David LaPlantz/Photo: Clare Lighton

What’s Up With David?

I am alive and well, happily living and making art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment!

Life is all about dreams, dreaming and making your dreams come true. Chasing dreams, while scary at times, can be rewarding and vital to our existence. Dreaming feeds us and making the dreams come true is even better! I am a dreamer, a dream chaser! How about you?

After arriving in Santa Fe in mid-December, 2005, I felt as if one of my my dreams were coming true. I have found this cultural/physical environment allows my spirit and soul to soar, in a way different from Arcata, California’s North Coast. The dream is being lived, out in the country, about fifteen minutes south of the beautiful, quaint Santa Fe Plaza.

This is not my first time to live in Santa Fe. In fact, back in 1967-68, I began my teaching career at the Institute of American Indian Arts, teaching jewelry and metalsmithing. It was an incredible year that stands out in my memory and laid the foundation for everything that I would become after that. But, that’s a story for another time. You may wish to read my resume for the history breakdown on my teaching career and other artistic activities. Also check out my artist’s statement to learn about me and my current activities.

Santa Fe is called “The City Different” and I totally concur. The Santa Fe area with it’s great selection/collection of museums, galleries and other visual treats feeds my soul and my art head.

My Home and Studio:

My home serves both as a studio and living space and is located in La Cienega on 2.5 acres with incredible views in all directions. The eastern views display the glorious Sangre de Christo Mountains while to the west the Jemez Mountains rise elegantly and are quite breathtaking as are the Turquoise Mountains to the south east. The blue sky seems so immense displaying breathtaking weather changes and the black, star filled nights remind me of summer nights I experienced growing up in northwestern Ohio!

The land came with at least 10 trees filled with lots of different species of birds during the non-migrating season. More trees have recently been planted to create shade and bird habitats. The colorful hummingbirds love to zip and zoom around the trumpet vines and feeders, partaking of the nectar as required which seems to be all of the time. Nature in New Mexico calls to me in ways different than Northern California ever did. I love the changes and dreams I am living each new day. How grand it is to be alive and to live in this breathtaking, physical environment!

My home environment also includes a spacious metalworking studio, with lots of windows, that allows me to work on both large and small scale art. My south facing portal, which covers nearly one half of the building, allows for outdoor work almost any day of the year — wind, dust and weather permitting.

The almost 330 days of New Mexico sunshine each year more than make up for the many cloudy, damp and foggy days I experienced while living on the beautifully lush green, California North Coast in Humboldt County. I now prefer the high (7000 foot level), dry desert climate and my bones also seem to appreciate the weather change. My daily bicycle riding adventures on this beautiful high desert plain feed my body and soul with visual and spiritual energy!

My 33 years (1971 – 2002) in the Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) Art Department as the jewelry and metalsmithing tour guide were incredibly fulfilling. My life as a teacher was highly charged, creativity wise and an enjoyable growth expereince. The intense and close association with my jewelry people will forever be a high point in my life as a metalworking teacher. I cherish those times and enjoyed being a part of the art, so many talented, young artists created over the years! My hat is off to all of you, who journeyed through my life, from 1967 to 2002!

You may ask, “David, is it nice to be a full time, studio artist rather than time splitting between being a full time teacher vs. full time studio artist?” My huge smile clearly displays the obvious answer! Northern New Mexico is one very special place to live! Later, gator…..