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
Acrylic painting, by Ann Pollard
Gourd bowl, by Sonya Coppo
Terra cotta bust of African American girl modeling
original jewelry rendered from silver clay process, by Joanne Ruhl
Book jacket of Amadito and Spider Woman, written
by Lisa Bear Goldman
Spirit of the Dance, mixed media, by Linda Tindall
Signpost featured artist of the month:
CREATIVE SPIRITS OF PLACITAS
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
“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
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
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.
ARTIST CONTACT INFORMATION:
• 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 www.lisabeargoldman.com.
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 www.herbgoldman.com.
• Ann Pollard’s art is available at Houshang’s
Gallery in Santa Fe, Windchime Champagne Gallery in Albuquerque,
and at www.annpollard.com.
• Joanne Ruhl’s art is available at her home studio
by appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 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 http://web.mac.com/