Jo Anne Fredrikson in her studio
Photo credit: —Oli Robbins
Brits Gone Moderne, 63” x 76”
Jemez Vista, 33” x 26”
Shawl Dancer, 50” x 56”
Masquerade Magic, 63” x 72”
Signpost Featured Artist
The marvelous quilts of Jo Anne Fredrikson
The art of quilting has held a prominent position in our country since its inception. One of the artforms historically associated with women, quilting continues to combine form and function. In previous centuries, sewing, spinning, and weaving were necessary to clothe and warm one’s family, while providing an artistic outlet for the artist/crafter. But like so many artistic mediums that traverse the utilitarian and aesthetic realms (woodwork and ceramics come to mind), quilting has often had to fight harder for a seat at the fine art table, often finding itself relegated to the traditionally “lower” arena of crafts. This means less museum shows devoted to quilts, and a scanty representation at galleries across the country and internationally. Placitas quilter Jo Anne Fredrikson worries for the future of the medium, and looks forward to seeing more quilts featured and celebrated in fine art venues.
In some ways, Jo Anne has been immersed in the fiber arts since childhood. Says Jo Anne, “I started sewing at age nine, designing doll clothes with my mother’s fabric scraps on her motorized treadle machine.” She continued to nurture her predilection for sewing through high school and as a young mother, making nearly all of her daughters’ clothing for a period of time. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that she took a course on quilting, which became a hobby that she would begin to devote more and more time to in the coming years.
She professes to have benefitted immensely from the Placitas artist community, through which she finds herself inspired and sometimes awestruck. Silk painter and batik artist Judith Roderick, for example, has become a mentor of sorts to Jo Anne. “She’s so generous with her time and her spirit. Her idea is to ‘just try it!’ So that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Even today, you’ll be hard-pressed to hear Jo Anne refer to herself as an artist or quilter. “I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself an artist because the people here are so talented.” She finds great joy in quilting, but it doesn’t define her. “I’m an educator and a journalist,” says Jo Anne, “but I love to sew and I’ve always loved to sew.”
Jo Anne spent many of her working years teaching journalism at the high school level, eventually getting a Master’s in Telecommunication. Toward the end of her career she became a principal at a Rio Rancho elementary school. Finally, in retirement, Jo Anne expanded her relationship with quilting by becoming involved with the American Quilter’s Society, through which she took classes. “Some of those people have changed the way I quilt,” says Jo Anne. For five years she was a board member who was also responsible for creating the guild’s programs and recruiting people to instruct workshops in New Mexico.
Jo Anne has lived in New Mexico for 45 years and in Placitas for the last 22. When she first moved to the state, she found herself frequenting every art show she could find, “marveling at how things were done.” Says Jo Anne, “the stories of the artists really got me.” New Mexico brought Jo Anne’s appreciation for art to a higher level, and she began acquiring work that spoke to her. When she first started attending quilting workshops and building her knowledge of the medium, Jo Anne was focusing primarily on piecing and tended to produce quilts that bared similar arrangements. Today she works with more complicated compositions that usually involve an abundance of movement and color. “Every quilt I do, I learn a little bit more about color.” She notices that in the thirty years she’s been “playing with quilting,” both quilters and the fabric they work with have undergone significant changes. Says Jo Anne, “More people are taking risks, collaborating, and joining.”
Usually Jo Anne is attracted to an interesting pattern, design, or fabric—which she collects locally and during her travels. She enjoys adorning her quilts with embellishments, which she regards as the “fun playwork” part—easier than the sewing process, which can prove difficult.
The American Quilter’s Society has selected Jo Anne as a semifinalist for the 2016 AQS QuiltWeek (in Phoenix this month—see below). Jo Anne’s quilt Magical Masquerade will be exhibited alongside more than 150 other quilts created by artists from 36 states and eight countries. The show expects to draw over 15,000 spectators, suggesting the strides that quilters are making, as their work becomes widely admired and accepted as fine art. In the words of AQS founder and president Meredith Schroeder, “Quilts are no longer meant just for beds. Today’s quilt makers create artwork using vivid colors, a variety of materials—from traditional designs to paint, ink, and dyed—and stitch them by hand, home sewing machines, and the large longarm machines. You need to see these works of art.”
Jo Anne’s work can be seen at a number of upcoming events:
- February 11-14, American Quilter’s Society show, Phoenix Convention Center
- March 1-31, Placitas Quilters Exhibit, Placitas Community Library (in celebration of National Quilting Month); reception on March 11, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Jo Anne will be joined by fellow quilters Kathryn Weil, Maris Mason, Rod Daniel, Jim Carnevale, Judith Roderick, and Ginny Davis.
- April 1-2, Colors of the Southwest: Exploring Fiber Arts Through the Color of Our Exquisite Southwest, The Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council, Albuquerque Garden Center
- May 7-8, Placitas Studio Tour
Jo Anne welcomes you to visit her and her work at the above-mentioned shows or in her studio by appointment. She can be reached at 867-0405 and email@example.com.
Sunset Glow, painting, by Barbara Clark
Coming Into The Limelight, painting, by Dianna Shomaker
Taste for art at Blades’ Bistro
Barbara Clark and Dianna Shomaker are collaborating in an exhibit of their paintings currently at Blades’ Bistro in Placitas. Both artists are well-known in the art world, and their works complement one another’s well.
Barbara’s vivid Southwestern landscapes ooze vibrancy and intense eye-catching appeal. Within her first three years of painting, Barbara achieved Signature Membership in the Pastel Society of New Mexico, and took First Place in Pastels at the New Mexico State Fair. Since then she has won numerous national and local awards. She also paints in oils with much the same power as she achieves in pastels. She was the featured artist in the October 2015 Signpost.
Dianna’s paintings come from a different perspective. They are pensive, thought-provoking abstracts and images painted in a neutral palette, designed to cause the viewer to pause and reflect the moment captured. Dianna says, “I believe the artist should inspire the spectator to find more in a painting than simply the beauty of a scene or an event. I want the art to communicate a feeling and a meaning beyond the obvious. The subject matter is a representation of experiences in my life and, as with all things that impact my development, they are not always complete in their clarity of message… Each encounter should challenge the thoughts of the viewer to unveil new insights, new emotions.” Her studio is open every year for the Placitas Studio Tour on Mother’s Day weekend.
Their work can be viewed and enjoyed at Blades’ Bistro, along with Chef Kevin’s delicious preparations. Blades’ Bistro is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, from 5:00 p.m. to closing, and for Sunday brunch, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is located at Homestead Village Shopping Center, 221 Highway 165.
Other pieces of the artists’ work can be viewed at Corrales Bosque Gallery where they are both members. Corrales Bosque Gallery is located at 8685 Corrales Road, open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Portfolio One: Floral 001, photograph, by William Rehm
William Rehm at the Placitas Community Library
The Placitas Community Library’s January art exhibit will feature Placitas resident William Rehm. His artwork will be on exhibit from January 30 through February 25. The Placitas Community Library is delighted to host a free reception on February 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Visit www.rehmphotography.com for additional details about William Rehm and his work.
Placitas Studio Tour application deadline is February 14
The traditional two-week window for application to participate in the Placitas Studio Tour begins February 1.
The 2016 forms will appear on Placitasstudiotour.com on that date and must be received no later than Valentine’s Day, February 14. Artists are urged to read the Policies document also posted on the website. The tour will take place on Mother’s Day weekend, May 7 and 8.
The Studio Tour is open to artists and artisans who are Placitas residents or who maintain their working studios in Placitas. The entry fee is two hundred dollars. Artists must provide a high-quality digital image of their work and attend a mandatory orientation meeting on April 7. In addition, they are required to work on road signs and other assigned tasks.
The Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo—clarinet and piano
Never a plain picture, painting, by Sage Joseph Hagan
Placitas Artists Series features music and art
The Placitas Artists Series presents the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo at its upcoming February 21 concert. Clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu will present an eclectic program that includes works by well-known composers, including Brahms, Chopin, and Debussy, as well as pieces by contemporary composers Paquito D’Rivera and Gordon Goodwin, commissioned expressly for the duo, and a piece by John Novacek commissioned by the duo itself.
The concert is generously sponsored by Claudia Moraga, Shirley and Robert Ericson, and Deborah and Tom Hanna.
Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. visual artists reception will feature the art of Peter Böhringer, photography; Sage Joseph Hagan, acrylic, spray paint, and mixed media; Shirley Sloop, jewelry; and Don Vernay, steel sculpture. Their works, which are for sale, will be on display from January 30 to February 26.
Böhringer says about his work: “There is no journey, road, trail, location too far, or weather conditions too adverse, for me to follow the call and photograph the Southwest.”
Sage Joseph Hagan is a native New Mexican. His paintings—linear, bold statements about human strength, leadership, artifice and struggle—demand to be looked at.
Shirley Ann Sloop uses semiprecious stone beads, Bali silver, gold, amber, turquoise and other unique or natural materials to create jewelry inspired by color, form, texture, and patterns in nature.
Vernay says about his work, “Much of my work is constructed with found metal, which creates an aesthetic of its own.”
The concert and visual artist reception will 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 www.PlacitasArtistsSeries.org or call 867-8080. 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.
The Book’s the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Page—an interactive exhibit
Dost thou love William Shakespeare? Then February’s your month. From February 5 to 28, the Palace Press at the New Mexico History Museum features First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, in collaboration with the New Mexico History Museum’s The Book’s the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Page. Come throughout the month to each museum for lectures, performances, hands-on art activities, and more.
Where would we be without the printing press? We certainly wouldn’t have Shakespeare, or the thousands of editions of his plays produced over the last four centuries. Not a bad run for one of the most mysterious playwrights in history. Visitors will be able to make their own prints for a take-home treat.
The exhibition takes over a previous storage space in the east end of the Palace of the Governors, with an entrance from the courtyard. It’s a fitting locale, given that the Palace began construction in 1610, six years before Shakespeare’s death. For more information about the museum, log onto www.nmhistorymuseum.org or call 476-5200.
“Native American Easel Art”
On February 21, at 2:00 p.m., a Friends of Coronado Historic Winter Lecture Series lecture titled, “Native American Easel Art,” will be held at Sandoval County Historical Society Museum (DeLavy House), Highway 550 and Edmond Road.
Dr. Bruce Bernstein will give an overview of the development of Native American studio art. Many of you have seen the latest exhibit of art from the Dorothy Dunn collection at the Historic Site. Come hear more about these early artists and their teachers from an expert and professional curator of museum exhibitions on the arts and cultures of Native Americans.
The cost is five dollars (Friends of CHS are free). For more information, call 771-9493 or visit www.kuaua.com. More information on Coronado Historic Site can be found at: www.nmmonuments.org/coronado.
Applications available for the Veterans Creative Arts Festival
New Mexico’s veterans are invited to show off their talents in the 14th annual Veterans Creative Arts Festival to be held February 23-25 at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1501 San Pedro Dr. SE, in Albuquerque.
Main divisions for the festival are music, art, creative writing, drama, and dance. Local winners go on to compete at the national level via digital images and videotape. The Visual Arts entries will be on display from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on February 23 and 24 and from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on February 25 in the Recreation Hall (Building 2). The Performance Arts competition takes place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on February 24 in the Education Auditorium (Building 39). A closing ceremony is set for 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on February 25 in the Recreation Hall.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary, is the culmination of a year-long, fine arts talent competition involving more than three thousand participants nationwide. The festival is open to all veterans receiving care at VA medical facilities.
Veterans can pick up their applications in the medical center’s Recreation Hall. Applications also are available by calling 265-1711, ext. 4208. Veterans needing information about the Performance Arts can call Liz Apperson at 265-1711, ext. 2487. Veterans calling from outside of Albuquerque may call toll-free at 1-800-465-8262, ext. 4208. Applications and entries will be accepted from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., February 18 and 19, in the Recreation Hall. For more information, visit the Creative Arts Festival website www.creativeartsfestival.va.gov.