“Rush Cole’s VIVA SANTA FE!”
48" x 72", oil on canvas, gallery-wrapped.
Copyright Rush Cole
~SANTA FE ARTIST PAINTS CITY'S HISTORY~
“Rush Cole’s VIVA SANTA FE!” is a glowingly vibrant tribute to this most legendary capital city in the American Southewest. The four-feet by six-feet montage of historical, cultural, and environmental elements required more than a solid year of research and labor to create. Painted in oil on canvas, Cole’s civic work of art blends three central pictorial elements of Pueblo Feast Day dancers, a Spanish horse and rider, and a rodeo bull rider, plus dozens of familiar landmarks and events, creating a colorful vision of the storied community. Visual surprises abound in the composition, from petroglyph- strewn rocks, to the vintage Plaza clock, and many, many more.
“In addition to being the oldest capital city in America, Santa Fe is also one of the most picturesque,” Cole asserts. “I don’t believe it could be any other way, not with three strong cultures as a foundational mix. That was one of the main points I wanted to make with this painting: Santa Fe would not have the world-wide allure it does today without important contributions from all of these, and various other cultures that have resided here during the past centuries.
Santa Fe’s official name translates to mean “City of Holy Faith”. Appropriately, the colorful historic montage was even blessed midway through its creation by one of Cole’s good friends, a priest from a parish in California. “I became a little teary when that happened; it was totally spontaneous,” Rush explained. “I’ve always felt that there were angels involved with this project, and to have a servant of God make a prayer for it sealed that feeling for me.”
This isn’t the first time that Rush Cole has painted a portrait of an entire city and its history. In 1982 she won a competition to create a definitive image of the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. Her two-feet by five-feet prototype garnered her the prize and a commission to reproduce it as an eight-feet by twenty-feet, acrylic-on-canvas work of art, now on permanent display in the city’s American Bank Center.
“Corpus Christi, Texas”, 24”x 60”, acrylic on canvas, (prototype)
COPYRIGHT RUSH COLE 1982.
Cole also portrayed Indianapolis, Indiana, choosing to do so as her own creative project. Extensive research into the city’s history resulted in a four-feet by six-feet image, painted in oil on canvas, depicting Indiana’s capital, from its earliest days to the present.
“INDIANAPOLIS, A Portrait”, (prototype)
20”x 30”, gouache and watercolor on paper,
COPYRIGHT RUSH COLE 1990.