An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Artist Geraldine Brussel
Photo by Bill Diven

Geraldine Brussel in her Bernalillo bosque studio

Oil Painting by Geraldine Brussel
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 years ago.

“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 Studio.

“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,

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 in Placitas

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 Reduced-price tickets are available at Placitas Mini-Mart.

PAS concludes season with string quartets

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 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 imagery.

“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, call 867-8666.

Raising Cane, Bluegrass Band
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 Festival.

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 this summer.

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 Band.

"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 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.

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.

Albuquerque Folk Festival: Saturday, June 17, State Fairgrounds.

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.

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.

Painting by Lois Duitman
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, call 1-800-659-1779.






Front Page   Up Front  Animal News   Around Town  Business  Classifieds   Calendar  Community Bits  Community Center  Eco-Beat   Featured Artist  Fire and Rescue The Gauntlet   Community Links  Night Skies  My Wife and Times  Sandoval Arts   Schoolbag  Sheriff's Corner  Time Off  Ask Uncle Duffy   Back Issues   Ad Rates   Contact Us