Spanning a memorable 40 years, the saga of these images brings to mind a legion of extraordinary people.
This site is dedicated to the one person whose unqualified support helped me to survive the ups and downs of an artist's life, my dear mother, the late Bernadine Gittings.
I would also like to offer my heartfelt thanks to my extraordinary and patient wife Victoria, my very talented children Gabriel (and his wife Sara), Erica and Ashleigh, the Varela/Zuniga family, Maria, Zuni, Sabina, Angie, Dolores, Margaret, Sean, Jammie, Frances, Harvey and Jenny, and to my brother Kent and his wife Diane and to my late father, Kent, who introduced me to the medium.
Special thanks also to my compadres V.B. Price, Alan Labb, and Jim Hunter who have accompanied, inspired and sometimes barely endured my manic journey with amazing patience, humor and loyalty.
I also wish to sincerely thank the New Mexico Magazine staff whose faith in my vision helped launch and sustain my career despite my many embarrassing weaknesses (including a monumentally infamous wardrobe malfunction!). I especially thank former Editor-in-Chief Emily Drabanski, book designer Bette Brodsky, former Art Director John Vaughan, current Art Director Fabian West and Publisher Ethel Hess.
Special thanks also to the staff of The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History for its generous exhibition of my work over the years in particular former Director James Moore, former Curators of Art Ellen Landis and Douglas Fairfield and former and present Curators of Exhibits Bob Woltman and Tom Antreasian. I also wish to thanks current Director Cathy Wright and current Curataor of Art Andrew Connors.
Similar appreciation to Mary Anne Redding of the New Mexico History Museum for seeing the contribution my work could make in some of her extraordinary exhibitions.
And a special thanks to the staff of the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program for their support.
A heartfelt thanks also to Gussie Fauntleroy, the amazing writer who made poetry out of my history in the text of "Shelter from the Storm" and to William Peterson who took the risk to publish "Chaco Body".
The images also invoke the presence of these friends and mentors: at Freestyle Photographic CEO Gerry Karmele and Ike Royer; Professors Jim Kraft, Rod Lazorik, Clyde McConnell, Art Nishimura, Beaumont Newhall and Van Deren Coke; magazine publishers Rick Homans, Charles Poling and Bob Skolnick; art director Sarah Friedland; former assistants Anthony Richardson and James Burbank; Calumet's David Gremp; writers Edward Abbey, John Nichols and Michael Miller; archivist Marina Ochoa; Dr. Michael Keslin; historians Chip Ware, Elmo Baca, Chris Wilson, Claire Munzenrider and Timothy Wittman; the late builder Robert Slattery; archeologists Jane Kelley, Joe Stewart and Mike Marshall; as well as Beth Hadas, former director of UNM Press and Michael Kamins, "Colores" director of KNME public television.
And especially to my dear friend Paul Paletti, who showed up on my doorstep in 2002, after 30 years with no contact, offering to do a show of my work, helping me resurrect a flagging exhibition career.
Thanks sincerely to all the members and staff of the American Institute of Architects (to many to name, see the captions) whose works inspired many of these images, and special thanks to Executive Director and fellow photographer, Cecelia Portal, for all of her years of support and also a solemn bow to the late great designer Glade Sperry of Westwork Architects. He will be missed.
And thanks also to such luminaries as V.B. Price, Miguel Gandert, Stacia Spragg, Jack Dykinga, David Muench, Dick Arentz, Ron Wisner, Michael A. Smith, Mark Citret, Kerry Thalmann, Gordon Hutchings, Jack Boucher, Jet Lowe, George Georgio, Ted Harris, Robert Reck, George Lambros and Brian Vanden Brink, who so graciously shared their limelight with me on joint presentations at various conferences.
In memory of the late Anthony Davis, the Pawnee White Thunder, who taught me so much about simple, profound living.
by KIRK GITTINGS