The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Glass artist Lisa Chernoff in her Placitas studio

Glass artist Lisa Chernoff in her Placitas studio

Artist Lisa Chernoff is trending larger

Bill Diven

By the time the Placitas Studio Tour ended last year, Lisa Chernoff knew her fused-glass creations were taking her to new places.

Fourteen months later, she has arrived at the physical place, a new studio and showroom in the upper reaches of the Las Huertas valley. The artistic place, though, is yet to be revealed.

“I'm in a state of needing to do something new, but I'm not there yet,” Chernoff said. “I know from experience when I'm looking for something new. I used to dread it.”

The signs of change are many. During the 2004 studio tour, she noticed large sculptures and bowls selling better than her jewelry and smaller pieces, and the volume of visitors to her eight-hundred-square-foot studio was up, too.

“Sales were really good, and we just decided our house was too small to be doing what we do,” Chernoff said.

She and Mel Chernoff, her husband and business manager, relocated in November, but it would be January before construction of the twelve-hundred-square-foot studio and showroom would be done. So she returned to sculpture, and when a family cat broke a lampshade, she surrounded the bare bulb with a tangle of copper wire scavenged from the studio project, which led to a series of copper-clad lights.

With her wholesale business reduced by half to thirty galleries, she also discovered the slower pace of working forty hours a week instead of sixty. By then it had been almost seven years since the Alamogordo native and occasional potter was laid off from a job and five years since she became a full-time artist working in fused glass.

“The two-and-a-half months of not working while the studio was being built gave me a new perspective on work and life,” Chernoff said. “I decided I didn't want to go back and do it that way again.”

For now, her work is trending larger as she merges sheets of colored glass in her kiln, then shapes them over forms during a second firing. Recent work has included rounded triptychs like Tranquility, an iridescent blue and red disk divided by a textured vertical form.

“My newer work incorporates metals, copper, fine silver, brass,” Chernoff said pointing to glass panels titled Electric. “The copper foil burned out blue.”

While Chernoff still hasn't found her new artistic place, a sign might be the 440-volt wiring included in the studio. There's also a space in front of the outlet considered the future home of a kiln large enough to require a chain hoist to open it.

“Maybe in one or two more years,” she said.

Locally Chernoff displays her work at the Roller Gallery, in Placitas; Volare, in Old Town; La Mesa of Santa Fe, on Canyon Road; and Act I, in Taos. Her glass pieces can be seen in this month’s Sandoval Signpost Featured Artist Gallery.

Her studio is open by appointment by calling 867-3330.


McCormick’s digital art on view at two shows in July

Digital artist Barry McCormick, of Placitas, will be showing new images at the DA3NM v2.0 Show, opening July 1 at the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, (505) 848-1323).

The Digital Artists of America Association (New Mexico) is the premier digital art association in New Mexico. This is the first show in which all ten members will be displaying their work together. The work of DA3NM members encompasses photography, painting, and algorithmic and motion art. The show runs until August 30, with the opening reception on July 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

McCormick will also be showing new images at "Heart and Bone, Anatomy and Soul," a juried photography show at Sol Arts Gallery and Performance Space (712 Central SE, Albuquerque, 244-004). The show will run from July 1 to August 28 with ArtsCrawl opening receptions on Friday, July 1, and Friday, August 5, and a PhotoArts ABQ reception on Friday, July 15, at Sol Arts.


PES Flea Market July 9 benefits Art in the School

The Placitas Elementary School will hold its monthly Flea Market from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. The booth rental fee is $10. All rental proceeds benefit Placitas Elementary School’s Art In The School program. The Flea Market is held at The Merc parking lot in Homestead Village Shopping Center in Placitas, three miles east of I-25 on Highway 165. For further information, call 867-0027.


Tenth annual Ruidosos art tour

Art Loop 2005, on July 8, 9, and 10, will be the tenth annual tour of working artists’ studios in the vicinity of Ruidoso, in historic Lincoln County. The juried art-studio tour will feature artist demonstrations, local entertainment, and refreshments. For further information about this event, a map, and directions, e-mail


September art festival extends application deadline

GO! Downtown Arts Festival is seeking artists to show in the 2005 GO! Festival. The deadline has been extended to July 15. If you wish to receive an application or receive further information about the festival, e-mail a request to Booth spots are limited, so artists are encouraged to be in touch soon.


Call for entries

Ron Lipka
Corrales Fine Art Show

Artists are called to enter the sixteenth annual Corrales Fine Arts Show, a New Mexico multimedia art exhibition and sale in Corrales at the historic Old San Ysidro Church, October 1-9, 2005. Jurying will take place on August 25. Entries will be accepted on Wednesday, August 24, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., and Thursday, August 25, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

All work must be gallery-ready and be accompanied by a $30 entry fee. There will be no refunds of entry fees. For details and entry form, please phone Hope Grey, 897-3942, or Deb Kennedy, 344-2110.


Local bluegrass band to open Merle Haggard concert in Española, tricentennial concert at KiMo

Gary Libman

The Placitas Mountain Band had a very pleasant surprise after their monthly gig at the local Placitas Piñon Café last month. One of the patrons enjoying the food and music came up to them afterwards, told them that he liked what he heard, and asked them if they'd like to open for a Merle Haggard Concert in Española (at the OhKay Casino) on July 4. Of course they accepted, and will be driving up to Española right after the annual July 4th Parade in Placitas. The group mentioned that they'd love to see a large Placitas-Bernalillo contingent at the July 4 concert.

This has been a very good few months for the Placitas Mountain Band. In February and March they performed on a few KUNM radio programs. In May they played and sang as part of the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of Intel in Rio Rancho. They also performed on the main stage at the Tricentennial Celebration at Balloon Park in April, and will be the opening act for a tricentennial concert, the Americana Showcase at the KiMo Theatre on Friday July 8 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the KiMo Theatre Americana Showcase are available from individual members of the Placitas Mountain Band and at Ticketmaster, at 883-7800.

Information about this concert and other tricentennial events can be found at There is also information about the Americana Showcase at the Southwest Pickers Web site, For further information about the group or the upcoming concerts, contact Gary, (505) 867-8154,


Wendy Day plays Chopin in Placitas

Wendy Day, pianist, will perform a piano recital on Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 p.m. in Placitas. This all Chopin performance is free and takes place at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church. For further information, call 867-0233


      Trying To Be Blue

      With everything so beautiful
      I’m trying to find something to complain
      of. Not a damn thing. All my nether spirits
      my deep dank depositories
      are empty except for
      admissions of light.
      Bright red tulips and yellow centered “daffodils”
      under the clouds,
      and a deluge of pinkish red peach blossoms
      over the fence
      and the little blue scylla
      between red swatches of tulips
      pull the sky down into them
      and broadcast it out.
      “Look sky, this is
      the blue you ought to be.
      You are as happy as
      you want to be.
      I’ll get you through
      and the dog wags his tail at
      everything –
      including me as
      I pick up his ball &
      toss it.
      Oh boy, he runs, what fun!
      What did you say about
      being blue?

      Larry Goodell


“Maniacs, Twists and Bullies”

Katrina Lasko

The Katrina Lasko Gallery in Bernalillo will feature recent work by Mick Sheldon in “Maniacs, Twists and Bullies,” opening July 23 and running through August 20.

Mick Sheldon and I went to school together. We shared a studio and fought constantly about art. Of our class we are the only two who are still functioning artists, and we are still friends. We make art because we can do little else, but we love it. Mick now lives in the Sacramento area of California and teaches at American River College. He exhibits his work throughout the country. He will be here for the opening, so please come and meet my whacky friend!

Mick says, “Roy Deforest once called me a painter of monsters; my monsters are people. His monsters are dogs. My work is a mix of myth and religion; subjects going from the virtues and vices, the saints and sinners and the second coming ... to some big fun in the suburbs.

“When you live in white middle-class suburban culture, which is a culture rarely discussed, you rely on your own personal histories to make a difference or just to make people take a look at the work. I was raised on my father’s local television kiddy show back when TV was live and video wasn’t even thought up yet. It was Nevada in the fifties and sixties. He was a ventriloquist with a yellow monkey, and my mother made me dress as a blue rabbit.

“These oil paintings and woodblock prints are about my own dramas—some truth and some lies filled with humor just to access your sense of the curious and the ridiculous. No overblown concepts here.”

A public reception will be held on Saturday, July 23, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Katrina Lasko Gallery, 336 North Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo. For further information, call 867-2523 or 570-2523 or go to


PhotoArts ABQ exhibition blankets area

Opening receptions for PhotoArts ABQ, a citywide exhibition showcasing photography, are taking place on July 15 in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Locations include Downtown Contemporary Art Center, South Broadway Cultural Center, Harwood Art Center, The Factory, Trevor Lucero Gallery, Working Classroom, Donkey Gallery, SolArts Gallery & Performance Space, .5, Focus Albuquerque, Dartmouth Street Gallery, Peter Eller Gallery, Fisher Gallery, UNM Art Museum, Museum of Natural History, The Patio Gallery, The Albuquerque Photographer's Gallery, and the Cristin Wolf Gallery. For further information on the artists, gallery hours, and street addresses, look in the official PhotoArts Santa Fe Photography Resource Guide 2005, which will be distributed at participating art galleries, or go to


Contest, festival to honor Ernest Hemingway

The Wood River Valley in Idaho, where legendary author Ernest Hemingway hunted and wrote on and off for twenty-two years, and where he is laid to rest, is set to celebrate the life of the world-renowned writer with the inaugural Ernest Hemingway Festival in Sun Valley. The festival will be held September 22-25 to honor the heritage of Hemingway’s strong bond to the Wood River Valley and Idaho.

As part of the festival, the organizers are holding a national short-story contest. Works of short fiction, which must be previously unpublished, should be postmarked by July 26. The winner will be awarded $500, will be honored during the Ernest Hemingway Festival in Sun Valley, and will have the story published in the festival magazine.

Stories should be submitted to Sue Bailey, SVKCVB, P.O. Box 2420, Sun Valley, ID 83353, along with a nonrefundable $10 entry fee. Stories should be typewritten, double-spaced, with a maximum length of twenty-six hundred words or ten pages, and available in Word format. For more details on the short story contest and for more information about the Ernest Hemingway Festival, visit or call 1 (208) 726-3423.


Summer festival includes 21 concerts

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale has released details of Summer Festival 2005, the twenty-third annual summer season of one of the premier professional chamber choirs in the country. Linda Mack, whose contract as music director and conductor was recently extended through 2008, leads the six-week series of twenty-one concerts, from July 12 to August 19. For detailed information, contact (505) 988-2282 or


Natural-environment photography class at the Monument

A photography workshop sponsored by Friends of Coronado State Monument will be held at Coronado State Monument on July 23 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. The subject of the workshop is photography in the natural environment. Alex Sedillos, monument employee and editorial and advertising photographer, will lead the workshop. The fee for the workshop is $20 per person. Interested participants should contact Pat Harris, at 822-8571, to enroll and for further information.




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