Gary Sanchez stands in front of his oil and pastel on sandpaper,
in Truchas, oil on canvas, by Gary Sanchez
|Corn Dance, pastel on paper, by Gary Sanchez
Signpost featured artist of the month
Sanchez devotes himself to art, teaching
It can be difficult to separate student from teacher in the Algodones
Elementary School classroom of painter Gary Sanchez.
About 150 kids from age four through grade five pass through the
portable every week for art instruction that spills over into other
areas. Mixing colors becomes a lesson in fractions; filtering light
through a prism creates a rainbow and a discussion of Sir Isaac
Based on research showing that children exposed to art and music
become better students, it's a curriculum grown from an after-school
program four years ago to a regular part of the Bernalillo district's
grade schools. Even the teacher learns.
“I try to give them the fundamentals,” the forty-four-year-old
Belen native said. “Then they'll do something different, and
I'll say, 'Why didn't I think of that?'
“They teach me every day. It's made me a better artist.”
Beyond the lesson plan, teaching allows Sanchez to devote himself
full-time to art, a goal set as he walked through a Dallas cultural
neighborhood in the early 1990s.
“I saw an artist doing portraits and decided I want to get
back,” he said. “I got reinterested in art.”
From his own childhood, Sanchez remembers art as a self-prescribed
therapy after death severed the close relationship with his grandfather.
His mother supported his talents, enrolling him in art classes;
he had his first one-artist show at age seventeen and won an art
Art school lasted a semester—he didn't like what they were
teaching—so instead he earned degrees in public affairs and
urban planning and was deep into a career as planner and budget
analyst when he took the fateful stroll in Dallas. Seven years ago
he moved back to New Mexico and began taking classes from well-known
Since then his paintings have appeared in galleries and shows
and on festival posters and a billboard, won a first place at the
New Mexico State Fair, and entered public and private collections.
While he often works in oil and acrylic, many of his images rise
in layers, a sketch and underpainting of watercolor with an over-painting
of pastels providing detail and depth.
“Working out the underpainting is critical,” Sanchez
said. “Sometimes I have a clear idea of what I want to do,
and sometimes the painting takes over.
“That's why I try to keep it loose in the beginning.”
Drawing inspiration from the Spanish Baroque painter Diego Velazquez,
many Sanchez images are classically New Mexican, from a Pueblo corn
maiden to the large-scale landscape Taos Morning, where the Sangre
de Cristos rise in the distance while a horse pauses in a pasture.
His largest images, a triptych of three adobe churches titled La
Iglesia Nuevo Mexicana, currently grace an American Home Furnishings
billboard at San Mateo and Lomas, in Albuquerque.
Locally, Sanchez's work can be seen at the Range Café and
Prairie Star Restaurant, the Indigo Gallery in Madrid, and in Albuquerque
at de Colores in Old Town and American Home Furnishings. He also
shows at the annual Contemporary Hispanic Market in Santa Fe.
A sample of his painting can be seen by visiting www.sandovalsignpost.com
and clicking on the Featured Artist link.
Darryl Willison to celebrate birthday with his art,
America’s Drawing Cowboy, Darryl Willison, will be celebrating
his birthday by sharing his vibrant new work with patrons of the
Range Café, in Bernalillo, on Saturday, March 11.
Darryl’s work just completed an exhibition at the Booth
Western Art Museum, in Cartersville, Georgia, forty-five minutes
north of Atlanta.
“It was truly an honor to be appreciated as a unique Western
artist by the museum,” said Darryl. “Now it is your
turn to see the art that made the Georgians smile.”
The art show and sale will be from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Darryl invites
you to take advantage of dinner at the Range, soak up the live entertainment,
and see his show. For further details, call Art Gallery 66, at 867-8666
or the Range Café, at 867-1700.
New Bernalillo art co-op features the work of plein-air
In mid-February, the new Plein Air New Mexico gallery quietly opened
its doors in downtown Bernalillo. It is a cooperative venture of
about thirty local artists. The Plein Air New Mexico group shows
representational work that is done from life. The works are primarily
landscapes done outside but also include some still-life and figure
work, done from live models.
The new gallery is in the Old Town Shoppes of Bernalillo, at 733
Camino del Pueblo. The Old Town Shoppes area is rapidly becoming
a focal point for downtown specialty stores and will participate
in the city's renovation plans. The gallery is about a block and
a half north of the Range Café, on the west side, and will
be directly opposite the new RailRunner Center.
Plein-air painting, from the French en plein air, means painting
in outdoor daylight and was popularized in the eighteen-hundreds
by the French Impressionists, such as Claude Monet. However, landscape
painters actually started painting outside in Italy prior to that,
in the late seventeen-hundreds; in France, as part of the Barbizon
School; and here in America, at the famous Hudson River School in
New York. Plein air became especially popular in the early part
of the twentieth century, when it was influenced by the California
Impressionists. The movement has grown so that now many plein-air
groups exist in different states and countries around the world.
With our incredible landscapes and large artist population, it
is fitting that New Mexico now has its own plein-air group, called,
appropriately, Plein Air New Mexico. A Placitas resident, Deborah
Paris, started the organization in October, 2004, with twenty-five
members. Now with members numbering more than 120, including some
nationally known artists, the group is starting to receive regional
and national recognition. (See member and show information at www.pleinairnewmexico.com.)
The opening event for the PANM Gallery is an evening reception
on Friday, March 17 (Saint Patrick's Day), from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Regular hours until summer will be from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
on Fridays and Saturdays. Expect to hear more from this fast-developing
group of New Mexico artists.
March arrives with string quartets
—JACKIE ERICKSEN, BOARD MEMBER, PLACITAS ARTISTS
The Placitas Artists Series presents Willy Sucre and Friends in
a program of string quartets on March 5. Violist Willy Sucre will
be joined by violinists Krzysztof Zimowski and Kerri Lay and cellist
Joanna de Keyser. The program will include the “Lark”
String Quartet in D Major, op. 64, No. 5, by Haydn; Franz Schubert's
Quartettsatz in C Minor, and the String Quartet in C Minor, Op.
51, No. 1, by Johannes Brahms.
The concert is generously sponsored by First Community Bank.
New Mexico Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Krzysztof Zimowski and
Joanna de Keyser, UNM professor emerita and Seraphin Trio member,
are familiar returning “friends.” Santa Fe violinist
Kerri Lay performs with such distinguished groups as the Santa Fe
Opera Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony,
and Santa Fe Pro Musica. She teaches violin, and founded Bellissima,
a music-contracting service specializing in classical ensembles
for weddings and other special events.
Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for March exhibiting
visual artists Dorothy “Bunny” Bowen, Sylvia Eisenhart,
Renee Brainard Gentz, and Anna Goodridge.
Working on silk with dyes resisted by molten wax, batik artist
Bunny Bowen creates distinctive works of art. In addition to batik
pieces, Bowen works in the ancient Japanese technique of rozome.
Sylvia Eisenhart works in watercolor, acrylic, and oil, as well
as producing mixed-media pieces. Eisenhart enlarges and brings into
view shapes, color, and light sources that are often overlooked.
She explains that “as light is integrated, the canvases come
to life, giving the feeling as to space and time molding one's thoughts,
words, and color into a finished canvas.”
Fabric and collage artist Renee Brainard Gentz dyes and paints
cotton and silk fabric, which is then cut and reassembled, using
repetitive patterns so that the colors become the focus. Quilting
and dangling threads add yet another layer of color contrasts to
her award-winning creations.
Anna Goodridge works with oils, multimedia, and collage, painting
with a layering of oils. “My paintings are windows for imaginations
to wander,” she says.
The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. on March 5; the artists'
reception begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert will be available
at the door one hour before the concert, or may be purchased in
advance at La Bonne Vie Salon and Day Spa in Homestead Village Shopping
Center, in Placitas; at Gatherings, 9821 Montgomery NE, in Albuquerque;
or online at www.PlacitasArts.org. Prices are $15 for general admission
and $12 for seniors and students.
This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division
of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment
for the Arts. The facility is completely accessible, and free child
care is provided for families with children under six. Las Placitas
Presbyterian Church is six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242.)
For more information, call 867-8080 or visit www.PlacitasArts.org.
Edward Gonzales receives award
Artist Edward Gonzales is the 2006 recipient of The American Association
of Hispanics in Higher Education’s Outstanding Latino/a Cultural
Arts Award. Gonzales will travel to San Antonio, Texas, on March
3 for the presentation, during the AAHHE national conference. Past
award recipients of the award include painter Amado Peña
and playwright Luís Valdez.
“This award has been established to recognize Latinos/Latinas
who have contributed significantly to our understanding of our Hispanic
community and culture through a medium in the arts or performing
arts. Six awards are presented annually by AAHHE to honor key leaders,
scholars, teachers, and artists who have advocated, supported, and
championed Latinos in higher education.”
Many of Gonzales’s paintings have been published as posters
that promote learning and literacy. Gonzales has his studio and
gallery in Corrales.
Corrales June art show calls for entries
Artists are called to enter the Fourteenth Annual San Ysidro Carnival
of Arts, a New Mexico multimedia show and sale, to be held in Corrales
June 3 and 4 at the Historic Old San Ysidro Church. The show is
presented by the Corrales Visual Arts Council. The deadline for
mailing entry forms, fees, and photos of work is Saturday, March
25. For details and an application form, please phone Deb Kennedy,
at 344-2110, or Hope Grey, at 897-3942.
Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra coming to Rio Rancho
The world-famous Count Basie Orchestra will play at Rio Rancho
High School Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:00
The concert, presented in partnership with the Band Boosters of
Rio Rancho, will benefit the Rio Rancho High School Band program.
Outpost Production will assist in the concert directed by Bill Hughes
and featuring Butch Miles.
With seventeen Grammy awards, two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards,
and nine DownBeat Readers and Critics Poll Awards, the Count Basie
Orchestra is one of the most famous and long-lasting big bands in
jazz history. The band's nineteen musicians grew up with the Kansas
City Swing style of Count Basie and have added their own voices
to this tradition. Several members were hired by the legendary Count
himself. Playing over two hundred dates each year, the band still
tours worldwide, spreading the highly identifiable Count Basie Kansas
City-style musical heritage.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door (no Outpost member
discounts for this benefit performance) and may be purchased in
advance at the Outpost Performance Space; Baum's Music, 2908 Eubank
NE, near Raley’s; Grandma's Music and Sound, 9310 Coors Boulevard
NW, at Paseo del Norte; and the Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce,
4001 Southern Blvd SE, near Walgreens.
The Rio Rancho High School Performing Arts Center is at 301 Loma
Colorado NE, Rio Rancho.
For further information, call 268-0044 or visit
Folk-art workshop in Oaxaca this July
This summer, local artist Julianna Kirwin, with Noel Chilton and
the Sachmo Art Center, will present a Mexican folk-art workshop
in Oaxaca, Mexico, geared for teachers, professional artists, and
students. The class will be from July 10 to 21 and will be limited
to fifteen people.
Attendees will travel to nearby villages to visit some of Oaxaca's
most famous weavers, potters, and wood-carvers and learn from them
how to create some of the folk arts for which Oaxaca is known.
At seven thousand feet, Oaxaca City is home to famous artists
such as Rufino Tamayo and Francisco Toledo, and serves as a center
for indigenous art as well as thriving contemporary art forms. The
bilingual Sachmo Art Center is in the heart of Oaxaca City. Its
workshops, library, and studio spaces draw in young and old, oaxaqueños
and visitors, amateurs and professional artists.
For a complete itinerary, costs, and more information,
or call (505) 771-0590.