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A Power-Greater-Than-Us Laughs

By Meredith Gould

We plan, and a Power-Greater-Than-Us laughs. And so it came to pass that my known universe, as well as friends, hoot with hilarity when I announce my impending move to Albuquerque.

So what if my mother studied art at UNM during the 1940s, moving west of New York City was something I planned to do never. Still, I move to a casita near Old Town in June 2018, almost six weeks after visiting my spouse, who was already living and working here.

My visit in May involved getting completely gob-smacked by Albuquerque’s burgeoning, and well-established art scene, within three days. Later, the spouse would claim that bombarding me with photos of public art plus a walking tour of it, viewing multiple forms of art at the Downtown Growers’ Market, visiting local bead stores, and gazing at Sandia-framed sunsets was part of his carefully constructed promotional plan.

Not part of that plan, but what proved extra compelling was visiting the OFFCenter Community Arts Project. Free open studio with abundant supplies? Yes, please. Artists of all ages and stages? That, too.

Heard of “emerging” artists? Turns out I’m a reemerging one.

My backstory includes formal art training during elementary school, juried shows as a teen, and what everyone considered inevitable—art school. My backstory, painted with a darker palette, includes melting down during and dropping out of art school. There’s more, of course, because I’m #old(er). Short version: I return to art-making after a 40+ year hiatus, and, as it turns out, Albuquerque is the perfect place not only to heal wounds real and imagined but to grow; to reemerge.

During the weeks I pack my stuff and sell our Baltimore condo, and I entertain friends with a quip about becoming a stereotype. "Aging woman artist moves to Albuquerque." They laugh, and I do, too, with total delight.


About: Meredith uses sacred symbols from across traditions to create art with beads, mosaic tiles, paint, paper, and more. She spends lots of time at OFFCenter, so find her there and also on Etsy as meredithgouldarts. See WIP on IG: themeredithgould.arts

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