Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


c. David Cramer

“Stalion Chase” Photograph by David Cramer

David Cramer: A memorial retrospective

The first showing of David Cramer’s photography since his death was held at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church during the month of March as a benefit for the Placitas Artists Series (PAS).

David Wayne Cramer, nature and wildlife photographer, passed away doing what he loved on Thursday, March 25, 2010. Born on December 18, 1951 in Dallas, Texas, David attended Southern Methodist University and Ball State University and was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree by Texas A & M University in 1985. After meeting his devoted life partner, Avi Kriechman, David retired from a successful and respected career as a psychologist in Austin, Texas and moved permanently to New Mexico, where he developed his photography and became an energetic member of the arts community in Placitas. In his too brief time, he earned several awards for his images of wildlife, including the juror’s selection for the All Things Horses International Photography Exhibition and numerous first place awards at the Bosque del Apache Festival of the Cranes.

David loved the natural world. It captured his curiosity, awe, and wonder of the immensity of life and creation. He understood our lives, in nature, as billions of ephemeral events, each one marvelous, momentary, and existing only once. The innate attunement and attention to relationship he brought to his work as a psychologist allowed him to capture those extraordinary moments for all time—moments he lovingly shared with us. He gave us insight into the intimate lives of the wild horses of Placitas and birds of the Bosque del Apache, some of his favorite subjects. Those transitory intersections of light, color, and nature leave us breathless, in wonder, and in reverence for David’s connection with the nature that is around us all.

David wrote of his affinity for wild horses in September 2008:

“I first experienced wild horses when I stumbled upon a young colt hanging close to his pack. He stared intensely at me for a few seconds, after which he snorted, voided, and sprinted off down the hill. For me, it was love at first sight. Since that encounter, I have found wild horses to be an irresistible attraction. Many of us have succumbed to the pull of these majestic animals, and my best way of managing this addiction is with a camera in hand. Then, at least, I can feel I have some control over their pull, even as I know I am the one who is hopelessly in love. I have been blessed with witnessing many stages of their lives: births, newborns finding their first legs, the ceremonial establishment of pecking orders, magnificent battles, powerfully joyous play, and unavoidable signs of the final chapter. I find there is much to learn and value in how they live their lives. Untouched by politics, clocks, appointments, or phone calls, these animals epitomize the meaning of living in the moment. My photography attempts to capture these moments in raw and bold form. I rely on flexibility, attention, and intimate knowledge to create my images. I pull from my past career as a psychologist for three decades in focusing primarily on their behaviors and relationships. To make a beautiful photograph, all that I require is my camera and lens and a little lighting help from nature; the horses provide the rest.” 

Shortly before his death in March, 2010, David wrote:

“The natural world is one of beauty, chaos, cruelty, survival, and joy. My photography attempts to capture some of these elusive moments for humans to experience. My ultimate goal is to share the rawness of nature with my viewers in a manner that stirs emotion and wonder.”

David’s generosity, playfulness, kindness, and joy in connection remain his most lasting legacy.

David’s partner Avi has preserved David’s digital images and is creating an inventory of the work David printed prior to his death. Avi will make David’s work available through showings by nonprofit agencies and benefits for charitable organizations.

The Placitas Artists Series is honored to show some of David’s work during the month of March at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church. The display runs from February 26 through March 25. The prints have been generously offered by Avi as a benefit for PAS. There will be a reception for this showing, as well as for two other artists—Dorothy Bunny Bowen and Mary & Karl Hofmann. The reception is at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2011.

Beyond this show, please look to for announcements of future sales and exhibits of David’s work. You may contact Avi at David's work was was featured in the Signpost in September, 2004.

Lisa Gill and Don McIver to read at Duende Poetry Series

The first reading of 2011 sponsored by the Duende Poetry Series of Placitas will be held on Sunday, March 13 at 3 p.m. at the Anasazi Fields Winery in the Village. Two Albuquerque poets will share the podium—Lisa Gill and Don McIver, both well known for their poetry and their poetry-activist activities in the area. Each has organized numerous events over the years, giving many poets an opportunity to read their work and to hear other local poets.

Lisa Gill is the author of five books of poetry: Red as a Lotus: Letters to a Dead Trappist, Mortar & Pestle, Dark Enough, and The Relenting: A Play of Sorts, a long poem for two voices (which has been performed at the 516 Gallery in downtown Albuquerque and other locations). Essentially, this latter work is dramatic poetry while her other works are lyric poetry. A fifth book, Caput Nili: How I Won the War and Lost My Taste for Oranges, is due out in April. This work is an illustrated memoir containing poetry, prose, and art. Gill, who was the organizer of the Stir Poetry Festival a few years ago which included poetry readings in multiple venues in the greater Albuquerque area, has read her poems around the country, most recently at the Beyond Baroque Poetry Center in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA degree from the University of New Mexico, where she studied with Joy Harjo, and serves as the artistic director of the Local Poet’s Guild.

Don McIver is the host/producer of KUNM’s Spoken Word Hour (a poetry program on Sunday evenings), a four-time member of the Albuquerque Slam Team, and the author of a book of poems, The Noisy Pen. He is a coeditor of A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. McIver has performed his poetry all over the United States (winning the 2005 National Poetry Slam—the largest in history), produced poetry events big and small, and was the media director for the Bravo Awards. His work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, such as the Harwood Anthology, Shine On You Crazy Diamond: Poems by Teens and their Mentors, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Collection, and Poems from the Big Muddy. Currently and for the last few years, McIver has organized and hosted “Poetry & Beer,” an open mic and featured poet, once-a-month reading at various venues (for some time now at the Blackbird Buvette in downtown Albuquerque).

There will be a short open mic period after the two featured poets have read. If interested, please sign up immediately upon arrival for the event.

For all Duende Poetry Series readings, wine, free snacks, and nonalcoholic drinks are available to the audience. The event is free, though we encourage donations for the poets. For more information about the event, contact Jim Fish at the winery at (505) 867-3062 or online at The next Duende Series reading will be on Sunday,  June 12 at 3 p.m. It will feature poets Bill Pearlman and Marilyn Stablein, who won the 2010 New Mexico Book Award for Poetry for her book Splitting Hard Ground.

To reach the winery, turn onto Camino de los Pueblitos from Highway 165 in the old Village of Placitas, across from the Presbyterian Church, drive past two stop signs, and then turn left into the winery parking lot. From outside Placitas, take I-25 to Exit 242, drive six miles to Placitas, and follow Camino de los Pueblitos through two stop signs to the winery.

c. Daisy Kates

Homage to John Coltrane and Mark Schiller, from the Vessel series.

Daisy Kates exhibit at the library

The Placitas Community Library is delighted to exhibit the work of Placiteña, Daisy Kates during the month of March. Daisy has been a ceramic artist and educator for over 40 years. For the past few years, she has predominantly been painting in acrylics and creating assemblages that include small ceramic elements. This is her first show of that work. Her paintings are an expression of personal, emotional subject matter, and her images are abstract or have a pictorial reference.

In addition to being a studio artist, Daisy has had a long-term career as an educator of ceramic arts in social service settings. She has taught students of all ages, including those with special needs and disabilities, and was the ceramic art teacher at an agency for the blind for 10 years. She also developed and taught the pottery program for the City of Albuquerque, Department of Senior Affairs, for 28 years. Daisy has traveled quite extensively and has also volunteered for a variety of local and international projects. These included introducing pottery to an after school program in a Black township in South Africa, and participating in a Potters for Peace service project in Nicaragua.

Daisy graduated from the City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in fine art. She has also attended innumerable workshops in ceramics and other art forms and had access to museums and galleries when growing up in New York City. She began spending time in New Mexico in the mid-’60s and also attended art classes at UNM during that period. She has lived in her small handmade house high in the Placitas foothills since 1979, and her studio has panoramic views of the Ortiz, Sandia, Jemez, and Santa Fe mountains.

An artist’s reception for Daisy will be held on Saturday, March 5 from 3-5 p.m.

Calling all artists

—Judith Roderick

Placitas and the surrounding areas are home to many excellent artists. Now, there are two venues where this abundance and diversity of art can be seen locally, right here in Placitas.

For 25 years, the Placitas Artists Series (PAS) has been bringing wonderful music to our community, and each monthly concert has a corresponding art show of four visual artists.  (See the front inside cover of the Signpost.) The Las Placitas Presbyterian Church has a large, light-filled gallery space where the exhibits occur. The art is viewed by the congregation, the concertgoers, and all of the groups, including the Jardineros de Placitas, who meet there. There is a reception for the visual artists before each concert. The artist’s work is seen on the PAS Web site all year, and artists are mentioned in our advertising.

Now, there is a second venue available, at our new Placitas Community Library in the Collins Meeting Room. There will be a show each month of individual artists or groups of artists or theme shows such as the Placitas History Project. The viewers for these shows are the many library patrons and all of the groups meeting in the Collins Meeting Room. The artist can choose to have a reception as well.

Whether you are an established artist who shows far and wide and who would also like to be seen at home, or an emerging artist who has not yet shown your work, here are your two opportunities.

 PAS is a juried show. You need to apply by May 1 to be considered for our 2011-2012 season, our 25th Silver Anniversary Year. Go to our Web site at Click on Our Visual Artists section and in the first paragraph is a link to our prospectus. Print it out, and mail it in by May 1. You send your images digitally.

To apply for a library show, go to the Library Web site ( Under library activities in the sidebar, click on Art Exhibits. Download your application, and apply.

Your community looks forward to seeing your art!

Willy Sucre 

Willy Sucre

Willy Sucre and Friends play trios for oboe, viola, and piano

On Sunday, March 20, 2011, the Placitas Artists Series will present Willy Sucre and Friends playing trios for oboe, viola, and piano. Violist Willy Sucre will be joined by oboist Thomas O’Connor and pianist Jacquelyn Helin.

The program should include Schilflieder for Oboe, Viola, and Piano, Op.28 by August Klughardt and Deux Rhapsodies for Oboe, Viola, and Piano by Charles Martin Loeffler.

Violist Willy Sucre is a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the driving force behind the “Willy Sucre & Friends” concerts. He has been conductor and music director of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, assistant conductor and assistant principal viola of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, principal viola and guest conductor of the National Symphony of Bolivia, the Chamber Orchestra of La Paz, and the Albuquerque Chamber Orchestra. For 10 years, he has been the violist of the Helios String Quartet.

Thomas O’Connor, a highly regarded oboist who has performed extensively on modern and historical oboes, is also the cofounder, music director, and conductor of Santa Fe Pro Musica. He has performed with all of the major classical music organizations in New Mexico, including the Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Steinway artist Jacquelyn Helin consistently wins acclaim for her vibrant and musical playing of a wide-ranging repertoire. Applauded for her “lucid, highly expressive” interpretations of contemporary music, Helin frequently collaborates with composers in premieres of their works. She has recently joined the faculty of the New Mexico School for the Arts, and she maintains a large private studio in Santa Fe.

The concert is generously sponsored by Jessica Gordon.

Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for March exhibiting visual artists Dorothy Bowen and Karl and Mary Hofmann and include a retrospective of David W Cramer.

The concert will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church; the artists’ reception begins at 2 p.m. Tickets for the concert will be available at the door one hour before the performance or may be purchased in advance at La Bonne Vie Salon and Day Spa in Homestead Village Shopping Center in Placitas, Ah! Capelli Salon & Color Studio in Enchanted Hills Plaza, Rio Rancho, or online at Prices are $20 for general admission and $18 for seniors and students.

For more information, call (505) 867-8080, or visit





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