The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Gary Priester afront his computer screen which shows a grayscale paper crane image that will hide in the background of a color stereogram.

Gary Priester afront his computer screen which shows a grayscale paper crane image that will hide in the background of a color stereogram.

Burgers to Go is a floating-image stereogram. There is no hidden image. The spacing between the rows of burgers (the burgers were created on the computer) makes some of the burgers appear to pop out while others appear to go backwards.

The stereogram above was created for the company Digital Insight and will be used by their employees as a 8-inch-square mouse pad. The word FOCUS is hidden in the image.

Signpost artist of the month: Gary Priester

More than meets the eye

Bill Diven

A first glance at Gary Priester's two-dimensional art easily reveals its colors and complex patterns.

Glance again and maybe squint a little, and the third dimension reveals itself to those who persist.

“The longer you stare at it, the more depth you get,” the Placitas artist said. “It's not something you see right in front of you.”

Known as Stereograms, the images use well-known optical tricks to fool the eye into seeing more than is actually there. For Priester it's a hobby run amok and now spread to three continents.

Priester first encountered Stereograms in a magazine after he left an advertising agency to open a graphic design company in San Francisco with his wife, artist Mary Carter. Enamored with the concept, he called the author of the article and offered to pay him for a few hours of lessons.

“It's probably the best money I ever spent,” he told the Signpost.

The entirely digital process begins with a background image converted to gray scale with 256 shades of gray. Here the first trick comes into play, as white seems to be close to the viewer, black far away, and the other shades in between.

A second layer in color is added, using a repetitive pattern and specific images that may relate to the gray scale image now hidden in the background. The color patterns come from many sources, a recent one being a lichen-spattered rock Priester photographed in the Jemez Mountains.

With the Stereogram completed, spotting the hidden image is easy for some, impossible for others. Recommended viewing tricks include holding the image too close to focus and moving it to arm's length to get the 3-D effect and see the hidden image.

Priester spent fifteen years with major ad agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco and another twelve years with his own company before he and Carter decided it was time for a change. Introduced to Placitas by a friend who had moved here, they relocated with the idea that she would return to painting and he would continue to do Web-based tutorials for a British producer of illustrator software.

“The plan was to continue the British gig and a couple of Web sites and take it easy,” he said.

Instead Priester found his Web-site design skills increasingly in demand and launched a new career while continuing to post Stereograms to his own Web gallery for, he thought, his own amusement. Then a Japanese publishing company e-mailed asking if he would like to sell images to their magazine books known as “Mooks.”

“Up until then, this had just been a hobby,” he said. “With them, I got serious about it.”

Priester and a colleague met online are now the primary contributors of Stereograms for Mooks published in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. That led to a commission from a Tokyo Italian restaurant that hides its logo in a Stereogram on its plates.

And Priester is the sole source of 40 Stereograms published by a British company in 2003 under the title “Incredible 3D Eye Tricks.” He and colleague Gene Levine each contributed 100 Stereograms to a larger coffee table book, Incredible 3D Stereograms published by the same British publisher, Arcturus.

Priester has yet to have a gallery showing of his work, although he plans to approach an Albuquerque paper company, the source of some of his color patterns, about doing a show in their store. Color Stereograms can be seen in this month’s Signpost Featured Artist Gallery.

Priester also creates custom Stereograms. Appointments may be made by calling his studio at 867-5832.


Rio Ranchoan Herrick wins Hillerman contest

Dennis F. Herrick of Rio Rancho is the first-place winner in the Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest jointly sponsored by Wordharvest and Cowboys & Indians magazine. Herrick is a lecturer in journalism at the University of New Mexico.

The contest was part of the inaugural inaugural Tony Hillerman Writers Conference: Focus on Mystery, held in Albuquerque. Herrick’s story will be published in the March issue of Cowboys & Indians. Stories had to be 2,500 words or less and include a setting in the West or Southwest and at least one cowboy or Native American character.

“With 230 entries from throughout the United States and Canada, our winners had plenty of competition,” contest organizer Anne Hillerman said. “We were delighted to have such an enthusiastic response, and intend to offer the contest again next year.”

Herrick attended the awards dinner, sitting at the head table with author Tony Hillerman.


Detail of Plums, Chokes and Eggplant, oil on canvas, 8” x 10”, Juan Wijngaard

Detail of Plums, Chokes and Eggplant, oil on canvas, 8” x 10”, Juan Wijngaard

“Heart & Harvest”—Corrales Bosque Gallery’s sixth annual benefit

Corrales Bosque Gallery will be holding its sixth annual fund-raiser, “Heart & Harvest,” with an opening reception on Saturday, February 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A full 50 percent of the proceeds of the day’s sales will go to Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico.

The opening reception will be catered by Corrales restaurants Casa Vieja, Perea, Rancho de Corrales, Village Pizza, and Book a Cook Caterers.

Corrales Bosque Gallery chose the Roadrunner Food Bank after some of the gallery’s members toured the facility, which supplies more than six hundred pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens statewide, trying to meet an increasing need in New Mexico. The facility is beautifully run—clean, organized, growing, forward-thinking, and optimistic in the face of overwhelming need.

Last year, the Corrales Bosque Gallery’s fund-raiser for the Roadrunner Food Bank raised $3,653 in one day, giving them buying power of $60,000 in food.

The show will be available for previewing on Friday, February 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Until then, the gallery is open every day from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for visiting. The exhibition will run through May 10.

Member artists will be creating new and innovative work on the theme of food in a variety of media, including oils, acrylics, watercolor, pastel, mixed media, printmaking, photography, fiber, glass, clay, and sculpture. 

Corrales Bosque Gallery is at 4685 Corrales Road, in Corrales, 898-7203,,


PAS presents Beethoven, Prokofiev, Bach, Bartók in February

Gary Libman
PAS Board of Directors

The February 20 concert of the Placitas Artists Series 2004-2005 season promises to be an exciting one.

The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra's principal cellist, Joan Zucker and her violinist husband, Joe Zoeckler, assistant concertmaster of the NMSO, will be joined by Mary Jo Gothmann on piano to perform incredible music.

The concert is sponsored by Claudia W. Moraga of Placitas.

Signpost readers who have come to the PAS concerts in the past are familiar with the outstanding cello playing of Zucker, and NMSO concertgoers are quite familiar with the excellent violinist Joe Zoeckler. Mary Jo Gothmann has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera music staff and joined the Santa Fe Opera music staff in 2003. They will be playing Seven Variations on the theme “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fuhlen,” by Beethoven; Sonata for Cello and Piano, by Prokofiev; Suite for Solo Cello #4 in E-flat Major, by J.S. Bach; and Ten Duos for Violin and Cello, by Bartók.

There will be an artists' reception at the church before the concert. This month's featured artists are Renée Brainard-Gentz, Lynn Hartenberger, Lynne Kottel, and Roberta Wellems. Examples of their work can be seen on the Placitas Artists Series Web site at

The concert will be held at 3:00 p.m. at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). Tickets for the concert will be available at the door one hour before the performance or can be purchased ahead of time at La Bonne Vie Salon & Day Spa in the Homestead Village Shopping Center in Placitas (867-3333). Tickets can also be purchased on line. The prices for this concert are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students. For additional information and ticket brochures, call 867-8080 or visit the Web site.

This concert and the art exhibit 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.


Free symphonic concert by 80-piece, Albuquerque Concert Band

The Albuquerque Concert Band—an eighty-piece symphonic band conducted by John Sanks—will present a free concert on Sunday, February 6, at 2:00 p.m. at the Cibola High School Theatre near Coors Bypass and Ellison NW. Please note that the concert is at 2:00 p.m., not 3:00 p.m., because of the Super Bowl. For program details, see


Love for sale at two Bernalillo galleries

With a public reception scheduled for Saturday, February 5, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Arte Loca Gallery and Katrina Lasko Gallery will open their annual valentine-themed shows featuring works of art in all media dealing with the subject of love. This year more than fifty artists accepted  the challenge to depict romantic love in its many variations.

The show at Arte Loca Gallery is titled "Entanglements Amorosos 2," and as Gene McClain, one of the owners, explained, the works in the show are about love, but also about hate, regret, uncertainty, longing, sadness, closure, hope ....

“Yeah,” adds Alvaro Enciso, the other owner, “this show is also about the other side of Valentine's; remember, not everyone gets a box of chocolates and a Hallmark card on that day. Some receive instead a knife in the back, a dagger through the heart, an arrow in the eye.”

One piece in the show is a seven-foot chair, painted blue, titled A place to sit and cry over a lost love; another is a sculpture of an angry crow eating a human heart. There are three paintings by Sharon Schwartzmann showing a woman crying—first a few tears, then a bunch of tears, and finally, a torrent of tears. There is a painting by Carol Corbin of a clinical heart surrounded by green leaves—a message of hope, perhaps, after the end of a relationship.

At Katrina Lasko Gallery, the show is called "Sensual or Erotic?"—components of love, says Katrina. “This year, most of the artists in the show are young, not yet jaded by love,” she adds, “a more innocent view of such an elusive feeling. We all have our own parameters of the sensual and the erotic and there is a fine line between the two. I find it interesting to see on which side of that line each artist will place himself. You know, ‘the most uncomfortable thing in the world is love.’ No, I did not come up with that; I am not that cynical,” she says smiling. “And making works of art about love is extremely uncomfortable, at least for me. Nevertheless, I look forward every year to curating this show, and I personally select every piece in it. In spite my reluctance to expose myself, I create work of my own to include in the show.”

The artists include Delmas Howe, from Truth or Consequences; Bonita Barlow, from Hillsboro; Clayton Porter, of Santa Fe; and a bunch of UNM graduates.

Both shows run from February 5 to March 16. For gallery hours or directions, call Arte Loca at 771-8626 or Katrina at 867-2523.


Poor Santa Fe

Poor Santa Fe thinks she is sad
Because her man has just gone bad
He robbed a bank and stole a horse
And now takes what he wants by force.

She waits at home for his return
Her dreams of life with him a-churn.
They had a home she thought he loved
And now he sleeps alone and rough.

The Sheriff came to pay a call
and asked about her man's last brawl.
She fears she can't resist the law
and tells the Sheriff she is poor.

Up in the Jemez he is sleeping
While his wife is home a-weeping.
His fire is burning bubbling coffee
His wife is burning feeling lonely.

—Angus McDougall,


Mardi Gras at the Lizard Lounge, Bernalillo

Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday,” has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event, but its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That's why the enormous party in New Orleans ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday, with battalions of street sweepers pushing the crowds out of the French Quarter towards home.

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning "farewell to the flesh.” Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it likely has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. Some believe the festival represented the few days added to the lunar calendar to make it coincide with the solar calendar. Others see it as a late-winter celebration designed to welcome the coming spring. The Romans observed a fast of forty days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes, and merrymaking.

Mardi Gras or Carnival celebration has spread to many other cities in the U.S. You can celebrate Mardi Gras right here in Bernalillo at the Range Café’s Lizard Lounge on February 8. Lost Tribes of Mardi Gras and Jasper will be performing samba and music from New Orleans’s Mardi Gras.

Lost Tribes of Mardi Gras is an exciting group of singers, drummers, and dancers performing folkloric music from Africa, Brazil, Cuba, and the United States. The leader, Ricardo Guillermo, teaches samba dance at the Harwood Art Center (247-1585).

Jasper’s Terry Bluhm, Jefferson Voorhees, and Frank McCulloch are some of Albuquerque’s finest musicians. Jasper is musically hard to define, but the music will make you dance.

The Mardi Gras celebration at the Range Café, 925 Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo, will be on February 8, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Take I-25 to Exit 240 Bernalillo; turn right at Camino del Pueblo. The special for Mardi Gras will be a three-course meal consisting of andouille sausage and seafood gumbo, crawfish étoufée, and a Cajun shrimp salad—all for $20. For reservations and more information, call 867-1700. Costumes are encouraged.


Guide dog group hosts art show, blues concert

Guide Dogs for the Blind will host the opening reception of “Double Vision: Portraits of the Blues” on Friday, February 11, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the New Mexico State Capitol Building, Rotunda/Halls of History, in Santa Fe.

The exhibit features LifeCast sculpture by Guide Dogs graduate Sharon McConnell and photography by Safi wa Nairobi. The opening reception will feature live music by "Blind Mississippi" Morris Cummings (known for delta blues) and Houndog & Bonds. In addition, McConnell and Cummings will present a forty-five-minute interpretative session on the cultural aspects of the event at 5:00 p.m.

For more information on the opening, call Cheryl Paddack at (800) 295-4050 or e-mail her at

The exhibit is sponsored by VSA arts of New Mexico and is scheduled to run February 11 to 25. All three participating artists—musician Cummings, sculptor McConnell, and photographer Safi wa Nairobi—are blind.

Guide Dogs for the Blind was founded in 1942 to help facilitate, nurture, and support special partnerships by providing the best dogs, the best training, and the best services available anywhere in the United States. For more information about the organization and its services, visit




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