Having worked as an interior designer for over a quarter century, I’ve had the privilege to encounter numerous gifted artisans and artists. Many times, I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with these incredible individuals, always unearthing new insights. There are days when I design furniture alongside my go-to cabinetmaker, unveiling facets of furniture construction I was previously unaware of. On other occasions, I’ve partnered with a trusted upholsterer, crafting the quintessential custom-made sofa or headboard that dramatically transforms a space. One of my recent collaborations with a close friend led to a cascade of fresh artistic creations.

This cherished friend is Bekye Fargason. Living both locally and in Laurel, Mississippi, I always eagerly anticipate Bekye’s visits to Santa Fe, as well as the spirited vibe she carries with her. She’s quite the sight, whether perched on scaffolding wearing a fantastic pair of boots and the quirkiest eyewear, or deeply engrossed before her easel. Our joint projects always blend work with laughter, a testament to our professional and personal bond. Given her extensive network of friends and clients here, she visits Santa Fe regularly.

What makes this mural so dear to me is the mutual joy it has brought – for Bekye, the homeowner, and myself. This collaboration ignited a fresh perspective, birthing a multitude of delightful artworks.

Bekye subsequently produced several canvases, now gracing the walls of my design studio and available for admirers to own. A comparison between her prior pieces, like the depicted Aspens, and those inspired by the Our Lady mural showcases a marked shift in tone. While I deeply respect both styles, I find myself drawn to the reactions from visitors in my studio when they encounter her latest works. Paintings like the market burros and the creatures in the “Tree of Life” consistently provoke the most gleeful responses. Witnessing their joy (and sharing in it with Bekye) is truly heartwarming.

The profound impact of our roles as interior designers and artists on people’s living spaces has always been evident to me. Yet, experiences like these reinforce the personal fulfillment it brings to us as professionals and creators. Observing our artistic reflections come to life in various settings, and recognizing their effect on those inhabiting these spaces, underscores the indispensable role of art and design in cultivating joy and enriching life. Bekye’s pieces don’t just uplift our clients; they bring immeasurable happiness to us as well. Eagerly, I look forward to the coming year, excited about further collaborations with all my gifted associates and artistic friends!