Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

2017 New Mexico Music Awards presents in May

This year the New Mexico Music Awards celebrates its thirtieth year of recognizing excellence in music recorded and produced in New Mexico. Past winners have included Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Native American Music Award (Nammy) winners. This year the New Mexico Music Awards received over six hundred entries in 42 categories. Awards will be presented at a ceremony in May in categories ranging from Adult Contemporary, Americana, and Blues through Western, Best Song, and Best Vocal Performance. The two most coveted awards are the Norman Petty Producer’s Award and Best of the Year.

The New Mexico Music Awards received projects recorded and produced in studios all across New Mexico. Final judging for the 2017 New Mexico Music Awards will begin on April 1, and the award ceremony will take place at Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque on May 21.

To learn more about the New Mexico Music Awards, go to or email:, or call 269-7777.

The New Mexico Music Awards are sponsored by Grandma’s Music & Sound, Quickbeam Systems Inc., listen!ABQ, and Moonlight Talent Management.

Applications sought for arts commission position

The City of Rio Rancho is seeking applicants interested in filling the vacant City Council District 3 Arts Commission position. Applicants must have knowledge and experience in an art-related discipline and reside in the city. The appointment term will last until December 31, 2017.

The commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Governing Body, and works to enhance and promote the arts within the City. The mission of the commission is to present public art in all its forms—to provide a formal art presence in the city for the enhancement and growth of a diverse community. The commission meets at 6:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at Rio Rancho City Hall.

Individuals interested in applying, and serving as a volunteer on the commission, must submit an application form and a resume. Those interested can apply via the city’s website,, or submit their documents to the Office of the City Clerk located inside Rio Rancho City Hall. Rio Rancho City Hall is located at 3200 Civic Center Circle.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. For additional information, such as to confirm City Council District residency, contact the City Clerk’s office at 891-5004.

Sara Chadwick in Sara’s Southwest in Bernalillo
Photo credit: —Oli Robbins

Signpost featured artist

Sara’s Southwest: dedicated to the appreciation and exposure of Southwestern art

~Oli Robbins

Sara’s Southwest has recently reopened where it first began. Nestled on the northeast side of Bernalillo’s Zócalo, Sara’s Southwest represents fine artists and artisans from America’s southwestern states. Owner Sara Chadwick draws upon her more than two-dozen successful years of art promotion to bring to the public enchanting artwork by established and emerging artists.

An early Nineties’ visit to Albuquerque’s famed Balloon Fiesta is responsible for Sara’s ultimate engagement with Southwestern art and the birth of her gallery. During the iconic event, Sara witnessed colorfully animated skies, but found herself most enlivened by the state’s artwork. She recalls her travel companion encouraging her to buy and ship multiple pieces, as she began to seriously consider the prospect of promoting New Mexican work back home in New Hampshire. In the months that followed, Sara's Southwest was founded. Her first New Hampshire gallery was well-loved and frequented by hoards of people clamoring for a beautiful piece of the then-exotic Southwest. Says Sara, “That was the time when the Southwest was really fantastically alive. It was a special window for artists of the Nineties.”

Sarah remembers her events being so highly attended that she needed to call upon police officers to tackle the traffic. She began a routine of traveling to the Southwest (New Mexico mostly, but also Colorado and Texas) to acquire impressive paintings, furniture, and wearables, and ship them back east to the gallery. "It was really quite a store, very successful. But then I wanted to come here."

Her many trips to New Mexico made Sara a fixed member of the Southwestern art community. Says Sara, "I was a native long before I moved here." Her resident status eventually became official in 2005, when she relocated the gallery to New Mexico and found herself a permanent home in Corrales. Since then, Sara’s Southwest has operated in different locations on Bernalillo’s Camino del Pueblo—except for a period during the recession wherein Sara kept the gallery alive by opening up her Corrales living room to artists and collectors.

"Being a shopkeeper is just in my blood," says Sara, who doesn’t see herself ever embracing retirement. "I’m a marketing person, basically. And I married an artist, so that gave me an inside. But I've always owned a business . . . My dad owned a hardware store. I’d absorbed it as I was growing up."

Art museums and galleries aren’t always overtly welcoming to the novice visitor or amateur artist. It’s a sad reality that many people feel intimidated by the sometimes sterile, white walls of America’s fine art establishments—dubbed the art world’s “ivory towers.” But Sara believes in widespread art exposure and recognition. In her 25 years working with the arts, she’s noticed that would-be gallery patrons often regard the gallery world with awe and apprehension. She wants to bridge that divide and foster absorption, adding that “the only way to appreciate art is to go to those places.” Says Sara, “that’s what I really hope to bring is an appreciation of art, and to make it accessible.”

Spending multiple decades surrounded by art has not left Sara apathetic or disenchanted. On the contrary, she continues to approach her endeavors with the same passion and drive that brought her to them. Says Sara, “It blows my mind every time someone comes in and they have a unique style that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s looking into their psyche. I mean, it’s what makes people different and that’s what’s interesting to me.” Sara has been called "an artist who doesn't paint." That is, she possesses the aesthetic sensibilities of a fine artist, but doesn't create tangible, portable pieces. Says Sara, "I get it, I understand, I can put myself in their mindset."

The gallery’s most decorated artist is contemporary pueblo painter Mateo Romero, who has received numerous accolades and exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Canada. Sara was the first to represent him and by purchasing his paintings early on, she enabled him to study murals in Mexico City. Forever open to new talent, Sara is attracted to artwork that speaks a truth. “Right now, I want sincerity. I just want artists at this time in my life—artists who are really dedicated to their art and painting, artists that are developing. I really appreciate young artists with no place to show… I just love to see artists come through the door with their work.”

This sentiment inspired Sara’s most recent venture, a springtime Indian Market that began as an effort to support a new generation of artists. “I’m hoping the Zócalo Plaza will be a place where people will come as emerging artists. Bernalillo could really be an artist town—and it was. I think the feeling in town is that they’d like it to have that again.”

The Indian Market will be held in Zócalo Plaza on May 6 and 7. Learn more about Sara’s Southwest           and the eclectic group of artists it represents at Visit the gallery at its new location in El Zócalo Plaza, 264 S. Camino del Pueblo, in Bernalillo. Sara welcomes guests every Wednesday through Saturday (and Sunday and Monday by appointment) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can reach her by calling the gallery at 867-9667.

Indian art market booms before opening

~Bill Diven

What began as a simple juried art show and spring sale is blossoming into what its organizer hopes will be an annual outdoor Indian Market in Bernalillo.

Gallery owner Sara Chadwick was recruiting for the spring market when a Four Corners group working with emerging Native American artists took note. Chadwick promptly changed her focus. "It kind of snowballed on me," she told the Signpost. "We're hoping this is the beginning of something big… These artists have nowhere to go, and the big Indian markets are hard to get into."

Dubbed “Generations: A Celebration of Family,” the fine arts event is scheduled for the weekend of May 6 to May 7 at El Zócalo. The historic former school and convent is now managed for events and small businesses by Sandoval County.

Chadwick, whose Sara's Southwest is at El Zócalo, has long represented Native American artists including Mateo Romero, a member of Cochiti Pueblo, known for his paintings and printmaking. At last count at least 25 artists had applied to participate, including Romero who will have a booth at the event. Chadwick said the final number may exceed forty.

The submission deadline for the juried art show was March 24.

Many of the younger artists are associated with N.A.T.I.V.E, the Native Artists Technology Innovation and Vision Enterprise. The Farmington-based effort provides technical and financial assistance with mentoring by established artists in traditional and contemporary art forms.

Chadwick is already thinking ahead to a time when the Indian Market may outgrow El Zócalo. Bernalillo's Loretto Park, former site of the annual wine festival and current home of the Mountain West Brew Fest, is right across Camino del Pueblo.

"Bernalillo is the perfect place to have events," she said. "We have the train. We have a government that's very supportive. We have people who are welcoming. Some towns don't do that… We have every venue you need to spend the day or a weekend in Bernalillo."

The market is scheduled for May 6 and 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 264 South Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo.

Pueblo Bonito, fiber art quilt, by Judith Roderick

Placitas Artists Series presents pianist Misuzu Tanaka

Classical pianist Misuzu Tanaka is considered to be one of the country’s brightest emerging stars, acclaimed for both her poetic sensitivity and her breath-taking virtuosity. As part of its thirtieth anniversary season, the Placitas Artists Series is pleased to present Ms. Tanaka in a solo concert on April 23, at 3:00 p.m. The program includes piano sonatas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Sergei Prokofiev, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s Italian Concerto and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli.

The concert is generously sponsored by Shirley and Robert Ericson, and Geri Verble of Tribal Bear Designs.

Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. visual artists reception will feature “Judith Roderick Retrospective: Early Work to Hand-Painted Silk Fiber Art Quilts.” Roderick’s works, all of which are for sale, will be on display from April 3 to April 28.

The concert and visual artist reception take place at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in the village of Placitas, located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). The facility is completely accessible.

For ticket information, visit or see page 2, this Signpost.

Placitas Artists Series projects are made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Call for artists at Jemez Fine Art Gallery

The Jemez Fine Art Collective in Jemez Springs invites artists to submit work for “What Goes Round,” an exhibit for Earth Day, which will run from April 21 to May 4. To apply, contact David Torney at Entry deadline is April 10. Think sphere, circle, arc, moon, sun, balloon, etc. Two- and three-dimensional works in all media will be considered for a $100 People's Choice award. The artist reception will be on Earth Day, April 22, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Student artwork from Placitas Elementary School

“Every Child is an Artist” art show

~Bonnie Hayes

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
—Pablo Picasso

The historic community of Placitas is known not only for its beautiful natural surroundings, but also as a haven for culture and creativity. The children of Placitas naturally reflect what makes their community unique and special. They are also very fortunate to have Placitas Elementary School (PES), which recognizes and emphasizes the importance of the arts in education. At PES, students receive regular instruction in visual arts and music, as well as an after-school drama program and supplemental art activities from members of the community.

This exhibit represents just a fraction of the visual art created by the students of Placitas Elementary School. All grade levels, from Kindergarten to fifth grade are represented. Some of these works were previously on display at the Bernalillo Public Schools district office and several are certain to be shown at the 2017 New Mexico State Fair. The artwork in this show includes drawings, paintings, collage, mixed media, and recycled materials. Of special note are the ceramics, which show the most recent creative work.

“The Every Child is an Artist” exhibit runs from April 2 through April 27 at the Placitas Community Library. A public reception will be held on April 2, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

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