Ben Haggard

Faces Santa Fe
Posted on: March 11, 2011

Faces Santa Fe aims to reflect Santa Fe to itself through painted portraits of the people who call it home. Over the two-year duration of the project, I plan to paint portraits of between 200 and 600 Santa Feans. Each portrait is painted in acrylic on a 24-by-32-inch canvas and is generated alla prima in a single 90-minute sitting. I hope to exhibit large groupings of the paintings in diverse venues—churches, schools and public office buildings, as well as museums and galleries—to make the project accessible and welcoming to a broad range of people. I int the project to be seripitous and self-organizing—participants are invited to communicate their experience to others and encouraged to come and sit. The project has been underway just two weeks, and already the first round of sitters has begun to bring fris and family members to the studio for their own portraits.

SPREAD funds will help cover material costs (paint, canvas, stretchers, brushes) and a simple invitational brochure to explain the project to potential subjects.

FACES SANTA FE was begun in 2010, will continue through 2011, and be ready for large-scale exhibit by spring 2012. An exhibit of the work in progress is planned for July 2011 and others may be added as a means of community outreach.

Collective portraiture can serve as a community-based process of reflection and understanding. While a single portrait captures something uniquely individual about the sitter, a collection of portraits reveals a community. The tension between the two yields a visual experience that is compelling and provocative and allows me to test my belief that the genius of a place expresses itself through its people. I wish to offer people of all ages and backgrounds a direct and personally meaningful experience of a painter’s process. Participants in the project so far describe it as interesting, intimate, satisfying and even unnerving.

One Response to “Ben Haggard”

  1. Kathleen VanHyfte Says:

    I am currently working a portrait of my husband in acrylics.

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