Blog -- May/June 2009 -- Tim Keller Arts

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June 23, 2009    Drawing a Picture

Long Riders, Swink, Colorado, Mexico to Canada by Tim Keller

Creating a web page to present my Harvey Shannon feature helped me sell it to RANGE magazine. I've just posted my new article, on the Mexico to Canada horseback ride, to help me shop it to general interest national newspapers and magazines.

I hope you'll give it a look and enjoy it. And I hope to be posting news soon, telling you where it will be published! Thanks.



June 16, 2009    The Long Gaze West

Paul Grice, Western Horseman

I drove 244 miles round trip yesterday evening to interview and photograph 16-year-old horseman Paul Grice for an upcoming Western Horseman feature. Paul grilled burgers for us, then we went to the edge of town -- Roy, New Mexico -- to shoot pictures as the sun dropped in the sky.

Two weeks earlier, Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker were in Roy making a movie. They filmed in the Baptist Church across the street from Paul's house. Paul was off doing day work on a ranch. He's been earning day wages on horseback since he was 8 years old, spending his own earnings four years ago to buy his quarter horse Bueno.

I enjoy reporting on people like Paul, in places like Roy.



June 15, 2009    The Long Ride

Long Riders, Jeffers, Western Horseman

More than 40 horseback riders from 37 states rode through here ten days ago on their way from Mexico to Canada. I dropped in on them at the Jeffers Ranch to do a story for the Chronicle. I was so taken by them that I've kept returning. I spent Friday and Saturday with them up in La Junta and Swink, Colorado.

I've posted two Chronicle stories and now I'm at work on a magazine feature. I'll keep you posted on how the latter works out. Meantime, I'm headed to Roy this evening to interview and photograph Paul Grice for my Western Horseman feature. Christina and I made a date to join our calendars today so we can book three days together at a remote B&B this summer...



June 5, 2009    The Best Stories Tell Themselves

Laekyn Reust

My "summer project" for Western Horseman is starting to line up nicely. I got my first interview and photos Wednesday outside Seneca, New Mexico, with Laekyn, above, and learned that the next subject I've had in mind is a lifelong friend of Laekyn and her family, though they currently live more than an hour apart. Paul currently lives in Roy.

The feature is shaping up to be a profile of Laekyn, who turns 18 this month, and Paul, 16, using the Des Moines summer youth rodeo series as a "hook". Laekyn will ride here tomorrow and I'll be trying to get a great magazine shot to supplement or replace a shot I got last summer.

If all goes as hoped, I'll get Paul in the rodeo here, and visit him and his family in Roy. There's another photoshoot on tap at Laekyn's family place in a couple weeks. Laekyn's doing a homework assignment for me, writing out some biography. Western Horseman is looking for my photos and feature to arrive in July. I'm going to enjoy the process between now and then.



May 31, 2009    Gangs in Raton? Let's Investigate...

My Chronicle articles have generally landed in either of two categories -- straight reportage and creative non-fiction. I've marked the latter stories with an asterisk in the archive.

gangs, RatonJune 1 and 2 the Chronicle will run my first investigative piece, "Gangs in Raton?" I spent 8 hours interviewing people over a two-week period -- a police chief, a police captain, a judge, a probation and parole officer, a high school principal -- then 8 hours writing the 2400-word article and processing 8 accompanying photographs.

I'll be submitting them to the editor of the Albuquerque Journal North in hopes she'll publish the story there, where it would reach tens of thousands of additional readers throughout northern New Mexico.

One of my goals for this summer is landing articles and photographs in a broader range of magazines and newspapers, establishing relationships with editors who will continue to publish my work in the future. It's going to be a busy season.



May 28, 2009    Live! On the Air!

Billy D, Bill Donati, KRTN     

What a great morning I had yesterday! I'd planned all year to spend two hours at KRTN-FM one morning to write a feature for The Chronicle-News on the "monster" weekday morning show "This That & The Other", which has been on the air since the 1950s.


Buddy Springer, KRTN


Buddy Springer (left) and Billy D (above) welcome anyone who walks in the door, giving them the mic to promote whatever's on their mind. When I walked in as a guest in December, The Chronicle-News found me, and we know how that turned out.

I enjoyed poking around the studio, taking notes and conceiving my story. The guys got me on the mic twice, and the clicks of my camera shutter threw Buddy off for a while.

Then I enjoyed telling the story, writing it down. I hope you like it. You can read it in The Chronicle May 29.




May 24, 2009    Getting the Scoop, Again

Working for The Chronicle-News, we have a healthy rivalry with The Raton Range. The Range publishes Tuesday and Friday, The Chronicle Monday through Friday. Except for sports coverage, which I have no interest in, most people agree that The Chronicle has grown into the much better paper.

I was pleased to run a story Thursday that the Range didn't get. It came to me via a tip from Raton Superintendent of Schools Dave Willden, whose wife is directing a play at the Shuler Theater in Raton. It tapped into the arts and storytelling -- my beat!

Bill Fegan, Shuler Theater, Raton

A museum in Santa Fe found four large boxes of photos, business records, road maps, tour schedules, and posters that had disappeared from the Shuler 30 years ago. A web search led to Bill Fegan, seen here looking through his newfound treasures.

Bill was the leader of The Kaleidoscope Players. Now 82, he's still at The Shuler. I took this picture for my article and supplemented it with a photo and handbill from the rediscovered boxes. It was a fun story to report, and another nice scoop for The Chronicle.



May 20, 2009    Getting the Scoop

Cimino Bros. Ford

When I heard Thursday that Chrysler was dropping 789 of its U.S. dealerships, I found and searched the list, finding what I expected: Raton's Cimino Brothers Ford-Chrysler.

I called and got owner Phil Cimino, hoping for an in-person interview that afternoon. He was having none of it, giving me an emphatic "No comment."

And that's all the Raton Range got. They filled out their story with facts and quotes from the New York Times. But I used an interviewing skill I learned somewhere along the way: silence. I just kept my mouth shut, and Phil filled the silence with comments. I also called Howard Lackey at Raton's United Toyota for comment. He had dropped GM in January, beating GM to the punch. GM dropped 1000 dealers Friday.

So my article in The Chronicle Monday had good local quotes to bring the local story to readers. The next day, Tuesday, The Raton Range ran its NY Times facts, without a picture. I like my picture, shot for this story, with the Chrysler sign on the right and the Ford sign in the distance just under the landmark Raton sign at the top left corner.



May 12, 2009    Thanks Giving

Eighteen months ago, I sold my '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee and bought a Nikon camera. Now the camera, and the writing that has come to accompany my photographs -- they've bought me a new car.

Prius, Wagon Mound

Christina and I drove to Santa Fe yesterday to pick up my new 2009 Toyota Prius. Though we live 38 miles from town, we've been making do with a 16-year-old Mazda Protege and a big 14-year-old Ford F-250 pickup that gets 8 mpg (though we run it on propane most of the time, which equates to 14 mpg, but that's another story). Once it's broken in, the Prius will get 50 mpg.

For this I have thanks to give. Thank you for being here, for supporting my website and my work in photography, writing, and music. I'm averaging one photographic print sold per week. Framed works are selling from the gallery and museum shows. Poetry books and music albums are selling. My magazine articles and photographs are providing an uneven but sweet income. My Chronicle articles (23 last month) and photos (49) are now a regular source of income.

Altogether, it's enough to make me feel comfortable buying a new Prius. Thanks to Mike Schoonover, especially, without whose countless hours of time and care this website would never have been born, and so none of this would have been happening. Thanks to all of you who frequent my website or buy photographs or read my articles. I'm having the time of my life, and getting paid for it. Little miracles. Thank you.



May 10, 2009    A Virtual Art Tour

Mitchell Gallery

Though I usually keep my photography over on its own side of the website, devoting this "Arts" side to my writing and music, today I want to share here my show at the A.R. Mitchell Memorial Museum of Western Art. Just click on the photo for a quick virtual tour. Thanks!



May 3, 2009    Art Plays Its Part!

Martin Montoya, Des Moines School

Among the many stories I reported and photographed for The Chronicle-News during the past week, one was particularly close to home, and close to my heart.

My wife, Christina Boyce, has spearheaded a new program this year at Des Moines School called "Art Plays Its Part!", a curriculum-based arts program for all grades that supports each teacher's curriculum. Christina works with each teacher to design arts learning activities that enrich a unit the teacher presents during the year.

Then Christina either teaches the unit herself or brings in wonderful artists to teach. That's Christina with our friend Martin Montoya of Tecolote, New Mexico, during Martin's three-day artist-in-residence stint here last week in which he worked with all the students in grades K-2.

Martin fosters creativity just by being around him. His entire life has been built upon creativity. He claims that he doesn't teach anything to the kids: "I just provide a little spark." Indeed, seeing him on the floor surrounded by primary school children, everyone engaged in painting a hanging mural for the school play Christina wrote, it's easy to see that Martin wears his inner child on the outside.




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