Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

 
Front Page

PREVIOUSLY
FEATURED ARTISTS:

TOM ASHE

TOM BAKER

ERIC BEARDSLEY

BARB BELKNAP

BARB & TY BELKNAP

BUNNY BOWEN

GERALDINE BRUSSEL

JB BRYAN

JOE CAJERO

MARY CARTER

ARTURO CHAVEZ

LISA CHERNOFF

RALPH CHURCHILL

CATE CLARK

MICHAEL COLEMAN

DAVID W. CRAMER

CREATIVE SPIRITS OF PLACITAS

SARA LEE D'ALESSANDRO

FERNANDO DELGADO

MARILYN AND HERB DILLARD

SAMANTHA McCUE ECKERT

ALVARO ENCISO

ROGER EVANS

MARCIA FINKELSTEIN

JIM FISH

JIM FISH

BEN FORGEY

C.E. FRAPPIER

BILL FREEMAN

LENORE & LARRY GOODELL

ED GOODMAN

EDWARD GONZALES

SCOTT GREENE

JANA GROVER

SUSAN GUTT

PATRICIA HALLORAN

BIANCA HÄRLE

DALE HARRIS

LYNN HARTENBERGER

LINDA HEATH

KATHERINE HOWARD

BARTLEY JOHNSON

EVEY JONES

SUSAN JORDAN

DAISY KATES

JULIANNA KIRWIN

RUDI KLIMPERT

LYNNE KOTTEL

KATRINA LASKO

KATRINA LASKO

JADE LAYVA

MEG LEONARD

JON WILLIAM LOPEZ

GENE McCLAIN

GENE McCLAIN

BARRY McCORMICK

SARAH MADIGAN

SARENA MANN

JOHNNY MULLENS

TONY PARANÁ-RODRIGUES

GARY W. PRIESTER

MICHAEL PROKOS

GREG REICHE

LAURA ROBBINS

LAURA ROBBINS 2

MAGGIE ROBINSON

JUDITH RODERICK

GARY ROLLER

ANGEL ROSE

RIHA ROTHBERG AND WAYNE MIKOSZ

MARIANA ROUMELL-GASTEYER

MARIA SAMORA

GARY SANCHEZ

ADRIANA SCASSELLATI

SHARON SCHWARTZMANN

RAY & BETTY SHAW

DIANNA SHOMAKER

BILL SKEES

KATHERINE SLUSHER

LORNA SMITH

CIRRELDA SNIDER-BRYAN

KEVIN TOLMAN

MAX & JENNIFER VASHER

CATHY VEBLEN

DAWN WILSON-ENOCH

MARY ALICE WINCHELL

For more great local art, visit
Placitas Artists.com

  Featured Artist

  

 

c. Barb Belknap Barb Belknap
Beveled Leaves, stained glass,
by Barb Belknap
Barb Belknap by her stained glass, Quail Vist.

Belknaps’ vision: Clear as glass

—Barb Belknap

c. Barb BelknapSomeone once wrote about my artwork: “Barb is the paraphenclius, the greatest artistic force since fermented grapes, the wind in the sails of movement and creation, the first leaf of springtime, a breath of fresh air after a cold winter of stagnancy and bitter, spine-tingling cold; she is the waves of the ocean before a storm, a camera locked in on all those little things that go on deep under the new blades of grass. She is great!” But then, that was my son, and, hey, he wanted the car.

It’s tough for artists to get the press they deserve, the words that describe all that they have been trying to create, convey, and accomplish. It’s not an easy task, making art. Rewarding, but not easy. There is a lot of room for grumbling. But not for me, today.

Today, the Signpost owners asked me to write about how it has been going for me, artistically, for the last two years since Ty and I sold the paper to them. And, though we do miss our old Signpost friends, I can only say that it’s been going really well.

In a sort of “House That Jack Built” scenario, I have managed to make many stained glass windows and mosaics for wonderful folks who, one after the other, saw what I had made for the other and then asked me to make something for them.

To illustrate: Shortly after selling the Signpost in 2008, I made a bamboo-motif mosaic splashback for my mother’s kitchen out of glass and sculpted clay pieces—with some clay tutorage from local mosaic artist-friend Laura Robbins. This was soon seen by my friend Steff who immediately asked me to make a Navajo blanket-inspired glass mosaic with rock accents for her kitchen. Well, then rock collector and artist Mary Alice came wandering by, saw Steff’s mosaic with the rock additions, and had me make a wonderful rock mosaic for her patio. Meanwhile, Placitas acupuncturist John saw those things, told his wife, and so I was able to make a beautiful lotus garden kitchen splashback for them. And on and on—hooray! It’s been such a treat: the process of linking one project to another by taking elements of one thing that someone likes to create a whole new artwork that fits like a puzzle piece into another person’s life.

Since then, I have been so grateful and enjoyed making conglomerate glass-and-natural material creations and revamping my stained glass career that was started in my twenties when I apprenticed with Lana—a woman from Boston with whom I worked for an ecclesiastical art studio group that traveled in the East decorating churches, convents, and monasteries. Oh, yes, truth be told, I have many much more interesting stories than this to tell of those times in my twenties, traveling around with a bunch of carpenters, Russian Orthodox iconographers, and painters in the backs of trucks to pilgrimages and out-of-the-way churches in the Pennsylvania-New York area, to watch reverent monks burst out of steepled buildings stoned on incense smoke with wild-eyed stories of senior abbots levitating around the church grounds in the early morning light; of a time we held a mosaic made with 18K gold-leafed tiles from Italy to a ten-by-twenty-foot monolith with our outstretched arms and bodies in the pouring rain, hoping that the tile cement we had just placed under the pieces would dry before our work crumbled to the ground; of when we glued larger-than-life saints oil-painted on canvas to vaulted ceilings and walls with a mixture of wheat paste and Karo syrup, only to have the church rats eat the feet off all of them overnight.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Right now, the point is to say that I, along with Ty who has always helped in the things I do, am enjoying creating custom glass art for people’s homes very much. Ty has a good eye for color and design; knows how to tile, grind, foil, saw, and solder; and is in charge of our “framing and installation” department. Our company is called Placitas Art Glass, a name I registered in New Mexico when first arriving here in 1986 with a carload of clothing, two little kids, and a plethora of stained glass commissions to finish from the stained glass shop I owned and left behind in Pennsylvania. This is the long story short.

On Sunday, January 23, 2011, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Barb and Ty Belknap (placitasartglass.com) will join painter Sarah Hartshorne, mixed media artist Pam Neas, and photographer Bill Tondreau as the featured visual artists at the Placitas Artists Series artists’ reception at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in Placitas. The art exhibit will be followed by the Placitas Artists Series January concert, “Willy Sucre and Friends Play String Quartets,” which begins at 3:00 p.m. The art exhibit will hang at the church from January 1 to 29.

     

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