Professional Photography ~ Photo Processing ~ Writing

Professional Photography ~ Photo Processing ~ Writing


Elizabeth Fackler
Interview With Elizabeth Fackler, Winner 2009 New Mexico Book Awards

By: Rosalyn Stevenson (Published in Ruidoso Free Press, March 5, 2013)

She has written over a million words.

She has written thirty novels, including “Billy the Kid: The Legend of El Chivato”, called, “a magnificent achievement in historical fiction” by Western Writers of America, and she has written the critically acclaimed Seth Strummar series. 

She touts her writing heroes for inspiring her towards “the exuberance of self expression and the need for resolution”.

Is she a recluse who “channeled” the Spirit of the West as if by magic in a two year marathon of writing which yielded twelve novels, or is she a woman whose childhood demons drove her to seek redemption through her craft?

Cover of Billy the Kid:
The Legend of El Chivato
by Elizabeth Fackler
Her literary journey takes us with her into hidden histories while providing entertaining, ruggedly insightful reading.

She is Elizabeth Fackler, winner of the 2009 New Mexico Book Awards for historical fiction, for her book “My Eyes Have A Cold Nose”.

In the following brief interview, I catch up with the elusive writer and she reveals a few facts about her reasons for writing.

Stevenson: Your first book “Seven Rivers” had a male pen name, “Eli Fackler”.

Fackler: Yes, I started with that male name. The agent I had then encouraged me to use my given name and I’ve used Elizabeth on all my books since then. I think it’s hurt my career. Most of the readers of the Western genre are men, and they don’t trust a woman to be accurate.

Stevenson: How did you come to be a western historical novelist?

Fackler: I entered a contest for writing a novel in the style of Louis Lamour. I didn’t win, but I enjoyed it and thought that I’d like to write more in that style. I had read Rimbaud’s “No Sign For An Inn” and was influenced by him. In 1985-1986 I wrote a novel about a teenage girl who meets up with a poet who has dropped out and is living in the California desert, selling junk to support himself, and she kills him because he won’t go back to the literary world.

No one liked the book. Everyone hated it in fact, agents and everyone. So I decided not to try that kind of writing again. I had always liked Billy the Kid and I liked writing about the West, so I did research and wrote my novel about Billy the Kid. That was The Legend of El Chavito. It was published in 1995. That experience inserted me into the Western genre and I’ve continued there.

I wanted to show the human side of the desperadoes who are venerated by readers, especially the male readers, of Western novels. I wanted to explore how they might have behaved in their relationships with women. I wanted to balance the masculine glorification of these characters who were really not very nice men in many ways.

Stevenson: So, balancing the glorification of male desperado heroes with some reality about their not so good side was or is a prime mover for you in your writing career?

Fackler: Yes, but I’ve really always written to escape reality.

Stevenson: To escape reality? Was there something in your life you wanted to escape from?

Fackler: I had a terrible childhood. My father had been a wealthy, privileged man with a lot of influence and then something happened to change him and he became an alcoholic, sadistic bully. He was very hard on me and on my mother. But we loved him and so we had to deal with loving an abusive alcoholic person. It was not easy.

Stevenson: Are you a feminist?

Fackler: Yes.

Stevenson: Is writing a masculine act?

Fackler: No. It’s feminine. It’s a need to understand and express the hidden histories, the ambience of things. By ambience I mean the sounds, the colors, the light, the room, people’s voices, their clothes--all of it- all of the details.

Stevenson: Are story and language the same thing?

Fackler: No, oh no. Story is the foundation of the house and language is the brick that you build with.

Stevenson: Do you find it difficult to discipline yourself to write?

Fackler: No, not at all. For thirty years it’s all I did. I isolated myself and I just stayed alone all day every day and I researched and I wrote. I had to force myself to stop to cook dinner. I lived with the characters I was writing about, I couldn’t let go of them. I lived in that world even if it took a year to write the book.

I started the Seth Strummar series in the mid-nineties. Although it’s about two men who were partners, their relationship goes deeper than that. They loved each other, but could never show it. Homosexuality was not an option for them. So instead, they shared women. This kind of repression may have caused them to despise women. They had to be with women to be accepted back then and they subconsciously resented women because of this. I explore this in my book “Road From Betrayal”. Actually, the character Ben Allister loves Seth and Seth is really unaware of why things seem occasionally awkward between them. It’s an interesting area to explore and the book is popular today because of that, I think. Concepcion, one of the characters in Road From Betrayal is the re-incarnation of Ben Allister, Seth’s first partner, who dies in the book and comes back as Concepcion to love Seth.

Stevenson: Has living in Lincoln County in “Billy the Kid Territory” influenced your writing?

Fackler: No, not at all. I’ve lived here for five years and I haven’t written anything but journals since I’ve lived here. I spent thirty years writing historical novels, living in the past. Now, I’m mature and I want to live in the present. The way things are going in this world, we could wake up tomorrow covered in nuclear ash. I want to be in the present and enjoy the now.

But I would like to write something about our present times--something important about the times I live in now--something of value to women. I feel we are collectively one woman seeking one ultimate answer.

Stevenson: What writers have influenced you?

Fackler: Jack Kerouac definitely, the exuberance and the free flow of his writing. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Sartre’s story Nausea were important. I was nauseous a lot as a child and this made me feel, well, I could relate to it. Will Rogers was another influence. I remember his story “Smoky” about a horse. When I was in high school I was in an honors English class and we had to read a book a week. I also read a lot of beatnik poetry.

I started to write seriously when I was in elementary school. I remember walking home from school one day, and being really angry and upset about something someone had said to me, and I thought, OK, I’ll just be a writer then, because writers can be weird. I had a friend in high school, Marjorie Clark, who made me believe that my writing was worth something. Her encouragement was very important to me. I’ve tried to find her since then, to tell her how much she helped me, but I haven’t been able to.

Stevenson: You won the 2009 New Mexico Book Award for best historical novel for your book, My Eyes Have A Cold Nose. Could you tell me about that book?

Fackler: The heroine of the book is based on Elizabeth Garrett, the daughter of THE Pat Garrett who is famous for tracking down and shooting Billy the Kid. She lived in Roswell (New Mexico) and in 2003 I actually purchased what used to be her home there. I did research on her because I owned her former home and the book came from that. She was blind, and the heroine of the book is blind, yet she helps to solve a murder. I made a museum of Elizabeth Garrett’s home while I owned it and my husband and I gave performances of readings and music and other things there. We moved out in 2004. It’s not a museum any longer.

Stevenson: How did it feel to write from the perspective of someone who is sightless?

Fackler: It was scary. I thought of wearing a blindfold to get the real sensation of sightlessness, but it was too much, I didn’t need to as I was already so empathically into the blind experience.

Stevenson: Of the thirty novels you’ve written, which is your favorite?

Fackler: “Bone Justice”. My agent didn’t like the book and no one would publish it. I was told that in the story Seth didn’t have enough reason to hang Oriana but I think it was rejected because it was politically incorrect to hang a woman, even for a desperado like Seth. She killed his partner, and he wanted revenge. He would have killed anyone who killed his partner. I felt that he had to do that because she kept egging him on, testing him and pushing him until he had to kill her, being who he was. He was undecided but she pushed him until he did it. It’s a powerful scene when he kills her. I think a lot of people just couldn’t accept it. I finally published it myself because I didn’t want to die without it being published. It was a finalist for the 2007 New Mexico Book Awards, so I felt vindicated that I had published it. “Road From Betrayal” is another favorite. I think those two books are what I was trying to say for all those years with all those words.

Stevenson: How important are reviews and awards to you?

Fackler: Very important. As a writer I spent all of my time alone and the only feedback I really got was when someone would say something about my writing or a new book. Reviews told me how my writing was perceived by others. I’m really happy about winning the New Mexico Book Award, but it would have meant a lot to me to have won a similar award when I was a young, struggling writer.

Stevenson: In “Road From Betrayal” you included the idea of re-incarnation. Do you personally believe in re-incarnation?

Fackler: Yes, I’m an aspiring Buddhist and that’s a part of it. I also feel like I have a past life association with the Lincoln County War.

Stevenson: Would you like to be a writer in your next life?

Fackler: No, I don’t think so. It’s much too painful. I’d like to be almost anything else, a painter, or a singer. But I don’t think it’s a choice. I think writers have to write.

Spotlight On Local Film Making ~ 

Jay Tavare, Hollywood Actor – Brett Nichols, Paradime Media LLC  

By Rosalyn Stevenson (Published in Ruidoso Free Press, May 14, 2013)

Jay Tavare
Jay Tavare, Hollywood actor, writer, producer and director, has worked for the past twenty years with Oscar winning directors such as Ron Howard (The Missing), Spike Jonez (Adaptation); Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain); and Steven Spielberg (Into the West miniseries) to name a few. He is also a popular Huffington Post blogger. In April of this year he filmed a documentary in part on the Mescalero Apache reservation near Ruidoso, New Mexico.
The film, Tavare said in a recent interview with this writer, was created to honor and raise awareness of the Chiricahua Apache Centennial Apache Freedom Run commemorating the Chiricahua Apache survival and perseverance as they traveled on foot in April, 1913 through extreme hardship to a new homeland on the Mescalero reservation after their release from 27 years of imprisonment by the American government. The full story can be read on Tavare’s Huffington Post blog. 
The 540 mile journey from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to the Mescalero Apache reservation in New Mexico, home of today’s Chiricahua Nation, was run in stages by 25 Apache runners who covered approximately 100 miles each day beginning April 1, 2013 and culminated at the Mescalero Reservation on April 5th & 6. During the relay run, instead of a baton, a medicine bag containing sacred pollen was passed from runner to runner.

Celebrations at the conclusion of the run included the traditional Apache War Dance; social dancing; the Dance of the Mountain Gods; feasting and singing. The names of the 183 people who survived the Apache ordeal of 1913 were read aloud.
In this interview, Jay Tavare talked about his film: “I began thinking about this project two years ago. I thank Frederick Chino, President of the Mescalero tribe; Debbie Naiche Martinez, Chiracuaha Community Commission and the dignitaries of the Mescalero tribe for permission to film on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

I raised money and drew together a film crew of ten people from my acquaintances in Hollywood. Many of the participants deferred payment because they wanted to honor this project. We traveled from Los Angeles, California to film this.

One part of the film crew followed the runners all along their 540 mile run, documenting the ordeals the runners faced. Another part of the crew filmed events on the Mescalero reservation, where I was able to interview actual descendants of the survivors of the Apache ordeal in addition to filming the rest of the ceremonies. We got wonderful shots of the emotions in people’s eyes and captured the haunting mood of the nighttime dances, though out of respect for the traditions of the elders the dances themselves were not filmed.

During filming, Brett Nichols of Paradime Media LLC, Ruidoso, New Mexico, who is a very talented cinematographer with natural skills for framing, assisted us with camera work. The Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Mescalero reservation provided free meals to many of the crew.

Inspired by these incredible runners, I have begun development of a script for a full length feature that I am very excited about.”

The public can be a part of this documentary by contributing to the project on and

Brett Nichols Multi-Faceted Creative

Brett Nichols
Owner Paradime Media LLC; Marketing / Advertising Manager Inn of the Mountain Gods; Ski Apache; Casino Apache Travel Center, Mescalero, New Mexico. 

Brett Nichols:
“At my digital media company, Paradime Media LLC, we design static and motion graphics for all media: TV, computer, varied platforms and formats. We design commercials and video spots as well as music and audio segments for clients nationwide. We have filmed Ballets at the world class Spencer Theatre in Alto, New Mexico: The Nutcracker; Don Quixote, and Copellia, to mention some. My wife of five and half years, Natasha Nichols (Lopez) works with me at Paradime Media LLC, as Tooskie Photos (

I use Canon 6OD’s and a Sony HD1000camera. I prefer the DSLR’s for depth of field and true HD 1080p image quality. The HD1000U can shoot for 65 minutes straight, so its good for long takes. We use a fifteen-foot camera crane, and have pro lighting and sound for all applications, on location or in the studio. We edit with Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro software and interface with Adobe Illustrator, Flash, After Effects and other software. I am currently developing green screen special effects in my studio in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

I produced my first digital beat on a non-linear system at age 12, and many others before that, dubbing on linear systems.  At fourteen years old I produced my first original album in Tommy Martin’s Studio, with Homegrown Boyz' Anthony McTeigue. At fourteen I filmed skateboard movies, cut them onto VHS, then connected two VCRs together and dubbed audio with a Walkman. I have produced over 1000 music compositions. 
I’m offering a workshop this fall on every aspect of a production; writing; producing; audio; video; graphics; implementation of each in production; camera training; stills and video using DSLRs and / or video cameras; editing. Private mini sessions/shoots will result in a final product that guests will get to keep forever.
More information: Space is limited.

An Interview with
Lee K. Abbott: Contemporary American Author
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Lee K. Abbott, 
Contemporary American Author 
Photo ©: Rosalyn Stevenson
Lee K. Abbott has published seven books of short stories. “All Things, All at Once: New &  Selected Stories” is his latest collection.

His stories, reviews and articles have appeared in Harper’s; The Atlantic Monthly; The Georgia Review; The New York Times Book Review; The Southern Review; Epoch; Boulevard; Crawdaddy; The North American Review and others. His fiction has been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories and The Prize Stories: The O’Henry Awards. He has twice won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, was awarded a Major Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council in1991 and was recipient of the 2004 Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award.

Stevenson: Lee, of the many awards you’ve received, which is the most valued by you?

Abbott: The Distinguished Alumni Teaching Award at Ohio State University. I’m very proud of that. It meant that I was having an effect in the classroom. In other words, I was having the same effect on my students that great teachers had on me as I tried to learn the writer’s art.

Stevenson: What great teachers are you referring to?

Abbott: Specifically two or three people from New Mexico State University where I got my B.A. - a guy named Mark Medoff, a playwright and screen writer, and a considerably less well-known man, James Leary, who was my undergraduate adviser, a terrific man who wrote pulp fiction. He wrote for True Confession Magazine. He wrote stories like, “Venusians Made Me Their Love Slave.”

The nice thing about working with Jim was he didn’t give a hoot about my “artistic” ambitions. He insisted that I be first and foremost an expert craftsman. That was wonderful training, great discipline.

He was also the first one to turn me onto Eudora Welty, who became one of my gods. Back in the day they had what was called “The Cabman Records,” which were recordings of writers. He happened to have a record player in his office, so he put on “Why I Live At The PO” by Eudora Welty, and I was hooked.

Also people in the classroom who had time for my silly questions, had time to read the really juvenile drafts of things that I hope have been shredded somewhere along the line. They put great books in my hand, they made me understand and claim citizenship in a literary universe that I had not had before. I was just a kid from Las Cruces, well out of the literary main stream.
John Cheever is another influence. I’ve taken to describing myself as the child of the backstreet liaison between Eudora Welty and John Cheever. If you can understand that, you are well on your way to understanding my sense of humor.

Stevenson: What childhood experiences if any influenced you to become a writer?

Abbott: My parents for all their faults were readers. Books, magazines and newspapers were in the house. I think that at some point I must have looked around and said to myself, “That must be a pretty beguiling activity, because these people could be doing something else and yet here they are book in hand.”

The second thing was, a book store opened in Las Cruces called: “Books Galore and More” run by a woman named Arlene Belkin. I started wandering in there with some regularity. I don’t know what I was looking for necessarily, but Arlene would put a book in my hands in exchange for whatever money I had stolen from my father’s wallet.

I can remember the first book she gave me. It was called: “Identity Card” by F.M. Esfandiary. I liked it enough so she gave me a second book of his called, “The Beggar,” followed by “The Flowers” by Jean Genet. I don’t know what she saw in me that she thought would be an audience for these very peculiar volumes.

Then she gave me “Absalom Absalom” by William Faulkner, and a strange thing happened. What was I, 13, 14, something like that, I was a normal, red blooded American boy who would much rather be out playing baseball than reading, and yet, there I was, “Absalom Absalom” in one hand and the dictionary in the other hand, reading two or three sentences and looking up the two or three words I didn’t know, committing them to memory. I can still remember - miasma, effluvia, things like that. Those are words that are just not in a 13-year-old kid’s vocabulary. There was something compelling about the narrative, the drama on the page that made me stay and do all this work. So I’d have to say that having the good fortune of wandering into that bookstore and having that relationship with Arlene was indispensable to my development.

For my brother and me, I don’t want to over dramatize it, but it was a very weird mixture. Our mother was drunk by 6 o’clock in the morning at the moment my father was going off to work. The house was gloomy, dark and I felt there were secrets everywhere that I was not privy to. And they were scary secrets. But owing to the sort of boy I was, I sublimated everything and internalized all their trouble.

I acted out in school. In fourth grade I ran away from school every day for about four months. Mr. Taylor the principal would come to the edge of the playground and say, “Lee if you leave the school grounds I am going to have to report you as truant, then you’re going to be in real trouble. Why don’t you just come to the office with me now and take a couple of swats and we’ll start all over. So I’d say, OK. I liked Mr. Taylor… nice guy.

He later became the school superintendant in Las Cruces; he was sergeant in the House of Representatives in New Mexico for many, many years.
I would also routinely disfigure myself, cut myself, give myself haircuts without benefits of mirrors, was angry, got in fist fights all the time. It took the light and steady touch of a lot of interested grown ups to steer me in the right direction.

I remember being in the seventh grade and taking what was called “Fused English,” which meant taking three hours of English each day, having to write. I liked it, got patted on the back for it. I learned lots of valuable lessons about teaching by being exposed to people who gave a hoot about what happened in the classroom.

Stevenson: What role does the writer play in today’s America?

Abbott: That’s a really big question. First of all when I sit down at the keyboard or with a pad of paper and a pencil I’m not thinking about my role as a writer in America. I’m just thinking about how to make a good story, and dealing with the troubles peculiar to that. Better minds than mine have argued that the writer is America’s conscience. I can see where that might be true. I’m just trying to account for the here and now as I understand it and can imagine it in the lives of others. No matter the here, no matter the now.

I’m pretty much the writer I am on the page now because of a discovery I made about myself 40 years ago. I was asked to participate in a symposium for Harper’s Magazine.
The question was what it meant to be a Southern writer. First of all I disabused them of the notion that I’m a Southern writer. I’m a Southwestern writer, if these distinctions matter, and I just don’t think they do. But it gave me an opportunity to really come to grips with the question of how do I end up sounding how I sound? And it came to me that that is the direct result of admitting to myself that I was not an Ernest Hemingway, not a Faulkner, not a Fitzgerald and I was not anybody else. I was just a kid who knew two or three things. One of them was, I knew my landscape. I know that six or seven hundred square miles between Lordsburg and Lubbock, say, of desert. I know the language there that’s spoken, and that’s the language that showed up on my page. And that’s the landscape against which all the really important things ever happened to me, all the firsts – first love, first sex, first death, first disappointment, first triumph. All the firsts happened in that spare and austere world.

I can’t sound like anybody else. But I did. Early in my career I published maybe a dozen stories that were all well put together, but that had nothing that mattered at their core. They were just skills that I was displaying.

Stevenson: At present you live in Billy the Kid Territory in New Mexico. If Billy the Kid happened to take one of your writing classes, what advice would you give him?

Abbott: I’ve seen some of the Kid’s writing. He wrote a letter to Lew Wallace, the governor of New Mexico asking for a pardon, and it was actually pretty well put together, I thought, for a criminal. I guess I would tell him to stop shooting people and start writing about it. I would have liked to hear about the Kid’s life in his own words.

Stevenson: Is political correctness hurting American literature?

Abbott: Yes. It’s a form of censorship and I’m opposed to censorship. We have an amendment that protects our right to say any thing we want. My test is: is it accurate? There are no words to be afraid of, only untruths can hurt us.

Stevenson: How can you sum up what you want to say to people through your writing?

Abbott: I don’t really have anything to say. I just have experiences to share. They are imagined experiences for the most part, shaped into what I hope is a compelling narrative.

I want to do to strangers what stranger’s books did to me as a child. I can remember being very small and reading books about Blackbeard the Pirate. You have to remember this is in Las Cruces. There is not a body of salt water anywhere near the place, and yet there I am on what amounts to the bounding main, the breeze in my hair and a pirate’s patch on my eye, enjoying the heck out of myself. I was transported. I mean to do that to strangers. I want to ravish them as I was ravished.

Tinnie, New Mexico's Man Of Steel
By Rosalyn Stevenson (Printed in Ruidoso Free Press, February 26, 2013) 
Steel Sculpture by William Goodman Titled: Sargasso
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)

William Goodman is a 75 year old man who runs six miles every morning and who hand hammers plates of steel into curling, curving sculptures that arch against the turquoise sky in Tinnie, New Mexico.

He has sculptures in places ranging from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Kruda Bay, Alaska, and pieces at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in Roswell, New Mexico.

Stevenson: When did you sell your first sculpture?

Goodman: Albuquerque to a lawyer.

Stevenson: What childhood experiences influenced your becoming a sculptor?

Goodman: My becoming a sculptor is a result of my interest in painting. The first painter I ever met was named John Turnard. He visited my father. It was during the war and I was about six years old. He was in the Coast Guard in England. He had a machine gun, but no ammunition. He was strange and he threw himself down on the ground and pretended to shoot. I saw his paintings and they were completely abstract. This man gave me a great impression. He made it clear that you could be that and get away with it, but I never thought of doing this seriously until I was 21.

William Goodman Hammering Steel in His Studio
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
Stevenson: You are from England. Why did you leave your homeland?

Goodman: I was tired of living with my parents.

Stevenson: And so you came to America.

Goodman: Yes and went to art school. I went to the San Francisco Art Institute back in the late 50‘s. I studied painting under Richard Diebenkorn and others, and sculpture under Alvin Light. Light worked in wood, but I enjoyed working in steel because the premises at the SF Art Institute for doing welding were pretty chaotic and nobody seemed to interfere and a lot of people were just doing what they felt like and I did too and that’s where I learned to weld for better or for worse. I couldn’t get a job as a trained welder. I continued to paint but I haven’t painted now for years.

Stevenson: How or by what name do you identify the force or urge that motivates you to create sculpture?

Goodman: I don’t think I have a name for it.

Stevenson: Would it be Life Force or the Psyche perhaps?

Goodman: Absolutely not. There’s nothing spiritual in it. I don’t have a spiritual bone in my body. It’s not money, I can tell you that. I just get a kick out of it. I enjoy making shapes and putting them together. Sometimes it can take up to three years. The last one did. The one I’m working on now I hope will take not more than two years. Most of the ones I’ve done recently have taken three years.

Stevenson: Your work is very flowing and curvaceous. Does music or poetry influence your work?

Goodman: I don’t know if music influences my work, but I enjoy listening to music when I work. Shastakovich and Bartok are my favorites. Poetry did influence other parts of my life-- painting perhaps, but I don’t think it influences the sculpture.

Stevenson: Describe a typical working day.

Goodman: I get up at around 3 am and go for a six mile run. The workday starts at 6:30 in the morning continuing with what I’ve already started the day before. I take off at exactly 11:30 for lunch and return at 12:30. I quit at 5 pm promptly. If I try to go on more than that it becomes drudgery. When I finish work I go home and have a beer.

Stevenson: Describe your work process.

Goodman: It’s hand hammering out shapes and forms from slabs of steel to conform to some idea I have in mind and then applying the shapes to something else I’ve already made, then pursuing from there. It’s like building with bricks. It doesn’t really have to be a blank surface. It can have crenulations and it can also be knocked down with holes and such. It’s a process of adding towards a vague end. The end is sometimes much more vague than at other times.

I use a Viktor cutting torch to cut. It heats the steel and sends a beam of oxygen through the heated area, which cuts the steel. I use an acetylene and oxygen welding torch which melts a welding rod which fuses steel to steel. I never get bored. I enjoy the challenge of bolting the steel together. There is a certain fulfillment in that. Every joint is different.

Stevenson: Why do you use metal versus clay lets say.

Goodman: I was just thinking recently how very like working with clay this is because you apply clay to a surface building up pieces of clay and this is like that, but this is above all an additive process. You don’t as with clay or particularly stone or wood take anything away or not very often. You are mostly adding one thing to another until it gets done. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, and whole pieces get cut off. It being metal you can cut those pieces off and use them again, which often happens.

Stevenson: Can you describe your inner working process? What do you think about as you work?

Goodman: I think an awful lot about what I’m doing. It does require a certain amount of concentration and I see what I’ve already done in retrospect and sometimes it looks great and sometimes it doesn’t. If it doesn’t eventually it gets cut out, and this is very natural. Certain things if they don’t sit right, just don’t survive. They can survive for up to a year and then they get cut out.

Goodman: The piece titled Gordian Knot took three years. It is made of 21 pieces of tensile steel, bolted together in sixty joints. After about a year and a half or two years, I cut the whole thing apart. There was a great clatter and the whole thing just fell apart into several pieces. I was using a gauge of steel that was too light. Now it can be hit by a very strong wind and it will move but not much and none of the parts don’t touch. That’s really important, because if you have something galvanized and the parts touch, the galvanizing can wear off. I truck the finished pieces to Denver for sand blasting and galvanizing. Galvanizing makes the pieces last longer and gives them a bluish color.

Stevenson: Do your pieces feel finished to you, or as with some artists, never finished, just stopping in interesting places?

Goodman: I can understand that, stopping in interesting places, but no, these pieces are finished. These are complete.

Stevenson: Is your vision of your work changing?

Goodman: No, I don’t think it is. If you were to look at work I did when I was in art school back in the early 60‘s.  You can tell that it is clearly by the same person. It is a lot better than it was, I use stronger material than I did and it’s a lot more expensive. I have to go to Farmington sometime next week to get materials and it will be over $1200. Also, it’s a lot bigger. The one I’m currently working on will be forty feet tall. I shall be about 77 or 78 when I finish this piece. I may have to go back to painting after that.

Stevenson: Why have you settled in Tinnie, NM? It’s such a rural area, away from the central cities.

Goodman: Gravitational force. I lived in San Francisco for quite some time. I was a mariner and I finished a job in SF then shipped out of NY. In 1966 I got a job teaching at UNM. By that time I had married a young woman from New Orleans. She had to finish her degree so she and I both went back to the Art Institute where I got my Masters degree. We then moved to Albuquerque together. Since then, Madrid, New Mexico and Roswell, New Mexico. Donald Anderson of the Anderson Museum in Roswell bought some pieces.

This place in Tinnie came up for sale with 6 acres and all these old buildings. I paid cash for it. The studio is an old gas station.

Stevenson: Do you have work anywhere else?

Goodman:  Yes. The Federal Courthouse in Las Cruces; Museum of New Mexico; University of NM; Bicentennial Albuquerque; College of Santa Fe; Kruda Bay, Alaska, Anderson Museum and here in Tinnie, New Mexico.

Stevenson: What would you like for people to know about you and your work?

Goodman:  I sometimes I feel I’m an oyster and I create this pearl, whether good or bad, but it’s a matter of producing something.  I don’t think the oyster is a very attractive creature. I don’t think I really care if people know anything of me or not. I just want to keep doing it until I come down with arthritis or something else stops me.

Ven Voisey  
A Sound Kind of Genius
By Rosalyn Stevenson     
Ven Voisey
(Published Ruidoso Free Press)
On January 25 Ven Voisey will head an event: “The Music of Sound” at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell. People are invited to come and bring bottles, pieces of metal, pots, pans, paper, plastic or any other material that can make a sound.

Voisey said, “We will make sounds using these objects and they’ll be digitally recorded. I have four sets of ideas that I hope to turn into compositions: body; percussion; drone tones; and contact microphone experiments.”

Voisey has recently been an artist in residence of the Anderson Museum’s Artist In Residence Program where he created the installation “Unfinished Animal”. He said that the “Music of Sound” event came about as an idea through talks with Nancy Fleming and Sue Wink of the Anderson Museum.

Voisey has a background in music and an interest in experimental music that started when he was eleven years old and started recording sounds and layering them into new recordings. He says that he has been influenced by John Cage, famed American experimental music artist; Luigi Rosello, Italian Futurist who created “noise orchestras” in the 1920’s famous for incorporating ambient sound such as trains and city sounds into his compositions; “Music Concrete” a French experimental sound-art form; and Terry Riley and Steve Reich known for circular rhythmic music and a series called “phases”. Voisey said that, “By stepping away from control, it’s possible to enter certain realms where traditional music does not go.” Voisey said that he views communication through this experimental sound art as “a non-verbal visceral realm of experience coming from intelligent ideas.”

In the 1990’s Voisey made his own C.D.s under the label “Throat” and sold them at music stores Amoeba Records and Rasputten in San Francisco and to other musicians interested in experimental music and sound. One of the now well-known experimental artists his label released is “Sawako”. He said that though this period was “a small blip” for him and that he wanted to down play it that his self made  C.D.s did receive good reviews in “Vital Weekly” an online listing of experimental music. He went on to say that some European artists were especially supportive and named Roel Meslkop and Frans Deward, both of the Netherlands as two well-known sound experimentalists who were especially supportive.

When asked where he gets his ideas Voisey replied: “Fortunately my ideas tend to lead from one to the next and one project unfolds into the next. I experience more ideas than I have time to make. I am inspired by all kinds of phenomena for example rain falling off of leaves was the inspiration for my project titled: “Voice Paper” at the Adams Theater, in Adams, MA.” On his website he describes the project as: “Through motion and sound, paper becomes a communication device of not only the past, but the present and the yet-to-be written.”

The elaborate project involved a room sized circular device with mechanisms arranged so that when viewers walk by them they are triggered to tap pieces of hanging paper thus creating sound. (

Voisey currently has a band called: Tiros Won! ( whose LP will be played during a light and sound installation environment event titled “Dust and Light” that Voisey will present at the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, February 15.

So “RAIR” ~ The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art ~ 
Water Fight: Jessica Kirkpatrick
Roswell Artist In Residence Program

(Published in Ruidoso Free Press)

By Rosalyn Stevenson

“The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art (AMOCA) opened its doors in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1994 to showcase works of art produced by former fellows of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program (a one year residency with financial support).

Today, more than 400 diverse works of art enliven its nine galleries and 22,000 square feet of exhibition space. Dedicated to the work produced by artists who have participated in the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program (RAIR), AMoCA has become a source of knowledge and inspiration about contemporary visual art for the Roswell region, New Mexico and the Nation. This unique collection of photographs, paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture provides a snapshot of the evolving issues in art over the last 45 years (since the 1967 inception of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program). Works range from figurative to non-objective and showcase the diversity of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. Few other museums provide a similar focus on contemporary visual art with such an eclectic range of form and content.” ( The museum and the RAIR program were both founded by entrepeneur and artist Donald B. Anderson.

Jessica Kirkpatrick a current Artist In Residence in the RAIR program, says that she chose to apply for the residency in Roswell because it would be a “good way to re-enter the U.S.A.” after her recent stay in Scotland where she attained a Master of Fine Arts Degree at the Edinburgh College of Art. She said she wanted to be in the Southwest and that the suburban architecture circa 1950’s in Roswell attracted her, because of it’s “uniquely American look and simplicity of design.”

Kirkpatrick said: “You have to be really serious about your work to commit to a full year of doing nothing else. The time here with no outside pressure has allowed me to experiment with sculpture and photographic processes that I might not have done otherwise. I have completed ten new oil paintings. Many of the artists who have participated in the RAIR program have stayed in Roswell, so there is a thriving art community here. We had the chance to intermingle, share ideas, and attend gallery openings together.”

Kirkpatrick says on her website: (www.jessicakirkpatrick)
“My paintings employ a figure/ground compositional strategy as a metaphor for the paradigmatic pattern of binary opposition: internal/external, nature/culture, reality/illusion, image/material, feminine/masculine, flat/dimensional are primary motifs in my work.  In my pictures, I manipulate the body’s position in space to explore the dynamic between place and identity.

My paintings often reflect the de-centered, placeless zones of suburbia or urban peripheral as a function of a dislocated identity or collective fantasy. I construct narrative clashes, where the protagonist participates in the pictorial space of the painting surface, residing in the logic of an allegorical perspective.

Utilizing methods of digital collage—super-imposition, manipulation of scale, juxtaposition of style, and the use of realist painting technique—I highlight the image for what it is, an illusion. The language of photography, video and virtual space feed directly into my work. The conversation between painting and photography is fundamental to my process; I pursue the creation of images using other images in their ongoing mediation of reality.

I paint figures as photographs of figures, figures in motion, or parts of figures perhaps to question the sense of “I” that we experience as rooted in the body.  But the body becomes the Nude in its transmutation into art; viewing (is) the role of power in the act of looking. I explore the history of the female nude as born of patriarchy, embodying nature and beckoning desire, but in my effort to reclaim the female nude, I always end up contradicting myself in face of the impossibility of an authentic representation of femininity.

Art history is available for the contemporary painter to play with, critique, and learn from.  I appropriate out of art history to collapse the past into present and to cite my sources.  I am more recently focusing on archetypes of femininity as cultural patterns evolving over time……….”

Kirkpatrick has recently had shows at the APT Gallery in London, and at the British Academy in Rome.

Her current work will be shown at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, 100 West 11th Street, Roswell, beginning November 22. The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art and the Roswell Museum and Art Center work hand in hand to showcase and support the visiting artists of the RAIR program. Some of Kirkpatrick’s new work will be gifted to the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art and will become a part of the permanent collection of all RAIR participating artists.

Derek Chan is also currently in the RAIR program. Chan has lived and worked in Chicago for the past seven years where he is showing work at the Carrie Secrist Gallery.

Chan says he had been searching for a “long time” for the right residency program for him. He liked the one year term and financial support at RAIR and said he had visited Roswell and that “people here are authentic, open and supportive.” He says his work is about “The cycles of nature, cycles of power and about balance.”

Gateway: Derek Chan
Chan is developing new painting, collages and marbling techniques. He is also creating an animation that will be shown along with his other works when his show begins at the Roswell Museum and Art Center on January 15 of 2014. Some of his new work will also be gifted to the permanent collection at AMOCA.

Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art
9 am–4 pm week days  1 pm–5 pm weekends
409 East College
Roswell, NM 88201
Admission free

Roswell Museum and Art Center
Monday–Saturday: 9 am–5 pm  Sunday and Holidays 1–5 pm
Admission free   
100 West 11th Street
Roswell, NM 88201

Entrance Roswell Museum and Art Center (Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)

Roswell Museum and Art Center: 
World Class Venue For Art and History          

By Rosalyn Stevenson
(Published in the Ruidoso Free Press)

The Roswell Museum and Art Center, a 50,000 square foot building is home to eleven galleries, an auditorium with up to date film and multi-media capacity that seats 200, and a research library open to the public that boasts volumes dated from 1879 to today. It is also home of the Pecos Valley Potters Guild facilities.

Under the forward thinking and progressive guidance of its directors, curators and staff, the Roswell Museum hosts one of the most prestigious collections of New Mexico artists, thinkers and historical artifacts in the state.

Stephen Vollmer, Interim / Assistant Director RMAC (Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
The museum is currently under the guidance of interim director Stephen Vollmer. Mr. Vollmer’s broad knowledge and obvious love of the collections of which he is in charge, comes through in his illuminating dialogue and the vitality of his in-depth discourse about the art and why it was chosen and placed as it is.

Mr. Vollmer has a “… professional career that spans nearly 4 decades. He has served in administrative, curatorial and teaching capacities in both the United States and Mexico. Having lived, worked and conducted extensive field work throughout the American southwest and Latin America, he has formed a photographic archive that holds more than 40,000 original images, which record origins and the cross cultural influences found throughout the Americas.
     Stephen Vollmer has organized, curated and participated in the facilitation of loans for over 150 exhibitions in the United States and Mexico and maintains a standing role as a participant in the ongoing dialogue that celebrates the diverse cultural heritage found in the Americas. He has a standing history as an advisor in both the private and public sectors, having served and participated in public programs, panels, juries and advisory boards on local, state and federal levels in both the U.S. and Mexico. He has held positions at the Tucson Museum of Art; El Consejo Cultural de La Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico; the El Paso Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Witte Museum of the San Antonio Museum Association. Mr. Vollmer's expertise and interest are in the realm of exploring the contextual frontiers of art, architecture and the preservation of works that traditionally have fallen outside and beyond the formal studies that have concentrated on the mainstreams of art.” (
             According to Mr. Vollmer: “When curating an exhibition or bringing works into the collection, great attention is given to the intellectual content found within the body of an artist's work and how it fits within the definition of an exhibit and/or the mission of the institution.
In today's world, the lines between craft and art are not so much about materials but, approach and intent. The contemporary artist may employ a medium and technique that may have been traditionally associated with the minor arts or crafts. And, since the 1960's, the definitions surrounding art have evolved beyond the Academy, allowing the artist the free range of material and a vast number of techniques to explore and expand horizons without prejudice. Craft remains ever important and the mastery of manners and methods will always have wide appeal in the market place, and where it shows innovation and breaks new ground, it will be celebrated as art.”

Curator Gives Details On Curating Process

It is not often that the public is privy to the inside workings of curatorial practices in museums, however, Sara Woodbury, curator at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, formerly a Curatorial Fellow at Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont, very kindly consented to give an inside look at her process for choosing art and collections:
Sara Woodbury, Curator, RMAC: Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson
“I think of curating as a kind of story telling, whether it's about a particular medium, a historical period, an idea, an artist, etc. I try to be objective, but being human, my perspective inevitably leaks in, not only through the objects I choose and what I say about them, but what I exclude. Every object has a thousand stories to tell, from the social conditions of the period from which it originated to the nature of the materials used, but my task is to narrow down those various and sundry anecdotes and facts into one cohesive theme. Curating is as much about what you don't show as much as what you do include. 
When I'm putting a show together using the permanent collection, I typically start with an observation. Though I use databases to compile convenient object lists, I insist on going through collections by hand, because that's when I typically notice intriguing details that pique my curiosity. If I find something that catches my attention, I'll write it down for future reference. As I get more familiar with a collection, I'll revisit these notations to see whether there are any relationships or themes I can explore. I've always liked exploring unexpected connections, so often times the pieces I choose for a show may be quite disparate aesthetically. Typically I choose about twice as many works as I'll end up using for a show; I'll whittle it down as the theme gets tightened. The research is great fun, though I usually only use about 10% of the information I find for the actual labels and exhibit text. Laying out the actual show usually involves several preparatory drawings (often done on either photocopies of the actual gallery floorplan, or, when I need to be more specific, on Microsoft Publisher), but even during installation itself things are subject to change; works in person look very differently than they do on scale drawings. Label writing is, in my experience, one of the most challenging writing endeavors, as you only have a very limited space in which to convey compelling information. Rather than tell five stories hurriedly, I always aim to tell one story well for an object. With every show I tell myself that I can't say everything; limiting my scope gives me coherency, and leaves the opportunity for future curators (or me) to approach the same works from a different perspective.
Brodgan by Richard Hogan: Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson
In terms of contemporary art, I'll admit that this is a relatively new field for me, so my process is very much evolving. So far what I've been doing is getting acquainted with the art scene itself in order to see what's going on, rather than developing a show idea first and then seeking out artists who fit it. When I find a particular artist or set of artists that intrigues me, either for their process or their ideas, I look for related works. I certainly have particular genres or ideas that interest me, but in this case I feel I have to know what's out there first before I can start developing themes.  
In terms of upcoming shows, most of them are still in an inchoate state, but I'll list a couple here:
1. Subject to Change: This show will look at the permanent collection through the lens of flux; the various members of the senior staff will propose suggestions for pieces, which I'll synthesize into the final selection. The show will be divided into three sections, though there will be overlapping. The first part will look at instances of general or "universal" change such as the change of seasons, times of day, etc., to underscore the omnipresence of flux in our lives. The second section will consider examples of historical change such as shifting tastes in fashion or important historical moments, or even technological developments. The final section will consider art itself as flux, whether it's through tracking an individual artist's stylistic evolution, or confronting the effects of age on a work of art, such as discoloration, craquelure, and so forth. This exhibit is currently scheduled to open in late October 2013.
2. Giving (I haven't come up with a decent title for this one yet). I'll be looking at prints that were given as gifts to artists, friends, and so forth. I came up with this idea when I was looking at one of our Rockwell Kents in storage, and noticed a hand-written inscription on it addressed to Howard Cook, another artist in our collection. I started wondering how many other prints had similar gift inscriptions on them, and started writing them down. I thought it'd be an effective way to both humanize the artists in our collection and to underscore their connectivity with the larger art world. This show won't be happening until 2014.

3. One Time Only: This selection will be looking at monotypes from our collection, as it was a quick way to get a variety of pieces up on the walls. This will be hung in Horgan Gallery in late October/November 2013.
Those are some ideas I'm working on in the short term. Looking to the future in terms of our permanent collection, I'd like to consider the Ashcan School, Henriette Wyeth, Howard Cook, the Index of Spanish Colonial Design in New Mexico, and other major works in the collection. On an ongoing basis, I intend to keep delving into the works on paper and other collections to bring out some hidden gems that haven't gotten much viewing attention. The rest of the staff and I also want to reinterpret the Goddard collection, placing more emphasis on his team, and particularly Esther Goddard. As for the Aston, I still haven't fully wrapped my head around that animal yet, but I do want to underscore the relationship between those objects and their donor, Rogers Aston.
In terms of bringing in loaned materials, I'm interesting in working with artists who use new media such as video and sound (not unlike Ven Voisey), along with traditional media. I like challenging visitors with the unexpected, and encourage them to find new connections between unlike materials or things, or to at least consider them.” Sara Woodbury

Currently on view at Roswell Museum and Art Center:
Entry Gallery: 20th Century Visions: Featuring the work of some of the most prominent New Mexico modernists many of whom lived and worked around the art colonies of Santa Fe and Taos.

Sundial by Jim Ward: Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson
Patricia Gaylord Anderson Gallery: Art and Environment Exhibition - Through April 6, 2014. Selected works from the museum’s permanent collection brought together to expand “appreciation of the creative genius and how the definition of environment may vary over time, locale and culture.” (  

Samuel Marshall and Donald Winston Gallery: Roswell Artists-in-Residence: “Ven Voisey: Unfinished Animal” - Through September 28 - Ven Voisey, working in sculpture, installation and sound art, has created an installation utilizing found materials from which he has formed objects that speak to his artist statement and early experiences. For a detailed explanation of his artistic vision visit the Roswell Museum website. 

Artists- in-Residence next: Derek Chan September 28 – November 7, 2013 who will give a presentation on Friday, October 18 at 5:30 pm which will be followed by a reception from 6pm to 7pm  Mr. Chan will also instruct along with Nancy Fleming during a Zine making workshop, titled: AMA-Zine! That will be held on Saturday, November 16 from 1pm to 4 pm

Founders Gallery: Permanent collection of drawings and paintings by legendary New Mexico artists Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth.

Russell Vernon Hunter Gallery: 2013 Invitational: Vision - Through September 29
Kevin Burgess de Chavez (Tinwork); Drew Coduti (Tinwork); Catalina Delgado-Trunk (Papel Picado); Damian Velasquez (Mixed Media Furniture); Frederico Vigil (Frescoe).

Paul Horgan Gallery: Northern New Mexico Poet and Writer John Brandi: From a Distant Road - Through October 13
Haiga or Painted Haiku based on 17th century Japanese traditions

Aston Gallery: West of Beyond: The Aston Collection of the American West. This gallery showcases items dating from the 1500’s through early Native American, including a set of armor, hunting tools, clothing and more -- truly a dazzling collection.

Goddard Gallery: Robert H. Goddard Collection of Liquid-Propellant Rocketry - Showing are examples of some of the actual rockets Mr. Goddard assembled and tested in his brilliant quest for space travel. Mr. Goddard’s workshop has been reassembled in its entirety inside the Roswell Museum. 

Sculpture by Aria Finch (Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
Spring River Gallery: Aria Finch, winner of this year’s Governors Award for Excellence In the Arts for her ceramic sculptures will have an exhibition of new works beginning on September 7 and showing through March 9, 2014 with a reception for the artist and the public on September 28. 

A visit to the vital, thriving center for New Mexico arts at the Roswell Museum and Art Center is sure to expand your knowledge and inspire you! 

Well-trained Docents are available and may be reserved for your visit by calling ahead.

Phone the museum for information on applying for the Artists-In-Residence program or for renting the auditorium or for other questions. 

Roswell Museum and Art Center

Monday–Saturday: 9 am–5 pm  Sunday and Holidays 1–5 pm

Admission free   
100 West 11th Street, Roswell, NM 88201 

Acclaimed Master of Drawing
Virgil Stephens ~ American Western Artist
(Published in Ruidoso Free Press)
By Rosalyn Stevenson

My Purple Dress: Virgil Stephens
He's twice been featured artist in “Western Horseman Magazine”. He has been an artist for Wrangler Jeans,
featured artist for “Art Business News” and a twice featured artist for the Phoenix Jay-Cees “Rodeo of Rodeos”.

He has shown in invitational art shows throughout the west including: Art Has Heart; Legacy Art Albuquerque, NM; Western Art Round Up, Kerrville, Texas; The finest in Western Art, Albuq. NM; Classic-American Western Art Show, Beverly Hills, CA; Mountain Oyster 

Club, Tucson AZ; The Nita Steward Haley Library Show, Midland Texas.

He has won 1st place for drawing at the Ruidoso Art Festival; George Phippen Western Art Show;
Rock Springs Western Art show; Rough Rider International Art Show; Mill Ave Festival and the 
Festival Of The West, to name a few.

Eighteen plus galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada sell his prints. 

He is Virgil Stephens. He and his wife and business partner, Emily, have been Ruidoso residents for the past 21 years.

Recently, Mr. Stephens consented to a brief interview:
“I grew up on a ranch. My dad pushed me to be a cowboy. I was always drawing and my mom pushed me to be an artist. I started drawing at age five. Living in the country and the only child at home, I had to make my own entertainment. My dad subscribed to “Western Horseman Magazine” and there was a gallery section in it with drawings of horses. I used to copy those, drawing on a piece of typing paper and using a #2 pencil. I would sit at the kitchen table and draw for hours.
            When I grew up I worked as a cowboy and in the copper mines of Arizona. All the copper mines in the U.S. closed in 1981. It was cheaper to import copper than to mine it here, so I was out of work for some time, and there was no money in “cowboying” at that time.
            I went to a community college in Mesa, AZ to learn new skills. I wanted to be a physical education teacher but the market for that was glutted. I went to take some art classes but one of the classes was nude drawing, and the way I was raised, I couldn’t do that. So I took music instead. I learned music theory. I played trumpet and toured with the college band, then played in several soul funk and other bands for a few years, playing drums and piano. I got tired of the lifestyle.
I was raising my children alone and had to have income, so I framed houses and did other work I could find. One day I saw a craft show at one of the malls and thought some of the art was really not very good. I thought “I could do better than that”, so I started selling some of my drawings on the weekends at craft shows to make money to feed my kids. I did pretty well, so I stayed with it and have grown to where I am now.
In addition to the other shows I do, I was invited by Amado Pena, the well-known Native American artist, who is a friend of mine, to participate in a fundraising event he organized. The “Legacy” event is held yearly in Albuquerque and the money earned from it goes to scholarships to help youth who want to study art. I have taken part for many years.”

When asked why he has chosen to do pencil drawings of such intricacy and detail, Mr. Stephens replied: “My dad used to say, “If you’re going to do something, do it right.” For me that meant in drawing, “See how accurate you can be.”

Though great realistic detail is seen in each of Stephens’ drawings, there are also always artistic elements that are not found in nature. Lines lead the eye around the drawing and compositional elements create an almost musical harmony in the works, marks of compositional mastery that are also indicative of the artist’s musical background.

In the Ruidoso area Virgil Stephens’ prints are found at: Josies Framery;  Pinon Pottery & Fine Art, Ruidoso Downs; Tangle-y-Wood-n-Art, Hondo.

Stephen’s original drawings and paintings can be found at Adobe Gallery in Ft. Worth; Bob Parks Gallery, Carefree, AZ; Notevena Gallery, Ruidoso. 

Stephens currently does three shows a year including the Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso, and the Ruidoso Christmas Jubilee on Nov 8-10th at the Ruidoso convention center where he will be offering originals as well as giclee prints, pencil drawings and the works on display. 

Stephens’ main website where both drawings and paintings can be seen and purchased:
Pencil drawings only:
Stephens’ music art:

Swan Studios Presents Clay Workshop with Fulbright Winner Joe Bova

By Rosalyn Stevenson 
(Published Ruidoso Free Press)
Swan Studio: Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson

Swan Studios has been a presence in Lincoln, New Mexico since 1996. In those seventeen years, the owner and director Susan Weir-Ancker, Phd. has taught hundreds of students to create sculpture and functional items using clay, both at her studio and during her tenure at Eastern New Mexico University. Weir-Ancker has also created hundreds of her own sculptures, vessels and functional items using clay ceramic techniques. Her expertise encompasses not only clay/ceramic techniques but extends deeply into world mythology, a frequent inspiration for her work.

Susan Weir-Ancker and Joe Bova: 
Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson
Mr. Bova is a “past president and a Fellow of NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts). Bova was awarded the NCECA Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. Other awards include the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art Fellowship, 1980, an SAF/NEA Fellowship, 1985, several university sabbatical awards, and a fellowship to the International Ceramics Studio (ICS) in Kecskemet, Hungary, 2004. The International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva, elected him a member in 2005. He received a Fulbright Award from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland in 2011.

Joe Bova Gesturing During Teaching: 
Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson

Bova’s work can be found in the collections of the Arizona State University Art Museum; Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, SC; International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary; Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC (two works); and the San Angelo Museum of Art, San Angelo, TX and more.

A decades-long association with Penland includes a term as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Visiting artist appointments have included the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred, University of Georgia’s Cortona Italy Program, Haystack School in Maine, Penland School in North Carolina, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.” (

Joe Bova Carving Clay: 
Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson
During the two day workshop at Swan Studios Mr. Bova will demonstrate what he says is “A basic technique not many use; a metal technique adapted from the repoussé technique.” This is a technique, he explained, wherein the clay is pushed outward from the backside of the working piece versus adding clay to the front of the piece.

Bova said he is looking forward to visiting Lincoln. “I have always loved that part of New Mexico,” he said. “I have visited the area six or seven times and have always wanted to go back. This will be my first time teaching in that area.” Weir-Ancker said she has been aware of Bova’s work since the 1980’s when she was an undergraduate at the Cleveland Institute of Art and he was teaching in Ohio.  Weir-Ancker also said, “Joe Bova’s work, it’s connection to mythology, resonates in passion to my own work.” Weir Ancker and Bova connected through social networking that led to Weir-Ancker inviting him to present a workshop at her studio.

Joe Bova Hands Working: Photo-Rosalyn Stevenson
Bova is a story-teller whose work is sometimes inspired by myths, poetry and dreams. His piece, “Infant Dream of the Slumbering Deirdre” was inspired by what he says is, “One of the most poignant Irish myths.” It is about a King and an infant girl who was touted as the most beautiful child ever born. The story is a tragedy with the girl and her lover dying in the end, but Bovas’ sculpture seems to hold the positive energy of vision, hope and rebirth.

Bova said that during the workshop at Swan Studios, he will be reading excerpts from the poetry of Seamus Justin Heaney, Irish poet, playwright, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, who died this year. Participants in the workshop are asked to bring one of their favorite poems to stimulate the image making process. Bova said people of all skill levels are invited to participate in this workshop.

Physicist Turned Playwright Robert Benjamin’s “Salt and Pepper” Play 
Soon To Be Performed By Lincoln County Community Theatre
Robert Benjamin, Playwright
By Rosalyn Stevenson (Published Ruidoso Free Press)

Robert Benjamin the playwright, emerged from Robert Benjamin the research physicist in 2004, when he retired from his Los Alamos 30-year career after “agonizing” about the decision to leave a job he loved as a research scientist to pursue play writing full time. Benjamin became a scientist he said, due to the influences of the “Sputnik Era” he grew up in and the exhortations of the president at that time for boys and girls good in math and science to become scientists.

Benjamin says that script writing is a “calling” for him and says he can find no other way to describe it. He said that he wrote his first scripts in about 1990, teaching himself how to do it by, as he said: “reading books about it and sitting alone in the corner of the room, writing.” He said that he has learned that “that is not how to do it. Script writing is a collaborative effort with actors and others. I really learned by having two or three actors read the lines for me and seeing how many mistakes I made, how much more I had to do to bring a scene to life. Lots of people in the theatre helped me.”

Benjamin said that he has always loved theatre and has attended as many plays as he could over the years. He said that Arthur Miller is his favorite playwright, mentioning “The Crucible”, “All My Sons”, and “Death of a Salesman” as favorites.

The Dixon Community Players (Dixon, New Mexico) presented the world premier of Benjamin’s play ‘Salt and Pepper’ in June of 2013. In August of 2013 the play was produced in Taos at the Metta Theatre; had 12 performances in October and November at the Spiral Theatre in New York City under the title of “Wrinkles” as a part of that emerging theatres’ series on aging and was presented by the Santa Fe Rep and Teatro Paraguas in November of 2013.

The play has been called: “An innovative collection of intertwined, whimsical plays that celebrate aging with courage and humor.”

A review by Bonnie J. Gordon in the Los Alamos Post says: “Salt and Pepper” takes on the nearly uncharted territory of aging as a person, not a stereotype. This play is at its heart, about courage _ to live, to change, and to die when the time comes. Given the theme, you might expect poignancy and words of wisdom and you get those. You also get laugh after laugh, because this play is really funny. The house rocked with laughter over and over on opening night.”

Benjamin has had two other full-length plays produced multiple times, plus productions of nearly 20 short plays. His first full-length play is titled “Time Enough”. “Parted Waters” his second full-length play was commissioned by the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, which premiered the play, March 2009. It's been produced at theatres around the country.

“Parted Waters”, as produced by Teatro Paraguas of Santa Fe was an official New Mexico Statehood Centennial Event during 2012 and it continues to be performed in Santa Fe. “Parted Waters” has been called “a poignant, often humorous contemporary drama” and follows three generations of a New Mexico Hispanic family who are descendants of conversos (Christians who converted from Judaism.)

The play “Salt and Pepper” by Robert Benjamin is in the casting stages by the Lincoln County Community Theatre. Local director of the play, Lea Keylon, will choose the seven or eight actors for the piece. Keylon is also president of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln County Community Theatre, where the play was introduced by Clara Farah,  a local teacher of “Creative Aging” at ENMU.

Lea Keylon, Director
This will be the third play directed by Keylon for the Lincoln County Community Theatre. She co-directed “Moon Over Buffalo” with Dawn Madaris in July of 2013 and “The Plight Before Christmas” in December.
Keylon said the play is planned for six performances: Feb. 28; March 1, 2, 6, 7, 8. Casting for four males and three or four females will be held on January 11 at 9:30 am and January 13 at 3 pm at the Ruidoso Community Center. 360-631-0243 for further info.

Keylon said that she “loves this play (Salt and Pepper). It is unique. Our culture does not deal well with aging and this play deals humorously and poignantly with some of that. It is fitting for our area where many of the full time residents are over 50.”

The final act of “Salt and Pepper” has also been made into a ten-minute opera. Asked if he foresees any offers for television production of his play, Robert Benjamin said: “I don’t know. Everything is happening so fast, I just fasten my seat belt and go for the ride.” Benjamin is working on several new plays.

A Tale of Two Brothers 
Separation Filled With Ironies Has A Happy Ending
James Lane, Well Known Extra on New Mexico movie sets
and Gary Morgan famed for dealing the winning hand to
many legendary poker players during the World Series of Poker
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Gary Morgan, 64, Capitan, New Mexico, dealt the World Series of Poker for many years, dealing to legendary poker champions Amarillo Slim; Doyle Brunson; Stu Unger; Johnny Chan; and Phil Helmuth.

James Lane, 54, Carrizozo, New Mexico resident since 2009, is an extra in New Mexico made films boasting such credits as: “Fifty To One” (March, 2014 release); “The Lone Ranger; “A Million Ways To Die In The West”; “Breaking Bad”; “Night Shift” and “Jane Got A Gun”.

Gary Morgan was ten years old, when his mother, who had five children already including Gary, got pregnant again and did not tell the other children. She was divorced from their father. When the baby was born, an adoption was arranged through the attending physician and a local church official. The adoption parents were a newly married minister and his wife, living on the other side of the state.

Though she kept the birth and adoption secret for years eventually the young mother told her other children, saying she had not had enough money to raise another child.

Morgan said, “I wanted to know if the baby had been a boy or a girl. I kept asking and my mother finally told me the baby had been a girl, which I found out later was untrue.”

In 1980 Morgan, one brother (Craig) and his father went to search for the adopted sibling in LaSalle County, Illinois, where the family had lived when the child had been born.

Morgan checked birth records dated 1959. He found 1959 birth records of the daughter of the physician who had been present at the birth of his sibling. Since Morgan’s mother had told him the child was a girl, he thought the physician had adopted the child. He managed to find the doctor’s home and knocked on the door. The doctor answered and when Morgan told him he thought the doctor’s daughter was his lost sibling, the doctor slammed the door in his face. Morgan knocked again and when the door was opened he gave a paper with his contact information to the doctor then walked away.

A few days later, the doctor’s daughter phoned to say: “I am not your sister.”

Morgan continued his search, locating a cousin who, “looked identical to my mother and was born in 1959. I thought this was my sibling. I was wrong.” He continued to search last names of related cousins, aunts and uncles in the area. It was a large family with many branches. “Everyone seemed to want to forget the past,” he said.

Morgan, his father and brother returned to Burbank after four months with no more information than when they started. Morgan contacted his mother from whom he had been alienated since age 18. She refused to give him any information.

Each year, from 1980 through 1998 Morgan, his brother and father returned to Illinois to search for the adopted child, only to discover more family secrets, more concealment. Morgan says that finally they had exhausted all the leads of children born in 1959, and he “gave up” in 1998 after an eighteen-year search.

James Lane, the son given up for adoption said:  “ My father, the man who adopted me, became influential in his church and preached with Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. During the course of the years we traveled and lived in many cities finally moving to Pasadena, California where we lived five miles from the birth family that was trying to find me! None of us were aware of this.

One of the places I worked at that time was Bob’s Big Boy. Unbeknownst to me, my birth brothers were coming in and eating there. I cooked for them and none of us knew it!
In 1989 I moved to Portland where I worked for the forest service. I had had a copy of the adoption transaction since I was fourteen, given to me by my adopted father and I mentioned it to a man I worked with. It turned out that he came from a town near where I had been born. He knew my birth family! Until then I hadn’t looked for my birth family, now I wanted to find them. This man and I drove to Illinois.

I found the doctor who had attended my birth. He told me he couldn’t help me but I left him my contact information. Two years later, back in Oregon, I received an envelope with no return address that contained hospital records showing my mothers name and information that she and my siblings had moved to California.

I didn’t want to hurt my adoptive parents who were so kind to me so I didn’t pursue it anymore then.
In 2000 I picked up the search again. I wanted to let my birth mother know that she had done the right thing and that I had had a loving home.
I placed an ad in a newspaper in my birth town stating that “Baby boy Morgan” was searching for his biological mother.

As it turned out a biological cousin worked for that newspaper. Within minutes of publication of the ad, I was receiving phone calls from aunts, uncles, cousins and my birth mother. Six months later, the whole family met in Las Vegas, Nevada. After the irony of all those near meetings, this was the first time I saw my birth mother, and met Gary, the brother who had searched for me for nearly twenty years.”

Gary Morgan says that he and James talk on the phone every day now and visit each other often. He said that finding his brother “filled a void” for him.

James Lane said that he has felt “overjoyed and heart warmed” that he had family who cared enough to search for him all those years.

Dream With A Dream Sculpture by Misha Malpica
Dream With A Dream – Bringing Sculptures To Life

By Rosalyn Stevenson (Published in the Ruidoso Free Press, April 2, 2013)

Misha Malpica has created hundreds of life like sculptures complete with intricate regalia. Reminiscent of Magical Realism, Shamanistic Visions and Profound Inspiration from the Land, her work enchants. Raised in poverty, she nevertheless found means and materials for her self-expression.

Stevenson: Why did you become an artist? What has motivated you?

Malpica: I have always just liked to make things. Always; from when I was  a child; from mud to found objects, I liked to put things together to make something else. I grew up in New York and we used to go to the beach and find seashells and rocks. We would bring them home and make them into little people and put them in gourds and all kinds of things.

Stevenson: You say “we”…was that your family?

Malpica: Yes. I had an uncle who was an artist and he went with us on these trips. He was a real old time Bohemian. I have a picture of him painting in Greenwich Village. He’s wearing a beret.

Stevenson: What other childhood experiences, if any, helped or hindered your path to becoming an artist?

Malpica: When I was in junior high school, I applied to the High School of Music and Art. We were very poor. My family couldn’t afford art supplies so I drew on the walls, inside the dresser drawers, inside the closet walls. When I applied to the High School of Music and Art I didn’t have a portfolio. I submitted all my art on little bits of paper and scraps, all I had. They rejected me. I didn’t get in and it was devastating.

Stevenson: Devastating? In what way?

Malpica: Well, I quit high school. I never graduated. The public high school was rough, very rough.

Stevenson: I read on one of your websites that you are self taught in your art.  What motivated you to start making the figurative sculptures?

Malpica: After I was married my husband and I and our three children moved to New Hampshire, sort of a “back to nature” move. I had no job, no car so I started to make things again. I made soft sculptures as Christmas presents and then started selling them at small craft fairs and it all grew from there. I moved into clay in the 1980’s when polymer clay came out. I saw some polymer clay sculptures by Abigail Brahms. She was doing these really wonderful Renaissance pieces. I began to make wizards and old people and Victorian characters. I even made some life size pieces for mall displays during Christmas. I was juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, a prestigious group that has been around since about 1913.

Stevenson: Have you ever explored painting or music?

Malpica: I do paint, but just for myself, and I play piano, mostly classical music, Beethoven and some Chopin. My father was a pianist.

Stevenson: You count among your collectors celebrities such as Demi Moore, Anne Rice and the late Lucille Ball. How did they find your work?

Malpica: I used to do the New York International Gift Show. A lot of celebrities shop there.

Stevenson: You say you are inspired by “mysterious dreams and visions”. Do you keep a dream journal?

Malpica: I don’t keep a dream journal. In my dreams it is almost as if I am working…and the faces just come to me and they stay with me during the day as I work. I close my eyes and I see the images.

Stevenson: In addition to these dream like images, do you also work from live models?

Malpica: No. I have many books for reference on Native American clothing and regalia, but really when I’m making something I just think about the material itself and how it would be worn in a natural way. I appreciate all of Nature. I feel Nature and the land are sacred. When I first came to New Mexico on a visit I felt the spirits of the Native Americans on the land, I sensed how they must have lived. I visited the Valley of Fires in Carrizozo and I thought it was so beautiful. When I returned to my home in the East, we sold our house and came out here right away!

Stevenson: What is a typical length of time for completing one of your sculptures?

Malpica: About six to eight weeks. I work on multiple pieces at once. I am always in love with the piece I am working on at the time.

Stevenson: What is a typical work day like for you?

Malpica: Coffee, then computer; email and Facebook posts, then to work. I typically work eight to ten hours a day. I sometimes skip lunch and sometimes go back to work after dinner, if I have a show coming up. I’m doing about three shows a year now.

Stevenson: Do you listen to music while you work?

Malpica: Always. Right now I’m in to classic rock…for the energy it gives. But it depends on my mood.

Stevenson: You are currently working on a series of life size sculptures of women. What is your inner inspiration for this?

Malpica: It is a Goddess series. I like the female sensuality of the face and the breasts. These pieces will hang on the wall. There is some African and aboriginal look to the women. Some are somewhat abstract. Some have pendants with words on them.

Stevenson: Are you a feminist?

Malpica: Yes.

Stevenson: Are you involved in any of the current women’s movements such as “The return of the sacred feminine”?

Malpica: No. All of my energy goes into my art. I have found that if I try to do too many other things, my energy shatters.

Stevenson: What do you see as a possible progression of your work?

Malpica: I haven’t really thought about that. I let it come day by day. I am phasing out polymer clay, though, and using less fabric. So the work is becoming less multi medium and more sculpture.

 Stevenson; Do you have ups and downs with your work? Do you do anything special to stay motivated?

Malpica: Ups and downs? Oh, yes. I have times when I feel empty. When I get like that I look through my magazines and books and that gets me going again. And I go on hikes with my husband and our dog in the mountains of Ruidoso.

Stevenson: You offer classes at your studio. As a teacher what is important to you to pass on to your students?

Malpica: Spontaneity! For me that’s how it works! I don’t plan ahead. Go with the moment. Do what you feel. Don’t make it difficult or drawn out!

Ruidoso Youth Matt Silva
U.S. Championship Mountain Boarder Also Knits Hats
Matt Silva doing his famous one footed back flip
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Matt Silva won the U.S. Open Mountain Board championship in 2004, in Aspen, Colorado. Since then he has participated in “from 80 to 100” mountain boarding competitions all over the United States including Iowa, Idaho, California, Colorado, Washington and Utah. He is sponsored by MBS Mountain Boards, the leading board company in the world. Silva says local Ruidoso board shop “Never Summer” also sponsors him, supplying him with “gear and money for travel and competitions.”

Matt Silva started mountain boarding at age 19. He is now 26. He said that the competitions he enters require that he demonstrate skills in “flipping, spinning, turning and in using rails and boxes for technical tricks” and that he is well-known for his “one footed back flip” where he does a back flip in the air with one foot still on the board and the other out of the board fittings.
Our Winter Love Hats by Matt Silva
You have to be tough to do what Matt Silva does. You have to have muscles, strength and persistence. So what is this guy doing knitting?

Silva said his grandmother had crocheted some hats and asked him to take the hats for sale to his friends when he went mountain boarding at Ski Apache. He said the hats “sold like crazy” and he decided to make more himself for the money they would bring. Not being able to master crocheting, he said he “took up knitting”. Silva says he sells “a lot” of his knitted hats to other mountain boarders. “Everyone seems to want one,” he said. He said that when he first started knitting hats, he and his grandmother would knit and crochet together, “staying up way past both our bedtimes.”

Silva has now started his own cottage industry, knitting and selling the “beanies” as he calls them. The company name is OWL -- Our Winter Love.

When asked if he has to take any guff from other tough mountain boarders or snow boarders, Silva laughed. “No, most people are really surprised that I do this, but no one ever gave me a hard time about it. Most of the boarders ‘get it’. The hats are a kind of fashion statement for the boarders.”

During the summer months, Silva, born and raised in Ruidoso, practices “several days a week” riding in varied terrain in the woods and mountains of the Ruidoso area. In the winter he does snow boarding to keep his skills up, frequently riding at Ski Apache. He is currently preparing for a stay in Colorado where he will, he says, up his skills and will prepare for “big mountain riding.”

Silva has also been flown to Salt Lake City, Utah and Cedar City, Utah to perform live in stadiums with up to 10,000 viewers as a part of the MTV Nitro Circus.

Not too bad for a kid who got his first inclination about boarding at age 15 when he saw others competing on television on “The X Games”!

From Robots to Contemporary Art Furnishings
Mike Lagg, American Craftsman and Inventor
By Rosalyn Stevenson
Robot hand crafted by Mike Lagg, Carrizozo, New Mexico

Mike Lagg, a New Mexico resident for twenty-three years, says he likes Carrizozo, where he now lives, because it’s so small. “All the artists in town are interrelated one way or another. One aspect of art community that I think people long for is to be noticed when they accomplish something, and to be noticed when they leave town for awhile,” he says.

Wind Powered Bead Tumbler by Mike Lagg
Lagg and his partner, Paula Wilson, have headed a home style art organization for the past two years in Carrizozo. Moma Zozo was started “in order to interact with the community, locals and artists, so they can see what we are doing,”

Lagg said. “When we started Moma Zozo it was just a trailer pulled out on Tenth Street where we set up and did things with no real plan.  The trailer had atop it a “Bead Roller” that I made. It’s a tumbler that I put wood pieces in and when the wind blows or the air from the motion of the trailer moving down the street blows, it moves the wind mill part, the cylinder turns and there’s sandpaper inside that rounds and sands the pieces of wood as they are tossed around. It makes a nice sound as it turns.
We also played a croquette like game with diamond shaped balls I made. And we played “Giant Jinga”. We had two-foot tall sticks, about 200 of them stacked up and you had to move one stick from the stack and put it on the top. If the whole stack falls down, you lose. Now we meet with the public from 12 to 1 pm on Fridays for fun interactive play and dialogue.

I started making things when as a child I lived on a farm in South Dakota and I observed and learned how to work on barns, fences, gates and started working with wood.”

Lagg now makes furniture, light fixtures, lamps, chairs and more from wood. His style is highly innovative and has his distinctive touch and is sought after for its artistic form as well as for its functional form. He is also in the process of making a series of robots with he says, “correct anatomical joints, so they can, for the most part actually move properly.” The robots are motorized with motors Lagg builds from recycled metal parts. He says, “ I don’t like to throw anything away and I don’t want things just laying around, so I find ways to make things with stuff.”

One of Lagg’s wooden robots titled “The Traveler” was affixed with a wind meter that would measure the total amount of wind that would blow during an entire year. He says the meter no longer works but that the robot sculpture, made about eight years ago, has been installed in Sargeant Park in Carrizozo. The park is privately owned, Lagg said, and he did not have to apply for a permit to do a public installation. He said that he affixed a plaque on the piece that says that the robot is a “crash site” and says “Do Not Cannabalize Parts”.  The humorous and inventive sculpture / robot is well received by the public in Carrizozo and Lagg says the town of Carrizozo in general is “very supportive” of his work.

When asked what else he would like the public to know about his work, Lagg said: “I’m trying to increase the value of tumble weeds. The wind is blowing and there are a lot of tumble weeds. I’m using them as support structures for adobe walls I’m building at my home and the Moma Annex site.”

Feathers Or Memorial Keepsakes
Gifted Ruidoso Artisan Creates Beauty With Glass
Glass feather by Summer Sarinova
Summer Sarinova, Glass Artist and Chaplain
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Summer Sarinova is a glass artist, a mosaic muralist and a chaplain. She and her past business partner created the 70’ by 120‘ ceramic mosaic on the Ruidoso Firehouse. Other ceramic murals the pair created include an external wall of the Adobe Gallery in Ruidoso and an external wall at the Billy The Kid Visitors and Travel Center in Ruidoso Downs. During the 10 years of her mosaic making career, Sarinova studied glass art on her own, in a studio she made at her home, using equipment she said was given to her by a friend and patron of the arts.

Today Sarinova includes the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah as one of the popular selling venues for her glass feathers that can be hung as ornaments or worn as contemporary jewelry in the form of earrings or pendants.

Sarinova became a non-denominational chaplain as a part of her desire to “help people when they lose a loved one and to find strength to make my own death more bearable.” She includes in her glass work, under the business name of “Memory Keepers Studio”, a line of touch stones and memorial art glass that are infused with ashes from loved ones or loved pets who have passed on.

Sarinova said: “I fought the artist side of myself for years and now part of my daily effort is to achieve a balance between my natural inclinations to be a creative artist and the logical, professional business side of myself. I think I am doing that. Being a chaplain helps me too. I find I can use the training I received to help others in so many ways.
When I go into the studio each day, I have a ‘to do’ list but I also allow time for freestyle creating with the glass. That’s how I started making what I call ‘love bunnies’. They’re little bunnies you carry in your pocket, that have been really successful sellers for me.
I started making the feathers when I asked myself what I would like to wear and they’ve been really popular. On the website under SHOP, visitors can see the feather titles and descriptions. They might have a literary, film, current events, or regional quote attached to them. The feathers speak to me when I see them out of the kiln for the first time (one of those 'artsy' things that I sometimes try to flee from, ha). It seems that this sometimes helps people to find an additional connection to a particular feather beyond the first glance.”

In addition to her website (, and the Sundance Festival in June, Sarinova sells at the First Friday Art Sale in Lubbock, Texas, ThunderHorse Gallery in Ruidoso, and Atticus Books & Teahouse, Park City, Utah.

Gallery Owner Flies Into Carrizozo From Sweden 
To View Art by Paula J. Wilson
Paula J. Wilson in her studio, Carrizozo, New Mexico
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Paula J. Wilson, artist and Carrizozo resident for six years was honored last month by a visit from Johan Berggren, a gallery owner in Sweden ( Mr. Berggren had seen Wilson’s thirteen foot “tapestry” installation made of fabric and industrial felt at the Sikkema Jenkins gallery in New York City during a showing in 2010. The piece was a result of Wilson’s participation in a program of the Fabric workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. She was chosen to participate in the program by a selection committee of the Museum.
Fabric and Mixed Media Tapestry by Paula J. Wilson
Fabric and Mixed Media Tapestry by Paula J. Wilson
The piece Wilson is making now and will be sending to Sweden to the Johan Berggren ( gallery is titled: “City Girls In the Desert.” Wilson says the piece is made of pieces of canvas that she paints, prints on, cuts and sews onto a larger background piece. The piece, according to Wilson, is ten feet tall “and the width is growing.” She went on to describe her process: “ I have a giant bolt of canvas and I paint on it or use a complicated printing process on it to get my images. Then the pieces are cut out and collaged in a kind of quilting manner. I’m self-taught, so I am open to experiment. I do a lot of things traditional quilters would probably be appalled at. I use a 1950’s Kenmore sewing machine to put the pieces together and I recently bought a surger machine that cuts and sews at the same time. It has two needles and uses four spools of thread at a time. It’s not digital but it really does amazing things once you get the threading done! I started as a printmaker and grew into experimental print making techniques.”

Wilson says she gets inspiration for her work “From the pleasures of love and the fleeting experiences of daily life and the technology that we carry with us, things like Instagram and what’s made possible through technology. I love the frontier spirit in Carrizozo and the Southwest. You can be yourself here with no distraction. We are sort of on the outer edges of society but we have the world through access to the Internet. As an artist I have to push these edges. My work speaks to the dichotomy of the natural world and the tech world.

I have also been influenced by the diversity of my family. My mother is a hand book builder; my father is an acclaimed professor at Harvard where he teaches Sociology and Urban Poverty; my brother is a Buddhist video gamer and I have two sisters, one of them a high powered executive and the other a writer of erotica. This exposure has contributed to the multi-cultural diversity that appears in my art. ”

Wilson will be participating in a residency program in Las Vegas this summer where she will create works to be shown at the P3 Studio. Participants are given housing at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for a month in order to create their works. Wilson said she was recommended for the residency by the New York based “Art Production Fund.” “They have been watching my work for some time,” she said. Wilson was also the recipient of a residency in Giverny, France where she spent three months.

“My partner, Mike Lagg, made a studio for me with one wall that slides entirely open. I start the day in my studio by opening that “wall/door” to let in the light. My practice always starts with drawing, then moves to painting and then to sewing, printing and walks with my dog. The flow from each to each is important to me.” Wilson said.

In addition to practicing their individual arts, Wilson and her partner Mike Lagg, head their self created arts organization: MOMA ZOZO ( From 12 pm to 1pm on Fridays at 214 Birch Street, Carrizozo, they host a “sort of interactive art/activity/dialogue, with the purpose of engaging with the community and our fellow art travelers,” says Wilson.  The public is invited.

Alan Trever ~ Teacher, Film Producer 
And Creator of the Roswell Sci-Fi Film Fest; Digital Shoot Out and Cosmicon 
The Roswell Project Movie Poster 
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Alan Trever is the creator of the Roswell Sci-Fi Film Fest; the Roswell Digital Shoot Out; Roswell Cosmicon and program head of the Roswell Eastern New Mexico University Film Program. Trever has produced or co-produced 18 films and has worked with productions on the Discovery channel and others.

In addition to his teaching schedule and executive duties for the above mentioned events, Trever is currently working with ENMU and the city of Roswell, as he put it, “Trying to take over the old Roswell television station, KBIM studios,” as a part of a television production program that has recently been started at ENMU Roswell. He says he hopes to have the program in progress by spring. ENMU Roswell is also starting a music engineering program as a part of its Media Arts Center (MAC). Trever said that the students in the film-making department at the Media Arts Center already do some commercials, interviews and small info pieces for local television stations in Roswell, as a part of the training at the center.
Tailed Movie Poster
Some of the exercises for students in the film program that Trever teaches include shooting the film using just visuals with no audio; black and white filming; experimental filming with no story line. He said that he wants students to learn that “You can’t rely on dialogue to save you.” The students watch films and enjoy lectures and discussion about film techniques and special effects. Trever said that he has a “must see” list of movies for the students including Charlie Chaplin films; Gone with the Wind; Clockwork Orange; for lighting Schindler’s list; for oddity of story telling: Rosenkrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead; Hamlet for the perspective. Students learn script writing and are taught how to create a clear story line and well-defined characters and how to create a clear message or purpose for their story.

Camera, lighting and sound equipment used by the film department at ENMU is also for hire to students in the program and available at standard film rates to professional movie companies. Companies must also use students from the ENMU film program if renting equipment.

The Roswell Sci-Fi Film Festival is held the last week in June and shows winners of the call for script submissions that starts in December and is extended internationally. Five of the submitted scripts are chosen for production in the “Digital Shoot Out”. Films must be completed in one week and will be shown at the festival. Participants in the Digital Shoot Out are given food, crew and equipment for a week in order to make their movie. Entry fees are: $35 for a “short”; $65 for a feature length film. All films must be in the categories of Sci Fi or Fantasy. There is an awards night where the award winning films are shown. ( or the Facebook page for dates and details.

Currently in the works from last years Digital Shoot Out is: “Tailed” (story by Boyd Barrett, directed by Donovan Fulkerson; executive producer Alan Trever) that began as a submitted script, was selected as one of the scripts to be shot in the digital shoot and has progressed to  becoming an idea for a television series.

“The Roswell Project” an Alan Trever film, is still in the editing phase. According to the You Tube trailer prologue the movie is “a 1947 Roswell based classic black and white monster movie in the genre of Ed Wood.”

Lay Powell 
Preserving Ancient Native American Petroglyphs In Contemporary Materials
Metal Sculpture by Lay Powell
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Lay Powell makes sculptures out of huge sheets of steel. His sculptures are based on his research of petroglyphs that he finds he says, “in really out of the way places off the beaten path, places where I have to hike in sometimes for ten miles or so.”

Some of Powell’s metal sculptures are 12 feet tall. One is 16 feet wide. He uses a hand held torch to cut the steel. He says: “This leaves just a little roughness, kind of a rhythmic edge to the metal where you can almost see the heart beat coming through where the hand has cut the metal.”

Powell talked more about how he came to research ancient petroglyphs and use them in his sculpture and paintings:  “My father was a rancher with a lot of land and when I was a kid he used to take me with him when he went to brand the cattle. He would drop me off at the “rockpile” on his land, which was a primitive area with a lot of petroglyphs carved into the rocks. I saw my first petroglyphs when I was five years old. As I was alone all day with these images, they became my “playmates”. I actually felt they were talking to me, and that I was talking to them. I felt I understood their language and the stories they were telling and the sacredness and the ceremony implied in the images.

Lay Powell
When I was three or four years old, I found some crayons and crawled behind the furniture and started filling in squares in a pattern on the wall-paper. My parents saw what I was doing and thought it was proof that I would be an artist. Later they sent me to art school. I studied at the University of New Mexico where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in fine art. The graphic art training I got in college brought me back again to the graphic style of petroglyphs.”

Though Powell’s metal sculptures are beautiful and dynamic on their own, they also preserve some of the ancient “language” of forgotten ancestors. When asked why he thinks it’s important to preserve ancient petroglyph images in contemporary materials Powell said: “When I was a child the native “rock art” was pristine. Over the years, as I’ve visited various sites, I’ve seen these images degraded by graffiti, by public abuse and by natural degradation. I want to preserve some of the magic, the ceremony, the Shamanistic spirit of these expressions from the past. I still feel they are speaking to me and I am speaking to them.”

Powell’s art has been shown in galleries in Colorado and throughout the Southwest. He is currently showing for the first time in this year’s Art Loop Studio Tour, July 5, 6, 7. He also creates custom pieces for clients from a wide array of select images he has specially sourced.

See the full map of artist studios by picking up an Art Loop Studio Tour map at the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce or visit:

Rory Combs 
Member National Sculpture Society Shows Work During Art Loop Studio Tours
Sculpture by Rory Combs
Rory Combs
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Rory Combs grew up in an area rich in Native American history. He has been intrigued by Native American culture since childhood and marvels in their spirituality and wisdom.

Combs creates strongly beautiful portraits of Native Americans in bronze. He begins by sculpting the piece in clay. It is then taken to a foundry where a mold is made from the clay and then a wax replica is made using the mold. The wax replica is dipped in ceramic slurry repeatedly until the desired thickness is achieved. The piece is then fired and the wax core is burnt out. This leaves a hollow mold into which bronze is poured and set to create the final cast bronze piece.

In addition to showing his sculptures at his open studio during the Lincoln County Art Loop Studio Tour this year, Combs will have some of his charcoal portraits of Native Americans available. He also will be showing new bronze pieces from 9” to 40” tall. All pieces are limited editions.

Combs earned his BA degree in Advertising Design from Iowa State University and also studied sculpture. His work has appeared in juried shows from Wyoming to Illinois.

His work is available at Dakota Nature and Art-Hill City, SD, or through his website:

James Tsoodle 
Acclaimed Native American Artist Comes To Ruidoso Art Festival
Still We Are Here by James Tsoodle
By Rosalyn Stevenson

The subjects that James Tsoodle paints are Native American Warriors of the Northern and Southern Plains. Tsoodle himself is of Kiowa and Taos Pueblo ethnicity.

On his website, he says: “I believe an artist can best portray the image by being well versed in the subject matter.  Hopefully if I achieve this, others will be able to see the passion and power in not only the image but the pigment and flow and composition of the painting.

One of the driving forces behind my art work began as a young boy and the struggles I went through as a child.  I could not read until I was 14 years old due to what was much later diagnosed as dyslexia.  As a result of this personal struggle, I found that my gift of painting was something I could do very well that pleased me as well as others.  I have been self-taught from a very young age.”

As a child, Tsoodle sold his first pen and ink drawings at age six when he attended the New Mexico State Fair with his parents who were selling jewelry there. He currently works with acrylic on canvas.

Tsoodle said in a brief interview: “My grandfather told me many stories when I was a child, stories about his people, and I listened. These were stories that were not written down but were passed down as a part of our oral tradition.”

An example of one of those stories being interpreted into fine art is Tsoodle’s painting: “Still We Are Here”. The painting depicts Black Kettle who was a peace chief for the Southern Cheyenne. He lost his life when attacked by government military forces at the Washita River in Oklahoma. There are crows, a star and a faded blue flag in the painting which depict the quote from Black Kettle before his death: “On the day when the stars fell upon our people (the military), they scattered us like birds of the air and still we are here.” The painting is 36” x 48”.

Tsoodle has shown his art at the Heard Museum; Pueblo Grande Museum; Eiteljorg Museum; Colorado Indian Market, Tucson 4th Street Art Festival; Weems Art Festival; Rio Grande Arts Festival; Wheelwright Museum and many other venues and currently shows at 7 or 8 shows per year. Tsoodle won “Best of Show” at the Las Cruces Fine Arts Festival in March.

Robert Shields
Famous Mime To Show Paintings At Ruidoso Art Festival
Painting by Robert Shields
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Robert Shields, also at one time known as Robbie the Robot, was San Francisco’s main tourist attraction at the young age of 19. Later as the duo Shields and Yarnell, he and his wife won the Las Vegas Entertainers of the year award two years in a row and together appeared on over 400 national television shows and eventually had their own TV show. Robert Shields’ original scripted television special Toys On the Town earned Shields and Yarnell an Emmy.

Robert Shields was also the director of clowns for Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus. As Red Skelton once put it “There are perhaps thirty five great clowns in the world. Robert Shields may be the best one there is”.

Now Shields uses his creativity and imagination to create whimsical metal sculptures, jewelry and paintings, collected by many including big name celebrities.

In a brief interview, Shields said: “It was a natural transition for me to begin painting and making jewelry and sculpture. I am fascinated with antique toys, abstract shapes; suns, moons and symbols. I believe an artist has to draw and sculpt. These are basic tools for any artist. And color is my friend! I love color -- especially gem tones! Color combinations intrigue me. I will be showing mostly paintings at the Ruidoso Art Festival. My paintings are a combination of acrylic, oil and lacquers on canvas and on metal.”

Shields has had his own gallery in Sedona, Arizona but now prefers to work from his studio in Clarkdale, Arizona and show and sell his creations at art shows. He keeps a very busy schedule of showing at two art shows a month, including shows in Beverly Hills, California; Tempe, Arizona; Las Vegas and the San Diego Art Walk.

Fortunate visitors to the Ruidoso Art Festival this July 26, 27, 28 will be able to view and purchase art from Robert Shields, this world class mime and talented artist.

Fred Stockbauer
Goldsmith Extraordinaire at Ruidoso Art Festival
July 26, 27, 28
Gold and Sapphire Bracelet by Fred Stockbauer
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Fred Stockbauer started cutting semi-precious gemstones in the mid-60's and acquired the art of lost wax casting at several workshops. Bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and pendant designs are created by the artist in his Wimberley, Texas studio and are made using the ancient lost wax casting method.  A majority of the jewelry is cast in solid 14k yellow and white gold. 18k gold is also available on special order.
The semiprecious gemstones used in the jewelry are of the highest quality, and most of the cabochons and inlays are cut in Stockbauer’s own lapidary shop. High quality diamonds are also available at near wholesale cost.

He and his wife have over 35 years experience in designing, constructing and selling their jewelry.
In 1974 two Midland Texas facetors designed a new cut for the blue topaz featuring a perfect "Lone Star". When viewed from above, the cut in the gem reveals a five-pointed star.

On May 25, 1977 this "Lone Star" design was adopted as the Texas State Gemstone. (Cut in House Concurrent Resolution #97).

All of the star topaz used in Stockbauer’s creations follow this cutting formula.  Many of these star topaz designs will be available during the Ruidoso Art Festival show at the Ruidoso Convention Center, July 26 – 28, as well as other uniquely beautiful pieces.

Not 2 Shabby Shop Thrift Store
A Reason To Give Thanks In Capitan
Kay McNeer, Manager Not 2 Shabby Shop
By Rosalyn Stevenson

In 2006, the Not 2 Shabby Shop thrift store opened its doors to provide re-cycled, donated clothing and household goods to the community.

Today the shop, a 501C-3 non-profit enterprise of the Capitan Library, is thriving under the management of Kay McNeer, with about 20 volunteers. McNeer has been manager of the Not 2 Shabby shop since March 2011. Profits from the shop go to funding of utilities, equipment, supplies, books, computers and whatever else is needed for the Capitan Public Library to keep its doors open for its patrons.

The Not 2 Shabby Shop provides about 250 free items of clothing to those in need each month as a part of a contractual agreement with the Village of Capitan for service to the community. In addition it offers a wide array of household items; clothing for men and women; baby clothes; toys; furniture; small household appliances; candles; decorative items and more at very low thrift store prices. Collectors of vintage items will occasionally find a treasure or two as well.

Donations are accepted from anyone in Lincoln County or beyond and are welcomed three days a week, during the shops open hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

McNeer said, “Our volunteers are committed to keeping the shop clean, friendly and fun. Each one brings a certain amount of professionalism to the shop.”

Before coming to Capitan, McNeer herself was a teacher. She taught Native American children of Zuni, Shoshone and Navajo extraction on reservations in Nevada and New Mexico. She said that at one time she was also the “coach” for the children she taught, coaching basketball and interjecting a young girl into the team in spite of resistance.

Warm coats, sweaters, baby clothes, children’s clothing, and more are available for those who need them this winter. Children’s toys are available and include board games, cars, trucks, stuffed animals, dolls and more. If someone needs warm clothing or child or baby clothing or toys and cannot pay they will be helped if the items they need are in stock. If you have an overflow of “things” at home, the Not 2 Shabby Shop would love to have them. The shop is also open to more volunteers offering their services.

Artist Profile:
Georgia Stacy ~ Nogal Artisan
Detail of Door Carving by Georgia Stacy
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Georgia Stacy is an artisan whose favorite modes of expression are wood carving and working with clay. Her curving, organic designs grace residences in Lincoln County and beyond and include doors, sculptures and an array of functional and ornamental items. She has lived and maintained a studio in Nogal, New Mexico for 23 years, where she said, “The beauty of the landscape inspired me to stay here.”

Stacy talked about her work and life:
“I had a beautiful childhood that gave my creative spirit food to grow. My father built a kind of imaginative wonderland for me in the back yard. It had a ferris-wheel, a merry-go-round, a see-saw. He never discouraged me about playing, having fun.

Before I came to Nogal, I lived in Mexico for some time. When I came back to the States, in the 80’s, I wanted to carve a mask because I had been inspired by the Mexican masks I had seen. I met a man who owned a sawmill and who harvested wood. He became a mentor for me. He taught me about wood, the strength and the weaknesses of it and I began carving. It’s like bringing beauty into the world through our natural materials.

Beauty is important, and the connection to the earth is important. Respecting Mother Nature’s materials is important. Wood is a recyclable resource. I sometimes find old wooden spoons and plates to refinish and carve in addition to the other designs I work with.
I move back and forth between wood and clay and the two materials help me find new direction and inspiration in my work. I like creating movement with a sense of being, using light, contrasting elements, texture, and animation.

Doing custom work inspires me to connect with others and build things. I use woods that fit the project. For doors the wood has to have natural preservatives in it to last outside. I also use alder because it is a fast growing green wood.

I have a pretty minimal shop compared to many. My tools are sometimes hand made, sometimes power tools. I’m into the process not the tools.

My work is labor intensive and goes through several stages of development. There is that moment when it all comes alive and I can say, ‘Aha, so that is what it is about!’ It feels like a moment of revelation when that happens!

I like the feeling that each piece will last a long time, in some cases becoming an heirloom in one family. It’s about making something that people respond to, something that is an outpouring of my life.

The art is a residue of spiritual practice.

I walk, I study color and form in nature. That is like a spiritual practice and I create from that. The way I live, the way I have educated myself is to be an artistic dreamer and that’s where my visions for my work come from. My work gives me a sense of connection. I’m the happiest when I’m working.

It humbles me when I can make something that people love and will live with the rest of their lives. For me, though, when the piece is done it is gone and I am free to create something new.

After the Little Bear fire I did a series about water and fire. The whale fluke symbolism came into my work in that connection to water and I made a gate of steel and wood with that design in mind. I did an antler like piece coming out of a skull and it was like a pictograph of fire up to new growth, a kind of recording of what had happened in the fire.

I did the mahogany and copper “Star Vessel” door for a friend after the fire. I incorporated some of her totem symbols into it and the textured areas represent a lot of the changes that were occurring because of the fire.

I sometimes work with children of friends and families that I know, and try to give them some foundation that crafts and working with their hands can offer them in this time of so much technology.”

Roswell Resident Wins Best Music Video Award  in New Mexico Film Makers Showcase
Dusty Deen, Red Road Runner Film, Winner Best Music Video
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
By Rosalyn Stevenson 

Winners of the 2013 NM Filmmakers Showcase that premiered on October 25 – 27 at the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque were honored with statewide screenings in a traveling exhibit. 

The films were shown at the Roswell Convention Center on November 2, an event fronted by Dirk Norris of the newly formed New Mexico Film Foundation and Renee Roach, Roswell City marketing and public relations head.

Dusty Deen, Roswell resident, videographer and director of the Best Music Video, “Red Dog” was present. Deen is head of his own production company: Red Road Runner Film / Video Productions. 

The fast paced music video demonstrates Deen’s trademark tight, quick editing technique and keeps the viewer rolling with the clean hard driving rhythm of the music of the Artesia, NM band, Shilo.

Deen and his crew are the winners of this year’s Lonestar Emmy Awards for the documentary “Life and Glass” and they also won last years New Mexico Film Makers Showcase Best Music Video Award for their video: “Bitter”.

Deen said he “cut his teeth” making commercial spots for television, working for KOBR TV in Roswell and then for RD Thomas Advertising Agency, doing story boarding, script writing, directing photography and editing. 

The Red Dog video took “about three weeks in pre-production and then was shot in one week, and took another three weeks for post-production editing” Deen said. He also said that the entire production was a collaboration between himself and his long time friend and videographer, Tyler Greene with input from the band mates of Shilo.

In addition to it’s overall high quality, the Red Dog video is technically of interest because, Deen said, “the audio was recorded separately and matched to the visual video.” 
All 2013 New Mexico Film Showcase winners in it’s nine (9) categories are:
Best Webisode: Canyon Road pilot "The Fire," directed by Christopher Wright
TRT 30 minutes.  Canyon Road will be a series containing the episodes that highlight the varied cultural and eclectic characters who inhabit Canyon Road.

Best Music Video: Red Dog written and directed by Tyler Green and Dustin Deen
TRT 3 minutes.  A wheelchair bound man awakens in an alley with a thirst for Red Dog beer.
Best Documentary: The Chile Film directed by Kelly Urig
TRT 26 minutes. In New Mexico, nothing is as precious as our red and green chile.
Best Drama: Matanza written by Morse Bicknell
TRT 22 minutes.  A weekend camping trip starts out happily enough for a group of college kids, but a dark shadow is cast across the idyllic setting when two outsiders are invited at the last minute.
Best Comedy: Zombiewood directed by Lauren Petzke
TRT 14 minutes. A zombie named Harry thinks the answer to his "undead" life is to get a SAG card! While the world has little use for zombies, there is one industry where they fit in very well - Hollywood.

 Best Experimental: Weird written and directed by Miguel Arambula
TRT 17 minutes. An exploration of the haunting aspects of life.  While finding your fate.

Best Animation: Snowdysseus written and directed by Evan Curtis
TRT 6 minutes.  Snowdysseus explores the vulnerability in feeling nostalgia for one's home.
Best Sci-Fi: A Figment of My Imagination written and directed by Eric Smigiel
TRT 18 minutes.  This human story chronicles the conflict between an Android and its creator.
Best Wild Card: Quirky View directed and written by Anne Stirling
TRT 22 minutes. Quirky View is a new TV series that reveals the true passions of regular folks with fascinating hobbies, unusual callings and those that have taken the road less traveled. It celebrates anything but the typical. for more information about local and statewide films and film-making 

Supporting independent filmmaking in New Mexico by offering film grants

Zoe de Negri 
Intuitive Jeweler Crafts Sterling Silver and Semi-precious Gemstones 
Jewelry Art by Zoe deNegri
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Zoë deNegri’s inspired jewelry can be found at the Taos Art Museum, the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, NM and at the Museum of New Mexico Foundation in Santa Fe as well as in artistic and New Age shops from coast to coast. Ms. deNegri was born in England to a mother who was an astrologer, fashion designer and artist. DeNegri absorbed these influences and is herself an astrologer, a Tarot card reader and a jeweler who says that meditation and intuition play a role in how she selects and uses the semi-precious stones she incorporates into her creations. 

DeNegri spent her young adult years in West Africa where she attended the University of Lagos in Nigeria, gaining a degree in French and English literature. It was in Africa that she began making jewelry, searching the local markets for trade beads and carved fetishes made by local African artisans, and using them in her designs.
Jewelry by Zoe deNegri
Ms. deNegri said that eventually she wanted to learn silver-smithing but was prohibited from doing so in Africa where that craft is only passed on from father to son. No schools in silver work existed, and none of the local men would teach her, so she moved to New York city where she could undertake this advancement in her craft.

In New York, deNegri found outlets for her jewelry in the large department stores such as Bloomingdales and began attending trade shows. Her work was well received and the market welcomed her. She is now a resident of the Ruidoso area and has maintained a studio here for 16 years.

“Shamana” is Zoë de Negri's sterling silver jewelry line inspired by world myths and traditions, embellished with semi-precious stones. Included are druzies, crystals, amethyst, onyx, citrine, turquoise, peridot, amber, amongst the “intuitive” stones. Bears, eagles, dragonflies, stars, moons and more figure into the “charms” that dangle from some of the pieces. When asked what a “druzie” is deNegri explained that it is a geode of semi precious stone that in some cases has been enhanced chemically to produce a shining surface luster.

The jewelry is fabricated from sheets of sterling silver and wire.  Silver sheet is cut to the desired shape, hammered and the edges filed until smooth.  When using a stone, a fine silver bezel is cut to fit and then soldered onto the piece.  One of the distinctive style traits is the intricate wrapping of silver strands overlapping cut and shaped sterling silver designs. 

DeNegri said she sometimes has clients who ask her to “find” the right stone for them. She said she uses meditation and contemplation to help her draw upon the expertise she has developed through study of stones and their energies to guide her to select a stone that will enhance and uplift energy and may also be of a healing energy for her client.

Ms. DeNegri participates in trade and art shows throughout the year, including the Wholesale Crafts Show in Las Vegas; the International New Age Trade Show in Denver; the Ruidoso Art Festival 
and the Annual Christmas Jubilee at the Ruidoso Convention Center. Her jewelry is sold locally 
at the Adobe Gallery, 2905 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso. 

Ms. DeNegri’s jewelry is available by single piece or in wholesale quantities on her websites:

Art and Technology
What Is An Avatar and Is It Art
Avatar by alphacoders
By Rosalyn Stevenson 

The word Avatar used to mean a spiritually advanced individual who had been re-incarnated on earth to help humanity. Since online social networks have emerged as the new way in which people connect, (the leader currently being Facebook with over 1.2 billion members), the word Avatar has taken on a secondary meaning, that of being a virtual image that represents ones self in an online community. 

Total amount of minutes people spend on Facebook every month: 700 billion.
Average amount of time a person uses Facebook per month: 15 hours 33 minutes 

If we are spending this much time online socially communicating with others, why be “boring old you” when the world of fantasy art offers the opportunity for you to portray yourself as a super curvy warrior ninja glamour woman or as a muscular knight with silver armor and a princess in a velvet gown on each knee or just about anything or anyone else you can think of?

In a way, an avatar provides us with a sense of anonymity. We are not using our own face to accompany online posts that thousands or maybe even millions can see. However one of the attractive characteristics of an avatar is that it can portray something of one’s alter ego or alter egos plural, as one’s mood changes. 
An avatar can be changed multiple times even during the course of one online session on Facebook for example, since uploading images has been made so simple. Just browse, click and upload.

Online role-playing games are another arena for “being whoever you want to be”, in the form of an avatar. One online role-playing game offers personalized Avatars, beckoning with the tantalizing pitch: “Let your avatar reflect your personality! You can be everything you want: sword swinging bloodthirsty warrior, a feisty scantily clad amazon, a whimsical wizard: really everything!” 

As attention spans shorten and hunger for more data and more variety of input grows, avatars present the opportunity to change personas for the sake of alleviating boredom or for just having fun, but are avatars art? 

Digital artists may spend hours upon hours in darkened rooms alone in front of their computer screens with high tech software creating images the rest of us will use for avatars to represent ourselves online. The extravagance and details of these figures in many cases far surpasses the drawing expertise of other kinds of artists. Complex 3D rendering software is frequently used along with special effects filters and vector line drawing software. Each set of software demands new learning and mastery that can take hours, days or weeks. 

With a knowledge of photo manipulation software such as Photoshop one can make one’s own avatars using our own face  as a base for the image or any other non-copyrighted image we can find or make.
If we adhere to the idea that “Art, in its broadest meaning, is the expression of creativity or imagination, or both” then we have to acknowledge that creating avatars is art, a new art of self expression in it’s most personal sense and in the true sense of “Self expression”. advertises “Free Forum Avatars” and offers a wide variety of beautifully drawn avatars from fantasy to abstract on dozens of multi-image pages.
Images of 20 humorous Mona Lisa Avatars
Nailmeister an artist on deviant art offers a set of 20 amazing digitally drawn avatars.
Find more fantasy avatars by searching Google: Fantasy Avatars

Carmon Phillips Photography Exhibit at the Hubbard Museum
Commemorates Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs From 1946
Photo by Carmon Phillips
By Rosalyn Stevenson

In 2012, Delana Clements daughter, Delana Clements, transferred approximately 6000 of her father's 4"x5" black and white negatives to the Hubbard Museum. With a grant from the Hubbard Foundation, the Museum has begun archival digitization of the collection. 

Carmon Phillips moved to the Ruidoso area in the late 1940’s where he purchased the Dowlin Mill, Ruidoso’s’ oldest building, (circa 1868) and used it for his photo studio.

Between 1946, into the 1960’s and beyond, Mr. Phillips photographed the people, businesses, children, community events, services and landscapes of the Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs area. He also did photography for local newspapers.

In addition to being a photographer, Phillips was a prominent promoter of Ruidoso and Lincoln County. He published a monthly magazine entitled "Pictorial Ruidoso." He was instrumental in bringing skiing as a sport to Lincoln County and in the transferring of the ski slopes to the Mescalero Apaches, thereby creating "Ski Apache."

David Mandel, Curator of Exhibits at the Hubbard Museum for the past eight years, said that for the Phillips exhibit he initially culled about 1000 of the 3000 negatives that have been digitized from the collection of 6000. From that 1000 he has chosen about 120 for the exhibit. The photos for the exhibit are being digitally printed at the Hubbard museum as well as being digitally archived there. Mr. Phillips had named and dated many of his negatives but work continues at the Hubbard Museum to properly date and name many more.
Photo by Carmon Phillips

 “Carmon Phillips was an exceptional photographer who understood the technology of photography very well. For example he used flash and natural light together, balancing the two. Other photographers of his time were not doing that. In showing his photos we are telling a story. In 1946 people were coming home from the war, and Ruidoso Downs was beginning to grow. These photos are about those people and that growth,” Mandel said.

Mid-20th Century Photographs by Carmon Phillips – Opens September 14
Hubbard Museum of the American West

The Empty Bowl Event Supports Heal and The Nest
By Rosalyn Stevenson 

With the purchase of a $15 entrance ticket one can taste many delicious soups and chili’s created by local professional and non-professional cooks and be able to bid on handmade bowls to take home. The bowls are created by local artisans for the Empty Bowl Event to be held on Sunday, October 6th at 4:00 p.m at Mountain Annie’s: 2710 Sudderth Dr, Ruidoso, NM 88345 (575) 257-7982. The best Chili category is new this year at the Empty Bowl cooking competition. Also new this year is the option for the public to purchase, for only five dollars more, six more tickets with which to vote for their favorite soup or chili.

The public will be greeted at the entrance of Mountain Annie’s by the classical music talents of Tomas Vigil and in the theatre of Mountain Annie’s where the auction and tasting will take place, musical entertainment will be provided by Susan Kolb.

The winner of the Soup tasting will be crowned the “Number One Souper Cook” and winners will be named in local radio and newspapers. Winners will also receive trophies for the best professional and amateur cooks, and a plaque for the best chili.

The mission of Help End Abuse for Life (HEAL) and the Nest is to coordinate and offer support services and safe haven for victims and survivors of domestic violence. They do this by “advocating for positive social change, providing training & education, building alliances, securing and developing resources & influencing public policy and attitudes about domestic violence.” HEAL operates the Nest, the only shelter for victims of domestic violence in the Lincoln County area.

Domestic violence is a worldwide epidemic. Violence against women is a global problem, affecting women of all ages, ethnicities, races, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. Studies show that between one quarter and one-half of all women in the world have been abused by intimate partners. HEAL (Help End Abuse for Life) is committed to ending violence worldwide. The Nest Domestic Violence shelter educates the community on the worldwide prevalence of domestic violence using presentations, media, public service announcements and education. To arrange for a guest speaker from HEAL: (575) 378-6378.

Lincoln County has ranked higher than any other in the state of New Mexico for Domestic Violence cases. HEAL opened the Nest to respond to an overwhelming need for services in Lincoln County.

In partnership with LCCC-VAW (Lincoln County Coalition on Violence Against Women), HEAL has developed a program that encompasses specific areas that are targeted for education and outreach services. Recently HEAL has joined with the Lincoln County Sheriff Department to provide law enforcement training to outlying areas.

“When we talk about domestic violence at HEAL, we don’t focus on broken arms and black eyes. The women who suffered those injuries at the hands of someone who claimed to love them have already paid that price. Instead, we talk about healing families, about the miracles that we are blessed to witness inside the shelter everyday.”

Colleen Widell, Executive Director of HEAL, spoke about her motivation for dedicating her time and considerable energy to the social services available at HEAL and the Nest: “When I was eight years old, my best friend’s mother was beaten and paralyzed for life by her husband. When I saw her in the hospital, I turned to my own mother and said: “This is so wrong. How do we make this stop?” Ms. Widell has pursued a career in the social services for over 30 years and in the Ruidoso area since 2006. Ms. Widell is considered by many to be a beacon of service in the community.

Rained In? 
Here is a list of some movies made in New Mexico. 
Good diversions to take the mind away from gray, rainy weather, mud, flooding and leaks in the roof.
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Roswell FM (2013)
Comedy “The only normal guy at a paranormal talk radio station quits his dream profession and takes a higher paying, but soul crushing job, to pay for his oddball nephew's college tuition.”
Director: Stephen Griffin

The Lone Ranger (2013)
Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.
Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner
Director: Gore Verbinski

Bless Me, Ultima (2013) From the novel by Rudolfo Anaya.
A drama set in New Mexico during WWII, centered on the relationship between a young man and an elderly medicine woman who helps him contend with the battle between good and evil that rages in his village.
Stars: Luke Ganalon, Joseph A. Garcia, Miriam Colon | See full cast and crew
Director: Carl Franklin

Georgia O’Keefe
About American artist Georgia O'Keeffe and her husband photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
Stars: Joan Allen, Jeremy Irons, Ed Begley Jr.
Director: Bob Balaban

Paul (2011) This is a hilarious comedy about an alien and two sci-fi geeks. Filmed in part in Roswell, New Mexico. Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman. Directed by Greg Mottola

The Book of Eli (2010)
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Filmed in New Mexico, partly in Carrizozo.
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson
Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Lonely Street (2009)
A comedy with Jay Mohr, Robert Patrick, Directed by Peter Ettinger. Filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Missing ( (2003)
Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett.  Directed by Ron Howard. Filmed in New Mexico. Excellent acting, and a gripping action story.  An amazing film.

More New Mexico movies:
Red Sky at Morning, based on the Richard Bradford novel, Filmed in and around Santa Fe.
First Snow (2006) starring Guy Pearce. Mainly shot in Albuquerque.
Suspect Zero
No Country For Old Men
Young Guns I-II
Off The Map
3:10 To Yuma
Wild Hogs

Prefer to read on a rainy day? Here are some books by New Mexico authors and/or about New Mexico writers:

A Very Large Array: New Mexico Science Fiction and Fantasy
by Melinda M. Snodgrass (Editor)
Publisher: Univ of New Mexico Press

"Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1917-1950" by Lynn Cline
Includes both well- and lesser-known literary figures of New Mexico: Mary Austin, Witter Bynner, Willa Cather, Fray Angélico Chávez, Erna & Harvey Fergusson, Alice Corbin Henderson, Paul Horgan, Spud Johnson, Oliver La Farge, D.H. Lawrence, Haniel Long, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Raymond Otis, Lynn Riggs & Frank Waters
University of New Mexico Press

"A Woman's Place: Women Writing New Mexico" [2005] by Maureen Reed
Featuring the lives & work of Navajo writer & activist Kay Bennett; authors Mary Austin, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca & Cleofas Jaramillo; arts patron Mabel Dodge Luhan; and Pueblo Indian painter & author Pablita Velarde

"In Company: An Anthology of New Mexico Poets After 1960"
Edited by Lee Bartlett, V.B. Price & Dianne Edenfield Edwards
Featured poets include Rudolfo Anaya, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Witter Bynner, Robert Creeley, Joy Harjo, Kate Horsley, Demetria Martinez, N. Scott Momaday, Simon Ortiz, Arthur Sze, Nathaniel Tarn, Charles Tomlinson, Jay Wright, and the three editors
University of New Mexico Press

"Pláticas: Conversations With Hispano Writers of New Mexico" by Nasario Garcia
Featuring six contemporary New Mexico Hispanic writers – Rudolfo A. Anaya, Denise E. Chavez, Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, E.A. 'Tony' Mares, Orlando Romero & Sabine R. Ulibarri
Texas Tech University Press

"Santa Fe and Taos: The Writer's Era, 1916-1941" by Marta Weigle & Kyle Fiore, Illustrations by Willard F. Clark. Visiting and resident authors examined include Mary Austin, Witter Bynner, Willa Cather, poet Robert Frost, John Galsworthy, Spud Johnson, Oliver La Farge, D.H. Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, Haniel Long, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, and Thornton Wilder
Sunstone Press

"The Más Tequila Review" semi-annual of poetry based in Albuquerque, New Mexico - "Poetry for the rest of us" Edited by Richard Vargas

Find a huge list of New Mexico authors at: New Mexico Book Co-op Top 100 books by New Mexico Authors:

How Many Instruments Does Pete Davis Play If You Count Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Congas, Bongos, Trap Drums, Tuba and Voice? Oh, and Laptop!
Pete Davis, Musician and D.J.
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Pete Davis has been a D.J. and a musician in Ruidoso for 17 years, since his career in the military on Holloman Airforce Base brought him to the area.

Davis : “I grew up in Chicago. Some of my first memories are of the really fine South Chicago church choir music because my mother took me to church with her every sunday.  My mother also traveled to Jamaica frequently and would always bring back some new kind of percussion instrument for me to play with including congas and bongos and other percussion instruments. In our neighborhood, everyone would sit outside in the evening and play drums together. I watched and learned. Every Christmas, my parents would buy me a new instrument because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to stick with. I grew up singing and playing drums and guitar and a keyboard my parents bought for me.
When I was in high school, I wanted to play the saxophone, but the music director needed brass instrument players so he put me on the tuba for four years. I hated it. I finally quit that band, but I joined another one, when I met Vernon LLoyd. He taught me old funk bass guitar playing, the kind where you slap the side of the guitar as you play. We called our band the “Stereo Airy O’s”. I sang with that band, too.”
“My nephew had a tenor sax stored in his closet. I would pull it out and play on it. I watched how the other kids in the high school band played reed instruments. That’s how I learned to play sax a little though I don't play it professionally. I’ve been in a rhythm and blues band, a hip hop band, soul, country, blues, an Irish band and a classical concerto group.”

Stevenson: You’re a D. J. at Cree Meadows Country Club and at the Quarters night club. You also do weddings and private parties. What goes into preparing for such a variety of venues?

Davis: “I try to play what the people want. If it’s a wedding, I find out what kind of music is liked and then pick out songs in that vein. If it’s a club, I often ask for requests. When I see what kind of music makes the heads start bobbing, I know that’s the kind of music that will rock the crowd and get people on the dance floor. I used to actually count the beats per minute in a piece of music to pick the most danceable, but now it all comes as second nature to me.
When I D.J., I use a laptop to store and play the music and I have P.A. systems of various sizes to suit the size of the crowd. I sometimes use an MP3 player that allows me to merge music, sample and scratch, though I don’t do too much scratching. I also do the light shows myself…..and I am my own tech.” (laughs)

“I grew up on soul music and rhythm and blues, but I’ve come to appreciate all kinds of music. I play all kinds of music for my clients, whatever they like. In my private time I listen to a lot of contemporary jazz and alternative music.”

Stevenson: What bands are you playing with currently?

Davis: “I play rhythm guitar and do vocals and sometimes drums every Sunday at the Flying J Ranch with the “Praise Team” at the Church Out of Church. Once a month I play rhythm guitar, congas and sing at a show at Mountain Annie’s called Road Map, a family oriented concert and dance event and light show and I just did a live theatre event at the Old Mill with a group called “Spatula”. Sometimes a band will call me and say ”We need you”, and I run out and do a show. I practice before each new gig, though, especially if the instrument they want me to play is one I haven’t been playing recently.”

Stevenson: What’s the hardest part of being both a D.J. and a musician?

Davis: “Making sure all the equipment is in working order and ready to go and then packing and carrying all that equipment! Making sure the drum-heads are good, the strings are all there on the guitars.

The thing I love the most about music is that it really does bring people together. It’s a universal communication. And it’s healing. Sometimes people are depressed and the music lifts them. And it’s so amazing that all that music, all those sounds come from only seven notes!”

Ruidoso Antique Show -- August 23, 24, 25, 2013
At the Ruidoso Convention Center
Ruidoso Antique Show
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Arizona Antique Shows LLC is run by Wanda and Robert Jones.

Ms. Jones says: “This is really a mom and pop business, although we do 43 shows a year! The show in Ruidoso is always well received. Even during the down turn of the economy this show has been growing for sellers and buyers. Attendance for the Ruidoso show has gone up steadily for the past four years. The show in Ruidoso has been sponsored since its inception by the Ruidoso Lions Club, who are some of the hardest workers I have ever met.”

According to Jones the public can expect to see a well-rounded collection of quality antiques from the 1800’s through mid-century and more, valued at from ten dollars to ten thousand dollars. Some categories available will be: early Americana and mercantile; primitive; quilts; old dolls; early native American; western; post cards; paper ephemera; and military. There will be depression-glass and small furniture suitable for trailers and cabins; jewelry and more; too much to list. Dealers hail from all over including: Texas; New York; Oregon and the mid West.

What is the difference between an antique, a collectible and a vintage item? In 1930 the U.S. Government made a legislative tax decision that objects had to be at least 100 years old to be classified as antiques, in order to be admitted duty free into the U.S. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “antique” as “1: existing since or belonging to earlier times: ancient.” A collectible is an item with value that someone takes the time to collect. Collectibles are valued by rarity, condition, and the demand for that particular item. A vintage item can be anything “old” although technically the correct usage of the word vintage must be used with a year-- ie: “this item is vintage 1943”.  Many agree that an antique or collectible is whatever a person values it as.

Items stamped with a manufacturer or designer's mark are often worth more than identical pieces with no signature. With hand painted and hand crafted pieces, finding an artist's signature in addition to a manufacturer's mark is a boon.

A professionally trained appraiser, like those educated by the International Society of Appraisers can be helpful in determining the value of an antique.

Jones said: “We don’t have appraisers at the show. We tried it for a time, but not many people brought things for appraisal, so we discontinued it, however most of the dealers love to share their knowledge of antiques!”

According to Bill Allen of the Ruidoso Lion’s Club there will be brisket sandwiches, hot dogs, beverages, cookies and pies available for purchase. The Lion’s Clubs’ share of the proceeds from the show will go to provide eye care and glasses for the area needy.

Tickets: $4.00 -- Children under twelve free -- Advance tickets: Don W. Fowler: 512-413-0260

Ruidoso Convention Center
111 Sierra Blanca Dr., Ruidoso, NM  88345

Festive Summer Art Season Continues
Alto Artists Studio Tour ~ August 2,3,4 ~ 
21 Artists ~ Seven Sites ~ Three Days of Fun and Art
Gala preview party August 1- 5 pm to 7 pm at the Spencer Theatre with entertainment, cash bar, appetizers, silent auction.
Acrylic Painting by Linda Hand
By Rosalyn Stevenson

Artists, crafters, photographers and other creative types work hard all year to prepare for the open studios and art festivals of summer. This colorful and inspiring season continues with the 10th Anniversary Alto Artists Studio Tour.

This is a free, self-guided tour of the Alto, New Mexico art community. The public is invited to visit private studios and homes in this beautiful mountain community to view the creations of some of the region’s finest professional artists.

Hours for open studios are: 10 -5 Friday, 10-5 Saturday, and 11-5 Sunday

Participating artists in the Alto Artists Studio Tour are:
Linda Hand: Painter of New Mexico scenes; John T. Soden: Photographer of New Mexico scenes and commercial photography; Andrea Dante: Oils, acrylic, charcoal and India ink; Janet Alexander: Metal artist and jeweler; Sally Wimberly: paintings of New Mexico scenes in watercolors pastels and acrylics; Bob and Yolanda Espinoza: Artistic gourds; Deborah Christopherson: pendants bowls and plates, crosses, and art pieces in ceramic;  Zoë de Negri: jeweler; Jane Pattillo: jewelry; Steve Sabo: hand-turned wood bowls and vases; Madeleine Sabo: wood art and ceramics;  Linda Caperton: watercolor and acrylic, dye on silk paintings;  Robin Riggio: creating art with clay; Alyce Van Tussenbroek: Encaustic art;  Teresa Hughes: Ceramic art; Laury Reed: painting animals, landscapes; Marjorie Rhoda Petree: Artistic gourds; Bart Fischer:  acrylic paintings of landscapes, animals flowers; Renne C. Bradley: functional and decorative pottery;
Kathy Holman: mixed media sculpture. Details and photos for each of the artists are available on the Alto Artists Studio Tour website.

Maps for the tour are available at Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce, 720 Sudderth Drive -  and on the Alto Artists Studio Tour

Applications for artists who would like to participate in the studio tours next year are also available on the website.

Teresa Hughes 
Carrying On Ancient Clay Traditions
By Rosalyn Stevenson
Ceramic by Teresa Hughes

Teresa Hughes is a native of Bolivia where she learned the art of working with clay thirty years ago from the native Bolivian Aymara Indians who are descendents of the Incas.

Hughes says: “When I was growing up, I was fascinated by the miniature sculptures of the Aymara. I asked some of them to show me how to work with clay. They were very kind and instructed me without pay. There was no place to buy clay. I had to go to the mountain-side and dig the clay myself. The Indians taught me how to clean the clay and prepare it for making sculptures and utilitarian pieces like bowls, plates and vases.”

Hughes has lived in the United States for the past 23 years and moved to Ruidoso 18 years ago. From 1997 to 2007 Hughes had her own shop in Midtown, Ruidoso, selling her ceramic creations. She now has a studio in Nogal, near Ruidoso, where she makes pieces for sale through the three shows she does each year. Her favorite subjects for her clay creations are religious themes such as crosses and monks.  Mothers and children are another favorite theme.

Hughes will be showing her work at site number seven during the Alto Artists Studio Tours, August 2 thru 4. She also shows at the Christmas Jubilee in Ruidoso the first weekend of November and in Roswell at the Holiday Magic show, November 22 and 23.

Full maps of all participating Alto Artist Studio Tour artists can be picked up at the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce, 720 Sudderth Drive. 877-784-3676

Prize Winning Photographer Showing In Alto Artist Studio Tour 
John Soden’s Photo of Johnny Cash Wins Award 
Photo of Johnny Cash by John T. Soden
By Rosalyn Stevenson

In February of this year, John Soden’s photo of Johnny Cash, taken in 1971 at a concert at Southern Illinois University, won the Single Image Award in Black and White Magazine.

Black and White Magazine is billed as being for “Collectors of Fine Photography”, and sets the standard for much that transpires in the photo world.

John Soden’s studio will be open August 2, 3, 4 during the Alto Artists Studio Tour. Also showing at Soden’s studio will be Zoe De Negri, jeweler and Linda Caperton, silk artist.
The studio is located at 1086 State Highway 48, Alto, New Mexico. 575-336-2155

Desert Light Film Festival – A Big Hit
Youthful New Mexico Film Makers Display Creativity and Technical Savvy 
Samantha (3rd from L) receiving award for her film
The Sword of Arundel at the Desert Light Film Fest
By Rosalyn Stevenson

The Desert Light Film Festival, held on April 19, showcased over fifty films made by Middle and High School students. The films were presented and viewed at the Rahovec Theatre on the campus of NMSU in Alamogordo and at the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts also in Alamogordo. An awards ceremony was held at the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts.

The festival is presented each year by New Mexico State University, Alamogordo; the Otero County Film Office and the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts. Keynote speakers this year included Dr. Phil Lewis, Director, Creative Media Institute, New Mexico State University, and Ann Lerner, Film Liaison, City of Albuquerque. Also present was Jan Wafful, Otero County Film Liaison.

Organizers of the 2013 Desert Light Film Competition include Jan Wafful, Otero County Film Liaison; Omar Hamza, store manager for JC Penney; Bryan Yancey, ProTech division head at NMSU Alamogordo; Ranger Kathy Denton, Education and Interpretation specialist at White Sands National Monument; Laurie Anderson, Otero County Economic Development Council executive assistant; Christa Haynes, New York Life Insurance, Joan Griggs, festival director from NMSU Alamogordo; and Dr. Bruce Martin and Donna Cook, NMSU Alamogordo.

Sponsorship for cash prizes was provided by JC Penney.

Joan Griggs, director of Desert Light Film Festival, talked about how the festival has developed:

“In 2002, the Otero County Economic Development Council had the idea of starting an Otero County Film Office, as film was beginning to be a source of economic growth for the area. I took on the job of creating the film office. Many people contributed ideas, and we developed the idea of the Desert Light Film Festival to showcase middle and high school student films and the White Sands Film Festival to showcase other filmmakers. We wanted the festivals to raise awareness that we have a film office in Otero County.
The Otero County Film Office in conjunction with the New Mexico Film Office offers support in all aspects of filmmaking to any filmmakers wanting to film in New Mexico.

Through the years the White Sands Film Festival has grown into an international film festival. It is now held in Las Cruces. We continue to develop the Desert Light Film Festival here, in Alamogordo. This year we had 127 entries, from twelve schools, including two from Albuquerque, two from Santa Fe and one from the home schooling program.

Seminars were given on special effects makeup; editing using Adobe Premier Pro; pyrotechnic special effects; making films NOT for cinema; and insider information from ABQ film.

The films are shown on a movie theatre size screen using DVD disks, DVD player and an Eiki device to project the films. Something really new this year was the seminar on making films for virtual reality glasses and mobile phones and ipads.

The students learn filmmaking in the classroom at their respective schools. The school programs make cameras and editing software available to the students. Some judging criteria are provided to the students for the festival, but otherwise all of the concept and creation of the films is done by them.

As filmmaking is becoming more and more a part of New Mexico economic growth, we envision many of our young people trained and equipped to participate in all aspects of film making, from make-up to production.

It’s been wonderful developing the Desert Light Film Festival. People get stars in their eyes when you talk about film; kids, teachers, the community.

Everyone wants to come back. We could likely double the number of entrants next year and still be able to handle it here within our support structure.”

Cloud Riders Bring Heritage Days On Horseback To Old Lincoln
Lincoln Old West ReEnactors
By Rosalyn Stevenson

The Cloud Riders Equine Group started with six women gathering to ride horses on trail rides. The group has grown into over 148 members since close friends and founders Victoria Sage Leeyer and Annette Wood decided in November of 2012 to make a Facebook page inviting other horse lovers to join their group.

Leeyer, who likes to be called Sage, told this writer during a brief interview, that the name “Cloud Riders” came to her and the initial group of six women riders during a ride in Cloudcroft, New Mexico when they saw a sign in an old barn that had the words “Cloud Riders” carved into it. They wanted a name for their group and this, they felt, suited them.
Cloud Rider Debi Wilcox in re-enactment
in Historic Lincoln New Mexico

Leeyer and Wood had both been participants in a San Diego, California based group of horse back riding women who also did historical re-enactments and some movie appearances called, “Grand Ladies of The Old West”. They reconnected when both attended a re-enactment during “Billy The Kid Days” in historic Lincoln.

Leeyer was asked by Lincoln’s historic Dolan House owner Beverly Strauss and her husband to perform re-enactments. Leeyer agreed and added photo shoots for visitors complete with old time clothing and gear. Part of the fee paid by visitors for photos goes to a Heritage Days On Horseback Program and part goes to the “Relay For Life” a fund for cancer research, one of Leeyer’s favorite charities. Leeyer is a cancer survivor.

Leeyer and other members of the group now appear every third Sunday in Historic Old Lincoln as a part of Heritage Days On Horseback. They wear authentic old west clothing, ride their horses and perform old West re-enactments. The group has appeared in parades during “Christmas Ruidoso” and the Capitan Christmas Parade. Leeyer’s horses include two “paints”. Wood’s horses include Freesians and miniature horses that are a great hit with the children.

The Cloud Riders group invites all levels of horse back riders to join them in their trail rides and overnight camp outs and pot luck barbecues. Some members of the group have no horses and ride the horses of other members, or merely participate as horse lovers. The group schedules rides in a variety of places and rides in all kinds of weather. For more info and pictures and to get involved see their Facebook page: Cloud Riders of New Mexico.

Jaime Gieb ~ Renaissance Woman Brings Festival To Carrizozo 
Copper and Bronze Cross by Mike Gieb
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
By Rosalyn Stevenson
Jamie Gieb (Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
Jamie Gieb is the founder of the Carrizozo Renaissance Festival to be held at McDonald Park in Carrizozo on April 20 and 21.

The Shire of Ghillie Dhu in Carrizozo is home to the personally designed and created children’s clothing of Jamie Gieb and of her husband’s handcrafted jewelry, Celtic crosses and art. (9am – 5pm except Wednesday; Sunday 1pm – 5pm)

Ms. Gieb talks about how she came to create a Renaissance Festival in Carrizozo:

Jamie Gieb: I came to my love of the Renaissance Period and style through Music. I have degrees in music. I became fascinated by Arse Antigue music from the dark ages and Arse Nova music from the Renaissance period. Of course music overlaps and there are no clear delineations where one style ends and another begins. By studying these musical forms, I developed an interest in the people of the Renaissance period, how they lived and their social environment. This led to lifestyle choices for me: incorporating art and music into daily life with strong emphasis on the nuclear family and worship of God.

I play the violin; harp; cello; guitar; anything with strings; also the hammer dulcimer, flute and piano. I am a vocalist as well. I have performed opera and musicals. When I was in college, I presented a concert in English, French, German, Italian and Latin.

I had the idea for the Renaissance festival three years ago as there were no events taking place in spring. A few people got on the band wagon and now most of the community supports the festival; for example, recently a woman from the community stopped by to donate stick horses for the children to ride at the festival. Many people donate ideas and time.

We had 42 booths last year. We are still taking vendors who would like to participate this year. There will be food booths: turkey legs, sausage on a stick, corn on the cob, hand sized pies, beverages and more. The Ampgard re-enactors will be here, dressed in costumes, enacting battles, etc.

Artists and musicians will be at the festival. There will be a weaver giving demonstrations and artisans. If anyone wants to participate, we are looking for hand made items, nothing commercial. Musicians should be acoustic. Everyone should come dressed in Renaissance style costumes.

My husband, Mike Gieb, has created a Renaissance festival for the Globe theatre on the campus of the Odessa College in Texas in the past.

Mike makes hand hammered copper bracelets which he textures with hammers he crafted himself, different hammers for different textural effects. He also makes Celtic crosses. He uses three kinds of metal in each one to represent the Trinity: copper; brass; and German silver or sterling. Each tap of the hammer is accompanied by a word from the Lord’s Prayer. This is a style of prayer based on Saint Patrick’s repetitive prayer style. Copper bracelets and some of the Celtic crosses will be for sale at the festival.

The poster this year was drawn and designed by Coe Kitten, a Carrizozo resident artist.

The McDonalds Park in Carrizozo is the central part of the festival as parks were the central part of Renaissance festivals in the past. We will begin the day with an ecumenical service in the morning, a blessing of Joy for the day.

Art On Skin In Ruidoso
By Rosalyn Stevenson (Published in the Ruidoso Free Press, August 14, 2013)

Tattoo Art by Matthew Erskine
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)

From Left: Matthew Baca;
Matthew Erskine;Tre Garcia;
Derek Toohey (Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)

Tre Garcia, owner of Tre’s Tattoos, 1309 Sudderth, started doing tattoos at age fifteen. For the past nine years he has had a thriving tattoo business in Ruidoso. He says: “I run an upscale studio. Tatooing is not about outlaws and sailors anymore. Professionals are our biggest clients, a few more women than men. The women usually want something like whatever is trending on Pinterest or other online sources. We do all kinds of tattoos however. Professionals can wear shirts over the tattoo and still know they are making a statement on their body.”

Garcia employs two other tattoo artists, Derek Toohey and Matthew Erskine and has one apprentice, Matthew Baca.

New Mexico State requires that a tattoo artist have 1500 hours of apprenticeship before becoming licensed. Licensing curriculum includes sterilization of tools; preparing the skin and much more. Garcia says, “We spend a lot of time learning how to best interact with clients, too. This is a people business.” The three also attend tattoo conventions: Rock the Ink in Albuquerque; Texas Tattoo Expo and others, for inspiration and contact with other tattoo artists.

Matthew Erskine says: “I walked into a tattoo studio at age fifteen. I instantly knew that’s what I wanted to do. I loved the art, the studio environment, all of it.” He has worked in studios in Florida and Las Vegas, but says he prefers working with Garcia in Ruidoso.

Derek Toohey, called “D” in the studio, has been tattooing for fourteen years and at one time had his own studio in Alamogordo.

Stevenson: What is your favorite style?

Erskine: American traditional; bio mechanical; portrait; as long as it is a good clean piece (solid lines, solid saturation)

Tre: “Tre style”.

“D”: Realism; painterly, like an oil painting on skin.”

Stevenson: Who are your heroes in the tattoo world?

Tre: “The two guys I work with! I was busy and needed help and really good tattoo artists are not easy to find! These guys are the best!”

Stevenson: Who is the most famous person you have ever tattooed?

Erskine: “We’re not really all that star struck. We care about each one who is getting our art on their body! I’ve worked in places where I had contact with a lot of famous people. It isn’t that important to me.”

Stevenson: Where do your ideas come from?

Tre: “We are artists. We can instantly picture images and ideas. We also like to collaborate with clients’ ideas. We have books of images they can look at, but we prefer doing original art. We just pick up a marker and start drawing on the skin, then ink it in! Sometimes someone might come to us and say, ‘Just fill this area on my arm’. They might not know what the art is until we’re finished. They trust us and our art. And we say no to gang art or offensive art.”

“D”: “This job doesn’t end when we go home. We are always thinking about the art, drawing and coming up with new designs.”

Tres: “We have clients who have come in once a month for over a year to keep expanding on their body art. My favorite tattoo is a little guy with syringes stuck in his back. The guy who had this done got it to commemorate overcoming drug addiction. It reminds him every day of what he’s been through and what he has accomplished. Now he’s a successful professional. Another favorite is one family that has me do Geronimo’s face on men in their family when they come of age. I have done three brothers, two uncles,five nephews, all direct descendants of Geronimo.”

Before their tattoo begins each client fills out a medical disclosure form about allergies or medical conditions that may be pertinent. After-care of the new tattoo includes cleaning the area with water and anti-bacterial soap and using an anti-bacterial ointment or “Tat Wax” to cover the area. Healing, Tre says, takes up to two weeks. Detailed written instructions are provided to the client.

Tre: “We use the highest quality vegetable and mineral based inks available. We use pre-packaged sterile needles of various sizes from very thin to a broad style that is used for painterly brush like effects. All are placed into a disposable tube, grip combo. The depth and range of the needles is controlled by settings on a power supply machine. Intricate art may require the use of three or four different size needles during the inking process. The tattoo artist uses these needles as a painter uses brushes to outline and create detail.”

Stevenson: Tattoos used to have spiritual meaning for early tribal peoples. Do you think that still applies in some cases?

Tre: “Yes.” Erskine, “D” and Baca all agreed.

Tre: “I have the word “Faith” tattooed on my hand. It reminds me every day to have faith.”

World Class Artist Marc Cohen Offers Collection For Sale
Musical Instruments - Theatrical Memorabilia - Ethnic Treasures – Offered In Estate Sale 

By Rosalyn Stevenson (Published in the Ruidoso Free Press, May 28, 2013)

Marc Cohen spent 40 years in theatre in New York City.

From 1970 to 2009, the multi-talented Cohen, worked as stage manager, prop maker, set builder and all around assistant to Tom O’Horgan, famed director of Hair; Jesus Christ Superstar; Lenny; and Inner City to name a few.

While working on the sets of some of the most famous and innovative stage productions of the century, Cohen, under the tutelage of O’Horgan and renowned set designer Robin Wagner, learned skills and found inspiration for his own unique art form.

Using video, photography, collage and building skills, Cohen created his “Box Art”. Ranging in size from very small to large, the box art tableaux caught the imagination of collectors such as Hollywood actors Whoopi Goldberg and Arsenio Hall amongst others.

In 1996 the Israel Museum in Jerusalem honored Cohen with a two year show of his three dimensional installation on the subject of Pop Art. For one year of the featured showing the installation was toured through several other museums in Israel.

In January of 2004, Cohen was invited and participated in a show at Sothebys of London, titled: Outside In – A Week Of Art In The Box. This show catapulted Cohen’s box art into the arms of high profile collectors.

In 2006, Cohen and his friend of many years, Julia Danielle, a multi-faceted film actress, dancer and all around creative, became man and wife. A journey to find a retreat from the hustle and bustle of New York City led them to Carrizozo, New Mexico where, in 2007, Cohen purchased a warehouse / loft like space that had been a hardware store at one time.

During their stay in Carrizozo, the couple has explored and expanded their collaborations in video, photography and Cohen’s “Box Art”.  They also collaborated on a short video: “The Legend of Four” that incorporates local teens as actors. Cohen told this writer: “We wanted to work with some of the kids who don’t have a whole lot of places to go or things to do out here. We encouraged them not only in acting but also in videography. Now we see a lot of kids around here with cameras and video cameras. We hope our work with the kids will be part of the legacy we leave here.”

Cohen and his wife, Julia, are returning to the East Coast. Cohen said: “I would love to buy a farm not too far from a town with an old decaying theatre or movie building. I would love to put my energy into fixing it up and making it live again with new productions.”

Prior to their move, the couple is offering for sale some of their eclectic collection garnered over the years in theatre and the arts. Some of the treasures, bequeathed to Cohen upon the death of director Tom O’Horgan, will also be in the sale.

Cohen listed some of the items that will be for sale: A Steinway concert piano which will be sold for a fraction of it’s valued price; a musical gong from sixth century Japan; musical instruments too many to enumerate including wind instruments, string and percussion; a Persian harp; a 1920 Wurlitzer harp; gongs; musical triangles; an original movie card for “The Prince and the Pauper” featuring Errol Flynn; original posters from “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”; Louis 15th style bed; couches; chairs; eclectic furniture; arrow heads; theatre books; magic books; and many other items.

Said Cohen: “This sale is truly a collector’s treasure hunt. The public is invited. Come and have fun!”

Interview With Artist Extraordinaire, Newbern Taylor (Not His Real Name)

By Rosalyn Stevenson©

[The artist called "Newbern Taylor" is an enigma. He changed his name in the early 70's to help distance himself from his chaotic early career. Today he is a well known artist in Southern New Mexico, famous for his drawings of faeries.]

Newbern Taylor is easy to spot with his tall, lanky, countenance towering heads above others. Always joking, bantering and on the move, he’s a hard man to pin to the porch for an interview. He very kindly consented to visit with me Saturday afternoon.

Seating ourselves outside on my patio, Newbern told me about himself, speaking quickly as I jotted madly to get down the basics. Following is the conversation as I was able to capture it.

“I feel like I’m a bundle of clothes in a dryer, just spinning around and around in a jumble”, he tells me. “I’ve known so many people and traveled all over the country, making art and re-inventing myself, that I hardly know who I am anymore.”

“I was home schooled as a child. My parents were beatniks. I never had any art training, but I lived in La Jolla, California and I grew up by the ocean. I started drawing flames and other art on surf-boards. The surfers loved my work and I got more and more requests for art. My parents and I traveled to various places including Havana and Newbern, North Carolina. That’s where I got my name. Newbern. It’s not my real name….I changed my name because I like the sound of Newbern. So I had these various influences as a child. The grandparents in North Carolina, the sounds and color of Havana and Florida, the surf culture.”

“From drawing on surfboards I went to doing tattoos. Friends would give me a design and ask me to draw it and tattoo it on them. After a while of doing this, I started doing my own designs for tattoos. I lived near San Diego, which is a Navy town, so I had lots of guys wanting my tattoos. I was also designing fiber glass custom cars for individual clients. Having worked with fiber glass on surf boards this was natural for me. I see auto design as sculpture. Sculpture that you can sit in……and drive away in!”

“Through friends, I met Rick Griffin, the famous poster artist of the sixties. He liked what I was doing and told me I should go to San Francisco to do art. I did and I met Bill Graham (the famous concert promoter of the sixties) and started working for him. I also worked for Electra Records and others. I’ve done over 200 rock posters, including art for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater and others.”

At some point during this period Newbern joined the air force and became a medic. He also worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity as a photographer, and for Volunteers in Service to America as a photographer, documenting images of poverty for congressional review.

When he got out of the military he went to New York where he did fashion illustrations, using a female pseudonym to shake up the system. There were so few women working in the field that when a female name appeared on an illustration, it caused an industry shock.

There was a period of underground movie making, culminating in the creation of a film titled: “Gwendolyn”.

Along the way, Newbern designed many popular ikonic toys and artifacts. An example is the “Alarmadillo”, a brightly colored alarm clock in the form of an armadillo, which he marketed and sold finally to a large manufacturing company.

He was commissioned to do the art for the very first McDonalds Happy Meal package.

He was commissioned to do a portrait of Ray Crock, the billionaire McDonald’s entrepeneur.

He taught art at North Carolina State University for three years.

“I have done so much for so long with so many different people that I was feeling like I was drowning in a sea of reference”, he tells me.

“I'm seeking a more personal inner self, I think”, he says.

“I returned to Key West not too long ago, hoping to find what I was looking for. I had lived and worked there in the past, but it's changed so much. It’s all fiesta time now. Not what I want.”

“I went to Roswell recently thinking to find creative people there. I was disappointed. I just started hitchhiking, not really knowing where I was going, and a man picked me up who was going to Ruidoso. We passed through Capitan (New Mexico) and I saw Oso Art Gallery, and I thought…….wow, this tiny little rural village and there is this art gallery. So I stopped to check it out. I met Gregg Russell and he immediately put me to work painting murals in the gallery. I’ve met the kindest people here. And the artists! Everywhere!” Here, Newbern’s eyes begin to glow and he looks up at the turquoise sky.

He starts talking at machine gun speed, describing things and people he’s seen here. “I want to paint that”, he says, talking about a man with an ancient face wearing red and yellow cowboy boots. And the light here…….look at those shadows on that wall……and I’ve found incredible things at the thrift store here……enough to start a home……and I have a place now down by the creek, beautiful……”.

“I think I’ve found what I’m looking for here”, he says.

“Yes, I know what you mean,” I say to him. “It was the same for me when I saw this place”

We sit quietly for a minute, sharing this sense of having found roots here in Lincoln County. Here where one can find a more personal inner self in the fresh mountain air, and the quiet country nights, where artists and craftsmen have gathered to live and work doing what it is that they love.

Welcome, Newbern! Drop by to chat anytime. 

©Rosalyn Stevenson All Rights Reserved

Madeleine Sabo in her wood shop

Vision Impaired Artist Creates Beauty From Wood and Clay

By Rosalyn Stevenson 
(Published in the Ruidoso Free Press, June 25, 2013)

Madeleine Sabo creates beautiful objects of art, motivates others and participates in year round art shows. She has been featured in the international magazine of the American Association of Wood Turners, New Mexico Magazine and others. She has not let her diminished eyesight slow her down. In the following interview she talks about her art process and her many projects.

Stevenson: How and when did you lose your eyesight?
Hand Turned Vase
by Madeleine Sabo

Sabo: Five years ago I contracted Merca, a life threatening blood disease. No one knows how I got it. I spent two weeks in the ICU, a total of about three weeks in the hospital. When I came out I had lost my sight. After four major surgeries I now have some blurred vision in my left eye and I can see a little color.

Stevenson: So you make artistic wooden vessels by feel? Tell me about that.

Sabo: I work on a lathe that turns at about 1200 to 1500 rpm. The wood lies horizontally on the lathe and I shape it by using a very sharp tool called a bowl gouge. I also use a skew tool and parting tools when needed. I stop once in awhile during the process to feel the wood.
            Before starting, I mark the wood with a black felt tipped pen. I can still see some variation of light and dark, so the black line tells me where I want the narrowest and the fullest part of the piece to be.
            My husband has been my rock. He helped me set up my tools so I know where everything is. Each day when I go into the wood shop, I set up the wood myself, turn the lathe on and begin.
            The American Association of Wood Turners did a story in their international magazine about how my husband and I learned by trial and error how to set up a studio for the sightless. It works really well for me now and I hope the article helped others.
            The work is a very serendipitous process. I get the ideas for my pieces from the wood itself. Right now I’m making a 17 inch tall vase from an 18 inch long piece of Arizona Cypress that came from a tree recently felled by high winds in Carrizozo. I can feel the bark and see the light and dark of the grain in a piece of wood if I put my good eye really close to the piece, and I use those things in the designs.
            My husband also turns wood, and we try to use as much New Mexico wood as possible. New Mexico has plenty of Juniper which has a very warm tone and is easy to turn. We also use New Mexico Maple, Box Elder, Pistachio and Salt Cedar. The Box Elder has beautiful pink tones if grown next to water. The Salt Cedar has a wonderful reddish color with lots of designs in the grain if grown next to water. The Pistachio has black grain.
            I started working in wood in 2002. I also did painting before my sight loss; Southwest landscapes and western themed paintings in acrylic.
            In 2006, 2007 and 2008 I won Best of Show for two of my wood vessels and one painting at the G.F.W.C., the General Federation of Women’s Clubs State Conventions.
            Some of my pieces have turquoise or other embellishments inlaid either in a natural crack in the wood or where I have cut a groove in the wood to make a design. My husband helps with the gluing after I determine the design.
            Each piece I make is hand sanded by me on the lathe in a five-step process going from coarse to fine sandpaper and then to steel wool. After sanding, the piece is given three coats of Watco Oil. I then buff each piece using the Beall Buffing System. This is done on a wide wheel. I use three sets of buffers. Finally the piece is given a coat of special wood wax to seal the color of the wood.
            I’ve also started working in clay. I make open bowls with maple leaf patterns. Of course clay one can really feel.
            Sometimes it can be frustrating working in the wood shop, but overall it is so wonderful to take a piece of wood that is just a big piece of a tree and turn it into a beautiful piece of art. I get rewarding feedback from people who see my work and I value that. And then they buy a piece and that is so wonderful! I’ve had visitors from Texas who came to visit my wood shop because someone else had told them about me.

Stevenson: You’re showing work at the High Mesa Studio Tour on April 27 and 28. Tell me about your involvement with this tour.

Sabo: I organized the entire tour, advertising, everything. I delegate, and all the artist participants in the tour have worked together as a team to make this happen.
            I’m also doing the Art Loop in July; the Alto Artists Studio Tour also in July; the Christmas Jubilee in November and my husband and I have a show together in the gallery at the Roswell Museum in October.
            I started the Lincoln County support group for the site impaired. We meet once a month.
            I also give motivational talks for the New Mexico Wood Turners Association and for other groups who might benefit from my experience.

Stevenson: What inspirational influences have helped you?

Sabo: I have a motto—A.P.S. It stands for: Accept—Patience—Stubborn. Accept what you cannot change, be Patient with your self and be Stubborn.
            I tell people: I am a wife, a mother, an artist, and oh, by the way I am blind. Life may not be the party you thought it would be, but go ahead and dance anyway! And don’t ever give up.

The Second Baptism by Peter Rogers
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)
Famed Artists Peter Rogers and Jerrold Donti Flores Exhibit Work In Capitan, New Mexico - August 10, -- 18, 2013

By Rosalyn Stevenson (Published in the Ruidoso Free Press, August 7, 2013)

It was the last wish of Virginia Watson-Jones that Peter Rogers and Jerrold Donti Flores stage an exhibition of their art at what was her home in Capitan, New Mexico. Jones, a sculptor, writer, teacher, activist and supporter of the arts, passed away in January of 2013.

A resident of Capitan for several decades, Watson-Jones earned her B.A. and B.F.A. degrees from Loyola University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She attained her M.A. and M.F.A. degrees at Texas Women's University, culminating in the 1986 publication of her book, “Contemporary American Women Sculptors”. Watson-Jones also published: “Lincoln County Arts” in 1999, a book of Lincoln County artist profiles and bios.
The Gap by Jerrold Donti Flores
(Photo: Rosalyn Stevenson)

Some of Watson-Jones sculptural pieces and drawings will be on display during the August exhibit along with six never before shown works by Peter Rogers and new sculptures by Jerrold Donti Flores.

Peter Rogers is an internationally acclaimed artist and member of the legendary Wyeth – Hurd family of New Mexico artists. He was born in London where he studied at St. Martin's School of Art. In 1957 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. In1963 he married Carol Hurd, daughter of the painters, Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth Hurd and began painting and living on the Hurd's ranch in San Patricio, New Mexico, where he continues to live and work.

Rogers work as a painter has been largely divided between major commercial commissions and his passion and life’s work, a series of major works in both painting and writing, titled together: “The Quest”.

Major commissions by the artist include murals for the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company and the Anaconda Mining Company: 1.) mural depicting the development of Prudhoe Bay and the North Slope oil fields in Alaska; 2) mural for the Anaconda boardroom in Denver of the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana; 3.) mural of the Cananea Pit, another copper mine in the state of Sonora in northern Mexico for the ARCOMEX offices in Mexico City.

Rogers was also commissioned to paint a mural for the Texas Tech Museum in Lubbock and a mural depicting the history of Texas for the State Archives and Library Building in Austin. Because of the popularity of this latter thirteen foot by thirty-five foot curved mural, Rogers was made an Honorary Citizen of Texas. In Lincoln County Rogers’ famed mural of Billy the Kid can be viewed at the Lincoln County Heritage Trust Museum.

His paintings are in numerous private collections, notably that of Roy Anderson, oil magnate as well as other notables. He periodically shows new work at his studio in San Patricio.

From June 18, 2011 - January 24, 2012, the Roswell Museum and Art Center (RMCA) in Roswell, New Mexico, honored Rogers with a comprehensive retrospective. The exhibit was titled: Peter Rogers: A Painter's Progress, curated by Andrew John Cecil and supported in large part by Donald B. Anderson, founder of the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art also located in Roswell, New Mexico.

“The results of Rogers' artistic search have produced the evocative Quest paintings, (Rogers’ lifes work and passion), and his book, “A Painters Quest, Art as a Way of Revelation” (Bear and Company, 1987) that explores and defines the conceptual basis associated with his artistic and spiritual vision…… Rogers' work - the literary and visual - has a similar disposition to that of visionary artist and poet William Blake (1757-l827). Both created art that is symbolically rich, prophetic, and infused with mystical undercurrents. Both Blake and Rogers refer to visions as a source of inspiration. A personal, spiritual philosophy also figures prominently in the voice of each artist.” Laurie J. Rule, Director Roswell Museum and Art Center, from “Peter Rogers: A Painter's Progress Exhibition Catalogue”.

Rogers says on his web site: “I want to express my most sincere thanks to Virginia Watson Jones of Capitan. It was she who first suggested that I ought to have a retrospective show at the Roswell museum. Without her persistence, and Andrew John Cecil's enthusiastic response, I doubt that this would ever have happened.” Some of Rogers’ works is on permanent display at the museum.

Jerrold Donti Flores had the first show of his paintings in 1962. The show sold out and was the beginning of a sterling career as a painter.

Flores paintings evolved into what has come to be called “Precisionist” style and from there into a near photo-realism style. His works have been curated by the De Young Museum, the Walker Museum and the Berkley Art Center which has sometimes been touted as “THE” center for avant garde art and also by the famed Pace Gallery in San Francisco, to name a few.

For some time Flores was under exclusive contract to the Pomeroy Galleries, a sister company of the Bechtal Corporation. His work has been collected by celebrities and notables, among them Steven Swiggs the founder and CEO of the Fairmont Hotels.

Flores was art director for the Paradise Ballroom in Los Angeles, an eclectic meld of event venue, music, fashion and art showcases.

Flores is also noted for having been one of the members of the first urban commune in the United States, “Project One”. Peopled by young intellectuals and professionals in the visual arts, music, literature and medicine, the commune achieved fame when the Wall Street journal spotlighted it with full coverage.

Flores now lives in Capitan, New Mexico where he has been experimenting and creating in ceramic and mixed medium sculptures for the past 14 years. He specializes in developing and formulating his own proprietary glazes in order to give his designs the fine art look he is after. Several of his recent pieces will be on display during the August exhibit.

The exhibit of Rogers, Flores and Watson-Jones work is a rare opportunity for the public to view these works and to meet Peter Rogers and Jerrold Danti Flores. Anyone interested in New Mexico artists should plan to attend.