An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


PAS calls for entries

The Placitas Artists Series, Visual Arts Division, is calling for artists to exhibit their works for the 2008-2009 season. Four artists, ages eighteen and over, are selected by jury for each month, September through May 2008-2009. The works must be original, not from kits or copied. All types of fine art media will be considered. Each month, there will be three artists whose work hangs on the walls of the gallery and the fourth artist will be one whose work is free-standing or sits on a table, e.g., sculpture, weavings, jewelry, pottery, etc. The application process closes May 1, 2008. Notification will be by July 15, 2008. For a prospectus, send SASE to: Dianna Shomaker, 161 Camino Barranca, Placitas, NM 87043 or visit :

Creative Spirits of Placitas

The Creative Spirits of Placitas get their creative juices flowing around a kitchen table. (left to right) Joanne Ruhl, Ann Pollard, Lisa Bear Goldman, Sonya Coppo, Linda Tindall

By Ann Pollard

Acrylic painting, by Ann Pollard

By Sonya Coppo

Gourd bowl, by Sonya Coppo

By Joanne Ruhl

Terra cotta bust of African American girl modeling original jewelry rendered from silver clay process, by Joanne Ruhl

By  Lisa Bear Goldman

Book jacket of Amadito and Spider Woman, written by Lisa Bear Goldman

By Linda Tindall

Spirit of the Dance, mixed media, by Linda Tindall

Signpost featured artist of the month:


Joyful feelings give creativity wings


Every two weeks, five ladies in Placitas gather around a kitchen table to drink coffee, sample goodies provided by the hostess, and talk about their passion: creativity. The women, who all didn’t know each other before forming Creative Spirits of Placitas two years ago, have formed deep friendships as they cultivate in each other the courage to create. Meetings are spent talking about what has happened in the last two weeks and what each one intends to accomplish in the next two weeks. Obstacles are shared, and information and advice dispensed.

Each person goes away from each meeting with renewed determination to let creativity flow into her own art form. Of the women, one is a writer, three are artists, and the last is a writer-turned-artist.

Ann Pollard—a little lady from Texas with a big heart for color—paints in acrylics, working in either abstract or impressionist style. Her canvases are splashed with bold colors, patterns, and textures. “The colors, iridescent effects, and textures, working to achieve harmony, express what flows from within,” she says. Her paintings feel vibrant and at the same time have a tranquil, soothing effect on the viewer.

Ann’s personality is much the same way. At the biweekly meetings, she offers warm friendship, soothing the soul of the poor artist who is in a “dry” spot creatively.

Another member of the group is gourd artist Sonya Coppo. She is also an interior designer of thirty years and a bit of a philosopher. “I have always been interested in indigenous cultures and how their spiritual beliefs impact their lives,” she explains. Her gourds have tender spiritual overtones. The colors are soft and inviting; the subjects are often those dealing with the symbolism of healing and well-being. To own one of her works of art is to feel blessed.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” Sonya often quotes Gandhi at meetings. Also, Adriana Diaz: “Creativity is our species’ natural response to the challenges of human experience.” Sonya is creative and open to change. In her art, she doesn’t think about what is popular or trendy, but instead turns to her inner self and does what she feels most passionate about.

Adding to the group is Joanne Ruhl—a teacher at Bernalillo Middle School. She has always enjoyed dabbling in various art forms, but her favorite is sculpting in clay. Recently, she has expanded that interest to creating silver jewelry using precious metal clay.

Everything about Joanne is neat, tidy, and orderly. Her art reflects this, as do her contributions to the group. “Art’s uniqueness lies in its reflection of the artist’s thoughts and feelings. Only quality lies in the artist’s abilities,” Ruhl offers.

The fourth member to mention here is Lisa Bear Goldman, who is a counselor and writer with two artistic goals. The first is to assist her father, Herb Goldman, who started his sculpting career in New Mexico after WWII. He was “the sculptor” during Albuquerque’s exciting artistic periods of the 1940s and ‘50s and has completed a large number of commissioned works locally, after acquiring his degree from the University of New Mexico.

Her second goal is to write and promote her own works. Lisa’s published children’s book, Amadito and Spider Woman, was a finalist for the Nautilus Book Award and is illustrated by the well-known Southwestern artist, Amado Peña. In the story, a young boy, who is made fun of by a classmate, is unsure how to deal with his feelings. After walking in the desert with his grandmother and listening to her parables, he learns how to keep his heart open and not be afraid of his feelings.

The final member is writer-turned-artist, myself, Linda Tindall. My work reflects my love of the Southwest and its culture, and often includes tribal masks and headdresses made from gourds and other materials. When I make a mask inspired by powwow dancers, I hear their drums and songs in my head the whole time. When I make the primitive style, I feel like the design comes from some distant memory.

I also work in watercolor and am exploring concrete sculpture. I try a bit of everything and am inspired by actor, artist, and jeweler Michael Horse. I hope that my enthusiasm for new things will help everyone in the group look at their work with fresh eyes.

The Creative Spirits of Placitas group has learned that creativity is a fragile thing. Negative emotions like fear, anger, or worry can stop its flow. But joyful feelings give creativity wings and so the primary purpose of the Creative Spirits of Placitas is to deal with negative emotions and encourage joy in everything we do.


• Sonya Coppo’s art can be seen at Rockin’ R Gallery in Placitas, Old Town Shoppes in Bernalillo, the Placitas Studio Tour in May, and the Placitas Fine Arts & Crafts Holiday Sale in November.

• Lisa Bear Goldman’s book is available in local bookstores and at Her father Herb Goldman’s art is available at Art is OK Gallery in Albuquerque, Rockin’ R Gallery in Placitas, the Placitas Studio Tour in May, and at

• Ann Pollard’s art is available at Houshang’s Gallery in Santa Fe, Windchime Champagne Gallery in Albuquerque, and at

• Joanne Ruhl’s art is available at her home studio by appointment at

• Linda Tindall’s art is available at the Placitas Studio Tour in May, the Placitas Fine Arts and Crafts Holiday Sale in November, and at lindatindall.

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

Simon Ortiz

Simon Ortiz

Duende Series welcomes “Ortiz Trio” of writers


The Duende Poetry Series of Placitas, which presents quarterly readings at the Anasazi Fields Winery, will offer the second program of this fourth year of the series on March 16 at 3:00 p.m. Headlining this event will be Acoma poet Simon Ortiz, one of the nation’s most acclaimed poets and most honored Native American writers. He will be joined by two daughters, who are now making their way in the world of letters, Sara Marie Ortiz and Rainy Dawn Ortiz. This will be the first time the “Ortiz trio” has ever read together. The reading, as with all of the Duende Series events this year, has been made possible by a Witter Bynner Poetry Foundation grant.

Simon Ortiz is one of the key figures in what has been called the second wave of the Native American Renaissance, a writer whose works are known worldwide. Ortiz grew up in McCartys speaking only Keres, attended boarding schools and Grants High School, worked as a laborer in a New Mexico uranium plant, and attended Fort Lewis College on a BIA grant. Later, he also attended UNM and the highly-acclaimed University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He also has been a First Lieutenant Governor of Acoma Pueblo.

Among his many works, which include prose as well as poetry, are: Naked in the Wind; A Good Journey; The People Shall Continue; Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land; From Sand Creek: Rising in this Heart which is our America; “Toward a National Indian Literature;” Woven Stone; After and Before the Lightning; and “What we see: A perspective on Chaco Canyon and Pueblo Ancestry.” These works were published beginning in 1971 and continue to this day.

Ortiz has taught at UNM, San Diego State, Navajo Community College, Sinte Gleska Tribal University, College of Marin, Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, University of Toronto, Yale University, and currently at Arizona State University. He has received awards from the New Mexico Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation, Returning the Gift Festival of Native Writers, and was an Honored Poet at the 1981 White House Salute to Poetry. He has also won a Pushcart Prize.

Sara Ortiz, raised in Albuquerque and a current Santa Fe resident, is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, working on an MFA at UNM and Antioch University. Writing in both prose and poetry, she won the Truman Capote Award Fellowship, an American Indian Graduate Center fellowship and an award in creative non-fiction from the Southwest Writers Workshop. Her work has been published in Letters from Young Activists; THE Magazine (SF); Relations: Indigenous Dialogue; Scrimshaw: Neo Modern Literature from IAIA; and Sovereign Bones: New Native American Writing. She is also interested in social issues and film as they relate to Native America.

Rainy Ortiz, the proud mother of five children, is of Acoma/Muskogee background, has also studied creative writing at UNM, and resides in Albuquerque.

The Duende Poetry Series’ third program will be held on June 15 and will feature poet Keith Wilson of Las Cruces, one of New Mexico’s most important poets, often called the state’s unofficial Poet Laureate. This will be a tribute reading, and many well-known poets from all over the state will converge on Placitas to honor Wilson.

For all of our readings, wine, free snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks are available to audiences. The event is free, though we encourage donations to help the poets. For more information about the March 16 event or other readings in the series, contact Jim Fish at the winery (867-3062) or online at, or Cirrelda Snider-Bryan (897-0285) or online at You may also visit the winery website at

To get to the winery, turn onto Camino de los Pueblitos from Highway 165 across from the Presbyterian Church and follow the road to the winery. For those outside Placitas, take I-25 to Placitas exit 242, drive six miles to the village, turn left at the sign just before the Presbyterian Church, and follow Camino de los Pueblitos through two stop signs to the winery entrance.

The Spirit of Love

Everything is advanced learning of the spirit of love

where giving out is a necessity,

taking in is a wish for a wish come true.

Have you ever felt unloved?

Then welcome to the spirit of love first semester course,

hard knocks university, or is it mid school?

—Larry Goodell, 2007

by Dry Heat Photography

Photograph, by Dry Heat Photography

“Soul Portraiture”—Call to artists

Art Gallery 66 is proud to host a series of fine art photography exhibitions to uplift the spirit and enrich the community. Collectively titled “Soul Portraiture,” each show will explore the energy that creates and defines life through a variety of subject matter. A percentage of the proceeds from each of the four shows will be donated to a local charity.

During the first exhibition, “Spirit Blooms,” professional and amateur photographers alike are invited to create an image that illustrates the living energy that bursts forth from the bloom. Let your intuition guide you and show us that flowers are alive! Works selected by the jurors will demonstrate excellent composition, technical skill, and above all, will convey the soul of the flower.

Spirit Blooms will open on Saturday, April 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and will be billed as a both a Mother’s Day shopping opportunity, as well as an event to attend with Mom on the special day. Art Gallery 66 will also host a special artist’s reception on Friday, April 18th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

A percentage of the proceeds from “Spirit Blooms” will be donated to the Barrett Foundation. Barrett Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization in Albuquerque, helping homeless women and children build better lives. In addition to food, clothing, and shelter, Barrett Foundation provides case management, critical skills training, and the support needed to plan and establish a more stable future for women and their children.

For more information about submitting artwork, visit or call (505) 730-8576. Deadline for submission is March 25, 2008.

The Placitas Artists Series presents Willy and Friends with the Matisse Piano Trio


The Placitas Artists Series is proud to present a Willy and Friends concert on Sunday, March 9 at 3:00 p.m. The concert will feature Willy Sucre on viola and the Matisse Piano Trio—Katie Wolfe on violin, Anthony Arnone on cello, and Ksenia Nosikova on piano.

The concert will be sponsored by the Tom Ashe and Steve Gudelj families.

Willy is a violist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra who has been bringing “his friends”—outstanding musicians—to Placitas for years. The Matisse Piano Trio was formed in 2004 by pianist Ksenia Nosikova, violinist Katie Wolfe, and cellist Anthony Arnone, faculty members at the University of Iowa. Their passion for chamber music has brought these three internationally acclaimed soloists together to explore the rich and varied repertoire of the piano trio. While maintaining active solo and teaching careers, the Matisse Trio has performed around the country in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, and Hawaii. As they are also dedicated educators, the trio regularly gives clinics and master classes to college and high school students.

The program should include the world premiere of Quartet No. 1 for Piano and Strings by Placitas’s own John Bullock, Piano Trio in G Major “Gypsy Rondo,” by Franz Joseph Haydn, and Piano Quartet in G Minor by Johannes Brahms.

Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for March exhibiting artists Dorothy “Bunny” Bowen, Vangie Dunmire, Anna Goodridge, and Ted Hogsett. The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. on March 9 at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church; 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 or online at: Prices are $18 for general admission and $15 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 childcare is provided for families with children under six. Las Placitas Presbyterian Church is located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). For more information, call 867-8080.

Spring Equinox concert and celebration in Placitas on St. Patrick’s Day

A musical celebration of the Spring Equinox will be held at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church (LPPC) on St Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m. The band Fonn Sona (“Happy Melody” in Gaelic) will perform Irish and Scottish instrumentals and songs that celebrate the Earth, the Spring, and the return of light. The evening will include a few choice St. Patrick’s Day favorite sing-along songs.

Fonn Sona, a quintet of Albuquerque and Placitas players, features singers, guitar, banjo, bodhran (Irish hand drum), flute, and fiddle. They play regularly at such venues as O’Niell’s Irish Pub and Two Fools Pub in Albuquerque, as well as at Celtic festivals, schools, local TV, and at many ceilis (celebrations). One reviewer cites the band as “...spirited and lively, with top-notch singing and playing. They make a vivid contribution to the surprising and burgeoning Celtic music scene here in New Mexico.”

After the concert/sing-along, refreshments will be served in the Church’s fellowship hall, along with a chance to meet and chat with the singers and musicians.

The Spring Equinox celebration is a regular joint offering of The Earth Care Fellowship of LPPC and The Partnership for Earth Spirituality of Albuquerque as part of the Earth Vespers series.

The event is free to the public, donations optional. All are invited. If you have questions about this year’s event, please contact John Green at 867-0240, or email



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