two-story tarantula in front of Guadalupe Gym. An inflatable, inhabitable space cloud in Kit Carson Park. A silent disco dance party on Taos Plaza. These are just a few of the phenomenal spectacles featured at previous PASEO events. As the sun goes down on September 13 and 14, the streets of historic downtown Taos will come alive with PASEO’s 6th annual street art festival with a certain crowd and animated art. The PASEO began as an experiment in 2014, a challenge set for themselves by various Taos creatives to link the multiple downtown locations that comprised the Taos Fall Arts Festival. The objective was to create a smooth flow of foot traffic and cohesiveness between the venues—hence, the name. The team, led by J. Matt Thomas, who continues to direct and curate the PASEO, not only rose to the challenge but seized the opportunity to introduce full-blown, outdoor performance and projection art to Taos. As the sun set on September 26, 2014, a three-quarter-mile stretch of street came to life with 15 outdoor art installations created by 26 artists from around the world. An estimated 3,000 people of all ages and demographics attended the street-life extravaganza, and attendance has grown every year since. By the following year, the PASEO was considered an arts event in and of itself, spanning two nights, 70 artists, 30 installations, and pre-festival workshops taught by festival artists in Taos middle and high schools
through the newly launched STEMarts@ PASEO Youth Program. The following year the festival became an independent nonprofit rebranded as The PASEO Project, which hosts the annual PASEO festival, funds STEMarts@Paseo youth projects, and sponsors special community programs such as the ongoing Acequia Aquí, which focuses on the history and preservation of the Acequia del Madre del Río Pueblo, as well as pop-up art events throughout the year. This year’s PASEO will take place September 13 and 14, starting at sunset and lasting until 11 p.m. The theme is “Connections,” with an emphasis on community. “Connections could be read as any work that celebrates, contemplates, or questions our interactions with each other, nature, or the world,” Thomas says. Approximately two dozen artists will be chosen to share a diverse range of installation pieces, performance art, and projection and new media art showcasing local, regional, national, and international talent. The 2019 PASEO route will start at Taos Plaza, continue north on Paseo del Pueblo Norte to Kit Carson Park, lead down Civic Plaza Drive, turn left onto Camino de la Placita, go past Twirl Play & Discovery Space, and end up back at Taos Plaza. Festivalgoers can pick up a free event guide and map at the project’s headquarters, The HUB, located at 107 Civic Plaza Drive. Admission is free for all ages. —Lyn Bleiler
Antonin Fourneau, Waterlight Graffiti (2012–2017), LED, to be exhibited in the 2019 PASEO.
TREND 20th Anniversary Summer 2019
COURTESY OF PASEO