Bandelier Welcomes New Artist In Residence Carolyn Tourney Florek

Bandelier Artist-in-Resident Carolyn Tourney Florek. Courtesy/Carolyn Florek


Carolyn Tourney Florek of Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument’s current artist in residence, is a poet, publisher, garden designer, and visual artist .

She has degrees in geology and painting, and her poetry has been published in a number of anthologies. Her poem, “Over Flat Creek,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Florek’s most recent publication, The Painted Door Opened, is a collaboration along with Carolyn Dahl of their poetry and art. Her work is being exhibited at the Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos through mid-November. 

In addition, Florek is co-founder, with her husband Bob, of Mutabilis Press, a non-profit publisher of poetry.  

In applying for the Artist in Residence position, she proposed doing a daily journal of her observations and experiences in the monument, including journal notes, poetry, drawings, and watercolors. Then, combining her interests in nature, art, and publishing, the result would be a peer-edited book of approximately 64 pages of writings, illustrations, poems and photographs inspired and executed during her time spent at Bandelier. It also would include an introduction “on how journaling can help a person to see and feel and understand the world in surprising and deeper ways.”

As Florek said, “In coming to Bandelier ever since the 1980s, I can never decide which moves me more, its natural history or its human history. Both are intertwined to give the visitor endless images and facts, combined with thoughts, on time itself. By having the opportunity to stay in the monument during the residency, I would be able to experience day and night, sunsets and sunrises, within this magnificent place.” 

She is looking forward to interacting with park visitors. Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 9, Florek will often go out along the main trail and set up what she calls an “open air studio”, to draw and write, and talk with interested visitors about Bandelier and the artistic process. She also will be hosting an activity, “Finding Your Heart at Bandelier: Your Journaling Experience”, a journaling walk along the Main Loop Trail 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 2, 3, 6, and 7.

On this easy walk, she will lead participants through a writing exercise to help open up their creative sides. Those attending are requested to bring their journal, something to write with, and a hat, water, snacks and comfortable walking shoes. Numbers are limited, so please call the Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517, for details and to sign up.

Bandelier will have three more artists in residence between September and December this year:

  • Pat Galagan and Philip Metcalf, Oct. 12 – Nov. 7, will be specializing in photography; and
  • Shawn Skabelund, Nov. 23 – Dec. 19, will be specializing in drawing and painting.
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