July 25, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Renaissance Women: Leslie and Lauren May

"These forward-thinking ladies are continuing the tradition of advancing the Native American artists of Santa Fe"

By Greta Chapin McGill

Santa Fe Fashion and Style

Greta is an artist, writer and renaissance woman


On Lincoln Street in Santa Fe is a gallery called, simply, Legends. This amazing gallery is a labor of love of two women who clearly stand out in their thinking and their execution of this gallery. Legends is a partnership between the gallery and emerging artists of the area, both Native American and traditional. It was opened by Lauren May in 2007. With no background in art, Lauren took a risk. Her love of Native American art brought her to Santa Fe and her passion evolved into Legends Gallery. Artists who were not able to show at Indian Market now had a place show. Since its inception, this gallery has hosted many local artists, giving them a high profile venue to showcase their art.

In 2009, Lauren’s daughter, Leslie, came to Legends to run the gallery and ensure that Lauren’s original vision remained true to the advancement of the Native Artists of the area. Leslie and Lauren are a close successful mother/daughter team. What makes the gallery work, says Leslie, is the “trust factor” between mother and daughter. Works of Nocona Burgess, great-great-grandson of Comanche Chief Quanhah Parker, exhibiting the strong faces of the proud Comanche people are now on exhibit. Exquisite color and interpretation of the natural world can be seen in the work of Karen Algeren. Frank Buffalo Hyde breaks boundaries and mixes the traditional with the contemporary in an unusual and beautiful way.

A partnership with the Heard Museum of Phoenix, Arizona will bring Andrea Hanley of the Berlin Gallery to curate a new show for Legends. Part of the proceeds for this sale will go to the Heard, which houses one of the most extensive collections of Native American and other tribal art. Leslie says “Legends exhibits a distinct and different point of view.” These forward-thinking ladies are continuing the tradition of advancing the Native American artists of Santa Fe.