May 28, 2015

My art workshop is finished and I’m actually moved in!  (See picture above.  Note that it’s now called a “workshop”.  It’s been promoted from “shed”.)   It seems like it has taken forever, waiting for this or that to be completed.  But now I can step off the back porch, down a short walkway, and into my cozy little insulated shop to do work I can’t do in the house.  I now have space and a place to assemble frames, and to spray finishing and UV sprays and let works dry when it’s raining.  (And it looks like El Nino will be blessing us the rest of the year so it’s just in time!)

It’s not a big space, it’s only 8′ x 14′,  but it’s freedom for me — I’m no longer confined by the whims of wind and rain or the limitations of my in-house 6′ x 12′ overcrowded loft work area, half of which is filled with art papers and half the remainder with  paints, plant presses, and completed artwork still in crude Hobby Lobby frames.

Already, though, I’m not the only one using the workshop.  Fortunately, the other occupant is a cottontail bunny that uses the still open underside of the building as a place to hide from my 11 month old kuvasz puppy, so he (or she?) isn’t crowding me.

Thanks to my new space, I’m nearly ready for a show at the New Mexico Cancer Center that opens in June.  I will have 10 pieces on exhibit, alongside the works of some 20 other New Mexico artists.  I’m told it is the biggest exhibit of contemporary art in New Mexico, so I’m honored.  In the e-mail requesting my participation, the curator called my work “stunning”.  She said “You have beautiful and unusual pieces, unlike artwork that I’ve had in the shows before.”   That was very nice to hear.

Here in New Mexico, there has been an expectation that one should paint New Mexico landscapes, or flowers,or old churches, or adobe houses (which few people actually live in now);  in short the kind of art, that tourists love to buy and take back home with them to California or New York or wherever, or that newcomers to the state want to decorate their New Mexico homes with. My kind of art, and that of a number of other “oddball” artists who don’t “do” New Mexico genre, or who use non-traditional materials or techniques, have often been kind of sidelined.  But that is fast changing.  We “oddballs” are  coming out of the shadows now and taking our place among New Mexican artists, with some even gaining national and international attention. It all makes for a much more varied, interesting and stimulating art scene.

I invite you all to come to the Opening Reception for the new exhibit on June 14, 4-7 pm at the New Mexico Cancer Center,  4901 Lang Avenue, NE, Albuquerque, NM  87109.   Thirty five percent of sales will be donated to the  New Mexico Cancer Center to help families of out-of-town cancer patients stay locally and provide that critical emotional support during treatment.  If you can’t make it to the reception, you can still make arrangements to see the exhibit at times other than the art show opening:  Contact Paul Sanchez (pauls@nmohc.com or 828-3791) or Alexandria Tavarez (alexandriat@nmohc.com 828-3791), to make arrangements.