PHOTO: BILL DIVEN
Dawn Wilson Enoch wears one of her contemporary
prayer bead necklaces while posing in front of her painting
Keeper of the Desert Heart.
Signpost artist of the month: Dawn Wilson Enoch
Bridging the spirit
Success came early to artist Dawn Wilson Enoch, but with a spiritual cost.
Fresh out of college with a degree in fine art, she quickly became known for cover art on fantasy and science-fiction novels. She was drawn to those literary forms as an escape during her teens, and that world of artists, authors, and readers welcomed her.
“It's a huge subculture where misfits go to fit in,” she said, but she quickly discovered the limitations of cover art, essentially advertising restricted to two-thirds of the page with publishers expecting it to be sexy.
Success on the surface masked a crisis brewing beneath. “It just wasn't feeding my soul,” Enoch said.
But soon her large paintings began dazzling judges, until she found herself the guest of honor at the World Fantasy Convention.
“It's really a weird sensation to have someone come up and ask you for your autograph, and I'm just twenty-something,” Enoch said. From that peak, she describes the next stage as “crash and burn,” followed by a spiritual journey now well into its second decade.
“I never really left art entirely, but there were periods of not doing much while I was healing myself,” she continued. Along the way she studied and began to share with others shamanic practice, the works of psychiatrist Carl Jung, crystal healing, aroma therapy and, most recently, flower essences. Enoch also developed an interest in the adornments worn in old cultures. All those forces combined in recent years as she returned intensely to painting with pastels and oils, creating art dolls and making jewelry while establishing herself as a healer.
“Art to me has become a spiritual practice,” Enoch said. “The pieces I do are very personal to me.”
One form she calls contemporary prayer beads, necklace- and bracelet-size strings of glass and stone, some of it ancient and imported. To those she adds translucent beads she makes in a thirty- to forty-step process from natural and polymer clays infused with soil from special places like Sedona, Utah canyons, and the Santuario de Chimayó.
“It's all about bridging the spirit and helping others do that,” she said, adding that she has begun workshops to teach others how to make prayer beads.
Her recent work in pastels reflects the starkness of the desert she first discovered as a child in Delaware reading Arizona Highways. The route from there through California brought her to Placitas eight years ago.
“Most of my inspiration comes from the desert,” Enoch said. “I need it around me all of the time.”
Enoch currently displays prayer beads at El Portrero Trading Post in Chimayó, jewelry at the Blue Fish Gallery in Taos, and medicine bags at Keshi Gallery in Santa Fe. Her studio, open by appointment by calling 771-0717, will be a stop on the annual Placitas Studio Tour May 7-8.
Her work can be seen in this month’s Signpost Featured Artist Gallery.
Rockin' R Gallery celebrates one year
The Rockin' R Gallery will throw itself a birthday party on April 28 and 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. There will be cake and refreshments, and owners Gary and Carolyn Roller will reveal plans for phase two of the gallery. "We want to welcome our clients and all the friends we've made over the past year." Gary explained. "It's an opportunity to show our appreciation to the people of Placitas that made it a great year."
The year was marked by a constant expansion of the gallery offerings, especially the work of Darryl Willison and OK Harris, whose whimsical Western metal sculptures have sprung up in front of Homestead Village. The Rockin' R also promoted the very successful Michael Martin Murphey fundraising concert over the Labor Day holidays.
Gary plays bass for Murphey's band as well as the local band Sid Masters and the Swing Riders. He also displays Western bronzes, pastels, prints, and cast paper and resin sculptures. Carolyn displays her one-of-a-kind line of silver and turquoise jewelry. "We plan to continue expanding and doing all we can to support the Placitas art and music community," said Gary. On Friday, April 29, Gary will perform with Michael Martin Murphey at a chuckwagon dinner and concert at Santa Ana Star Casino.
For more information, contact the Rockin’ R Gallery, at 3 Homesteads Road, 867-9595, or visit www.rollerstudio.com.
Placitas Studio Tour on Mother’s Day weekend
Forty-eight of your talented friends and neighbors are preparing to welcome you into thirty-nine studios and workspaces at the eighth annual Placitas Studio Tour, May 7 and 8. The starting point for the tour is under the portal near the Merc, at Homestead Village Shopping Center, where you will receive a color brochure and a map (also published in the May issue of the Sandoval Signpost). Preview binders with information and images from each artist will be available to help you choose which studios you want to visit. We also have a new Web site this year, www.placitasstudiotour.com.
The free self-guided tour begins at 10:00 a.m. both days and ends at 5:00 p.m. We work hard to make our directional signage clear, and we work just as hard to reclaim that signage at the end of the tour. We appreciate our neighbors’ patience, cooperation, and support in this effort.
Many artists offer refreshments, and some will give demonstrations or display works in progress. It’s a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the creative process. Please wear sturdy shoes and allow plenty of time for this event. And, bring Mom—it’s Mother’s Day!
Workshops for artists in the classroom
From April 9 through May 7 the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs will hold workshops for artists planning to hold workshops in schools.
As a public service of New Mexico Arts, three art-education specialists will present the workshops in nine communities—Deming, Des Moines, Farmington, Gallup, Hobbs, Mora, Mountainair, Raton, and Taos—from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Each workshop is designed to be an introduction to working in the classroom with students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Topics will include what the artist should expect from the school, what teachers will expect from the artist, tips on preparing contracts and invoices, an introduction to New Mexico art-education standards and benchmarks, and the basics of designing art-education lessons in collaboration with a classroom teacher.
While the workshops are free, participants will need to register by contacting Ann Weisman at 800-879-4278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete schedule of workshop availabilities, teaching staff, and locations, contact Ann Weisman, at (505) 827-6490, 800-879-4278, or email@example.com.
Elliott’s Ramblers to play bluegrass, gospel, old-time music in Placitas
PAS Board of Directors
The Placitas Artists Series is delighted to bring Elliott's Ramblers, New Mexico's finest bluegrass group, to Placitas for the April 10 concert at 3:00 p.m. at the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in Placitas. Elliott's Ramblers is a high-energy, pick-your-fingers-to-the bone bluegrass and folk band based out of Albuquerque. Nominated five times in 1996 to the first annual Rocky Mountain Regional Bluegrass Music Awards, this group has been performing for seventeen years in New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado. Their wide knowledge of traditional bluegrass, along with original tunes written by band members, gives them an edge that keeps crowds moving both physically and emotionally.
Band members of Elliott's Ramblers include Elliott Rogers—lead singer, songwriter, and guitar—who has performed with Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams. Wayne Shrubsall-Banjo—lead and harmony vocals and songwriter—has performed with Bill Monroe, Byron Berline, Keith Whitley, Peter Feldman, Richard Greene, and many, many others. He writes nationally for the Banjo Newsletter. Shrubsall has been nominated Best Bluegrass Banjo Player of the Year. Claude Stephenson—mandolin, fiddle, lead and harmony vocals, and 1996 winner of the songwriting event at the Santa Fe Banjo and Fiddle Contest—has performed with the Big River Boys, Sons of Rodan, Last Mile Ramblers and many, many others. Janice Ryals-Rogers—lead and harmony vocal—has performed onstage with Nanci Griffith, Lucinda Williams, Darden Smith, Steve Smith, and Autoharpist Lindsay Haisley, as well as many others. She has given vocal workshops at festivals in Colorado and Garland, Texas. Lance Quadri—stand-up bass, lead and harmony vocals—has performed with the Big River Boys, the Clear Ditch Ramblers, and the Adobe Brothers and always keeps the drive and energy going with his fabulous playing.
The Ramblers have ben performing gospel music with three- and four-part harmonies at festivals and churches, including the Santa Fe Banjo and Fiddle Contest, for years. They are an exciting mix of award-winning, talented folks who love what they do, and it shows! They are not to be missed.
You should come early for this concert because it will likely be standing room only.
There will be an artists' reception before the concert at 1:30 p.m. at the church, which is six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). This month's featured artists are Dorothy “Bunny” Bowen, Eleanor Modrick, Shirley Ann Sloop, and Adrianna Scassellati.
Tickets for the concert—until sold out—will be available at the door one hour before the concert, or may be purchased ahead of time at La Bonne Vie Salon and Day Spa in the Homestead Village Shopping Center (867-3333), in Placitas. Tickets may also be purchased online. The prices for the concert are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students. For additional information, call 867-8080 or visit the www.PlacitasArts.org.
Placitas Artists Series concerts and art exhibits are made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the arts. There is handicapped access and free care for children under six.
Linda Lasswell Spaulding unveils new book
Linda Lasswell Spaulding is a longtime Placitas resident and New Mexico native. She loves the land she calls home and enjoys writing about her travels in other lands. Her articles on the Camino de Santiago have been published by the Confraternity of St. James in London and by the Friends of the Road to Santiago.
Walking Home on the Camino de Santiago is Linda's first book (if you don't count the one she produced on an ancient computer running Windows 3.1 with no graphic capabilities, and then hand bound for fun). Another book is currently being conceived: a journal of a yearlong adventure with her husband and two sons aboard a small sailboat that carried them over the North and Baltic Seas and through Dutch waterways, where they eventually became winter caretakers of a one-hundred-year-old barge.
Linda earned a bachelor's degree in communications and journalism from the University of New Mexico while working full-time at Popejoy Hall. She is the contract administrator, production coordinator, and “hospitality queen” for the performers, who include local and global stars of theatre, dance, and music.
Linda occasionally sees her sons, Oliver and Dylan, who sometimes pass through the hilltop homestead where she lives with her husband, Steve, on the road aptly named Linda Placitas.
Walking Home on the Camino de Santiago documents the author's journey on foot from the French Pyrenees and across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) is a one-thousand-year-old road stretching five hundred miles across Spain and leading to the supposed tomb of St. James the Apostle. Lasswell examines her ancestral roots in Spain, using subtle parallels between the history, culture, and landscapes of New Mexico and those of Spain to provide a background that gives the reader insight into the physical and philosophical journey. While the narrator struggles with a desire for freedom and solitude, tempered with a need for community and security, she is sometimes joined by a mysterious character who offers guidance and companionship, but she remains determined to find her own way “home.”
Linda will be signing books at Page One Books on Monday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. Page One is at 11018 Montgomery Boulevard, NE, 294-2026.
Deadline for 2005 SouthWest Writers contest is May 1
SouthWest Writers is now accepting entries for their annual writing contest.
The competition is open to all writers from around the world and provides eighteen categories in which writers can showcase their work to major editors and literary agents. Interested participants should visit the SWW Web site at www.southwestwriters.org for complete contest details, including general contest rules, category-specific guidelines, and the contest entry form. All entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2005, and should be mailed to: SouthWest Writers Contest 2005, 3721 Morris St. NE, Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87111-3611.
The SWW Contest encourages and honors excellence in writing. Editors and literary agents judge all the entries and critique the top three entries in each category. All entries will receive a written critique by a qualified consultant. Finalists in all categories are notified by mail and are listed on the SWW Web site with the title of their entry. First-, second-, and third-place winners receive cash prizes of $150, $100, and $50, respectively. In addition, first-place winners compete for the $1,000 Storyteller Award. Winners will also be honored at an awards banquet, date and time to be announced.
SouthWest Writers is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that encourages, supports, and inspires all people to express themselves creatively through the written word. For more information, call the SWW office at (505) 265-9485; call David J. Corwell, contest chair, at (505) 898-0624; call Joanne Marsh, contest cochair, at (505) 865-1110; send an e-mail to SWriters@aol.com; or visit www.southwestwriters.org.