Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Artist Michael Andryc

Angel Babka Silencing The Scream (After Edvard Munch), by Michael Andryc

Grandma And The Village, by Michael Andryc

Signpost featured artist Michael Andryc:

a sophisticated primitive modern artist

—Oli Robbins

Many artists assume alter-egos. For Marcel Duchamp, it was Rrose Selavy (translated in English to “Eros, that is life”), and for German surrealist Max Ernst it was a bird named “Loplop.” For Michael Andryc, it’s his Polish grandmother, Anna. Michael, a self-proclaimed “sophisticated primitive modern artist” (yes, he acknowledges the inherent irony of such a title) admits that as a child he was “deathly afraid” of his Babka Anna Andryc, in part because she spoke a foreign language in a time when “no one wanted to talk about their origins before coming to America,” and because she was a woman more tenacious than the era allowed.

“She was such a strong woman—married three times—something which was unheard of in those days. One husband even mysteriously disappeared!” Now Michael enjoys hiding behind her in his paintings, traveling with her on outlandish adventures.

Michael grew up in a small factory town in Rhode Island, his first introduction to art inside a local Catholic church. He recalls the stained glass windows, electric lights, and figurines looking “like Hollywood.” He was attracted to the art and felt deeply confident that he could make his own—so much so that he just didn’t. Instead, he purged his creativity with a pen on page. Michael wrote fiction for 15 years, penning a soap operatic novel as a teenager and later attaining a literary grant. Even though Michael had been equally drawn to writing and painting, he was more intimidated by the latter, which then seemed so technical and expensive.

Years of writing left him burned out, so Michael took a year off to experiment with the visual side of storytelling. He found that it suited him well, and whereas writing might only be understood by a few and demands publication for success, painting transcends language and can appeal to anyone. Michael’s father, a florist and avid fisherman, was a great creative influence for Michael, who recalls his exceptional story-telling abilities. Even with minimal schooling, his father was well-read and “as good as Hemingway and Steinbeck” at coining stories. Just like his Babka, Michael’s mother and father feature prominently in his paintings.

Other than one drawing class in junior college, Michael is entirely self-taught, “reinventing the wheel and palette,” as he puts it. His process is spontaneous and experiential, testing colors and imagery until achieving a satisfying composition. Says Michael, “it’s kind of like how you cook without a recipe, from scratch.” Michael’s subject matter includes fantastical interpretations of animals as well as esteemed musicians, writers, and psychoanalysts. He also looks to older, iconic works of art, feeling that his own paintings are rooted in those of modern master painters like van Gogh, Gauguin, Chagall, Picasso, Modigliani, and Max Beckmann. During his sole drawing class in college, Michael’s instructor encouraged him to explore Chagall. Since then, he’s been deeply connected to the Russian artist and his old-world pictorial folklore. He spoofs many famous works by Chagall and the others, oftentimes creating social commentary. Perhaps above all else, Michael aims to convey humor, and he relishes promoting laughter for the viewer.

During the Vietnam war, after obtaining status as a conscientious objector, Michael was summoned West by a dear friend. As soon as he experienced the landscape and character of the Southwest, he knew he would never return east. “It was hard to leave, but I just had this desire to develop myself as an artist. So I did.” The first place he called home was a teepee in Durango, followed by Santa Fe, where his two children attended a community school after years of home schooling.

For much of Michael’s young adult life he lived in poverty, painting and sometimes undertaking side jobs to support his family. Then, after inheriting a modest amount of money following his parents’ deaths, he channeled his creativity and inventiveness to build a house for his family outside of Pecos. He painted and showed in Santa Fe for 34 years, exhibiting with several artists’ groups and every weekend at open-air venues. But in September of 2012, his time in Santa Fe came to a close when the complex that held his studio was destroyed. “A fire drove a number of us artists out of our studios,” says Michael. “No one was injured, though a few people lost everything, and we were lucky to get out alive.”

Even though all 21 artists were ordered to vacate the premises and relocate immediately, Michael camped out in his studio for two months. He explains, “I was forced to get more organized. I spent hours cataloguing my work, reflecting on my priorities.”

On “becoming” an artist, Michael says: “Anyone can do it that wants to. It’s just wanting to do it and sticking with it. It’s not an easy life, but it’s a really, really rewarding one... There’s nothing like it—to be able to make people happy and do something good in the world.”

From July 6 to 27, Michael’s works will be on display in “Encantada,” a show assembled by the Rio Grande Art Association at Expo New Mexico. The opening reception will be on July 6, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. His paintings also hang at the Jemez Fine Art Gallery and at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos. A large collection of his paintings and more information on the artist can be found on his website:

35th annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale—call for artists

Applications are now available for artists wanting to participate in the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale. Held on the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Holiday Sale will be on November 19 and 20 at three central locations in the village of Placitas. Artists do not have to be from Placitas to apply. This is a juried show and all artists will need to submit digital images of their work. The application and further information about the show is on the website at If you need an application mailed to you, call Nancy Couch at 867-2450 or email your mailing address to All applications need to be postmarked by July 25, 2016.

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival brings world-acclaimed musicians to Albuquerque

This year, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival will take place from July 17 to August 22 and include four concerts in the Simms Auditorium at the Albuquerque Academy (6400 Wyoming NE), starting at 7:30 p.m. on the Thursdays of July 21, July 28, August 4, and August 11.

The Festival’s regular adult tickets at $37 and $47 for Albuquerque concerts are priced significantly below those for Santa Fe evening concerts. Festival concert tickets are just ten dollar for youth six to 18 years and $15 dollars for 19- to 35-year olds.

Concert goers are asked to arrive thirty to forty minutes early to allow time for parking, which is free, and obtaining tickets and seats because concerts start promptly. For further info, see or call 982-1890.

Detail from Lost In A Forest Dream, 18x60”, printed on suspended Habotal silk, by Joan Fenicle

Women who shoot: three illusionists

Join three Placitas photographers at the Placitas Community Library on July 2 through July 27 for an exhibition of work that defies your expectation of photography—a world of dreams and magic—some performed with the help of Photoshop, others through the camera’s lens. There will be a public reception on July 9, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Dana Patterson Roth has been a photographer for forty years. With the images in this show, she is exploring the ability of a photograph to capture the intangible, the dream world, the distant memory, or that moment just before sleep. All the images in this show were created ‘in-camera’ and printed on aluminum. To preview her work, go to

Marie Maher is a master “layerist” whose images sometimes contain more than a dozen images, woven together to tell a story or interpret a dream. She has won awards too numerous to list here and her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions including the Jadite Gallery in New York City and the upcoming Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography in Berlin, Germany. To preview her work, go to

Joan Fenicle has been traveling the caminos and callejones of New Mexico and Colorado for over forty years, capturing vistas and villages in paintings and photographs. The images in this exhibit are a departure from representation of the real world into a dream-like world inhabited by raptors, bears, cougars, ravens and strange beings who are reminiscent of the imaginary friends of an only child growing up in the Rocky Mountains. To preview her work, go to

Lights, camera, action!

On July 31, at 2:00 p.m., film historian and super fan, Jeff Berg, returns to the Placitas Community Library, 453 Highway 165, with another of his programs about “Movies Made in New Mexico.” Jeff offers insightful, historical comments on the movies and their sometimes-unintended humor, pathos, or just plain weirdness.

In previous presentations, he has featured films showcasing New Mexico’s Route 66, Westerns, and some of the very earliest films made in our State. He’s working on a new collection of film clips for the July program.

All are welcome to attend this free presentation sponsored by the Placitas Community Library.

Matt Savage

Jazz pianist Matt Savage to play

—Jack Bower

At age three, Matt was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), a form of autism, and was unable to tolerate loud noises or even music.

After more than three years of therapy that tempered his sensitivity to sound, Matt quickly taught himself to read music and play piano. In 1999, at age seven, he recorded his first CD, One is Not Fun, but Twenty is Plenty, and a mere five years later, having taken classes with master pianist Eyran Katsenelenbogen at the New England Conservatory, was dazzling audiences at New York City’s famed Birdland and other venues.

Now twenty-four, with degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Boston’s Berklee College of Music, almost a dozen well-received CDs under his belt and another one on the way, Matt is set to perform at the Albuquerque Museum on July 23, as part of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Under the Stars series. The concert is co-sponsored by the Jazz Workshop and New Mexico Autism Society.

Matt Savage will also conduct a Jazz Improv Workshop on July 24, at 10:00 a.m., at the New Mexico Jazz Workshop studio at 5500 Lomas NE.

Earlier Saturday, he’ll be at the Guild Theatre to talk about the documentary Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story, for which Matt composed, arranged, and recorded the music. The film will be shown at the Guild at 1:00 p.m.

For information about the concert, or to purchase tickets, go online to

Taos Trails, pastel, by Barbara Clark

“Bosque Bouquet” on exhibit in Corrales

The Corrales Bosque Gallery hosted an openingreception for their summer show “Bosque Bouquet” on June 12. The colorful show will run through August 16, daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The special attraction of this show is the wall of fifteen pieces, each 12” by 12” by 2”, of floral paintings done in the style of each individual artist. They are priced at $146 each as an affordable addition to any art collection. 

The gallery is located in the heart of the historic village of Corrales at 4685 Corrales Road. They have been in the Mercado del Maya for 22 years and serve the artistic needs of its many followers. For more information, go to, or call 898-7203.

Zombies invade San Felipe Pueblo

—Marc Calderwood

A bizarre occurrence took place at the Pueblo of San Felipe Community Library this past February and it’s just now coming to view on YouTube. Zombies invaded the Community Library and created a huge stir until a very strict librarian took control of the situation. They also created the winning Teen Video entry for the State of New Mexico’s Collaborative Summer Library Program’s (CLSP) Teen Video Challenge.

The CSLP is a consortium of states working together to provide a unified summer reading theme along with professional art and evidence-based materials so that member libraries can provide high-quality summer reading programs at the lowest possible cost. To motivate student participation and promote the program libraries around the country, students are encouraged to enter the Teen Video Challenge and create a ninety second film that reflects each summer’s reading theme. This year’s theme was Get in the Game—Read.

To make this happen, San Felipe Education Director Alissa Chavez-Lowe enlisted the help of Lori Chavez and Marc Calderwood of Hahn Voices Films, a local film camp program, to coordinate the weekend film camp in directing student efforts to write, film, and edit the winning production. Chavez and Calderwood arrived with all the film equipment necessary and soon students from San Felipe Pueblo gathered at the library for two days of intense work.

The film, Disruptive Zombies Get in the Game, can be viewed on YouTube by entering 2016 TVC – NM – SF3 in the search line. No slouches, this group of students, they also created a second film during the weekend titled Get in the Game Rap, which can also be viewed on YouTube at and will be shown as the States winning entry at 2016 TVC – NM – SF2.

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