About The Wonder Institute
The Wonder Institute is the umbrella under which all of the projects, services, and explorations of Linda Durham and friends are brought together.
The Wonder Institute provides inspiration, information, and education on a wide variety of contemporary issues in the world of the Arts, the environment, and the socio-political questions of our time to an inquiring and engaged public. The Wonder Institute pursues its mission through a variety of projects, lectures, workshops, salons, consultations, performances, and exhibitions, as well as through cutting-edge techniques of the 21st Century.
How The Wonder Institute
“…twinkle, twinkle little star, how I WONDER what you are…”
Although I’ve come a long way from the days of looking skyward and reciting that verse, I’ve never strayed far from the pure act of wondering. The idea of some type of ‘Wondering Forum’ has been gestating within me for many years. Originally, I imagined a print magazine about Wondering and then I imagined an Institute – a physical space where people could come to exchange information…to brainstorm…to inspire and be inspired. I wanted to create a destination where visitors would feel safe, welcome, understood.
For a long time, the concept remained just that – a concept. There was simply too much on my proverbial plate. My passion has always been communication and The Arts. The manifestation of that passion was my gallery: Linda Durham Contemporary Art – which for over three decades took almost all of my time. I did implement my proclivity to ‘wonder’ in a unique ad campaign that LDCA ran in THE Magazine of Santa Fe for several years. Despite the success of this ad campaign there were larger forces at work and unfortunate global economic upheavals prompted me to close the gallery. My fantastic journey was abruptly and painfully halted in 2011.
I spent a year wondering and wandering. Time, travel and talks with friends and mentors erased my sense of loss of a long-held identity: "Linda Durham, Girl Art Dealer!" Something beckoned me to follow my instincts. It began with the Wonder Postcard Road Project (go to Project page HERE). This ongoing Project fed and inspired me. Next I decided to turn a collection of nascent ideas into something exciting, something tangible: an Institute; The Wonder Institute.
I invite you to join us, to share your thoughts and experiences with us and become a part of The Wonder Institute family.
“…wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight!”
"Pondering questions with other artists is an exploration matched only by the creation of art itself. TWI gave me a clear space to have meaningful dialogue with imaginative people."
-Lori Swartz, salon participant
"I participated in the Wonder Institute's Fall 2013 Salon after hearing about it from a friend.
As a fan of the Linda Durham Gallery from the 1980's until its closure, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know Linda better and the artists attracted to the Wonder Institute, who acknowledge wonder and inquiry as as an important part of their respective studio practices. The pop-up exhibits of each participant and the conversations that developed from the work that was presented gave insight into my own practice. The opportunity to exhibit work in a new space, free of the marketplace, in an environment focused on the clarity of vision/voice of each artist, was valuable in breaking the isolation of the studio. The Wonder Institute encouraged an expanded vision of art and art venues and re-definition of how art and artists might show up in the world today."
-Kathleen McCloud, salon participant
"I had the good fortune to participate in a recent salon at The Wonder Institute. I was one of a group of artists who presented their work on a weekly basis for 10 weeks. We each had a chance to show the body of work that was important to us and to put into words whatever we chose to amplify our presentation. The variety of work was stimulating, the energy was generous and the discussion was fascinating. Linda's steadfast support and committment to each one of us as artists was both an anchor and a sail. As a role model and as a engaged participant, Linda encouraged us all to follow the currents of our work and our lives as dedicated artists."
-Jane Schoenfeld, salon participant
"Linda is a gallerist who's highly respected internationally. She has always been a key advocate for women in the arts, even when it was a rarity in the male dominated art world. Linda is now presenting work by selected artists in her Wonder Institute Salon Shows in Santa Fe. "
- Jacqueline Butler
"We were talking... about how different it is to see work and engage in conversation in a private setting such as yours, rather than most galleries. Yet another wonderful endeavor following your groundbreaking moves in the Santa Fe art scene. No wonder you love your life."
- Jane Cook