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Artists, environmentalists want to protect black formations made famous by O'Keeffe paintings

NAGEEZI, N.M. - Some artists and environmentalists are concerned that oil and gas drilling is encroaching on the black, white and grey 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 travelled 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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