Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Signpost Featured Artist

Artist Lynx Lightning with her artwork Waiting For Spring
Photo credit: —Oli Robbins

Santo Sol, 36”x36” mosaic, by Lynx Lightning

Home (detail), 11”x17,” ceramic, by Lynx Lightning

Life In The Forest, 22”x26,” mosaic, by Lynx Lightning

Time For Apricots, 12”x12,” mosaic, by Lynx Lightning

Signpost featured artist

Lynx Lightning: The artist behind this “Solstice”

~Oli Robbins

The Anasazi Fields Winery is a somber place this month, following the untimely death of beloved community member Jim Fish. But brightening its walls is a one-woman show that Fish championed and helped orchestrate. The clay work and mosaics of multi-media artist Lynx Lightning comprise this local exhibition: “Solstice: and Other Earthly Delights.”

Fish became familiar with and supportive of Lightning’s work through the many years that Lightning worked winery events alongside him. The two had been planning the show for over a year, and it opened this June with Fish present.

Though Lightning creates in a variety of styles and mediums, her current fascination centers around the relationship between nature and clay. Several of the works hanging in “Solstice” bare impressions of nature through the stamping of twigs, seedpods, and other natural objects in clay. Says Lightning, “I find endless delight in using these bits and pieces from the landscape to create these miniature scenes of our natural world.”

Lightning finds great joy in her process, which is predicated on her own keen observation of and interaction with nature. She collects her materials from everywhere and anywhere, combing her surroundings for objects that might make an interesting impression in clay. On a rolled clay slab, she arranges and presses the objects. She makes additional markings in the clay with stamps and household objects to complete the scene; stamped birds and abstract patterning feature prominently. After drying, the slab is bisque-fired before being sponge-painted with an iron-oxide solution. The slabs are then fired again, and the oxide permanently colors the clay body in an earth tone ranging from red to brown. Lightning calls the process “instinctual,” since her pieces are largely spontaneous—dependent upon the objects that call to her and make their way into her path.

Lightning has no professional art training or education, yet she has persistently studied and mastered techniques she found intriguing. She grew up just north of Santa Barbara and can’t remember a time when she didn’t engage with the arts—whether through childhood sensory mud play or as an eager Kindergartener camping out at the easels. A thoughtful teacher instilled within her the confidence to experiment consistently with new things. Says Lightning, “When I was 16, she saw how innately creative I was.” She encouraged Lightning to play with every material the school housed—from a beehive kiln to enameling supplies and cloisonné wires. Through these experiences, she became proficient in lost-wax casting, clay work, metalwork, and batik.

As a young adult, Lightning moved often, finding herself living elsewhere in California, as well as Oregon and Washington. A visual highlight from her early twenties was seeing her first silk painting at a friend’s house. “I glanced over my shoulder as I walked by an open door, and there was a frame over this piece of fabric… I could see the resist lines in the fabric and it was the most incredible drawing. I thought, ‘I’m going to do that one day.’”

Several years later, Lightning found her way back to silk painting—alongside collage and assemblage. As she says, “I’m always exploring things—fingers in different pies, irons in different fires.” Her current silk work includes fan veils used in belly dancing. Lightning, a belly dancer herself, says the veils “flutter and dive and dance,” calling them “the most beautiful things.”

In the late Nineties, Lightning made her way to New Mexico following an invitation from a friend. Lightning recalls, “I didn’t even visit first—I just felt like I wanted to come out here. I had a feeling about New Mexico.” After exploring the northern part of the state, she settled on the small community of Lindrith before moving down to Albuquerque. She soon met Placitas mosaicist Roger Evans through a co-worker, and it wasn’t long before she added “mosaic artist” to her list of artistic identities. Lightning’s relationship with Evans was the closest she came to being involved in traditional artistic training. She assisted him with a large-scale mosaic that wraps around his home and studied beside him for years. Lightning is now part of Mosaic New Mexico and has participated in the group’s shows. One of the central pieces in “Solstice” is a large and soulful mosaic sun face—a recurring figure in Lightning’s body of work that she has been depicting since high school.

Balance within art is fundamental to Lightning, who strives for harmony no matter the medium. Says Lightning, “Sometimes I just want to organize textures. It’s an underlying thing I do. It’s a balancing act—making colors relate to each other in a way that feels right in my body.”

“Solstice” will be up at the winery through July (the winery will be open weekends). Her work also decorates the entrance of the Winning Coffee House at 111 Harvard SE in Albuquerque. Lightning is available for custom work and can be contacted at 705-1465 or

Artist deadline approaching for the 36th annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale

~Nancy Couch

The deadline for artists to apply for the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale is July 24. Always held on the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Holiday Sale will be on November 18 and 19 this year and feature more than eighty artists at three central locations in the village. 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 info about the show is on the website at All applications must be postmarked by July 24.

Garden At The Shore, by Linda Nisenbaum

Exsultate JubiLATTE (With apology to Mozart!), by Jim Forcier-Call

Santa Caffeina Pour for US!, by Jim Forcier-Call

Covenant with the Night Sky, by Jim Forcier-Call

Untitled, by Eyahnna Magner

Love At First Sight, by Linda Nisenbaum

New Placitas Community Library mixed-media exhibit

—Bonnie J. Hayes, Co-Chair, Placitas Community Library Art Committee

“Beyond the Brush: mixed media, collage, and assemblage" celebrates the sense of play and abandon, which is a gift from the Land of Enchantment. The show will be on exhibit from July 1 through July 27, in the Collins Room of the Placitas Community Library. There will be a public reception on July 14, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Featured artists include Rebecca Cohen, Tolly Hicks, Karen Jones Meadows, Bobbye Middendorf, Linda Nisenbaum, Sue Ortiz, Jonn Salovaara, Jim Forcier-Call, Eyahnna Magner, and others.

Summer Music in the Park Series

The City of Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department invites the public to enjoy some of the area’s most popular musical acts at Haynes Park, 2006 Grande Blvd. On Sunday nights, all ages can enjoy free live music from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic as they enjoy a variety of different musical styles.

Those scheduled to perform include:

July 2: No concert due to holiday; July 9: Stephy Pierce; July 16: The Hit Squad; July 23: Vintage Brew; July 30: Blair Rich Project; August 6: High Desert Big Band; August 13: Blair Rich Project; August 20: High Desert Big Band; and August 27: Rio Rancho Symphonic Band.

The musical acts are subject to change and events can be cancelled due to weather. For additional information, call 891-5015.

“June 7: First Cabezon Day for 2017 as sunset moves northward, 65 miles from our home"
—Michael Sare, Placitas

Art Santa Fe returns in July

~Jaclyn Walian

Art Santa Fe, the four-day juried contemporary art show in its 17th year, will convene at the Santa Fe Convention Center from July 13 to July 16. Art Santa Fe will feature extraordinary art from around the world, specially curated programming, special events, and entertainment.

The featured programs at Art Santa Fe provide a dynamic experience for the audience to view and interact with site-specific works and demonstrations by leading local, national, and international artists. Art Santa Fe’s special programs and exhibitions showcase the thriving art landscape of Santa Fe and are informed by a common curatorial theme, “Fusion,” symbolizing the merging of artistic mediums, of exhibitors and collectors, and of galleries and artists that come together to showcase their work.

Held at the Santa Fe Convention Center, 201 W Marcy Street. Tickets range from $10 per day for students and seniors, to $20 per day. For more information, visit

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