Friday, June 26, 2015

Building a Community Through the Arts

With the closing of Angel Fire’s two galleries artists in the Moreno Valley formed the Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico to seek and support venues and opportunities to display the work of artists on this side of Wheeler Peak. The 30 plus artists found support in the Village of Angel Fire’s Visitors Center. But a venue to hang work is only a fraction of the issue for arts in Moreno Valley.

Paintings and sculpture and pottery are just one aspect of the arts. There is theater, music, poetry readings, and workshops for young and old. Angel Fire was once alive with all those arts. The Angel Fire Repertory Theater Society put on performances every summer from 1980 to 1994. They persisted in bringing theater to the locals and visitors even when they had their theater space sold out from under them they moved to a 40 x 60 foot tent. Arts are persistent and in 1999 the Angel Fire Mountain Theater brought Texas Tech productions every summer. But always to someplace new. With the support of the Moreno Valley Arts Council they adapted performances to the barn at East Moreno Ranch, the Business Center, Cove arts Center, Angel Fire Resort Children’s Ski School to list a few.

Be it theater or music or visual arts or workshops for young and old there has always been a scramble, sometimes at the last minute, for a space or a reliable temporary venue to list in advertising or area calendars of events. Without a permanent space it is hard to know six months in advance where the Missoula Children’s Theatre will be held. The Community Center was suppose to be a solution but its focus is now primarily on sports. Artsfest has been relocated due to calendar conflicts and the once annual quilt show is no more. Groups like the Quilting Quild, Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico (AGNNW), the Angel Fire Garden Club, and MVAC are constantly looking for just meeting space.

Julia Margaret Brigham, well known painter, has lived in the valley for 27 years. She was a member of the Angel Fire Repertory Theater and is now a member of the Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico. Julia Margaret says, “Angel Fire has always lacked community and places where you can build community. We need the infrastructure to build community. And community builds the economy.”

Angel Fire is a new town surrounded by very old towns concerned with not dying. The Angel Fire Resort and Ski Area was opened in 1965 at the Cieneguilla Creek head waters. What is now the Village of Angel Fire was just a collection of support businesses for tourists at the foot of the mountain. It was incorporated in 1986. Historically few people actually lived in the Village year round. Landowners with roots are south into Black Lake settled in 1860's or north toward Eagle Nest. The economy was totally based on the seasonal activities of the resort. In the US Census of 2010 the population of the village was 1216 with an additional 800 seasonal residents.

When the AGNNM began seeking a place for workshops in the arts for the summer it partnered with MVAC.  MVAC is celebrating 35 years of assisting other art based organizations to grow and establish themselves. It fostered Music From Angel Fire now beginning its 32nd season. And established Angel Fire ArtsFest which will be 34 this year. The arts events are older than the Village. And yet they have no permanent home outside of a post office box. Long time residents will know even the post office has constantly sought infrastructure until lately. Linda Trujillo, a MVAC board member and a resident of the valley for 35 years says, “I have seen an acute need for a location to hold events.  Missoula Children's Theater has performed for at least that long in the ski base lodge, old country club and various school buildings.  Art shows and musical performances were held wherever space could be obtained, usually limiting seating to a minimum.  Kids art programs have been cancelled because the schools can't use teaching time for art programs and there is no other facility to hold them.”

Aware of these problems, the board of MVAC decided to purchase a place where the arts would not be kicked out or scheduled over. A permanent home for the arts, all arts, would provide the infrastructure for artists, be they painters, musicians, dancers or poets to interface with people of all ages interested in arts of all kinds. “It would build a cohesive community for the youngest to the oldest,” says Carol Rupp, long time resident of the resort.  And, as many towns have already proved, build the economy.

Infrastructure takes capital and so MVAC board voted, with the support of other arts groups to begin a campaign to raise funds for the acquisition of “Our Very Own Permanent Home” for the Arts to serve not just Angel Fire but the broader community of Moreno Valley. Through matching funds and future grants for expenses and maintenance Angel Fire could have a key piece of infrastructure to become a real community. An Arts Activity Center would provide a focus for locals and part time residents as well as tourists from Black Lake to Eagle Nest.

Just Picture, says Trujillo, “a space to hold theater performances, kids art classes, art workshops, musical performances.  Wouldn't you want to come?

A Permanent Home for the Arts in Angel Fire 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Our Dream - An Arts Activities Center

Backside of the Mountain

I am one of the artists who live on the wrong side of the mountain. Taos, known for its arts, artists and art galleries is on the other side of that mountain. We are not allowed to enter their shows or be considered for their galleries or exhibits. We are the Cinderellas. But we have wonderful artists and a dedicated arts council (Moreno Valley Arts Council), the Artistic Vistas and Treasures Art Trail and the Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico. We just have no home outside of our cluttered studios and exhibit space graciously provided by the Angel Fire Visitor's Center. We beg, and borrow workshop space for children and adults; residents and visitors. We hunt for space for exhibits, fairs, and competitions. MVAC does the same for its children's theatrical groups and musicians it brings in for the enrichment of the community.

Work by Jennifer Caven

We take our art on the road like Jennifer Caven, who does 18 art fairs around the country.

Bob Cat by Carol Rupp

Or we accept every offer we get to hang our work in local businesses or the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce. Or we open our studios to visitors we hope can find us even when Google Maps has it wrong.

Janet Sailor of Gallery and Gifts

Pottery by JoAnne DeKeuster of Enchanted Circle Pottery
Loretta LaMothe 

Lost Souls at Binford-Bell Studio

This is just a small sample, but we have the artists. Very talented artists on the backside of the mountain. And most of us out of necessity have developed a marketing that works for better or worse. What we lack is ample space to give workshops and hold events and have meetings. We are constantly asked by clients and visitors if we give lessons. Depending on the size of our studios most can handle one or two. Some are working out of suitcases and closets. And there are workshops we would also like to take. Artists from other places we would like to invite in to give a workshop which locals and visitors alike can participate in.

We are tired of running to the other side of the mountain. We are a viable and creative community and we need a home.

The MVAC is launching a campaign to secure funds establish a permanent location for them and the arts they support outside a post office box. An Arts Activity Center in Angel Fire to be a creative space for all the communities on our side of the mountain - Angel Fire, Black Lake, Eagle Nest, Cimarron - a central location for all seeking creative activities.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Moving into Year Three

Back Wall during December Exhibit

The Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico is moving toward year three of its loose affiliation. We have lost a couple members because they have moved out of New Mexico. Photographer Deborah Binford Baker is back in Texas. And water colorist Shirley Ellingboe moved to I believe Michigan. Jeweler Jessica Duke is now showing photography at our exhibits.

But we have also gained some new members. Stuart Hamilton joined our number with his wonderful modern approach to the landscape.

Stuart Hamilton

And Raton artist Carl Swanson joined us with his great western acrylics.

Carl Swanson

I am busy trying to gather bios and photographs from our membership so I can update the web pages that follow the blog. It is easier to herd cattle than artists.

Please check out our fan page, New Mexico Artists on FaceBook.  There are a lot of exciting things happening this summer for our membership. Everyone is currently busy entering their best work into the Music From Angel Fire Program cover competition. And the guild will be hosting a MFAF Art Competition Show in August. It will feature the work of the artists who entered the competition.

And check back here in the next couple weeks because I will have the pages updated with information on our new members.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

All About Flowers

Photography by J. Binford-Bell, paintings by Loretta LaMothe, jewelry by Jessica Duke and pottery by JoAnne DeKeuster.

The Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico is just wrapping up its first year of exhibits and the Angel Fire Visitor's Center. And in honor of the Angel Fire Garden Club this exhibit is all about flowers.

Photography by Janet Sailor and J. Binford-Bell, paintings my Monique Mountain and Loretta LaMothe

Photography by Deborah Binford Baker

Watercolor paintings on cradled board by J. Binford-Bell

Center painting by L. Martin Pavelitch and paintings on both sides by Shirley Ellingboe

Giclee Prints and original painting by Carol Rupp

Bowl and Vase by Enchanted Circle Pottery

Photographs by Janet Sailor

Photograph by Janet Sailor and watercolor by Julianne Allen

Watercolor by Julianne Allen

Ceramic creations by JoAnne DeKeuster

Look for us on Facebook at Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico and on the Artistic Vistas and Treasures Art Trail and at the Angel Fire Visitors Center

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The October Exhibit

Photography by J. Binford-Bell and Embossed Metal piece by Sherry Wolf

This is our second exhibit and we had it so quickly after the first because of the expansion in membership. This exhibit will hang until the middle of November. We will not always be changing out work this frequently nor will every exhibit include all the work of all members. In the future look for more focused exhibits with three or four artists and maybe even a theme. It has been suggested that the July exhibit be flowers in support of the Angel Fire Garden Club.

Photography by Janet Sailor, Aspens prints by Carol Rupp, photography by Yvonne O'Brian

Watercolors by Julianne Allen and photography by Steve Knight

Or perhaps we need to center an exhibit around a particular media like photography or watercolors or oil painting. We are gaining quite a few photographers but some media like metal smithing is unique as in the work by Sherry Wolf.

Oil Painting by Shirley Ellingboe with Sherry Wolf's unique compositions

Photography by Deborah Binford Baker, oil pastel by Jennifer Cavan and pottery by JoAnne DeKeuster

We also have the works of L.Martin Pavletich, Monique Mountain, Jessica Duke, and Cindy Sprott on exhibit at the Angel Fire Visitor's center. Check out the center and our member pages on this blog. Art is always better viewed in person.

Monday, September 24, 2012

We Are Official

Reception Brochure and glass by Cindy Sprott

I love it when a plan comes together and especially during those times when you were not even aware you had a plan. At least not to begin with. Our first ever meeting was very exploratory. We adjourned with a promise to explore the possibilities. And yesterday, September 23, 2012, it culminated in our first event.

For us it was celebratory as we realized that in a few short weeks we had put together a membership of 26 artists and growing. And an exhibit featuring 18. We have approximately 15 with a presence here on this site on the Members I, II, and II tabs. And I took photos of our newer members yesterday to help them in getting the requirements for me to post them. Amazing just how many artists stay behind the camera.

Carol Rupp on the left facing camera and Jimmy Linton in the background on the left
The guild was originally their idea.

Jeweler Jessica Duke, glass maker Cindy Sprott, and Shirley Ellingboe in deep discussion

On right Steve Knight, photographer, and Sherry Wolf, metal smith, talking to two of our visitors
They are standing in front of the work by Carol Rupp

Art collectors and people just considering the purchase of one or more pieces of art want to feel they are friends with the artist or artists. When art is finally hanging on the wall they want to relate to their friends the experience of buying it and what they learned from the artist about the work. That was how art fairs began in the 1970's.

Now art tourism is becoming more and more popular. Tourists want to go to places where they can meet artists and view a wide variety of art. More and more want to take workshops to learn more about the creative process and nurture the artist within themselves. Watch this site for future events including receptions and workshops. Below is a selection of photographs not previously shared about our current exhibit. It will be up through the end of September and then a new exhibit will take its place.

Photograph by Janet Sailor, top, and paintings by L. Martin Pavletich bottom

Photographs on canvas by Yvonne O'Brian

Black and white photograph by Deborah Binford-Bell and oil pastels by Jennifer Cavan

Oil paintings by Shirley Ellingboe and photographs by Yvonne O'Brian

Ceramic sculpture by JoAnne DeKeuster

Back wall with work by Steve Knight, Jessica Duke, Carol Rupp, JoAnne and Kevin DeKeuster,
and Deborah Binford Baker

Glass by Cindy Sprott

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

And in the beginning

Exhibit at Angel Fire Visitors Center

Angel Fire, New Mexico and the surrounding communities of Eagle Nest, Black Lake and Cimarron, and the miles of highway connecting them and Taos, New Mexico are filled with art studios and little galleries and  artists working away in the beauty that is northern New Mexico. There are not enough galleries in the area to represent us and Taos literally will not let us play (you have to be a Taos county resident or represented by a Taos gallery to enter exhibits and shows).

Artistic Vistas and Treasures Art Trail was begun with the help of the State of New Mexico Arts Council and Moreno Valley Arts Council to link studios and galleries in the area, but it did not help the small struggling artist without an open studio. And so we decided to help ourselves.

Springing from a small meeting the summer of 2012 to see what we could do to highlight the number of artists beyond Taos, the Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico was loosely formed. We now have approximately 20 members and are still growing. Our exhibit at the Angel Fire Visitors Center displays the varied works of 17 artists including Jennifer Cavan, Katherine McDermott, Jacqui Binford-Bell, JoAnneDeKeuster, Jessica Duke, L. Martin Pavlitch to just name a few of the better known of our members.

We are having a meet and greet reception Sunday, September 23rd from 2 to 4 at the Angel Fire Visitors center. And these pages will be developed to display the works and information about our members. As well as feature new exhibits and events and workshops on this blog.

Work of Sherry Wolf

Work of L.Martin Pavlitch