An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


April Featured Artists Marilyn and Herb Dillard share a love for artistic pursuits.

Signpost featured artist of the month

Bound by art

While Herb Dillard ran his meat market in Boulder, his wife Marilyn pursued her fabric arts and abstract imaging.

After nearly fifteen years as a weaver, Marilyn gave that up in 1989 to create nontraditional quilts, stitching and writing her way into books, permanent collections, and regional and international shows. Herb's contact with the art world came as Marilyn dragged him to shows and openings and as the couple made frequent art-related trips to New Mexico.

Herb never dabbled in art himself, but then multiple sclerosis forced him to close the thirty-five-year-old business and put down his butcher knives. While visiting the Tesuque shop of the late craftsman Ben Ortega, he unexpectedly discovered the craft knife and joined the grand tradition of American folk woodworking.

He'll pass on the folk label though, preferring the term “outsider art” for his chip carvings and constructions.

“I never made a thing until I was fifty-five years old,” Herb said. “You never know what's inside of you.”

Since then, Marilyn has focused on the intersections of fabric, paint, and natural elements, often inspired by the earth tones of the Southwest desert and the earth itself. Cotton-silk canvas wrapped around rusted metal or buried for months in the yard of their Placitas home assumes those colors and textures and is further enhanced by collage than may include insects found in the yard and photocopied onto silk.

“I'm very interested in the land, the elements of the landscape, and what happens to the landscape with the passage of time,” Marilyn said. “Erosion, wind, rain, pebbles moving, the colors of the soil.

“I know so many artists who are into sunrises and sunsets. I'm into dirt.”

The couple's frequent travels between Santa Fe and Albuquerque past the Placitas exit eventually led them to explore the area. In 1988, when they decided to leave Colorado, they built a home and studio east of Placitas village.

Since taking up the knife, Herb has produced a steady stream of carved fish, birds, crosses, furniture, frames, and boxes using tree branches, found wood, and Western objects—toy pistols and sheriffs' badges, stirrups and belt buckles—culled from flea markets. He tends to tackle one theme at a time, like the recent series of ten war clubs, quickly reduced to eight when two sold.

They also have collaborated on projects designing frames that Herb then creates to wrap her art in his.

The Dillards’ work has shown in galleries but is not currently on display. Their studio is open by appointment by calling 867-5914.

The art accompanying this article can be seen in color by visiting and clicking on the Featured Artist link.

Wendy Day plays Chopin

Wendy Day will present an all-Chopin piano recital on April 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, at Carlisle and Comanche, in Albuquerque. The performance is free and open to the public.

New Mexico Wine Festival poster-competition deadline in April

The Town of Bernalillo MainStreet Association and the executive board of the New Mexico Wine Festival have announced a competition for the selection of the 2006 commemorative poster for the nineteenth annual New Mexico Wine Festival, at Bernalillo. The board wishes to select an original artwork depicting the historical and/or present New Mexico wine industry of the Middle Rio Grande Valley.

The image may be in any media but may not depict children, wine bottles, or wineglasses, or present any negative connotation of the wine industry, i.e., inebriation.

The selected artist will receive up to $2,000 for the original work and rights of reproduction, one hundred copies of the reproduction, and a booth at the New Mexico Wine Festival at Bernalillo.

The competition is open to artists residing in New Mexico who are at least twenty-one years old. For the purposes of this competition, representation in a New Mexico gallery does not constitute residency.

The deadline for submissions is April 24 at 5:00 p.m., at the Bernalillo MainStreet Office. Announcement of finalists will be made by May 8. For a complete prospectus and further information about the contest, call Maria Rinaldi, executive director, New Mexico Wine Festival, at 505-867-3311, extension 133, or Louise Moore, assistant to the executive director, at 505-867-3311, extension 118.

Get your art on Route 66!

With all the new growth in Placitas and Bernalillo, some find it refreshing that art galleries, instead of big-box franchises, are moving into town. Residents and visitors take delight in knowing that fine art is available to them without the hassle of parking-lot fees, meter fees, and No Parking signs.

The new kid on the block, Art Gallery 66 (AG66), just north of 550, at 373 Camino Del Pueblo (Old Route 66) is now open—with plenty of free parking. Once you are there, you can breathe in the traditional New Mexican surroundings of blue sky, blooming trees and flowers, and a field of cows.

The gallery promotes itself as “fun, funky and fabulous,” and when you go inside you will see it is just that. The building is an old gas station, dating back to the time when Route 66 was the main road to Santa Fe. Since then, the gallery has been home to a multitude of businesses, from auto-repair shop to workshop to truck-rental center.

The building’s new life as an art gallery suits it nicely. The entire building is now art space, without losing its eclectic and funky nature. The new owners say, “Why change something if it’s already cool?”

The gallery carries approximately twenty-four artists, with a vibrant variety of work to cater to all tastes. Whether one is looking for a gift or to invest in a significant piece of art, AG66 has it all and continues to explore new art and artists to serve the community’s variety of tastes.

Co-owner and gallery director Darryl Willison, “America’s Drawing Cowboy,” believes that his gallery brings to the art scene an approach that is inviting and fun for patrons exploring their interest in art. “I am an art patron as well, and I like fun, color, and positive energy, so I created a gallery that successfully reflects just that—we carry no grumpy artists!” Darryl says.

AG66 keeps an eye and ear out locally, as well as nationally and internationally, for artists whose works reflect a positive and passionate lifestyle. Gallery owners believe patrons want art that reflects their own lifestyle—unique and original, not cookie-cutter or mass-produced—at a reasonable price.

Off the beaten path, but easy to find once you head north on Highway 313 toward Algodones, the gallery invites patrons to stop in and shop, encouraging them to join the gallery membership, which offers an automatic discount on all purchases.

“Repeat customers are essential in creating a following for artists, and our artists welcome those people and see the value in nurturing that relationship,” Darryl says. “Those relationships can last a lifetime and often become great friendships!”

Art Gallery 66 is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call the gallery, at 867-8666, for further information.

Baroque music, “From The courts of Europe”—to Placitas

The Placitas Artists Series will present a special program of baroque music, “From the Courts of Europe,” on April 23. Created by Joanna Morska-Osinska, the program will feature music for soprano, flute, cello, and harpsichord by Pietro Torri, Georg Philipp Telemann, Georg Friedrich Handel, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

PAS respectfully dedicates this special program to the memory of Madeline Randle, an early advocate of the PAS visual-art program and a longtime member of the PAS board of directors.

Soprano Joanna Morska-Osinska has played and sung baroque music quite literally in the courts of Europe, including the Royal Castle in Warsaw; Prince Potocki's Castle, in Lancut (Poland); Versailles; Royal Castle, in Vaduz (Lichtenstein); Salzberg; and throughout Bavaria. She is a member of Opera Unlimited, a frequent performer in the PAS outreach program, which brings musical performances to schools in the Bernalillo School District as well as area pueblo schools.

Flutist Carol Redman has performed with Santa Fe Pro Musica, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, 20th Century Unlimited, NMSO, and the New Mexico Woodwind Quintet, as well as at festivals in Germany and Japan. She is proficient on modern, eight-key classical, and baroque flute, and recorder.

UNM professor of cello David Schepps has been heard frequently with Willy Sucre and Friends, as well as with the NMSO, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, and Santa Fe Symphony.

UNM professor and harpsichordist Susan Patrick has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, the NMSO, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Desert Chorale, and Albuquerque Baroque Players.

Preceding the concert a reception will be held for artists Claudia Fluegge, Karl and Mary Hofmann, Wilda MacLaughlan, and Adriana Scassellati.

German native Claudia Fluegge studied art in Britain. She discovered silk painting on moving to New Mexico. Her silk work is “inspired by the beauty of nature, such as the inside of a flower or the beam of light between rock formations.” She endeavors to “blend nature's most precious moments with my own imagination.”

Another German, potter Karl Hofmann, and his wife, Mary, have lived in Placitas for thirty years. The Hofmanns' pottery is shown and collected privately throughout the United States and Europe.

Longtime Placitas resident Wilda MacLauchlan paints in both watercolor and oil, as well as illustrating books and book covers. She enjoys “making a picture emerge from a piece of paper or canvas, and putting feeling into the work.”

Amsterdam-born pastel artist Adriana Scassellati is showing with PAS for the fourth year.

The concert will begin at 3:00 p.m., the artists' reception at 1:30. Tickets for the concert will be available at the door one hour before the concert or may be purchased in advance at La Bonne Vie Salon and Day Spa, in Homestead Village Shopping Center, in Placitas; at Gatherings, 9821 Montgomery NE, in Albuquerque; or online at Prices are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students.

This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The facility is completely accessible, and free child care is provided for families with children under six. Las Placitas Presbyterian Church is six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242.) For more information, call 867-8080 or visit

Tom Kennedy photo

Placitan Tom Kennedy won first place in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History’s photography contest with this dawn shot of Red Rock State Park, near Gallup.

Traveling museum on a train presents “Native Views”

Artrain USA, “America's Hometown Art Museum,” is coming to Albuquerque. A family exhibit, housed in vintage rail cars and traveling via the nation's railways, Artrain USA brings world-class art exhibitions and art-education programs to communities across the United States.

Artrain USA is currently showing “Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture,” an exhibit of more than seventy works by fifty-four Native American artists, including paintings and ceramics. Children can go on a scavenger hunt, and interactive works of art will engage adult visitors. Artists will demonstrate their techniques, and visitors are invited to take home souvenirs from the gift shop.

Artrain USA will be at the Alvarado Station, Track 383, 100 1st Street, in Albuquerque, from Saturday, April 1, to Tuesday, April 4, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Field trips for schools and groups are being scheduled for Monday, April 3, through Wednesday, April 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged.

Artrain USA offers free field trips for grade schools, teachers, and homeschool groups, and provides a free curriculum. Albuquerque or surrounding-community school groups that would like a free field trip to Artrain USA should call Laurie Kondek, at 800-ART-1971, extension 115, or, for more information.

Artrain USA is also seeking local artists to demonstrate their talents and skills in the artists' studio while the train is in Albuquerque. Interested artists should call Nathan Zamarron, at (734) 649-7178 or (Shifts are four hours.)

Joanna Bigfeather (Western Cherokee and Mescalero Apache) serves as guest curator of the “Native Views” exhibition, which highlights the complexity of American culture and Native America's contributions to contemporary art and society. “Native Views” is an educational opportunity that inspires visitors to incorporate new ways of thinking into their views of native art and culture.

“Native Views” will travel the United States through the end of 2007, visiting up to 120 communities along the way. Founded in 1971, Artrain USA is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For more information, please call Laurie Kondek (see above). Visit Artrain USA online, at

MasterWorks at Expo New Mexico

The MasterWorks of New Mexico Spring Art Show is now in its eighth year. It began with a vision of combining the talents and experiences of existing fine-arts organizations, each representing artists throughout New Mexico, in an exhibition of New Mexico’s finest art. The charter board of representatives consisted of the Pastel Society of New Mexico, the New Mexico Watercolor Society, and Miniature Arts Bardean. The board founded, then included in its second year, the Rio Grande Art Association, an organization for oils, acrylics, and mixed media not framed under glass.

This year, MasterWorks will be held at Expo New Mexico, in the Hispanic Arts Building. The show will begin with an opening ceremony and preview on April 7 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. It will remain open to the public through April 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except Mondays. There will be an open house on April 15 and other scheduled events throughout the month, with workshops in most media, artist demonstrations, and other presentations.

“Easter Baroque” concert in Corrales

The Albuquerque Baroque Players will present “Easter Baroque,” a concert of sacred music with guest-artist soprano Elizabeth Ronan, on Easter Sunday, April 16, at 3:00 p.m. The concert will include an Easter cantata by Telemann; the “Resurrection Sonata,” by Biber; and “The Lamentation of the Virgin,” by Monteverdi. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 for seniors, and $5 for students. The concert will be at the Historic Old San Ysidro Church, in Corrales. For tickets or further information, contact 255-7089 or or visit

copyright Rudi Klimpert
More art downtown

The Downtown Contemporary Art Center is exhibiting 21 artists featuring a lovely arrangement of paintings, photography, mixed media, and more. Eleven of the artist are tenants of the Downtown Contemporary Art Center. The gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointments. Show runs till April 22. They are located in the heart of downtown, at 105 Fourth Street SW, 242-1983.

Summer Youth Opera Day Camp in June

Opera Unlimited, the only nonprofit in New Mexico solely dedicated to opera education for children, has announced that its 2006 Summer Youth Opera Day Camp for ages six to eighteen will run during the month of June in Albuquerque, and that the first organizational meetings will take place on Friday, May 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 8600 Academy Boulevard NE.

Directors Cy and Jane Hoffman said that the experience will prepare the campers to perform Czech composer Hans Krása’s children’s opera Brundibár, along with selections of vocal pieces by Mozart, on June 29 and 30 at the Highland High School Performing Arts Center. Therefore, during the May 5 and 6 meetings, the youngsters will be asked to sing a selection of their choice so that they can be assigned to the appropriate vocal parts.

Camp tuition is $50, with scholarships available to meet financial needs. Interested families are invited to call the Hoffmans at 822-0849 for more information.






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