Isabel Rodriguez

Meet the Team: Isabel Rodriguez

October 6, 2021

Tell us a little about yourself. What did you do before joining the Thoma Foundation team?

Before joining the Thoma Foundation team I was completing my studies at Adams State University with a double major in Drawing and Physical Geography and Conservation. I’ve always had a passion for both art and nature – a really fabulous combination in my mind. The two have always been a huge part of my life, especially growing up here in Santa Fe, where you are constantly surrounded by both exquisite landscapes and wonderful art.  

Can you explain a little bit about the work you’ve been doing at TF?

I have been working as a gallery attendant at the Thoma Foundation Art Vault. I look after the gallery space, make sure all our wonderful digital pieces are working properly, and my favorite part, welcome people to share in the experience that is Art Vault, it is a gallery that truly engulfs you into a whole new world with some really brilliant pieces and I love being able to welcome and share that with others.

Do you have a favorite piece of artwork in the collection?

A favorite piece, that is a hard one for me, there are so many that I truly love. One of my favorites is Thiago Rocha Pitta’s piece Danae in the Gardens of Gorgona or Nostalgia of Pangea, because it is a piece that speaks to both my artistic and scientific sides. As a geoscience major at university one of the biggest topics we discussed was tectonics, the movement and flow of the Earth’s continents over time, a process that has been in motion since the birth of our planet. Something I think Pitta’s piece does a great job alluding to with the excellent use of material and the simple cinematic beauty of the piece. It creates a space for the viewer to reminisce and be at peace because it has a very calming and satisfying effect.

The Foundation’s collection ranges from seventeenth-century Spanish Colonial panel paintings to contemporary digital art. What has been the biggest challenge so far in working with such a diverse collection? The biggest reward?

I have only worked with digital art pieces once before this, so it’s all still a pretty new experience for me. I have already learned so much about digital artworks and in our two exhibitions where the majority of the artworks are digital, there is always something new to learn every day. The diversity in the artworks can be a bit of  a challenge, knowing how to operate each unique piece and what to do when a piece is misbehaving is probably the biggest challenge. The biggest reward I’ve encountered in working with such a diverse show is the learning experience, we have pieces from various artists from all over the world, each piece and each artist have their own unique story to tell, learning all those stories is by far the best reward.   

Where is your favorite place to see art in the Santa Fe area?

The best thing about living in Santa Fe is that you can find art everywhere, all over the city, the streets are made of it. If I had to choose, I’d have to say one of my favorite places to see art is the Spanish Colonial Art Museum on Museum Hill. When I was very young my grandparents would take me and my brother there. My grandparents were my first art teachers, their lessons and embrace of the arts pushed me to continue my artistic education. The Spanish Colonial Arts Museum is my favorite place to see art because not only does it allow me the opportunity to see some exquisite artworks, it also gives me a connection back to my childhood with memories of my grandparents and my time as a youth artist in the Spanish Market.    

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