Creative Pagosa: Chris Haas


Photo courtesy Jason Lombard
Pagosa artist Chris Haas is establishing a national reputation, with recent exhibits in New York City and Los Angeles. Haas is one of the many MAKERS in Pagosa Country registered with the Pagosa Arts and Culture project.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is building a web-based directory of all the creative people and businesses in the community. By creating this website, it will make these MAKERS easier to find in online search engines and help share the wealth of innovative and talented individuals that call our small town home.

This sort of database is called “cultural mapping” and is being done by communities around the country in order to realize and recognize the value of their creative assets.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is establishing the groundwork for continued collaboration and cooperation and promotional efforts of the combined community. The goal of the project is to establish a solid foundation of cultural and creative individuals and businesses, to create a viable plan for promoting these assets and to promote the Pagosa area as a worthy place of residence for creative people, a productive place for creative business ventures and a desirable destination for arts tourism.

At present, the PACP is also planning an event for fall 2013. The event, the MAKERS Expo and Tour, is set for Oct. 12-13.

To register and be listed in the database, go to

In order to highlight the MAKERS in Pagosa, the PACP will profile its members, giving readers of The PREVIEW a sense of the depth and breadth of the creative community.

This week’s MAKER is Chris Haas, whose work is seen regularly at SHY RABBIT Contenmporary Arts in Pagosa Springs and has recently been featured in exhibits in New York City and Los Angeles.

Q: Tell us a little about who you are, where you were born, educated, your family, growing up and how you came to be doing your creative work.

CH: Born on June 7, 1973, in Hays, Kansas, I grew up the middle of three talented brothers. Art and music have always been and still are an ever-present and strong bond between myself and them. After graduating high school, I moved to Pagosa Springs in 1991 and continued to develop my own signature style. I have always felt grateful to have creative outlets, however, it has only been recently that I have been so motivated to pursue art as a career and excited to explore my potential.

Q: Describe the objects you make or the creative work you do.

CH: Although I use many different mediums to express my artistic tendencies, my sculpture work has definitely taken the spotlight. I work with animal skulls and mixed media to create baroque sculptures. I add decorative clay work, paint, jewelry adornment, glass eyes, ears, etc. to the skulls and then mount them on ornate and decorative panels and medallions. I use many recycled materials starting with the skulls themselves. I feel it is a privilege to use these bony leftovers as my canvases.

Q: What is your favorite tool or material used in making your work? Why?

CH: I find that my favorite tools and/or materials are the ones that are probably intended and made for other purposes than what I’m using them for. I have had to make do with some minimal and unorthodox materials at times and feel that it usually leads to new and unique ideas.

Q: Do you have a regular routine or schedule?

CH: My routine is to put effort into being creative every day, no matter how much that may be. I usually work at night, though, when the distractions are minimal.

Q: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

CH: The best advice that I have ever received is “Follow your bliss,” “Stay true and focused.”

Q: When you’re not making art, what is your favorite thing to do in Pagosa country?

CH: When I’m not making art, my favorite thing to do in Pagsoa country is snowboarding in deep powder with good friends.

Q: What are your goals for the coming year?

CH: My goals for the upcoming year are to keep having fun, while evolving the art, music and everything else in my life, in a positive direction.

Q: What is your dream project?

CH: My dream project would be to incorporate my art and music along with film, etc., and then work with the legends of those industries to create an art experience that would be heavy … real heavy.

To learn more about Chris Haas and his work, visit his website at

This story was posted on February 28, 2013.