An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Artist Ed Goodman

(Above ) Artist Ed Goodman and his bowling-pin santos.

Ed Goodman, The Date

(Above) The Date, painting, by Ed Goodman

Signpost featured artist of the month
Smiling Dog Gallery coming to Bernalillo

Ed Goodman may call himself as a lawyer, painter, and sculptor, but he’s really a gambler betting on the artistic future of Bernalillo.

Rolling the dice, he bought a new four-unit commercial building on Camino del Pueblo just south of Avenida Bernalillo. He’s already setting up his Smiling Dog Gallery in one unit and plans to rent the other three, ideally to artists.

Call it a coincidence of chance and desire.

“I wanted a studio but then saw this building in a commercial area,” Goodman said. “I just drove by here once and thought, ‘That’s so perfect.’”

So he and partner Ennio Garcia-Miera, whose Bernalillo roots run back generations, bought the building. The gallery is expected to open later this month, on a date still to be determined, Goodman said.

When Goodman does open, he joins Bernalillo gallery owners Katrina Lasko, Julianna Kirwin, Angus McDougall, OK Harris, and Darryl Willison, and the Roller Gallery, of Placitas, in trying to lure art buyers off I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Goodman also sees the planned Belen-Bernalillo commuter railroad with its downtown station as a boon to Bernalillo commerce.

“I get the feeling the train is going to be exciting for a while,” he said. “Instead of driving, people will hop a train just for the ride.
“The opportunity is not just for commuters but for visitors to explore Bernalillo.”

Goodman himself had been visiting New Mexico since 1985 while pursuing a career as a disability lawyer for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Yet the early decision to follow the practical path instead of an artistic one nagged at him until he took a chance on moving west.

Now he practices law part-time with an Albuquerque firm while expanding his art. “When I came to New Mexico, it all seemed possible,” he said.

Given his colorful style and lack of formal training, his depictions of Southwestern life—a young man waiting for his date, a skillet-wielding abuelita defending her family from La Llorona—fall within the folk tradition.

“I call it naíve art,” Goodman said. “It’s not technically brilliant, but it captures a simple folk idea of people and places.”
Then there are his assemblages of recycled objects, lately a series of santos who began life as bowling pins. Working in the tradition of early santeros limited to available materials, he uses found and recycled objects, from eggbeaters and ice tongs to gelatin molds and corkscrews, to bring the objects to life.

“Everything has to have a previous use,” he said. “It’s taking nothing and making it into something saintly.”

Judges at last year’s New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair agreed and awarded Goodman the Old Town Merchants Award for the event’s most creative entry.

Goodman said the gallery, at 1115 South Camino del Pueblo, will be open on a limited basis to start, probably Saturdays and Sundays and possibly on Fridays. Appointments to view his and others’ work can be arranged by calling 550-4300.

To see Goodman’s work in color, visit the Signpost Web site,

Placitas Studio Tour application forms now available

The ninth annual Placitas Studio Tour will take place on Mother’s Day Weekend, May 13 and 14. Artists and artisans living or working in Placitas are welcome to participate. Application forms and information are available at or at the Merc. The firm deadline for application is February 14, so artists are urged to jump on this opportunity.

The free self-guided tour begins at Homestead Village Shopping Center at 10:00 p.m. both days and ends at 5:00 p.m. Many artists offer refreshments; some will give demonstrations or have work in progress. For the exhibitors, the event offers excellent exposure to new and repeat collectors, as well as a chance to meet and exchange ideas and inspiration with other artists in the community. For visitors, it's a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the creative process and the many variations of the workspaces we call our studios.

For more information, please visit or call 771-1006.

Discussions, workshops with famous authors planned for Albuquerque tricentennial

What do Tony Hillerman, V.B. Price, Chuy Martinez, Richard Peck, and Julie Mars have in common? They are all local authors who have illuminated the city of Albuquerque through their literary works. February is Authors Month in Albuquerque’s Tricentennial celebration and features a variety of discussions, performances, and writing workshops to celebrate the literary realm in Albuquerque.

Throughout the month nearly twenty local authors will participate in free discussions at Albuquerque libraries. Many notable authors will also speak at various Albuquerque public high schools, and on three Saturdays in February there will be writing workshops taught by Albuquerque authors on various topics. The cost for the workshops is $35; reservations can be made by contacting Lucinda Lucero Sachs, at (505) 768-3557 or Many of the lectures, discussions, and performances are free. For a full list of February events and complete details, please visit

Albuquerque is celebrating its three-hundredth birthday through 2006. The city was founded by Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez in 1706 and remains a vibrant crossroad of culture to this day. The city’s tricentennial celebration has also been chosen as the American Bus Association’s top event of 2006. Go to to find out how you can join in other Albuquerque’s tricentennial festivities.

Charged To Do

The beauty lifts from the Earth
and meets the Power Source
flowing down.
In intermingling, needs
are met.
Meeting separates into love
which is electricity, magnetism, energy
in animal eyes in plant ears
in human terms
awareness, waking up, dawn dawning
mind full of this speaks
I just dig it,
and the snow continues to melt
in the outright sun.
The apricot blossoms with glistening
probably frozen from last night’s

Everything says
enough sheer pleasure:
get to work know what is best
to do.

From this reprieve,
this morning repairing.
This bright sunlight this
This long needed wet.
Soaks in.
As I get up

MARCH 13, 1992

Cartoon Copyright Rudi Klimpert

Peace collage project launched

A new, international nonprofit organization based in Albuquerque has launched the Peace Collage, an artistic conversation about the possibility of peace and creative harmony. Peace Collage, Inc., the Peace Collage sponsor, is coordinating an online art gallery and concert hall, an art show and a multi-media art contest featuring works of every artistic medium by amateur and professional artists of all ages.

“We want to inspire the world to imagine what would be possible if peace were the context,” says one of Peace Collage’s founders and board member, Albuquerque attorney Rikki Quintana, around whose kitchen table the organization was developed. “Out of a conversation about the unmatched power of art to connect and inspire people and help melt the artificial barriers that divide us, several of us thought up the idea of a global effort to use art to inspire people to imagine the world where peace existed.”

Peace Collage and Southwest Learning Centers (three Albuquerque charter schools) are co-sponsoring an art exhibit and performance event to showcase the work of charter school students in New Mexico. The show is scheduled for March 18, 2006 at Southwest Learning Centers, 10301 Candelaria NE.
For further information, go to or contact Rikki Quintana at 505-255-4748.

All’s Well That Ends Well at the Adobe Theater in February

A humble doctor’s daughter cures an ailing king and claims marriage to a young lord as reward. He’ll have none of her and runs off to war. But our heroine isn’t the sort to give up easily.

This is the basis of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy All’s Well that Ends Well, an upcoming production of the Adobe Theater and the American Shakespeare Project. The story lies in the powerful but unrequited love that Helena, played by Jessica Barkl, feels for Bertram (Preston Mendenhall). John Wylie plays the King of France. Diana, Helena’s friend, is played by Maria Ashna, and Parolles, Bertram’s braggart follower, by Daniel Cornish. Others in the outstanding cast assembled by director David Nava include Rick Wiles, George Bach, Alex Caulfield, Erik J. Hockemeier, Jordan Cafolla, Gabe Casilas, Tim Cox, Jill Stacey, Bob White, Eddie Dean, and Andrew Szeman.

The play will be performed from February 10 through March 5, at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays, at the Adobe Theater, 9813 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, two blocks north of Alameda Boulevard. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and students. For more information, log on to Seating is limited, so call 898-9222 for reservations today.

Guitar quartet to perform in Placitas

The Placitas Artists Series will host the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet on Sunday, February 12. One of the world's leading guitar ensembles since its founding, in 1986, the quartet has performed throughout the United States in recital and concerto appearances, balancing a dizzying repertoire ranging from Renaissance and Baroque to Spanish, Latin American, and Romantic to existing and commissioned contemporary works. The group has recorded on the Albany and GSP labels, and has been heard on the nationally syndicated St. Paul Sunday and NPR's Performance Today.

An assistant professor of guitar and music at St. John's University in Collegeville, in Minnesota, founding member O. Nicholas Raths studied at the University of Southern California, received his DMA from the University of Minnesota, and studied with both classical and jazz masters including Pepe Romero, Howard Roberts, and Jeffery Van. He is equally at home in the classical and pop realms, and his studio performances can be heard on many of the country's major record labels, including three of Janet Jackson's albums.

Wisconsin native Jeff Lambert joined the MGQ in December 2001, after five years’ study with founder Joseph Hagedorn at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He subsequently received his master’s degree in music from Northwestern University. A top prizewinner in several Midwestern guitar competitions, Jeff released his first solo CD in 2003.

Since his career was launched by winning the 1990 Guitar Foundation of America solo competition, founder Joseph Hagedorn has been praised for his passionate performances and flawless technique on guitar and Renaissance lute. He has performed solo and concerto programs in more than twenty-five American and Canadian cities. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from Cornell College of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and master’s degree in music from the University of Minnesota, and has been on the music faculty of the University of Minnesota-River Falls since 1988.

Minnesota native Jeffrey Thygeson has appeared as solo, concerto, or chamber musician in New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, and throughout the Midwest. He has studied with Pepe Romero, James Smith, Christopher Kachian, and Brian Head as well as performing in master classes with Eliot Fisk, Christopher Parkening, Sharon Isbin, Paul Galbraith, Ben Verdery, Roberto Aussel, and Denis Azabagic. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and his master’s from UCLA, where he studied with William Kanengiser (of Los Angeles Guitar Quartet fame.)

Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for exhibiting visual artists Andi Callahan, Joyce Cantergiani, Gary W. Priester, and Roberta Wellems.

Beginning as a raku potter, Andi Callahan carried her love of its vibrant, iridescent colors to works of fused dichroic glass. These eclectic works include jewelry and sculpture, as well as pottery and wall plaques, incorporating dichroic glass and applied leaf.

A former French teacher, oil painter Joyce Cantergiani lived in Europe for ten years and studied art while operating a travel agency that focused on study tours of the visual arts, wine (an art!), and cuisine. In New Mexico, she studied the French Maroger method of painting (used by the “old masters”) with Howard Wexler. An avid student of color, Cantergiani paints from real life in the representational style. She is attracted to still life, objets d'art, New Mexico's adobe buildings, and especially flowers, on which she “must work quickly … due to their ephemeral nature.”

Art director and graphic artist Gary W. Priester creates digital images that combine his personal photographs with computer-drawn objects. He also creates pure digital images. His graphic design work has received over fifty design and advertising awards for creativity. Priester will be showing his 3-D Hidden Image Stereogram. All images are both floating objects and hidden 3-D images. The repeating images are called floaters, and in most cases reveal the 3-D hidden image. Priester produces about sixty images a year for a series of popular Japanese publications.

Because she likes to get her first impressions on paper as quickly as possible, Roberta Wellems prefers to work in watercolor, combining sometimes with other water media, ink, pastels, and collage. Wellems finds that “art brings me a sense of identity, peace, and pleasure in experimentation.” Though her techniques may vary, she says “the basics are always there and for any composition to be successful, I must never forget to follow those elements.”

The concert will start at 3:00 p.m. on February 12; the artists' reception begins at 1:30 p.m. 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.

Road to Nowhere

Why I cherish the road to nowhere

When I was a kid, I hated roads that went to nowhere. Lonely and, to a first-grader’s eyes, completely featureless, the high desert of my childhood had plenty of them. Roads to nowhere meant frustratingly long rides in a station wagon without air-conditioning, whizzing along flat open spaces with tumbleweeds blowing across the highway, the only fun coming when one of them lodged under the car and my stepfather would swear, thus increasing my knowledge of words six-year-olds shouldn’t repeat.

At that age I had no appreciation for the relics of mining towns or the austere splendor of a turquoise sky. As a child, I longed for trees, real trees with real leaves, and resented those "stupid" juniper things that grow wild or cultivated throughout the West. I despised grass that was dead dry and felt prickly against my bare legs. I wanted to live where hill after hill was covered in soft green grass and spring was like my vision of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, a land of magical woods and broad, splashing rivers.
I’ve since lived in Narnia, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am to be back home. Narnia, a.k.a. West Virginia, where I’ve spent the last four years, contains some of the most spectacular forests I have seen or am ever likely to see. As the state tourist board proclaims, it is "wild and wonderful," with rivers and streams at the bottom of nearly every hollow. My first spring in this charmed forest world, I struck out on a walk one morning and was stunned by the choking gorgeousness of the plant life that twined and bloomed and wrestled itself along my country road, like walled nests of bright green snakes.

Can the very nature of one road make it feel like a prison, while the characteristics of another instill a sense of freedom? As a Westerner I felt claustrophobic in the Mountain State, where a straight stretch of road is a rare commodity and it’s difficult to see the mountains because you’re always in them, never able to view them at a distance. I marveled at the intensity of the green, but longed for a decent view of the sky. It came at you in pieces there, normally a misty gray, and I often felt as if I viewed it from the bottom of a well.

These days, my car crests the Abo Pass near my home in the mountains southeast of Albuquerque, and I gaze down at the entire width of the Rio Grande River Valley. It is so expansive, the space so unhindered, that I imagine I can see the curvature of the Earth itself. To the west, Highway 60 stretches in a straight line, all the way to the horizon without a single curve. Incredible, I think. I turn on Route 47 toward Belen and contentment washes over me as I watch miles of grey-green sagebrush fly by.

"How can you love a road like this?" a friend visiting from the East Coast asks me. "Miles and miles of nothing. Just dirt and a couple of lousy bushes. It’s so dull."

"You don’t see what I see," I say.

On my right, the gentle swell of desert pasture makes a seamless transition with the Manzano Mountains. I’ll find piñon and juniper up there, and now realize that they are every bit as real as the hardwoods of the Appalachians. A bone-dry arroyo is a visual wonder, cutting through the plain like a jagged, earthbound thunderbolt. I detect dozens of subtle variations in hue amongst the rocks and shrubs, birds and clouds. As we stop and wait for a freight train to pass, its cars echo the region’s many colors, the leathery green of cholla cactus, the clay red of a Santa Clara wedding vase, the silver-slate of the Rio Grande on a winter afternoon.

These high desert byways aren’t roads to nowhere. In the desert Southwest, you are always Somewhere. The trick is in understanding the road’s uncluttered beauty, that property which allows you to isolate and appreciate individual objects as small as a roadrunner darting across your path or as large as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, purple in the distance, blood-red at sunset, mysteries waiting to be made brand-new again each time you see them.

The John Denver song was right: West Virginia is "almost heaven." But these days, when I cruise the high desert’s wide-open byways, I can touch the sky above me. I feel like I’m inside it, driving through heaven.

Claudia O’Keefe is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News ( She lives in Mountainair, New Mexico.






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