An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

SANDOVAL ARTS

Artists Lenore and Larry Goodell at home in their garden in Placitas

Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), Las Huertas Canyon, photograph, by Lenore Goodell, July 14, 2007

Sidebells Penstemon (Penstemon secundiflorus), Vicinity of Forest Road 445, photograph, by Lenore Goodell, May, 24, 2007

Glyph, Vicinity of Forest Road 445, photograph, by Lenore Goodell, April, 04, 2007

Featured artists of the month:
Larry and Lenore Goodell

A marriage of words and image

—TY BELKNAP
Is Larry Goodell the poet laureate of Placitas? He scoffs at the title and says, “How about poet Larry-ett?” He may deserve some sort of moniker for living in Placitas and writing poetry for the past forty-five years, but it would be difficult to find one simple title to pin him down, since he’s done poems, plays, and songs. He’s played the piano since childhood and loves to play “Oh Fair New Mexico,” our state song, written by the blind daughter of Pat Garrett, Elizabeth Garrett. Jeff Bryan, whose La Alameda Press published Larry, calls his Here On Earth “a group of idiosyncratic sonnets of love and loving outrage.” Ricardo Sanchez said of Goodell, “He enunciates a poetics of madness and joy, of celebration and realization—and the words seem to dance from him. Everything becomes a work of poetical art, very political in its sense of the power and magic of language.”

Larry moved to Placitas in 1963 and Lenore in 1967, and they got married in Placitas in 1968. Larry was born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico, college-educated at University of Southern California, and pursued a master’s degree in Creative Writing at University of New Mexico. Lenore is from New York City, a graduate of New York University, and then in New Mexico she completed her master’s degree in Fine Arts from UNM. For twelve years, Larry and then Lenore lived in a tiny casita, house-sitting the old Hertford Ranch near Tunnel Springs in Placitas. It was the home of Major General Kenner F. Hertford, retired, and Annie Hertford. The Goodells’ son Joel was born there in 1969. In 1975, they built an adobe home in Placitas village on Paseo de San Antonio and have lived and gardened there ever since. Joel is currently lead man (building sets) in a movie production in Santa Fe. Their granddaughter, Lyra, goes to Placitas Elementary.

During the early years, Larry enjoyed the tutelage and friendship of the late eminent poet Robert Creeley who lived in the Village and taught at UNM. Creeley’s house was a sort of mecca for the “New American Poets” who came out of the Black Mountain and Beat Generation groups of poets. Larry said it was a New Mexico rural version of Gertrude Stein’s circle of artist friends who gathered in Paris early in the twentieth century.

Larry taught English at Albuquerque Academy, struggled with academia in quest of a master’s at UNM, published a poetry magazine called duende, and another called Fervent Valley (a descriptive name for Placitas). Lenore was the arts editor of some of the best issues, as Larry had graduated from mimeo publications to hands-on offset printing for the later issues. At one point, they traveled with their son Joel and the poet Stephen Rodefer across the United States performing poetry readings.

Lenore has always been involved in the visual arts, moving from sculpture, colored pencil drawings, and water colors. She was well-known for her stuffed animal designs at one point but through it all she has been a photographer. Together, they have never stopped cultivating their acequia-watered organic garden and enjoying Placitas’s rural lifestyle.

When they first came to the area, the foothills between Placitas village and Bernalillo were empty. “People weren’t interested in development back then, but things have sure changed,” said Lenore. “We watched the hippy movement come and go, and then we watched some of the hippies become realtors. Luckily, things haven’t changed much here in the Village. “Back then,” Larry says, “I was too young to be a beatnik and too old to be a hippy,” once again defying categorization.

Larry has been known best as a performance poet. He says, “I just can’t think of poetry as separate from performance. A printed poem is like a musical score. It is essential to hear a poem read aloud. Think of the chant-like vitality of Vachel Lindsay, the father of American performance poetry. If only we could hear Whitman. There’s only one tiny Edison recording. If only we could hear Shelly, Shakespeare, Sappho. Look at the amazing success of “slam” poets and many of those poets memorize their work, which is amazing. That’s what Homer did.” Larry’s animated readings are like improvisational jazz performances. If you’ve ever seen him perform, it’s impossible to read his poetry without hearing his voice.

He has been a vital part of the Duende Poetry Series, poetry readings performed quarterly for the past several years at Anasazi Fields Winery. Now with the help of a Witter Bynner Foundation Grant, poets might finally be paid for performance and transportation. “It would be an asset to the community if we could offer poetry workshops for kids and adults, and perhaps eventually a Duende Poetry Festival in Placitas and Bernalillo.”

Lenore is now a full-time photographer, recently retired from her twenty-five-year job as a cartographer. She grows a vegetable garden and has built the computers she uses now, as well as Larry’s new one. Having spent many years working with urban subjects and highly structured compositions, her photography now focuses mostly on landscapes and wildflower portraits in relationship with natural settings. She says, “I regard the photograph as found object. I have always been a purist, indulging in very little manipulation, either in the darkroom or on the computer, and I never crop images. That poetic moment must occur when the shutter trips. This is much the same as Larry’s not rewriting his poems.” She and Larry spend a lot of time hiking and exploring natural places nearby. Wildflowers, when photographed, must also be identified. Local geography, culture, and sense of place are central themes in both of their work.

Lenore participates in the Placitas Studio Tour in May. She will also be glad to show photographs by appointment—email her at fisheye@nmia.com. Larry’s currently-available books are Here On Earth (59 Sonnets) from La Alameda Press, Firecracker Soup (Poems 1980-87) from Cinco Puntos Press, and Out of Secrecy from Yoo-Hoo Press. All are available from him—email larryg@nmia.com—or at one of the Duende Poetry Series events at Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas. The next planned event is Sunday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m.—all women: Arden Tice, Diana Huntress, Mary Oishi, and the wonderful Albuquerque poet, Margaret Randall. The event is free to the public.

Lenore’s Arroyo

Today we’re hiking up the coarse sand trail

to where the sun meets the rocks.

I’ll sit here & wait for the photographer

to take her picture and ascend

to where I am

There are birds, flies, space

here in this boulder-studded arroyo

where everything is pleasant, even the breeze.

And up even higher on another boulder

I look up to the streaming bell and see

a hummingbird alight on top a high dead piñon.

It sits there preening, the longest time,

and, tinker bell streaming,

flies away to the silence of my thinking.

Why is it the rarer something is

the higher in ascendancy?

Here is where an arroyo flood of rocks is

dark grays that have knocked together

to this apparent silence

as I ascend to the bright green of scrub oaks.

How fresh they are in early summer.

How laggard I am, in the climbing.

The profession of a writer steals me to the desk

too often and it never seems enough.

Going back down I am elevated

to the cooler smells.

I love the air up here, she says.

I pocket my complaints.

Farther down there is the sound

of airplaines overhead.

There is the sound of fast walking

on coarse sand.

There is the sound of my heart breathing.

—LARRY GOODELL 2007


Opera, anyone?

—TY AND BARB BELKNAP

 

Pierre de Jélyotte as Platée in the 1745 premiere production

Jean-Paul Fouchécourt as Platée in the 2007 Santa Fe Opera production

The beautiful mountain backdrop makes tailgating at the opera even more of a treat.

A Placitas entourage tailgates it at the Santa Fe Opera

It’s Sunday morning after Opera night. Nursing a worthwhile hangover, I must now write the story for the Signpost before the August issue can be put to bed.

Carpooling from Placitas at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, we met about twenty friends and friends of friends, then caravanned to the Santa Fe Opera House parking lot. There we dished up an elegant potluck for the traditional tailgate party, along with other opera aficionados, in all manner of dress and menu. Libations flowed freely in the conspicuous absence of the “fun police.” Hors d’oeuvres brought from home were set on long tables with embroidered tablecloths and centerpieces. Dress, even in our own group, ranged from sparkling Santa Fe-style gowns and tuxedos to boots and jeans, and an old summer suit my brother recently outgrew.

I have never drunk champagne in a nicer parking lot—sunset on the Sangre de Cristos amid dramatic threatening skies. People come from all over the world to participate in the theatrical excess of this dazzling venue. The covered, open-air auditorium, with its white multi-peaked roof, looks like a splendid ship about to set sail into the mountains.

The opera itself didn’t start until nine. It was a startlingly modern adaptation of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Platée, first performed in Versailles in 1745. The program said, “Platée is likely to provide a first exposure to French Baroque Opera ... , and one could hardly ask for a more irresistible or all-encompassing entree into this delicious niche of the lyric theatre.” That’s saying a mouthful.

Audience members were treated to lavish and wacky set designs and costumes, and imaginative use of instrumentation. The orchestra interacted with the choreography in ways seldom seen. Imagine breakdancing to classical music—a dancer spinning on his frog head while other swamp creatures gyrated and sang.

The mostly-comical opera-ballet celebrates wine, folly, and the Olympic-sized foibles of gods and mortals. Jupiter, king of the Gods, feigns mad love for Platée—a water nymph who is exceedingly vain, but unattractive—in order to show his wife Juno that her jealousy is unfounded. A guy plays the part of Platée, probably because they couldn’t find a thick-bodied, ungraceful woman who could be made up to look that ugly and sing tenor.

The goddess Folly steals the show as her “flurry of frenzied genius encourages the union of Jupiter and his ‘new Juno.’” Folly’s entourage prances about and mimics behaviors of love and relationship in crazy white beehive hairdos and ruffled pantaloons. Men representing Juno’s stormy wrath danced about with (real) umbrella skirts. In the end, Juno whips off Platée’s bridal veil and bursts into laughter amid the Grand Finale. The electronic translators, lighting across the backs of the seating, keep the audience nicely in the loop.

The Santa Fe Opera House venue is so spectacular, the production and cast so first-rate, that it is well worth the price of admission. There are options to fit most budgets.

There is also—free! The Santa Fe Opera offers the opportunity for families in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque to enjoy the opera under the stars for free when they present a simulcast of the August 11 performance of Puccini’s La Bohéme. One of the most popular operas of all time will be presented on large screens at Santa Fe’s Fort Marcy Park and Albuquerque Old Town’s Tiguex Park. There will be three cameras placed in the opera house theater that night, uplinked to a satellite, and transmitted to the parks. The performance begins at 8:30 p.m. and the parks will open at 6:00 p.m. for those who wish to picnic. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Performances of Platée will continue at the Santa Fe Opera throughout August, along with La Bohéme, Cosi Fan Tutte, Daphne, and Tea: A Mirror of Soul. For more information, visit www.santafeopera.org or call (505) 986-5955.

Art swap supports local Fire and Rescue and United Blood Services

—DARRYL WILLISON
On August 25, Art Gallery 66 will hold the first annual “Blood, Sweat and Cheers” event to benefit Bernalillo Fire and Rescue. The festival will host the Albuquerque United Blood Services blood mobile from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for, yep, you guessed it: blood donations!

While you are waiting in line for that oh-so-special orange juice and cookie treat, bring the gallery your old, tired, or simply unframed art that has sat in the closet all these years and see if it is worth anything to anyone else also donating blood. It is a good ol’ fashioned “art swap.” The Art Gallery 66 owners will assist any and all who bring art to agree on a value of that art and then compare it to the art to be swapped. If a piece is to be sold and not swapped, Art Gallery 66 will handle the sale and donate a portion of its money to Bernalillo Fire and Rescue. Any sales of original art in the gallery that day will benefit Bernalillo Fire and Rescue, so it is a “win-win” situation. The community is cordially invited to participate and help the gallery support the men and women of the fire and rescue department, as well as fill the need for blood here in New Mexico.

For more information on the United Blood Services blood mobile, see www.unitedbloodservices.org. For more information about Bernalillo Fire and Rescue, visit www.bernalillofd.org.

Art Gallery 66 is located at 373 North Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo, and can be reached at 867-8666.

“Art in the Park” events return

Art in the Park, a series of fine arts and crafts shows sponsored by the Corrales Society of Artists and the Kiwanis Club of Corrales, is scheduled for the third Sunday of every month, from May through October.

Organizers promise that this year’s third season of shows will be bigger and better than ever, featuring local painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, and metalworkers, as well as some of New Mexico’s finest crafts artisans. Hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at La Entrada Park (northwest corner of Corrales and La Entrada Roads). Parking and admission to the show are free. Live music, food, art demonstrations, and free youth art workshops will abound in this cool and shady country location.

The Corrales Society of Artists is a coalition of local artists dedicated to furthering the talented and skilled artists living in the Corrales area, as well as raising awareness of the arts and arts education. They boast over seventy members working in various media ranging from painting to colored pencil, photography to fabric art, and are building a reputation as one of the premier art associations in New Mexico. For more information, visit their website at www.corralesartists.org.

Rio Rancho Art Association announces show at the Kimo

The Rio Rancho Art Association is a nonprofit association of local artists working in media ranging from colored pencil and pastels, oil and acrylic paints, photography, to sculpture and fabric art. Established in February 2004 and boasting in excess of one hundred-sixty members, the Rio Rancho Art Association is dedicated to the advancement and awareness of local professional and amateur artists as well as the visual arts in general.

Beginning August 29 and running through October 22, the Rio Rancho Art Association is showcasing some of its finest work by members at the Kimo Art Gallery, 439 Central Avenue, in Albuquerque. The show is a juried competition, is open to all media, and the theme is “The Color of my Palette.” There will be an artist’s reception on Saturday, September 8 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

To contact the Rio Rancho Art Association for further information on upcoming events or for a membership application, call Joanne at 771-0748 or visit the group’s website at www.rraa-usa.com.

2007 Art Market ready to go in Bernalillo

Sandoval Community Art, a nonprofit group of artists, is presenting its “2007 Art Market.” Renowned and beginning artists from all over Sandoval County will be participating. Original artwork and food will be available to the public from the artists at various locations along Main Street (Camino del Pueblo) on Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To join the group or for more information about the Art Market, contact Evangeline Chavez at 867-5262.

Corrales show calls for entries

Artists are called to enter the “19th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show,” a New Mexico multi-media art exhibition and sale in Corrales at the historic Old San Ysidro Church, on October 6-14, 2007. Jurying will take place on August 23. Entries will be accepted on Wednesday, August 22, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday, August 23, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The works must be gallery-ready. There is a $30 entry fee, with no refunds available. For details and an entry form, please call Hope Grey at 897-3942 or Deb Kennedy at 344-2110.

 

 

 

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