Photo by Bill Diven
Geraldine Brussel in her Bernalillo bosque studio
Photo by Bill Diven
Oil painting, by Geraldine Brussel
“Relax, use your creativity, and be happy”
Like the crows settling in the branches of the cottonwoods, Geraldine
Brussel found her place in the Bernalillo bosque.
Her flight followed a wandering path over the decades begun as
a teenager fixated by a Rembrandt painting in a New York City museum.
“I just stood in front of it and couldn't believe it,”
Brussel said while twisting her head as she had done to examine
the master brush strokes from different angles. “How in the
hell did he do it?”
Fine-art training in the 1960s launched trips to European cathedrals
to study medieval stained glass, a return trip to Italy focused
on sculpture, and eventually a loft studio in the Soho district
of New York City. In the vibrant art scene she branched out into
acting and creating stage sets and another European tour that led
to a one-woman show of her paintings.
Her paintings and watercolors brought sales and grants, and for
a few years in the early 1970s she divided her time between Soho
and a meditation center in Vermont. Away from the city, the ego
began to fade from her work, opening a path to Colorado and the
visits to New Mexico which would bring her to Bernalillo about fifteen
“I was a New York artist hanging out in Europe, a very aggressive
artist,” Brussel recalled. That changed as her art moved toward
nature and the eternal threads binding it together.
It is a lesson she tries to impart on students at her One Crow
“I want to show them how to relax and use your creativity
and be happy,” she said. “That will save their life.
It saved mine.”
Today she works mostly in oil, often rubbing large crayon-like
oil sticks for a primitive effect, working on paper or board making
images some have called abstract, a label she finds surprising.
Woodcuts may provide a basic and repeated image, but she paints
around those as well.
“I paint very hard, finding all the colors,” Brussel
said. “Sometimes I get lost, there are so many colors.”
And then there are words reflecting her love of poetry. And crows,
especially the one in Many Clouds, Many Mesas, One Crow, perhaps
her most recognized work.
“I like animals,” she said. “I try to get their
essence and get myself into the painting.
“These things don't look like clarity, but they're my clarity.”
Brussel’s paintings currently hang at the Range Café
in Bernalillo, Mariposa Gallery, on Central Avenue in Albuquerque's
Nob Hill, and in a Scottsdale, Arizona, gallery. Brussel also is
at work on new images for display during the monthly meeting of
the Sandoval County Historical Society on June 4.
Her studio is open by appointment by calling 867-4691. And a sample
of her work in color can be seen by clicking the Featured Artist
link on the Signpost Web site, www.sandovalsignpost.com.
Art In The Park opens May 21 in Corrales
Last summer, Art In The Park, cosponsored by the Corrales Department
of Parks and Recreation and the newly formed Corrales Society of
Artists, was a popular destination for art lovers. Colorful booths
offering fine art, photography, sculpture, jewelry, crafts, and
live music from the bandstand lured many to the shady La Entrada
Park, just off Corrales Road, in the heart of the village. And now
Art In The Park is back.
“This year will be even better,” according to Lynn
Siverts, director of Corrales Parks and Recreation, cosponsors of
the event along with the Corrales Society of Artists. “We’ve
been busy all winter making great plans for the upcoming season.
Putting on a fine-art exhibition is our first objective, but we’ve
added art demos, live music, and food to make this summer’s
Art In The Park a unique experience. Some of the best artists and
artisans in New Mexico make Corrales their home. This is the perfect
venue for the public to enjoy their creative works.”
Building on last year's success, Art In The Park will have more
art, more artists, and an array of food and drink from local Corrales
eateries. Live music by the Ambush Brass will add to the festive
atmosphere at the opening show, on May 21. Events take place on
the third Sunday of the month, from May through October. Show hours
are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
Dr. Gary Dwyer's photographs debut at BPS art show
Photographs taken by Dr. Gary L. Dwyer and framed by the Bernalillo
Public Schools Art Club will make their debut at the Bernalillo
Public Schools "Celebration of the Arts" show on Friday,
May 5, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Dwyer was the superintendent at BPS until an illness took his
life last spring. Community members who wish to have a remembrance
of the beloved superintendent are encouraged to purchase the photographs.
Dwyer's landscape photographs capture the beauty of New Mexico
skies, mountains, flowers. and animals. Each November found Dwyer
at the Bosque del Apache marveling at the sights and sounds of thousands
of birds of different sizes and colors gathering to stop for food
on their travels southward.
Proceeds from the sale of the photographs will go to the Dr. Gary
L. Dwyer Fund, within the Bernalillo Public Schools Foundation.
Dwyer and his family set up the fund in December 2005 in honor of
Dwyer's sixtieth birthday. The fund supports fine- and performing-arts
projects and programs for BPS students and teachers.
Westside Community Chorale to perform spring concert
The Westside Community Chorale, conducted by John Clark, will
present the premier of My Dearest Friend, by Scott Wilkinson, on
Sunday, May 7, in Placitas. The performance will begin at 3:30 p.m.
at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church and offer a variety of music
celebrating love, including “The Liebeslieder Waltzes,”
“Wedding Cantata,” and a medley from Oliver. Concert
length, including intermission, is ninety minutes, with refreshments
available. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students;
call 898-7895 or e-mail cros_D@excite.com.
Reduced-price tickets are available at Placitas Mini-Mart.
PAS concludes season with string quartets
—JACKIE ERICKSEN, BOARD MEMBER, PLACITAS ARTISTS
The Placitas Artists Series will conclude its 2005-06 season on
Sunday, May 21, with Willy Sucre and Friends performing a program
of string quartets by Mozart, Takemitsu, and Beethoven. Violist
Willy Sucre will be joined by friends LP How and Ikuko Kanda, violin,
and cellist Joan Zucker.
Santa Fe resident Liang-Ping How began the violin at age four
and continued his studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy and with
Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music. How made his solo
debut at age seven and his Carnegie Hall debut in 1974, with the
New York String Orchestra. He is a member of the Orpheus Chamber
Orchestra, and performs with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and the
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Japanese native Ikuko Kanda also began violin at age four. A member
of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra,
and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Kanda has played with
numerous groups in Japan and America.
NMSO principal cellist Joan Zucker has performed frequently with
Willy Sucre and Friends.
The concert is generously sponsored by Claudia W. Moraga.
Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for visual artists
Claudia Moraga, Eloise Rogers, Elaine Slusher, and Lillian Gerity.
Claudia Moraga has studied oil painting with Taos artists Ray
Vinella and Kevin McPhearson, and workshops in Italy and Spain.
“Each country offers a variety of landscape motifs, its unique
lighting, and much inspiration.” Recently she has been experimenting
with oil pastels.
Longtime Placitas resident Elaine Slusher is a Signature Member
of both the New Mexico Watercolor Society and the Western Federation
of Watercolor Societies. Most of her paintings are of people, including
children, and of animals, and express how these subjects relate
to one another.
Former Albuquerque Public Schools teacher Eloise Rogers paints
in watercolor, oil, and acrylics. The subjects she enjoys are landscapes,
florals, still life, and Native American paintings. She is a Signature
Member of the NNM Watercolor Society. Her paintings convey a “moment
in time and space … a colorful impression not a copy of nature—a
feeling, an impression to share with you.”
Potter Lillian Gerity combined an interest in anthropology and
ceramics with workshops on Native American pottery, including both
Taos and ancient Anasazi pottery, to produce hand-built works of
art inspired by archeological artifacts found throughout the American
Southwest and Europe. Her most recent work uses only clay and minerals
to achieve a natural look of stone and wood.
The concert will begin at 3:00 p.m. at Las Placitas Presbyterian
Church, the artists' reception 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, in Homestead Village
Shopping Center, in Placitas; at Gatherings, 9821 Montgomery NE,
in Albuquerque; or on-line 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.
“Honkyfest!” at Art Gallery 66
Albuquerque artists Marjie Bassler and Michelle Cook were recently
discussing this burning question: If there's an Indian Market and
a Spanish Market, what would you call an exhibit of other art, by
other artists? The answer ... “Honkyfest!”
And so the first “Honkyfest!” sprang into being. The
exhibit begins on May 6 at Art Gallery 66, in Bernalillo, and features
works by Cook and Bassler, with animals being a favorite subject.
Their works use humor to depict the foolish and playful behaviors
of humans and animals.
Bassler says, "As a kid I began drawing the many animals
we had in our family and always enjoyed making them funny. These
early drawings have evolved into the brightly colored animal paintings
I do today.
"Humor is extremely important to our mental well-being, and
people and animals sure do a lot of things that are laughable,”
said Bassler. “In addition to humor, I love working with bright
strong colors and surround myself with them in my own home. I find
this very uplifting. And my paintings are good for your health—they'll
strengthen your funny bones."
Bassler will be presenting a variety of paintings in acrylic and
water media as well as prints, T-shirts, and magnets.
Michelle Cook has also been drawing since she could handle a crayon.
She produced limited-edition serigraphs for many years, which were
often deemed “sick,” an opinion she took as a compliment.
Most recently she has been painting ceramic “dinnerware for
cats, dogs, and their humans.” When she has time, she says,
she explores her darker, grumpier side via painting and computer-manipulated
“Honkyfest!” opens Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 7, from noon to 5:00 p.m. The show
runs through Sunday, May 14. Refreshments will not include white
bread, tuna, cottage cheese, or macaroni.
Art Gallery 66 is located at 373 N. Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo.
Take Exit 242 from I-25. At the intersection of Highways 550 and
313, go north approximately four-tenths of a mile.
Art Gallery 66 is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to
5:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. For further information,
Aimee Hoyt sings in Raising Cane, a bluegrass band
Bluegrass in New Mexico
For people who think there's no bluegrass in New Mexico, just ask
Grammy Award-winning dobro player Sally Van Meter. Van Meter recently
produced local bluegrass band Raising Cane's second CD, Ride the
Rain. Recorded in Denver, the CD features Gregg Daigle on guitar
and banjo, Don Grieser on mandolin, Rich Sanchez on bass, and Placitas
resident Aimee Hoyt on guitar.
Van Meter played dobro with the San Francisco-based bluegrass
band The Good Ol' Persons for over twenty years. She has collaborated
with numerous artists, including Jerry Garcia, Taj Mahal, and Mary
Chapin-Carpenter, and won a Grammy for her performance on 1994's
The Great Dobro Sessions.
Recently, Van Meter has found herself in the producer's chair,
overseeing recordings by national bluegrass acts Open Road, Yonder
Mountain String Band, and Uncle Earl, among others.
Raising Cane, who has been together almost two years, is holding
a CD release concert Saturday, May 6, at the Lobo Theater in Albuquerque.
"We look forward to playing all our new music in front of a
local crowd," said Raising Cane mandolin player Don Grieser.
Following on the heels of Raising Cane's self-titled first release,
Ride the Rain features twelve original songs by Daigle, Grieser,
and Hoyt. The recording also follows a busy first year for the band.
"Last summer we played venues in California, Colorado, Arizona,
and New Mexico," said Hoyt. "It was a whirlwind, but it
made us much better performers."
Hoyt is not Sandoval County's only tie to bluegrass. The Placitas
Mountain Band performs the first Saturday of each month at the Piñon
Café, in Placitas’s Homestead Village. According to
banjo player Gary Libman, this summer the Placitas Mountain Band
will also play at Albuquerque's Tri-Centennial Parade, the Albuquerque
Folk Festival, and the Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music
The Placitas Artists Series has also started adding bluegrass
music to its repertoire. Last season featured a performance by Elliott's
Ramblers, a longtime New Mexico bluegrass band, while next season
will showcase the Watermelon Mountain Jug Band, a local favorite.
Another nearby bluegrass venue, the Lizard Rodeo Lounge, at the
Range Café, in Bernalillo, regularly features bluegrass acts.
National act Bill Hearne often performs there, as do locally known
bands such as Los Radiatores. Raising Cane is also scheduled there
Even bands from bluegrass-heavy Colorado look forward to playing
New Mexico venues. Sweet Sunny South, from Paonia, will play the
Albuquerque BioPark series in June and the Santa Fe Traditional
and Bluegrass Music Festival in August, as well as other venues
in the state.
"We've met so many good folks from New Mexico at southern
Colorado festivals, such as the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown and the
Four Corners Folk Festival, we had to come down and give the enchanted
state a visit," said Sweet Sunny South guitar player Rob Miller.
"What I know of New Mexico people is they are down to earth,
and they get a lot of the themes this style of music plays around."
New Mexicans are also enjoying national bluegrass acts more often
than ever before. Grammy-winning mandolin player Mike Compton will
be playing several times in New Mexico in May with musical partner
David Long. Compton is best known for his work on the Oh, Brother
Where Art Thou soundtrack and as a member of the Nashville Bluegrass
"This will be the first time David and I will have had the
opportunity to come and play the Southwest, though we've talked
about it and wanted to for quite some time," said Compton.
"I think that I can speak for David when I say that we are
very excited and looking forward to coming, not to mention having
a few platefuls of green chile!"
Other bluegrass performances in New Mexico this summer include
Yonder Mountain String Band, at the Sunshine Theater, the Wild West
Music Festival series, in Edgewood, the Albuquerque Folk Festival,
and the Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival.
Additional information about upcoming performances:
Yonder Mountain String Band: Friday, April 28,
7:00 p.m., at the Sunshine Theater, in Albuquerque. Tickets are
$18 in advance or $20 at the door. Call 764-0249 or go to ticketmaster.com
for more information.
Raising Cane CD Release Concert: Saturday, May
6, 7:30 p.m., at the Lobo Theater, in Albuquerque. Tickets at the
door: adults $10, students $5, children ten and under admitted free.
Advance CD-ticket combo: $15 adults, $10 students. Call 243-4910
or e-mail info@raisingcanebluegrass for more information.
Mike Compton and David Long: Saturday, May 13, Ramah, New Mexico;
Tuesday, May 16, Rane Gallery, Taos. www.mikecompton.net
Sweet Sunny South: Thursday, June 1, Albuquerque
BioPark Concert Series; Friday, June 2, Los Alamos Summer Concert
Series; Saturday, June 10, Shuler Theater, Raton; Thursday, August
24, Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Santa Fe; Saturday, August 26, Santa Fe
Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival. www.sweetsunnysouth.com
Albuquerque Folk Festival: Saturday, June 17,
State Fairgrounds. www.abqfolkfest.org
Wild West Music Festival Series: Wildlife West
Nature Park, Edgewood, Sunday, June 25, featuring Elliott's Ramblers,
Cadillac Sky, and Shawn Camp; Sunday, July date TBA featuring the
Hot Club of Santa Fe, Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show, and the
Byron Berline Band; Sunday, August 6, featuring Raising Cane, Valerie
Smith and Liberty Like, and John McCutcheon. www.wildlifewest.org
Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Music Festival: August 25-27,
Santa Fe, featuring Sweet Sunny South, Bluegrass Patriots, Troublesome
Creek String Band, and the Chapmans. www.southwestpickers.org.
Sunset Soiree, Botswana, Africa, painting by Lois Duitman
Duitman paintings show world travels
Rio Rancho artist Lois Duitman has painted, taught, and exhibited
in many countries, including India, the Philippines, Mexico, Africa,
Canada, and the United States. Her distinctive around-the-world
paintings include warm scenes and sensitive portraits in various
techniques and media.
In May, Duitman will have eight paintings and photographs of Zimbabwe,
Botswana, Mozambique, and Kenya on exhibit at the Albuquerque Little
Theatre during the showing of the play Smoke On the Mountain, from
May 18 through June 4.
In June 11, from noon to 4:00 p.m., she will host an open house
and studio tour of twelve rooms, including her studio, showing her
paintings and photographs, many of which will be on sale. The show
will be at 64 Parkside Road SE, in Rio Rancho.
Duitman’s work is shown in museums around the world and
widely collected by private and corporate collectors.
For more information, call her, at 891-5192.
Ballet Carmen coming to KiMo
In honor of the Albuquerque Tricentennial and the Cinco de Mayo
holiday, Ballet Theatre of New Mexico will present traditional and
original dances inspired by the cultures of Mexico and Spain. The
evening will conclude with the fiery classicism of the ballet Carmen,
a passionate tale of love and jealousy.
The performance will be at the KiMo Theatre, in downtown Albuquerque,
on May 5 at 7:00 p.m., May 6 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m., and May 7 at
2:00 p.m. Tickets ($15 to $20 with a $2 discount for seniors, students,
and children) are available at the KiMo Theatre Box Office, at 768-3544,
883-7800 (Ticketmaster), and all Ticketmaster outlets. TTY users,