Southwest Art

A DEEPENING SENSE OF PLACE

AS AN ARTIST WHO has painted in fully half of the states in this country, including all of the western states, Lorenzo Chavez knows there is profound beauty everywhere. And then there are places that are not only beautiful but also call up memories rich with emotion, associations, and even ancestral history. For Chavez, these are the landscapes whose layers of meaning make them even more inspiring and enjoyable to paint, even as he revisits them again and again, seeing them each time with deeper appreciation.

Arroyos, or dry creek beds, are places like this. For Chavez, who was raised in New Mexico, they bring to mind the endless hours he spent running through the sand as a distance runner in high school. Their meandering courses, lined with desert plants and offering views of distant mountains and the immense sky, became embedded in his psyche as he ran. “To this day, I just get a sense

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