Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

Southwest Art, February 2002

DONNA CLAIR moved to Santa Fe in 1967 and within a month began painting the surrounding landscape. “Coming to New Mexico was a ‘Dorothy and Toto time’ for me: One of those darned cyclones hit my life and all of a sudden I wasn’t in Chicago anymore. When the wind stopped, I opened my eyes to this alien planet called the high desert Southwest,” she says. “To my astonishment, it was then that my real life began.”

regionalistsClair has been painting northern New Mexico ever since. “The Mayans believe the most sacred places on earth are at the foot of great mountains. I live right below Taos Mountain, and all I know is that this is my special place,” she says. “I try to be as honest as possible in my work and paint what I believe, which is that being close to nature heals, that silence heals, and that art has the capacity to uplift and bring us to a better place.

“I’m sure the powers that be knew they made a mistake when they let me be born in Chicago – they just picked me up and blew me to where I belonged in the first place. I will always be grateful for that cyclone,” says Clair.

— Gussie Fauntleroy, Santa Fe.
Southwest Art
February 2002