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Artists want to protect O'Keeffe's 'Black Place'

Sunday - 6/22/2014, 7:59pm  ET

The site where Tuesday, June 17, 2014, where Georgia O'Keeffe made various sketches, pastels and the oil paintings "Black Place" and "Black Place 2" is seen on Tuesday June 17, 2014. Some artists and environmentalists are concerned oil and gas drilling is encroaching on the black, white and gray hills in northwestern New Mexico made famous in Georgia O'Keeffe's drawings and paintings. (AP Photo/The Santa Fe New Mexican, Luis Sanchez Saturno)

NAGEEZI, N.M. (AP) -- Some artists and environmentalists are concerned that oil and gas drilling is encroaching on the black, white and gray hills in northwestern New Mexico made famous in Georgia O'Keeffe's drawings and paintings.

While the "Black Place" itself remains untouched, The New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/T1r7eb ) that dozens of drilling tanks are 500 yards from the site and it's surrounded by rigs and a maze of dusty dirt roads traveled by oilfield workers.

The head of the O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, Robert Kret, says he had a preliminary discussion with state preservation officials and another meeting is planned. But state officials say it's too early to say what could be done to protect the Black Place.

The area is on federal land just east of the Navajo community of Nageezi.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com


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