The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Marcia Finkelstein puts the third layer of color on a poplar board.

Marcia Finkelstein puts the third layer of color on a poplar board. Behind her is a completed work showing her sparse style of a broad field with minimalist drawings.

Painting, by Marcia Finkelstein

Painting, by Marcia Finkelstein

Signpost featured artist of the month

Finkelstein—between modernist and minimalist

Bill Diven

Drawing came easy to Marcia Finkelstein; now it’s her art that some people think is difficult.

For them, the trouble is not so much the content as the seeming lack of it.

“It’s taking things out after twenty or thirty years of putting things in,” Finkelstein said. “What’s hard in the marketplace is that these are seen as difficult.”

Deceptively simple at first glance, some of her paintings appear to be a solid background color with little groups of circles or rectangles. Simple they are not, however, either by process or history.

The roots run deep, first to modern artists of the early twentieth century who tapped the subconscious to create often complicated abstractions separate from the natural world. Then, toward the end of the century, came the minimalists, whose expression might be a blank white canvas.

Finkelstein sees herself in the middle.

“I don’t want to appear minimalist; I always want to come back and scribble,” the Signpost artist of the month said. “It’s knowing when to stop as much as knowing when to keep going.

“I’m interested in the optics and the history that comes through the materials.”

Consider the piece in progress at her Corrales studio: a poplar board about three feet square prepped for painting and covered first with a layer of dark purple oil, then dark blue, and now green.

“I’m not sure if that’s the top layer,” Finkelstein said. “Oil has a nice transparency, even when you’re trying to be opaque.”

Optical rather than literal, each layer affects the one above. “Once it sets up and the color comes through, I’ll go back and draw,” she said.

Finkelstein knew her interest early, coasting through Maryland schools as “the kid who could draw.” There was no coasting, however, through undergraduate work at the Massachusetts College of Art and a master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she met her artist husband, Bartley Johnson.

Moving to the East Village in 1985, they spent fifteen years in New York City where she worked first cataloging paintings at the Whitney Museum. Then in the early 1990s, Finkelstein and two friends started Gallery Systems to develop and sell cataloging software to museums.

Today the company boasts offices in New York, London, Berlin, and New Mexico, with Finkelstein working in sales, a job she transported to New Mexico in 2001.

A showing of her work recently ended at the Katrina Lasko Gallery in Bernalillo, although individual pieces continue to hang there. Scouting trips to Los Angeles landed her a spot in a group show scheduled for December at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica.

Samples of Marcia Finkelstein’s work may be seen on the Featured Artist of the Month page. To view her paintings by appointment, call 385-8746.


Call for submissions for literary prize

The UNM General Library is sending out a call for submissions for the Premio Atzlán, a literary prize established by Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya. One thousand dollars will be awarded to a Chicano writer (male or female) for a work of fiction published in the 2004 calendar year.

Well-known author Rudolfo Anaya and his wife, Patricia, established the Premio Atzlán in 1993. Several past recipients are now nationally recognized authors of Chicano literature.

The winner will be expected to give a reading at UNM during April 2005.

The prize is for writers who have published no more than two books. Authors should submit a letter of interest and publishers should submit a letter of nomination. The letters should include appropriate contact information and five copies of the book. The deadline for submissions is December 31.

Entries should be sent to: Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Premio Atzlán, Literary Prize, General Library, Dean’s Office, University of New Mexico, MSC05 3020, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1466.

If you have any further questions, you may contact Dina Ma’ayan at


Studio tours planned in Albuquerque, Santa Fe

Arturo Olivas
ost, Albuquerque Artist Studio Tours

The Spanish Colonial Arts Society will sponsor its second annual Artists' Studio Tours on Friday July 16, Tuesday July 20, and Wednesday, July 21, in conjunction with its fifty-third Traditional Spanish Market, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 24 and 25, in Santa Fe.

The Artists' Studio Tours will take place at various locations throughout Albuquerque and Santa Fe on three separate days. The Albuquerque event will be on Friday, July 16, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. Visitors will see the work of several artists at each of four host-artist locations. The Santa Fe event, on Tuesday, July 20, and Wednesday, July 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. includes fourteen locations.

You may contact Spanish Market artist and Albuquerque Studio Tour coordinator Ruben Gallegos at (505) 345-7514 for information on the four Albuquerque locations. Or contact Spanish Colonial Arts Society Spanish Market coordinator Kathy Madden for more information on the Santa Fe locations at (505) 982-2226, extension 102.


Artwork, by Ben Forgey

Artwork, by Ben Forgey

Artwork, by Ben Forgey

Artwork, by Joe Montgomery

Forgey-Montgomery show opens in Bernalillo

The Katrina Lasko Gallery in Bernalillo will feature sculpture by Ben Forgey and painting and drawings by Joe Montgomery in a show opening on July 24 and running through August 26.

Ben Forgey is well known for his creative furniture design. He has always worked with natural and scavenged materials and he came to making sculpture in much the same way. The materials are the same but the result is very sophisticated art. With a background in art, and parents who are both in the arts, Ben takes his formal training and relaxes it in the process of art making. His natural sense of how materials behave allows his art process to evolve effortlessly, it seems, the result elegant. The works are conceptual and entice the viewer to muse over meanings.

Joe Montgomery is now attending graduate school in New York at Hunter College. His work (both painting and drawing) takes shape over the making process and broad gathering of concepts. Joe says, “In drawing, for example, the prevalence of fences, domesticated animals, dinner tables, and furniture is based on their presence in the studio practice: drawing relationships between objects and memory. I easily visualize the chair, picket fence, and dog.

“I layer them according to the associations they generate. I enjoy the pause in front of a piece that allows it to reveal connections between my memory and what I see daily: home, America, furniture as figures, relationships.”

A public reception will be held on Saturday, July 24, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The Katrina Lasko Gallery is at 336 North Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo. The gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. For more information on this exhibit, please call (505) 867-2523 or (505) 570-2523 (cell), or visit


Lazo and Grove present Brazilian music and more

Brazilian singer Silvia Lazo and classical guitarist Paul Grove will perform in concert on Wednesday, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Albuquerque Museum.

The Lazo-Grove duo presents a sophisticated repertoire of Brazilian music highlighting its historical development. From the classical period the duo includes such styles as the modinhas and lundus of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An impeccable transition to choro glides the audiences into the contemporary bossa nova repertoire of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Additionally, spontaneous departures to Latin and Iberian-American pieces can be expected.

The museum is located at 2000 Mountain Road NW. Admission is $15 per person at the door. For more information, call (505) 243-7255 or visit


Festival Time, by Kathleen Martinez Brem

Festival Time, by Kathleen Martinez Brem

2004 NM Wine Festival poster selected

Maria Rinaldi
Community Development Director
Town of Bernalillo

The executive board of the New Mexico Wine Festival at Bernalillo has announced that Festival Time, by Albuquerque artist Kathleen Martinez Brem, has been selected as the commemorative poster for the 2004 event. Festival Time was one of thirty-nine submittals for this year’s poster.

“I love the vibrant natural colors of Northern New Mexico and I love to paint the backs of old churches, so this work is an expression of the imagery and beauty of Bernalillo,” Martinez said of her painting.

Martinez was born in Santa Fe. Her family settled in Penasco and Chimayó in the late 1600s; thus she is an avid supporter of and activist for Hispanic art and issues. She has curated the Hispanic Fine Arts show at the New Mexico State Fair for three years and was instrumental in the development of the Hispanic Arts Building at the fair.

Martinez’s work is exhibited in galleries around the state and her paintings are in collections worldwide. She is a member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society and was chosen in 2004 for the Master Works Show. She is also the recipient of The Magnífico Arts Community Achievement Award. Martinez works out of her studio in the Albuquerque north valley.

The painting, measuring seventeen by twenty-four inches, is a watercolor. The poster will go on sale on July 1 for $10, and a limited edition of two hundred posters signed by the artist will be sold for $20 each at the festival and at poster-signing events prior to the festival. Poster-signing events will be publicized as they are scheduled.

The Town of Bernalillo MainStreet Association and the New Mexico Wine Growers Association sponsor the New Mexico Wine Festival as an economic- and tourism-development project. The American Bus Association has named the event a Top 100 Event in North America.


Santa Fe artist will teach wax encaustic

Ellen Koment, who teaches painting and drawing at UNM-LA, has been working with wax encaustic for many years. Encaustic painting involves applying layers of pigmented wax which are then fused together with heat. This glazing process gives the work of art an unusual depth and richness of color.

Koment will teach a three-day workshop at Arte Loca Gallery in Bernalillo on the fundamentals of encaustic painting, covering traditional and contemporary approaches and techniques. Use of supports, grounds, and materials, including photographic and digital imagery, will be discussed. The workshop is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience in wax encaustic who would like to refine their approach.

The workshop is scheduled for July 20–22 from 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m, and the cost is $275 plus $40 for materials. To register, call 771-8913 or visit


Katrina Lasko: fine-art consultant

Barb Belknap

Art is perhaps one of the few things left in this world that is still personal, handmade, rather than mass-produced. Living with art enriches your life, nourishes your senses, and stimulates your imagination. But what is art? Where do you find it? And how can you tell good art from mediocre or even bad art?

Looking at art, particularly contemporary art, is not something that many of us know how to do. We like it or we don't. Often, however, knowing a bit of the background of a piece of art, learning how a particular piece was created, or meeting the artist who made it provides insight and helps us to appreciate better what is in front of us and see things not apparent at first glance.

That is where Katrina Lasko comes in. She works closely with most of the galleries in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, and Corrales and is familiar with many artists throughout New Mexico and around the country.

Katrina has been involved with art for her entire adult life—as a painter, sculptor, college instructor, museum docent, and gallery owner. Recognizing that many people are intimidated by art, Katrina offers her services as a fine-art consultant. "Art is intensely personal," says Katrina. "It's like food; we all have different tastes. Many people don't feel comfortable when it comes to buying art. And for some, walking into an art gallery is a scary thing."

Just as you might consult an interior designer to decorate and furnish your home, clients consult Katrina to help identify their taste in art. Whether it is traditional, landscape, abstract, conceptual, mixed media, etc., Katrina guides her clients through all styles and mediums. She can help you select one piece or help you assemble a collection.

"Anyone can afford art," says, Katrina.

Katrina also provides advice on hanging or placing art in your home or place of business. In fact, she will do it for you. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact her at (505) 867-2523 or (505) 570-2523 (cell).


Legislature funds film museum

Did you know that the first movie ever made, Indian Day School, by Thomas Alva Edison, in 1898, was made in New Mexico?

Jon Hendry, the travel and marketing director for the New Mexico Tourism Department, is confident that the New Mexico Museum of Film, to be located initially in Santa Fe, will become the state’s premier museum.

“We want an interactive, Hard Rock Café-type place that constantly changes, with New Mexico-made movies running 24/7, a sixty-inch plasma television, great food, and video games. We want a place where you can borrow a digital camera for five days, shoot your vacation, come back in, have experts in the field help you edit it down, put it on a CD and e-mail it to fifty of your closest friends. How cool is that? said Hendry.

Hendry’s brainchild became a Governor Bill Richardson cause, and with the urging of Senator Shannon Robinson and Speaker of the House Ben Lujan, the 2003 New Mexico Legislature approved $100,000 in seed money to support the creation of the Museum.

The board is chaired by Joann Balzer of Santa Fe and includes actor Gene Hackman, screenwriter Kirk Ellis, Alton Walpole (Mountainair Films), Frank Zuniga (New Mexico Film Office), Ruben Smith (cabinet secretary of the Office of Cultural Affairs), and Hendry himself.

Ymelda DeVargas, the director of the museum, said credit should be given to Senator Robinson, Speaker Lujan, and Hendry “for all of their hard work in regard to the legislation—the tax incentives, investment bills, and much more. We are fortunate to have them and Governor Richardson as champions of our industry. You can expect the growing film industry in New Mexico to flourish even more with Governor Richardson’s involvement.”




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