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An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
Placitas Studio Tour 17th Annual Placitas Studio Tour
May 10-11, Mother's Day Weekend
Visit the website to plan your itinerary

Mark your calendar for the 16th Annual Albuquerque Folk Festival—June 7

The Albuquerque Folk Festival—an official one-day music festival on Saturday, June 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.—is a participatory family-friendly event with national, regional, and local musicians and performers, an instrument petting zoo and workshops for children and adults. Music jams, arts and crafts, food, beverages from local breweries also will be available, along with evening swing/contra dancing into the evening.

This year’s stage performers include Tim O’Brien with Darrell Scott, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Birds of Chicago, Spencer and Rains, Canote Brothers, Tina Gugeler, and others.

The event takes place at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum grounds, two blocks south of Balloon Fiesta Park, with free parking and on-site camping from Friday, June 6, at 4:00 p.m. through Sunday, June 8, at noon.

Ticket prices range from twenty dollars to free.

For ticket information, a full schedule, and other details, visit

c. Mary Rawcliffe Colton

Tapestry weaving (detail), by Mary Rawcliffe Colton

PAS presents concert and artists reception—May 25

—Patt Cain

On May 25, the Placitas Artists Series will present a concert by Willie Sucre and Friends—violinists Roberta Arruda and Ruxandra Simionescu-Marquardt and cellists Joan Zucker and James Holland. They will play a cello duo by David Popper, a trio for two violins and viola by Zoltán Kodály, and a cello quintet by Franz Schubert. This concert is generously sponsored by Joan Jander and Simon Shima.

The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. at the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church. Tickets for the concert will be available at the door, one hour before the concert, or may be purchased in advance ($20/$15). For further details, call 867-8080 or see:

Preceding the May 25 concert at the church, at 2:00 p.m., a reception will be held for May visiting artists Mary Rawcliffe Colton (tapestry weaving), Gary Priester (3D stereograms), Judith Roderick (silk painting and art quilts), and Audrey Ross (jewelry). The works of Colton, Priester and Roderick will be on display from May 3 to June 6. These artists’ works may be previewed at

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).

Corrales Bosque Gallery calls for artists

The Corrales Bosque Gallery (CBG)—an artist-owned gallery of 21 local artists—is calling for artists. Applications are due on June 7, 2014, by 5:00 p.m. CBG has been in existence for twenty years and has an excellent reputation of producing and displaying fine arts. Applications are available online at, by visiting the gallery in the Mercado de Mayo at 4685 Corrales Road in Corrales, or via email at For more information, call 898-7203.

“Art of the Flower” seeks entries

This exhibition is open to all artists living and working in the state of New Mexico that have a print, drawing, or painting to exhibit that relates to the theme: The “Art of the Flower.” Entry deadline is May 19. For more information and submission details, call 293-5034.

Artist Reid Bandeen

c. Reid Bandeen

Summer Wheat, 6”x8” Plein Air oil painting, by Reid Bandeen

c. Reid Bandeen

Descent, 8”x10” Plein Air oil painting, by Reid Bandeen

Luminous land—Paintings of Reid Bandeen

—Oli Robbins

I have compared painting to lots of things—poetry and music, to name a couple—but never have I considered the relationship between painting and extreme sports. What could there possibly be in common between artistic creation and, say, paragliding? Well, Placitas landscape artist Reid Bandeen is well-versed in both activities and, in his life, the former eventually supplanted the latter.

Before Bandeen began devoting his free time to art-making, he and his wife sought out adventure in the form of paragliding and mountain climbing. Paragliding, which requires a parachute-like-wing that can be packed up and carried anywhere, reveals sublime views otherwise seen only from a helicopter. Says Bandeen, “Painting’s different, but it’s definitely thrilling and exciting—and mystical to me.”

After hearing him explain the sensation that accompanies flying above a mountain top, I had an “aha” moment—the link between this electrifying hobby and painting became clear. In both pursuits, you are vulnerable (physically vulnerable in the case of paragliding, and emotionally vulnerable in the case of painting). Painting demands that you give physical form to images that before existed within yourself. Whether using a brush on canvas to memorialize a moment in nature, or feeling both small and universally connected as you glide above the awesome and expansive earth, you are engaged in a reverential act.

Bandeen regards the land as sacred, and painting allows him to look “longer and more closely at the things we see around us every day.” And while he has forever been a “nature-guy,” he has not always been a painter. His career is in water resources; initially, he investigated environmental pollution, and he currently works as a consultant in water rights administration.

Bandeen is aware and appreciative of New Mexico’s natural beauty, which he works to preserve and enhance. He was drawn to the arts as a child, and took drawing and painting classes whenever he could, but was engrained with the mindset that art is “nice and fun to play around with,” but sooner or later, one must “get down to business and do ‘real’ work.” Interestingly, Bandeen’s “real” job ended up leading him back to his predilection for painting. It heightened his admiration for the land and exposed him to environments he wanted to capture artistically. And one day, as Bandeen was stuck in an office on a blazing Arizona summer day, his fate as an artist was sealed. Someone came into his office selling landscape prints, and Bandeen purchased a representation of Pedernal. Says Bandeen, “I remember thinking through the fog of work pressure that, one, ‘I want to live in New Mexico,’ and two, ‘I really want to paint like that.’”

It was only a matter of time before Bandeen and his wife relocated to New Mexico. “New Mexico, to me, has always had a unique character—it’s just not like the rest of the US. I think it’s part of the living Native American tradition, the diversity. And there’s truth to the cliché that New Mexico is the “land of enchantment.” Art is a way to acknowledge and respond to that, and to celebrate it.”

Bandeen identifies with the Native American value that the sacred is ubiquitous, and that the energy in nature gives rise to all life. Through art, Bandeen’s time in nature is preserved and made palpable. Says Bandeen, “It’s about recognizing the extraordinary in the ordinary. You don’t have to go to Yosemite Valley to experience beauty—elements are all around us. We draw from that more than we acknowledge it, and it does sustain us. It’s about magnifying that.”

While still living in Tuscon, Bandeen restarted his art education by studying with local accomplished watercolor artists. He eventually moved onto acrylics and then oil. Later, living in Placitas, he began taking classes with Arturo Chavez, and became aware of the “full extent of what landscape painting is all about.” He learned painting techniques and theories that allowed him to express both the physical and mystical aspects of the land. At present, Bandeen is fascinated with shadows and composition. “I’m discovering,” says Bandeen, “that you can have all of those things—values, color harmony, edges, the portrayal of the different kinds of light—but the whole work has to hang together because it’s read in an instant. It has to convey that feeling virtually instantaneously. Composition has a lot to do with that; it’s how the viewer is led into the painting.” Bandeen prefers to paint on site, and works with the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico. At times, he’ll finish a piece in the studio, or use a photograph to assist him later. But, says Bandeen, “photographs lie; they don’t portray what the eye is seeing.” 

Bandeen, like nineteenth-century American landscape painter George Inness, aspires to depict the magnificent in nature. Inness, a historical teacher of Bandeen, also created landscapes that present nature as infused with the spiritual. 

On May 10 and 11, Bandeen will open his doors for the Placitas Studio Tour; his is studio #6. He will be showing his work at the juried exhibition of the Plein Air Painters of NM, at Gary Kim Fine Art in Santa Fe, May 2 to May 17. His work can also be viewed at Placitas’ central gallery, Arte de Placitas. Visit his website to hear more about the artist and preview his enchanting landscapes.

Something new is happening at Arte de Placitas

Sixty local artists now grace the walls, windows, ceiling and floors of Arte de Placitas with colorful, unique artwork of all media. New summer hours will start in May and run through the second week of October—opening at 10:00 a.m. and closing at 5:00 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Ceramic pottery, silk painting, woodworking, fused and stained glass art, jewelry, mosaics, sculpture, paintings, mixed media, plus books by local authors and more now fill the gallery.

Arte de Placitas also announces its new “Happy Hour.” Every Friday night from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., all art will be ten percent off. Arte de Placitas is located in Homestead Village in Placitas.

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