, allowed Julian to take frequent painting trips to New Mexico, prompting his eventual relocation to the area. After military service, Robles remained in Amarillo to teach and to paint portraits until 1961 when he returned to New York City to work as a commercial artist. He would then study at the Arts Student League and the National Academy of Design in New York until his final move to Taos.