Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Signpost featured artist: Zoe Patterson

Zoe Patterson

Artist Zoe Patterson models her cast bronze metal jewelry.
Photo credit: —Oli Robbins

c. Zoe Patterson

Susurrus, cast bronze, constructed bronze, cast resin, steel. Varying sizes from 3-6’ high and 3-5’ wide. In several private sculpture collections, Albuquerque.

c. Zoe Patterson

Bicycle Plow, steel, bicycle parts, urethane plastics, 91x37x56 inches. Now on permanent collection at the Wheels Museum, Albuquerque.

c. Zoe Patterson

Frog Bell, Cast bronze. 2x2x3.5”

Signpost featured artist

The metal-physical art of Zoe Patterson

—Oli Robbins

Art comes into people’s lives in very different ways, and our relationships to it are just as varied. Some artists find art later in life after following a more “rational” career path. Others are born holding paintbrushes instead of rattles and can’t ignore their impulses, hard as they may try. Three-D mixed media sculptor and jeweler Zoe Patterson is one such artist. Her devotion to her craft is palpable, and her work reflects her beliefs, observations, and personal experiences.

Zoe grew up with her four siblings in Placitas. Home-schooled until college, she and her siblings were encouraged to discover the areas of study that most excited them. For Zoe, it was always art, and her mother—a fabric artist and painter—provided her with the materials and time to experiment with and get to know art. The Patterson’s curriculum was so flexible, or as Zoe calls it “free-range,” that her mother referred to it as “un-schooling.” Instead of sitting in a classroom, the Pattersons would traverse the desert and admire its many patterns. Her present work seems indelibly connected to the stark and sometimes primordial forms of the desert earth, and she continues to spend hours finding inspiration within nature, gathering natural objects and later casting them, thereby imprinting the organic and ephemeral in something constant.

Always more interested in 3-D art than painting or drawing, Zoe taught herself a variety of techniques and began showing her jewelry in arts and crafts shows in her teens. Her parents offered unremitting support and endowed her with the confidence to follow her instincts and disregard any outside negativity. After high school “graduation,” she didn’t go to art school right away, instead spending a few years toying with more “secure” jobs. She procured a real estate license and also studied culinary arts at CNM. “But,” says Zoe, “there was a certain point when I realized, why not go ahead and do what I want, what I’m passionate about? Why not struggle doing something I love than struggle doing something I don’t?” Friends and family members warned her that studying art in a university setting might prove too intensive and lead to burn-out, but for Zoe, “it was the opposite… It inspired me more, gave me more drive.” She found that her independent drive helped her glean as much as she could from each professor and class. Her experience was so rewarding that she hopes to become a studio art professor in the not-so-distant future and invite students to locate their own styles and abilities, without competition or fruitless criticism. Says Zoe, “I’m technical—I’d rather get my hands dirty and create dust and dirt than sit and draw a sterile picture. I love the process.”

Whether making sculpture or viewing it, Zoe believes that the 3-D arts offer visceral experiences that demand an examination of one’s surroundings and perceptions. “To me,” she says, “3-D is more real, more in this world. 3-D becomes an object.” She loves to play with metal and fire—bringing together two fundamental elements to create enduring, essential forms. Zoe considers her best work to be that which was informed by her own spirit. And while the work’s “essence” may not be obvious, viewers will discern something implicit. “My most successful pieces have been the ones that I put the most of myself into. My audience may not know what it is, but they feel it.”

One such piece was a large-scale installation designed for her senior thesis show. The work was comprised of several metal cattails that moved with the motion of their environment. She formed them by welding together steel plate, thin steel rods, resin and bronze. Their movement made them appear sentient, despite the fact that the structures were obviously man-made. To experience the work, the viewers had to move within and around it, and because the cattails swayed and bent, many viewers inevitably bumped into them. This piece defied the notion that art should be seen and not touched, instead forcing viewers to become fully present in and aware of their environments—even if this rendered them temporarily uncomfortable.

Zoe’s work should be seen in person, and, if possible, even touched or held. Her pieces are replete with tangible energy. She can be reached by phone or email for viewings, commissions or conversations. Contact Zoe at 263-7551 or send email to

(Cover Photo): Roger Evan’s studio—one of highlights on the Placitas Studio Tour

Water Prisms

Water Prisms, by Jon and Nancy Couch—one of the many fun studios on the Placitas Studio Tour.

Placitas Artists Open Their Studios

On Mother’s Day Weekend, May 9 and 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Placitas Mountain Craft and Soiree Society will once again sponsor the 18th Annual Placitas Studio Tour, as artists “Open Their Doors” for a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.

Fifty-eight Placitas artists will be displaying their art at fifty studios, offering a wide array of fine arts and crafts such as paintings, wearable art, photography, ceramics, batik, woodworking, glass art, jewelry, mosaics, sculpture, metalwork, mixed media, and more.

The Studio Tour attracts residents and collectors to the local artists here in Placitas and brings the community of artists together in order to create the event itself. This is a great opportunity to explore Placitas and see the many unique artist studios scattered throughout the many diverse areas of Placitas. You can meet and talk with the artists about their work and discover the varied working environments where they create their art.

This year the Placitas Studio Tour is pleased to announce that three of its painters received awards from the Masterworks of New Mexico Exhibit. Dianna Shomaker received the Award for Excellence in the category Non-Representational Painting with her abstract oil titled Transformation. Awarded First Place in pastel miniature paintings, Katherine Irish gained recognition for her stunning sunset titled Revel. Raymond Ortiz won Second Place in the category of Prints, Drawings, and Inks for his drawing titled Retreat.

There will be demonstrations at some of the studios where the artists will share the process of their art.

Many studios will offer complimentary snacks and beverages, and there are several lunch options along the way like the Chile Pepper Café at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church or Placitas Café, the Merc Deli, Blades Bistro in Placitas, or the Range Café in Bernalillo. 

Colorful signs will direct you to the studios of your choice. For more information, visit the tour website at to preview the artists and download the map to plan your tour. Brochures will be available at all studios.

c. Joe Cabaza

Photograph, by Joe Cabaza

Artist of the month Joe Cabaza at PCL

There will be an artist reception for Placitas photographer Joe Cabaza at Placitas Community Library in the Collin Room on May 8, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The show will be on display from May 2 to May 31. Although influenced by the works of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, Cabaza’s approach to photography has evolved with the Japanese concept of “Mono No Aware” in which every object has the ability to move the human heart. The reception is free and open to the public.

Corrales Art Studio Tour

This year’s Corrales Art Studio Tour (CAST)—scheduled for the first weekend in May (May 2 and 3) in the Village of Corrales—will include a record number of local area artists, 79, joined by two Corrales art galleries and students from two local elementary schools.

Village artists will open their studios and homes, hosting artists from the surrounding areas. Many of the studio stops will feature multiple artists in locations throughout the Village.

This year, two Corrales art galleries (Galeria de Corrales and Morgan Gallery) will join as participants and sponsors. The wineries of the Corrales Wine Loop, including Acequia Winery, Corrales Winery, Matheson Winery, and Pasando Tiempo Winery also join as sponsors. All will be hosting artists and providing wine tastings.

Visitors are directed to start their tour in the heart of the Village at the Preview Gallery in the historic Villa Acequia at 4829 Corrales Road. In addition to the work of participating artists, students from Cottonwood Montessori and Corrales Elementary Schools will have their work on display at this location.

The Preview Gallery is open Friday, May 1, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and during tour hours: Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Catalogs and maps for the tour are also available at local sponsors, galleries, wineries, and at the art studios.

For more information, visit or

Local artist gives back to Placitas Community Library

The Placitas Community Library is an all-volunteer, community-supported nonprofit 501(c)(3) with a very simple mission: to become an essential part of the life of our residents by promoting an enriched, informed, and connected community. They provide and promote open and equal access to our resources and services in order to meet the informational, educational, and cultural needs of a diverse community in a welcoming, convenient, and responsive manner.

In order for the library to remain a vital community resource, it relies on donations and an active volunteer base.

Geri Verble is an active volunteer at the library. She works at the help desk and participates in the children’s and community programs. She is also a jewelry designer and owner of Tribal Bear Designs. Geri at Studio #42 on the Placitas Studio Tour has chosen to support the Placitas Community Library by donating 25 percent of her studio’s proceeds from the Studio Tour, held on May 9 and 10.

c.Judith Roderick

Self-portrait quilt, by Judith Roderick

Fiber Arts Fiesta features Roderick

—Joanie Griffin

The 10th Biennial Fiber Arts Fiesta is set for May 21 to May 23 in Albuquerque, and promises to provide exciting exhibits, distinguished vendors, enlightening classes, and fun for all age groups. In addition to classes and art entries from across the country, the Fiesta will also be the first stop of the award-winning quilt exhibit Modern Quilts from the QuiltCon 2015 Competition held in February in Austin, Texas.

“This year’s Fiesta will be second to none,” said Frances Starnes, President of the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council. “Whether you’re an aspiring artist, someone who is seasoned in fiber arts, or just an interested art lover, we hope to see you.”

The Fiesta offers a wide array of classes to inspire and educate up-and-coming artists. Nationally recognized expert in textiles and textile conservation, Nancy Evans, will be available in the Education Booth for antique textile and lace identification.

Featured artist, Judith Roderick, is a silk painter and quilter whose quilts will be on display for all to enjoy. Roderick has created large batik banners, batik clothing, and quilts.

Roderick said of her work. “I love to depict nature and use my drawing skills to create the whole cloth images that capture my imagination.”

The 2015 Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta will take place at EXPO New Mexico in the Manual Lujan Complex, Thursday and Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Placitas Artists Series presents May music and art events

The Placitas Artists Series wraps up its 28th season on May 17, with “Chamber Music Potpourri.” The 3:00 p.m. concert features Willy Sucre and Friends performing two works by Antonín Dvořák: Bagatelles, Op. 47, for two violins, cello and harmonium; and Bass Quintet No. 2 in G major, Opus 77. The concert is generously sponsored by Vulcan Materials Company and by Joan Jander and Simon Shima.

Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. visual artists reception will feature the art of Gary W. Priester, stereograms; Cheri Reckers, silk fiber arts; Audrey Ross, jewelry; and Jeannie Sellmer, oil painting. Their works, which are for sale, are on display from May 2 to May 30.

The concert and visual artists reception both take place at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in the village of Placitas, located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). The facility is completely accessible.

Tickets for the PAS concert will be available at the door one hour before the concert or may be purchased for twenty dollars in advance at The Merc in Homestead Village Shopping Center, Placitas; Under Charlie’s Covers Fine Used Book Store at 160 S. Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo; or at more information, visit or call 867-8080.

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