Jade Leyva in her Bernalillo studio in the Old
Town Shoppes complex. Her painting Mira como me dejaste (Look how
you left me) hangs above.
Signpost featured artist of the month: Jade Leyva
Leyva inspires artists to create
It can’t hurt that she looks like Frida Kahlo—considering
that she’s a painter. But Jade Leyva is no moody melancholic,
so the ghost vanishes with the first spark of energy from the thirty-one-year-old
Mexican by birth, Leyva’s boundless enthusiasm and happy
ambition make her right at home in America. She turns the stereotype
of the depressed artist on its head, bursting with enthusiasms from
pop to prehistoric.
Her work ranges freely from Pre-Colombian frescoes to postmodern
bleeding hearts, from photography to pottery. She always made things
as a child growing up in an artistic family in Mexico City. But
it was really a series of lucky coincidences—or a talent for
courting them—that landed Leyva in a Santa Fe gallery, in
her own studio, and in a beautiful home in Placitas.
She had been working in a fine art gallery in Mexico City in 2000
when her family asked her to come help with their restaurant in
Scottsdale, Arizona. “Something unbelievable happened,”
Leyva relates, her eyes sparkling.
She served a local customer who told her about his art collection.
When she walked in the door of his house, she says, “I was
amazed! Pre-Colombian things I saw at home, but Native American
pots … I had never seen anything like it,” Leyva says,
her eyes wide.
Her new friend Bill Freeman happened to be one of the nation’s
top collectors of prehistoric pottery, as well as a Western oil
painter and artisan known for his painstaking replicas of Native
American ceramics. Leyva asked if she could try making something
in his studio, and from that moment she was hooked.
“When I was not working, I would be in the studio all the
time,” she says. “I learned to antique, learned restoration,
he taught me so much about art, about classical music.” Freeman,
eighty, who has mentored a half dozen artists over the years, offered
Leyva a place to stay, and eventually she started moving between
his homes in Scottsdale and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Before long,
she had gallery representation in Jackson Hole.
Leyva came along when Freeman relocated to Placitas. Bright, animated,
and enthusiastic, it took no time for her to make friends. She met
Marguerite, a bead artist, while waitressing at The Range
Café. “We hit it off right away,” Leyva said.
“We had the same interest in doing art and talking about world
peace.” The two talked and laughed so much, they feared for
They dreamed of getting a studio together and doing art full-time.
They decided to show at an art exhibit at the Old Town Shoppes,
where owner Sara Chadwick was hatching a plan to create an artisan
colony. After the show, Chadwick offered them one of her small adobe
buildings in back to help “seed” the colony, initially
for just a commission off their sales.
“Not in our wildest dreams did we think we could have a space
together!” Leyva said. Translating dreams into reality was
becoming her form of artistic alchemy.
Last summer, Leyva placed a call to Huey’s Fine Art, the
Santa Fe gallery where Freeman had started selling his pots. They
gave her an appointment, agreed to represent her, and she has since
been selling three or four of her kachina paintings every month,
in addition to the work she sells through the gallery in Jackson
Hole. Together, the artwork now nearly supports her.
Her partner at the shop, Marguerite, credits Leyva with inspiring
her to take the leap to full-time artist. “She really, truly,
when she says that limits are self-imposed—she taught me that,”
Marguerite said. Leyva had talked her into making the rounds of the Santa
Fe galleries, literally pushing her through doors to show her work.
“It’s because of her that I’m showing at the Institute
of American Indian Arts,” she says admiringly.
Leyva shrugs and says, “a lot of it is pure luck.”
But she quickly concedes that opportunities appear all the time—“for
fear, people don’t take it! But there’s nothing to be
afraid of,” she says with great conviction. “If it doesn’t
work, OK, you had the experience.”
Currently, Leyva is working on textured masonite painted with Pre-Colombian
designs from Panama, as well as colorful Neo-Mexican acrylic paintings
distressed with heat. A self-taught photographer, she shoots black-and-white
portraits, landscapes, and copy work for fellow artists.
“I don’t have a limit,” she says of her future
plans. “Whatever you want in life, you have to go for it—not
to be scared of anything or anybody!” Such outpouring of creative
energy is an inspiring source indeed.
Huaraz Interloper, photograph, by Barry McCormick
Illumination on Pluto, painting, by Mary E. Carter
Eyeballs peeled, stereogram, by Gary W. Priester
Placitas artists McCormick, Carter, and Priester at Valentine’s
As guests of painter Santiago Perez, Barry McCormick, Mary Carter,
and Gary Priester will show their recent work, curated by Santiago
Perez, at the annual Valentine Show at the 105 Studios. Opening
night is Friday, February 8 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The 105 Studios
(formerly the DCAC) is located at 105 4th Street in Albuquerque.
Figurative surrealist painter Mary E. Carter rearranges and juxtaposes
human and animal forms to reveal new and unexpected ideas. She creates
a feeling of space and depth in her paintings by using thin transparent
washes in which her figures fly, float, or fall. Her paintings from
1980 to 2007 and her essays and observations about art and life
may be viewed at www.mary-carter.com.
Gary Priester will offer his newest stereographic images covering
themes from politics to just plain fun. Two-dimensional images pop
with three-dimensional hidden images in vibrant color. His stereograms
may also be enjoyed online at www.gwpriester.com.
Barry McCormick’s photographic images exploit the male and
female figure to celebrate the body and comment on the human condition.
Images from his unsettling draped figure series will be presented,
as well. His work can be seen online at www.mccormick-photography.com.
Resident artists at the Studios include Santiago Perez, Stacy Hawkinson,
Michael Carter, and Gayle Van Horn as well as photographers Val
Hollingworth, Wes Naman and Benjamin Winters, and printmaker Janet
The show continues throughout the month of February and will be
open February 15 to 17 and February 22 to 24 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
or by appointment. Call (505) 244-4188 or (505) 363-3868 for information
Rio Rancho Art Association fourth annual Studio
Tour scheduled for April
The Rio Rancho Art Association (RRAA) announces its fourth annual
Artists’ Studio Tour, scheduled for Saturday, April 26 from
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m. Local fine artists working in a variety of media including
oils, acrylics, colored pencil, watercolor, photography, jewelry,
sculpture, pottery, and mixed media will open their studios to visitors
who wish to view their latest creations and see where and how they
work. For those who would like to meet local professional and amateur
artists, understand their creative processes, and inspect their
methods and artistic direction, this tour is a fantastic opportunity.
Maps to the participating artists’ studios will be available
at a number of local businesses as the date approaches.
The Studio Tour is being sponsored by the City of Rio Rancho Cultural
Parks and Recreation Department, the Observer newspaper, and the
RRAA. For further questions about the Studio Tour, contact Ellen
or Damon Rawlings at (505) 994-4199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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, watercolor and photography, to sculpture
and fabric art. Established in October 2004 and boasting in excess
of 140 members, the Rio Rancho Art Association is developing a reputation
as the premier art association in the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area.
They are dedicated to the advancement and awareness of local professional
and amateur artists, as well as the visual arts in general.
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.
Dudding artwork inspired by Sun Dagger at Chaco
Jaymes Dudding’s original artwork entitled “Chaco Rising”
has been selected to be placed outside of Rio Rancho’s new
Through the direction of the City Council and the Request for Proposal
(RFP) process, the city put out a call to artists from Sandoval
County to submit their ideas for consideration. The intention of
the RFP was to seek a piece of art to enhance visitors’ experience
while at City Hall. Each City Councilor provided $2,000 from their
discretionary fund accounts for a total of $12,000 available for
design, fabrication, construction, installation, and engineering
A selection committee consisting of city staff, District 3 City
Councilor Delma Petrullo, and City Hall architect Greg Hartman of
the Hartman & Majewski Design Group reviewed and scored proposals
that were submitted. Each proposal was evaluated using criteria
such as experience/background of the artist, quality of rendering
submitted, quality of past projects, and quality of proposal submitted.
The winning proposal will represent a modern interpretation of
the ancient Sun Dagger Solar Calendar at Chaco Canyon. Between 900
and 1150 AD, Chaco Canyon, located in northwest New Mexico, was
a center of culture for ancient Pueblo people. Dudding’s piece
will recreate the phenomena of the Sun Dagger petroglyph, which
during the summer solstice created a single band of light that bisected
the center of a rock spiral. Additional light fell on a nearby petroglyph
that marked the spring and fall equinoxes. Only recently, for unknown
reasons, has this regular occurrence ceased to exist.
“Ancient solar calendars and markers exist around the world.
My piece is an attempt to recognize and pay homage to the ingenuity
and beauty of the Pueblo people,” said Dudding.
This piece of public art is currently being installed near the
east entrance of City Hall. The piece will rise to eight feet tall
by approximately ten feet in diameter. It is anticipated that all
work and installation is to be completed by the end of January.
One of the many “art hearts” available
at the “Mi Corazón” benefit show in February.
It is time again for the “2nd Annual Mi Corazón”
silent auction to benefit the nonprofit RCI, Inc. of Rio Rancho.
Art Gallery 66 is pleased to once again host this unique Valentine’s
Day art show to auction wonderfully fun, colorful, and imaginative
art hearts created by a great pool of talent from all over New Mexico.
RCI, Inc. will be celebrating “50 Years of Caring”
in 2008 and strives to improve the abilities, interests, and choices
of children and adults with physical, developmental, or behavioral
challenges. Your support of “Mi Corazón” will
help to ensure the quality of RCI programs in helping individuals
overcome obstacles and become contributing members of our community.
The best part of these original art hearts is that there were no
boundaries for creating them. Therefore, the public will get to
choose from all kinds of approaches to the hearts by the artists,
and some are entering multiple pieces, which means their imaginations
The event takes place the weekend before Valentine’s Day—in
time to buy that one-of-a-kind gift for your favorite valentine.
Friday, February 8, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. is preview night of the
hearts, with a live body painting demo by artist Pam Trent. The
actual auction is on Saturday, February 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00
p.m. Some of the twenty professional artists to participate to date
are OK Harris, Darryl Willison, Marjie Bassler, Gene McClain, Van
Emery, Jenny Durrett, Lyla Garcia, Marilyn Meuret, and Thomas Tomlinson.
RCI members will also participate with their creations, so there
will something for everyone. The highest bidder wins!
Art Gallery 66 is located at 373 North Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo.
For more information, call 867-8666 or visit www.artgallery66.net.
David Burgess, guitarist
Placitas Artists Series presents David Burgess
—GARY LIBMAN, PLACITAS ARTISTS SERIES
On Sunday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m., the Placitas Artists Series
will present an exciting concert featuring guitarist David Burgess.
David Burgess has established a reputation as one of today’s
outstanding guitarists. He has won top honors in many international
music competitions, including the Ponce International Competition
in Mexico City, the Guitar ‘81 Competition in Toronto, and
the 31st International Music Competition in Munich.
Burgess began studying guitar at the Estudio de Arte Guitarristico
in Mexico City, with the pre-eminent Argentine guitarist Manuel
Lopez Ramos. He later earned a Diploma di Merito, while receiving
a full scholarship at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Sienna,
Italy. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree at the University
of Washington, he was appointed guitar instructor at both the University
of Washington and the Cornish Institute of the Arts in Seattle.
In 1984, he was selected as the first recipient of the Andres Segovia
Fellowship, after which he periodically received classes from Maestro
Segovia until the maestro’s death in 1987.
Burgess has performed solo recitals to critical acclaim throughout
North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. As an orchestral
soloist, he performed with prominent U.S. orchestras such as the
American Chamber Orchestra at Kennedy Center, the St. Luke’s
Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Virtuosi.
The concert is generously sponsored by our friends at the First
Community Bank of New Mexico.
Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for February exhibiting
artists, Claudia Fluegge, Sarah Hartshorne, Jeremy Stein, and Donald
The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. on February 24 at Las
Placitas Presbyterian Church; 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 or online at www.PlacitasArts.org.
Prices are $18 for general admission and $15 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 located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165
(Exit 242). For more information, call 867-8080.
Jazz Workshop readies for great show
On Saturday, February 16, at 8:00 p.m., the New Mexico Jazz Workshop
will present its 32nd Annual Guest Artist Series with Dennis Mackrel
and The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, plus the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian
Sextet and special guest Bobby Shew.
The New Mexico Jazz Workshop has worked closely with the Albuquerque
Jazz Orchestra to bring jazz artists that perform with and lead
this fine local ensemble. On February 16, seasoned Jazz Drummer,
and Composer, Dennis Mackrel, will perform with the Albuquerque
Mr. Mackrel has traveled extensively and has worked with notable
musicians that include Lionel Hampton, Kevin Mahogany, Tony Bennett,
Joe Williams, and Nancy Wilson. He has performed with ensembles
such as Slide Hampton and the Jazz Masters, The Dizzy Gillespie
Alumni Band, The Manhattan Symphony Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie
Hall Classic Jazz Orchestra, The Hank Jones Trio, The Smithsonian
Jazz Orchestra, and the American Jazz Orchestra.
In February of 1990, Dennis became drummer in The Mel Lewis/Vanguard
Jazz Orchestra. He was also a featured soloist in the West Coast
Premier of “Charles Mingus' Epitaph.” Trumpeter/Composer,
Gabriel Alegria, draws on Peruvian folk songs and folk traditions,
resulting in a unique Latin Jazz sound that incorporates intoxicating
polyrhythms of coastal Peru. Born in Albuquerque, Bobby Shew is
well-known for his fiery bebop trumpet, and for over three decades
has performed and recorded with the elite of the Jazz world.
The concert will be at the African American Performing Arts Center
in Albuquerque. Tickets $25 general, $20 NMJW members, $10 students.
For further event and ticket information, call 255-9798 or visit
their website at www.nmjazz.org.
Season ticket (three concerts) discounts are available.
Adobe Theater seeks play proposals from directors
The Adobe Theater seeks proposals from directors for plays or musicals
to be produced August through December 2008. The deadline for submissions
is February 15.
The Adobe presents ten shows annually, choosing their season from
proposals submitted by directors. New talent is welcomed. Published
works have the best chance, but if a director is enthusiastic about
an original script, it will be considered. Directors who wish to
work at The Adobe, but are unsure what show to propose, may request
title suggestions from the committee.
For further instructions and information, contact Joann Danella
at 898-6866 or email@example.com.
Are you ready for a revolution?
Beginning on January 15th through February 2nd, performers from
around the world—Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Pakistan,
Canada, New York City, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and more—will
come together in New Mexico for the 8th Annual Revolutions International
Produced by Albuquerque’s own Tricklock Company, the three-week-long
festival will feature some of the world’s most “revolutionary”
theatre at venues across Albuquerque and Santa Fe, showcasing everything
from comedic theatre to burlesque acrobatics. The Festival highlights
the region’s heritage as a crossroad of global exchange and
artistic innovation by bringing the world stage to the Southwest.
In addition, the festival will feature other events, including
The Reptilian Lounge, where Albuquerque performers of all types—dancers,
actors, comics, musicians, contortionists, magicians, and others—are
invited to bring a short piece of work to the stage for a live audience
in a no-holds-barred Cabaret. The Lounge will feature select performances
of many of the visiting festival artists, creating an artistic exchange
between the touring artists and Albuquerqueans.
The festival will also feature The Excavations New Works Series,
which acts as a platform for Tricklock Company members to workshop
and develop their original shows in progress. Albuquerqueans are
also invited to the festival’s official base camp—O’Niell’s
Pub & Grill, which will play host to parties and special events,
and serve as a destination for after-show gatherings and a place
audience members can go to get the latest news about the festival.
For additional details on the performers and their shows, photos,
or to set up interviews with the performers, contact Jessica Trumble
or Alexis Kerschner at (505) 266-7220, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com. For
more information about the Revolutions International Theatre Festival,
including a complete schedule of events, visit www.tricklock.com.