An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Julianna Kirwin

Featured artist of the month: Julianna Kirwin

Total immersion


Over root beer floats at The Range in Bernalillo, Julianna Kirwin tells me how important culture and place are to her. “Bernalillo has a history of over four hundred years. People have been here for generations,” she says. Passing through New Mexico at the age of twelve, she wanted to become an artist; twenty years ago she bought the Silver Dollar Saloon on the main street with its casita in back, and has been working out of it and fixing it up ever since.

La Oaxaquena By Julianna Kirwin

Serigraphs reflect her love of New Mexico, and monotypes present its mythology. Her studio is transitioning since a trip to the Havana Biennale with a UNM art history class in 2003 “brought ideas waiting to be born to fruition.” From the personal creative experience she has gone toward the collective. Her efforts with the gallery have always been collaborative: she has been involved in creating an Art Parade with art cars, giant papier-mâché puppets, a shower curtain show, and a toy show at Christmas. The idea of community is important to her—she doesn’t want to be in an isolated environment, “making art to sell to those who can afford it,” and is distressed that a large segment of the community was never involved in the art process. Work she saw in Havana was experiential, and not about the object. Constructed with limited materials, it communicated experiences of life in Cuba, as well as Latin America and Africa. When she returned, she literally tore down walls within the building, opening and reforming her space.

Masks By Julianna Kirwin

Julianna feels that these times demand activism on a community and national level, saying, “Social and environmental issues need to be commented on and reflected upon by artists, who can be instrumental as agents for change in their community.” She travels to Mexico every year, and will make an exhibit titled “Sin Maiz No Hay Paiz” (Without Corn There’s No Country), an important part of her agenda this year.

She teaches art to K-2 students for the Bernalillo Public Schools, which is forty-five percent Hispanic and forty-two percent Native American, with six or seven pueblos within the school district. Her desire is to combine art with literacy, and she is earning her MA in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies at UNM. “Art is like eating and breathing, and can be a wonderful partner in the development of language,” she says. Blue corn thrives in her courtyard, a head start on a project on Indian corn of the Americas that will combine principles of healthy living with art, literacy, and the history of corn. She familiarizes students with Georgia O’Keeffe in sketching and painting the landscape, celebrates the Day of the Dead, complete with making piñatas and sugar skulls, and this year her students made stacks of tiny adobe bricks from which they built houses, churches, and then plazas. Now there is an alignment for her between work, study, artistic expression and her love of both Mexico and New Mexico. Her goal is to establish a community-based art program that serves children within the context of New Mexico’s history and culture.

From printmaking, which has been a wonderful artistically educational medium for her, she has now veered into painting and sculpture. Julianna belongs to a Tibetan Buddhist sangha in Corrales, and recently created thirteen papier-mâché masks of Tibetan deities for a performance of the Tibetan Book of the Dead at the VSA Theatre in Albuquerque. The masks were constructed from recycled objects, using egg cartons and even pieces of pressed tin sheeting from her building.

“Here in New Mexico, our history is a unique blend of Native, Mexican, and US national identities.” Julianna’s experiences growing up in the Midwest were rich with music and art, with two musicians as parents—and she was very aware of her father being first generation Polish American. He used his love of music to spark the imagination of students across the state of Nebraska, engaging them in learning a stringed instrument. He loved collage and Julianna’s assignments always included a collage cover depicting the subject matter.

From her new back studio, Las Cocinitas (The Little Kitchens), a different type of art is emerging. The adobe building behind the gallery on Bernalillo’s Main Street will serve as the workshop and exhibition space for Julianna Kirwin’s art, making San Felipe Street, which was the original main street of Bernalillo, host to two galleries (the Angus McDougal Gallery near The Range and the workshop of Ben Forgey). Studio hours will be by appointment. Julianna’s website is

Call to artists

Art Gallery 66 in Bernalillo hosts “Outdoors on 66” art festivals on the last Saturday of every month. The space fee is $35 and you may keep one hundred percent of your sales! See their website at for an application and details or call 867-8666. All media are welcome.

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

Community arts group plans special event

Sandoval Community Arts, along with patron sponsors, is hosting a 2007 Art Market to be held on August 11 and 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This art market is for the community and will be held in various locations in the town of Bernalillo. If you are an artist interested in registering for this special event, call Sara Chadwick at 771-3567, Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

Corrales Society of Artists “Art in the Park” events return

Art in the Park, a series of fine arts and crafts shows sponsored by the Corrales Society of Artists and the Kiwanis Club of Corrales, announced their remaining schedule for 2007 after a tremendously successfully initial event on May 20. Show dates are the third Sunday of every month, continuing through October. Future dates are July 15, August 19, September 16, and October 21.

The year’s third season of shows will be bigger and better than ever, featuring local painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, and metalworkers, as well as some of New Mexico’s finest crafts artisans. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at La Entrada Park (northwest corner of Corrales and La Entrada Roads). Parking and admission to the show are free. Live music, food, art demonstrations, and free youth art workshops in this cool and shady country location promise to make this year’s Art in the Park events more memorable than ever.

The Corrales Society of Artists is a coalition of local artists dedicated to exhibiting the talented and skilled artists living in the Corrales area, as well as raising awareness of the arts and arts education. They boast over fifty members working in various media, ranging from painting to colored pencil, photography to fabric art, and are fast building a reputation as one of the premier art associations in New Mexico. For more information, visit their website at

“Vino Caliente,” painting, by Darryl Willison

“Vino Caliente,” painting, by Darryl Willison

Darryl Willison wins Wine Festival commemorative poster contest

Mayor Patricia A. Chávez, the town of Bernalillo, and the executive board of the New Mexico Wine Festival in Bernalillo announce the selection of Bernalillo artist Darryl Willison’s “Vino Caliente” as the commemorative poster art for the 2007 event. Named a “Top 100 Event in North America” by the American Bus Association, the New Mexico Wine Festival will be held on Labor Day weekend, September 1 to 3, at Loretto Park in Bernalillo.

“Vino Caliente” was one of seven submissions in this year’s poster competition. The image, painted in an illustrative style, depicts a Spanish dancer in colorful traditional dress stomping grapes to the music of a caballero musician in the background. “I wanted to reflect the rich and colorful history of New Mexico and its culture,” says the artist. “I am capturing the delight of the dancer as she celebrates the full body and richness of the land and its gifts that surround her,” he continues. “In my imagination, such a celebration takes place exclusively here in Bernalillo.” Maria Rinaldi, community development director for the town of Bernalillo, comments, “This image represents the festivity of the experience of wine. It’s playful and great poster art.”

Known to the world as “America’s Drawing Cowboy” and the nation’s only western contemporary pop artist, Darryl Willison is recreating the wild west of yesteryear—today. His fiery, bold, and whimsical approach to his subject matter sets him and his art apart from the rest of the art community. A career artist, Darryl is represented by thirteen galleries across the United States, and his work is held in collections worldwide. He is also co-owner of Art Gallery 66, located on Historic Route 66 in Bernalillo in an adobe building that was a gas station during the heyday of the highway.

“Vino Caliente” is number twenty in the town of Bernalillo’s original collection of New Mexico Wine Festival commemorative artwork that boasts such names as RC Gorman, Betty Sabo, Paul Sanchez, David Chavez, Marcellus Medina, and Rudi Klimpert. “[This is] a must-see, impressive collection,” states Mayor Patricia A. Chávez. She invites the public to visit the gallery of artwork displayed in the town council chambers.

The 2007 festival commemorative posters will be available in July for $10. A limited edition of two hundred signed posters will be sold for twenty dollars each at the festival and at poster-signing events to be announced prior to the festival. Contact the community development office at 771-7133 to purchase a poster.

The town of Bernalillo sponsors the New Mexico Wine Festival as an economic and tourism development project. Go to for festival details.

Art to benefit Women Against Crime

Art Gallery 66 is pleased to announce its upcoming show, “50/50: Art to Benefit Women Against Crime.” The show will be held in the gallery at 367 Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo on July 6 and 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on July 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A reception to meet Del Lack, the artist, and Trish Hoffman, founder of Women Against Crime, will be held on Saturday, July 7, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Contemporary folk artist Del Lack will offer fifty drawings for sale at $50 each. Fifty percent of her earnings will go directly towards helping fund the Women Against Crime courses. Del has been an artist working in a variety of media for many years, until coming into her current style of mixed media work in 1999.

Her work synthesizes her love of drawing, quilting, and humor, which blend into her own very personal style of folk art. She is currently in her thirteenth year of teaching art in middle schools. This experience has taught her the need for and value of educating women of all ages to care for and protect themselves. After completing the Women Against Crime course last winter, she recognized its value to the community.

Del said, “When I realized that I had an opportunity to help improve the funds for such a strong and useful educational offering, I was very excited and honored. I feel that what Trish has taught us is so important for both women and men to learn and share.”

Trish Hoffman came to Albuquerque in 1995 and began her career with the Albuquerque Police Department. In her time with the department, she has held several different positions and received well-deserved honors, including the Governor’s Award for Women of the Year in 2004, and in 2005 she was recognized for the “Women Changing America” award through Congresswoman Heather Wilson’s office. In 2003, she joined the chief’s staff as Public Information Officer. Women Against Crime was established by Trish Hoffman in August 2000. Since its inception, hundreds of women and men in the community have taken the opportunity to involve themselves in a course that teaches citizens how to become more aware, be observant, and how not to become a victim. Her courses cover a variety of useful and timely topics from protecting one’s self and property to hands-on self-defense.

For more information about this show and other offerings at Art Gallery 66, call (505) 867-8666, or email queries to For more information about the Women Against Crime courses, call (505) 768-3600. Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 7 and talk directly with Trish Hoffman and Del Lack at the reception from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.






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