Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Signpost featured artist:

Vangie and Bill Dunmire, artist and author, are the featured artists in this November’s Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Fair

Two of Bill Dunmire’s fine art book covers

Winter Snowstorm in Placitas, painting, by Vangie Dunmire

Landscape painting, by Vangie Dunmire

Writing and painting nature: Bill and Vangie Dunmire

—Oli Robbins

Duo Bill and Vangie Dunmire, longtime residents of Placitas, are students, recorders, and researchers of nature. They are the special guest artists of this year’s Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale. While Vangie is the visual artist of the two, painting from site and imagination since the 1980s, Bill is a different kind of creator—one that uses nature as his guide to investigate and write on the wildlife that surrounds us. Bill received his undergraduate degree in wildlife conservation and his masters in zoology from UC Berkeley. His education, coupled with his love for the outdoors and our country’s landscapes led him to several positions within the National Parks. It was while working at Yellowstone that Bill met Vangie, an art enthusiast whose creative interests and instincts would be realized a couple of decades later.

Bill’s desire to work in the national parks dates back to his boyhood. “I can trace it back to age seven when we were at some national park, and I said ‘I’m going to be a ranger when I grow up.’” Says Bill, “I’m an outdoors person, interested in environmental education. It was just a natural draw.” During his time in the park service, he became an adept photographer, selling photographs to a variety of natural science groups. While working at Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii, for example, Bill photographed and filmed a volcanic eruption and the subsequent photographs gained popularity. Bill’s final park services position was at Carlsbad Caverns. Bill and Vangie moved from Carlsbad to a rental in Albuquerque and then to Placitas.

When living in Albuquerque, Vangie completed her art history degree at UNM. Once in Placitas, Vangie found time and inspiration, and began devoting herself to watercolor painting. “When you live out here,” says Vangie, “there are endless things to use as subject matter. Early on... I was painting by all the windows, and there were sunflowers outside. I started painting sunflowers in all postures and positions, and made a mural out of that.” She began concentrating on landscape painting—and having lived her adult life amid our country’s greatest landscapes, there is little question why. Outside of her studio, Vangie became an active community member, volunteering for the Art in the School program at Placitas Elementary, and later joining the board for Placitas Artists Series.

Bill felt right at home in Placitas. As an outdoorsman (who became a top mountaineer), he is more comfortable living outside of the city and values the cultural and natural diversity here. New Mexico ranks third in natural diversity in the US, and since moving here Bill has written on the state’s assorted landscapes and ecosystems. Research and writing continue to enliven Bill, and it’s proving unlikely that he’ll ever actually retire. Says Bill, “I haven’t done it yet, and I’m 84.” His most recent book, New Mexico’s Spanish Livestock Heritage, presents a history of livestock in New Mexico, while his five previous publications focus on plants and their characteristics, evolution, and historical functions. Says Bill, “I don’t call myself a historian—I’m more of a biologist.” Bill and Vangie teamed forces for Bill’s popular book Gardens of New Spain, for which Vangie provided watercolor illustrations. Gardens of New Spain explores the dissemination of plants and food from Spain to Spain’s settlements in the New World, and the significance of the fusion that followed.

As the featured artists of the 33rd Annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale, Bill and Vangie can be found at Site #1, inside Anasazi Fields Winery. Bill’s books and Vangie’s paintings will be on display, together representing New Mexico’s landscape and wildlife both literally and visually. Bill will also be selling his books at the Weems Artfest the weekend before, November 14 through 16, at the Expo New Mexico Fairgrounds. Vangie’s paintings can be viewed and purchased year-round at Arte de Placitas Gallery.

Christmas at Clear Light displays fine art treasures

Clear Light the Cedar Company will again present Christmas at Clear Light, a juried art show. The event will feature local artists and artisans Betsy Churchill, ceramics with a southwest theme; Richard Gabriel, Jr., New Mexican tinwork; Terri Helmer, unique glass jewelry; Pam Neas, mixed media art; Conrad Sloop, fine art wilderness photography; Shirley Ann Sloop, fine bead jewelry; Jeremy Stein, photography; Karin Tarter, eclectic designs on wood; Karen Wilson, twisted wire jewelry and seasonal wreaths; Dennie York, artistic scrollsaw creations; and special guest—Pathways: Wildlife Corridors of NM.

In addition to the artists’ creations, the Clear Light line of products will be offered for sale.

The show will take place on November 22 and November 23, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free, and refreshments will be available.

Clear Light the Cedar Company is located seven miles east of Placitas Village on Highway 165. Look for the red signs. For more information, call 867-2381 or go to

At Anasazi Fields Winery during Placitas Holiday Sale 2013

Placitas Holiday Sale Art Fair comes to town

—Nancy Couch

The holiday season comes alive in New Mexico with arts and crafts fairs and one favorite is the Placitas Holiday Sale. The Holiday Sale has been a local Placitas tradition dating back to 1981, with this being the thirty-third year. Held on the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale puts together a festival that combines the arts and crafts of more than eighty local artists, delicious food, wine tasting, and an art raffle to support the kid’s art program at the Placitas Elementary School.

This festive gathering of artists is a signal that the time is right to start your holiday gift shopping—or get something nice for yourself. You will definitely see old friends and maybe even make new ones. You can eat great homemade food and have fun all at the same time. Many of New Mexico’s best artists have been busy working in their studios to create unique artwork just for the 33rd Annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale that takes place on November 22 and 23, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Talented artists will fill the three central sites in the village of Placitas with a wide array of art, from handmade holiday gifts to colorful creations to decorate and enhance anyone’s home.

The show includes twenty-three artists from Placitas along with other artists from Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Corrales, El Dorado, Santo Domingo, San Juan Pueblo, Santa Fe, Taos, and Tijeras. Painters, printmakers, ceramic and glass artists, woodworkers, silk painters, photographers, gourd artists, jewelers, metal artists and more will bring their incredible work to sell. Homemade clothing, leather goods, painted drums, pottery, hand-carved furniture, and much more will be on display at one of the three central locations: Site #1, Anasazi Fields Winery; Site #2, The Big Tent next to the Presbyterian Church; and Site #3, The Placitas Elementary School.

The Placitas Holiday Sale has earned an excellent reputation from the past thirty-three years and has grown in popularity throughout New Mexico, becoming one of “the must-attend” fine arts and crafts shows in the state. Originally a local event, the fair’s reputation has grown and attracted more fine artists and artisans to the show, making the Holiday Sale a major fine arts venue. This is a juried show and many artists compete for the opportunity to be in the fair. The result is an outstanding lineup of artists in all media. Everything is handmade, and many of the artists create special gifts for the holiday gift season.

The show has become a favorite because of its beautiful setting, and its cozy, fun, and intimate atmosphere. The size of the fair, which is limited to around eighty artists, is less intimidating than most shows of the season, giving patrons a chance to enjoy the splendor of the art and talk with the artists about their creations. It is exciting to see which artists are returning and who is new to discover, and what wonderful delights they will bring to the fair.

Site #1, the Anasazi Field Winery, has always been a popular and inviting venue with a large, heated wooden pavilion and a magnificent view of their vineyards and orchards. Jim Fish and his friends organize the parking so well, it is a snap to get in and get out. Homemade flavored organic goat cheese makes great gifts and goes well with wine sampling. Chile ristras, garlic decorations, and exotic honey enhance the mood with the colors of the Southwest harvest. For the wine-lovers, Anasazi Fields Winery will be featuring a new release of their American Cranberry Table Wine, the perfect complement to the holiday dinner. They will be serving delicious cups of hot, mulled cranberry wine. Also available will be their two grape-based wines, Blanco Seco and Rojo Seco, and three wines produced exclusively from fruit grown in Placitas: apple, peach, and plum. To get more information about their wines and the winery, check out their website at:

Site #2, the Big Tent east of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, is heated for the comfort of all and has a fun, festive feeling. It is alive with laughter and conversations between artists, patrons, and friends getting together. The artists decorate their booths with their work, inviting people to come down each side to see what they have created. Kids of all ages will enjoy viewing the fire truck outside the tent.

 Site # 3, the Placitas Elementary School, is a popular hotspot, with the largest venue of almost fifty exhibitors.  Booths fill the gym and most of the halls, giving this venue a colorful and festive market like environment. It will be fun to discover the many unique treasures in the various school areas and you may want to take your time so you don’t miss anyone. A chair massage will be available for those people that would enjoy a special moment to relax. Lisa is located in the band room.

Delicious food will be available at all of the sites.

The artists of the Holiday Sale have raised more than $12,000 dollars in the past eleven years for the Arts in the School program. The Placitas Holiday Sale will be donating all proceeds from the raffle to this program to buy art supplies for the children of the Placitas Elementary School. The public can purchase tickets for one dollar for the chance to win a nice piece of artwork. All raffle items will be on display at the School.

Visit the fundraising table supporting the Library at the Elementary School, the Placitas Fire Department outside the Big Tent, and La Casa Rosa located inside the church. Inside the tent, the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church will sell their own delicious frozen chile, “Just Coffee,” and handmade Christmas gift bags to benefit Habitat for Humanity and other mission projects.

Visit the website to become acquainted with the artists and see where they will be set up this year.

The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale is organized by several local artists and sponsored by the Placitas MountainCraft and Soiree Society, a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to serving the community, the arts, and artists.

2014 Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts sale artists

26 Camino de los Pueblitos: Free wine tasting and hot food by Little Smokies

  • Terry Adams—Southwest and contemporary wall art and sculpture
  • Martha Alcantar and Gadiel Ramirez—local and exotic honeys, ristras, Southwestern decorations of natural materials
  • Sallyjane Bolle—wire-wrapped minerals, fossils, gemstone jewelry
  • Nancy Coonridge and Andy Coon—organic goat cheese from their own free-range goats
  • H. Cordova—primitive-fired clay sculptures, wall art
  • Bill Dunmire—author
  • Vangie Dunmire—original watercolors of local landscapes, flowers
  • Jim Fish—wooden sculptures, walking sticks
  • Colleen Constance Franco—one-of-a-kind ceramics, stamped and painted crosses, mirrors, boxes, wall hangings
  • Brian Harig—landscape photography on canvas, aluminum, acrylic, prints, cards
  • Richard Kempe and Linda Kemp—fine hardwood art furniture
  • Joanne McGrath—handmade jewelry with gemstones in sterling silver, brass and copper
  • Zoe Patterson—jewelry with wood, metals and sculptures
  • David Schneider—scenic and wildlife photography of the Southwest
  • Tricia Simmons—silver clay painted on natural materials, sculptural jewelry, 2D encaustic mixed media
  • Nancy Wood Taber—colored pencil drawings of animals
  • Betty Temple—watercolors, pastels, acrylic images of the Southwest
  • Susan Woodworth—sterling silver and copper bracelets, bangles, necklaces

623 Hwy 165, Placitas
Hot Food at the Placitas Presbyterian Church—Chili Pepper Café—breakfast burritos, tamales, pulled pork sandwiches, beans, Cole slaw, green chile by the quart, brownies, and drinks

  • Jeanine Allen—original pastel paintings on handmade surface, cards, ornaments
  • Jitsudo Ancheta—small edition hand-pulled woodblock prints
  • Linda Running Bentley—hand-woven wool rugs
  • Dona Calles—copper repoussé, etched copper and mixed media image transfers
  • Sharon Candelario and Adam Candelario—etching with a nail on tin, tin stamping
  • Cynde Christie—colorful watercolors of New Mexico and travels
  • Nancy Couch and Jon Couch—glass water prisms, windows, pyramid lamps, mandalas, boxes
  • Deb Cusick—fused and stained glass in whimsical and organic designs
  • David Dear—silver and gold jewelry buckles, bracelets, conchos, bolos
  • Denise Elvrum—dichroic, iridized fused glass jewelry, home decor
  • Lazaro Gutierrez and Aurelia Gutierrez—handcrafted jewelry of silver, brass and copper with semi-precious stones and inlay
  • Joan Hellquist—wildlife images hand-painted on drums and wildlife photography
  • Elizabeth Jenkins—hand-woven clothing and silk scarves
  • Sarena Mann—paper maché mobiles, sculpture figures
  • Adrian Martinez—natural wood inlay pictures
  • Michael McCullough—acrylic and watercolor paintings
  • Karen Murry—quilted wall hangings, jackets, purses, totes
  • Cris Nein—recycled metal art sculptures
  • Dana Patterson Roth—photography of botanicals, landscapes, and people that get in the way
  • Pam Slipyan and Villy Slipyan—eclectic jewelry, custom leather belts, hat bands, dog collars
  • Phil Sonier—wildlife and nature color photography
  • Kandy Tate—oil paintings of New Mexico landscapes, garden scenes, fun animals
  • Patricia Wyatt—watercolor, colored pencil and oil pastels

5 Calle de Carbon Hwy 165
Bernalillo Thespian Club—Posole, green chili stew, Frito pie, hot dog and chips, baked goods and drinks


  • • Catherine Alleva—wheel-thrown pottery, mugs, bowls, sake sets, pitchers
  • • Bessy Berman—sterling, copper, gold jewelry of icon images
  • • Bunny Bowen—matted & framed batik landscapes, silk scarves
  • • Lyle H. Brown—pastel landscape paintings, prints
  • • Linn Cotrell and Chula Leyendecker—handmade wearable fiber art
  • • Roger Evans—exterior sculptures, interior acrylic paintings interjected with humor and social comment
  • • James M. Gay—scenic and floral photographs
  • • Renee Brainard Gentz—wearable fiber art
  • • Sandy Johnson—bold contemporary, mixed-media jewelry, pins, bags
  • • Sandy Kadisak and Michael Kadisak—fine art pottery, ceramic sculptures of people and animals
  • • Marta Lichlyter and Guy Watson—fused glass plates and bowls
  • • June Malone—one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry, beaded Christmas ornaments
  • • Peggy Moore—small wooden cabinetry, home furnishings
  • • Carol Mullen—collage painting whimsical abstract
  • • Linda Nisenbaum—fused dichroic glass jewelry, functional home decor
  • • Patty O’Connor—photography blended with acrylic media
  • • Jim Sacoman and Rosalie Sacoman—ornamental tin punched, traditional and copper sconces
  • • Glo Smith—kiln-formed glass wall pocket vases, spirit women, kiln-formed jewelry
  • • Aquila Stanley—fine gemstone and sterling silver jewelry
  • • Lois Wagner—hand-beaded jewelry with a rich mix of natural materials and beads
  • • Nancy Wiedower—assemblages and collages from found objects and recycled materials
  • • Regina Zavier and Tillery Dingler—wooden designs in boxes, bolos, key rings, belt buckles


  • Maude Andrade—men’s and women’s bamboo cotton hand-silkscreened clothing
  • Roger Preston Blatz and Roxanne Bebee—photographic images on giclee, calendars, greeting cards
  • Barrie Brown—unique glass jewelry representing southwest scenery
  • Karen Carlson—contemporary leather handbags
  • Elena Center—ceramic ornaments, nativities, crosses, angels, luminarias
  • Michael Colombo and Barbara Barkley—lamp work
  • Sally DeBerry—necklaces
  • Claudia Fluegge—hand-painted silk neckties, scarves, shawls, jackets, painted velvet scarves
  • Mario Hinojo—hand-carved gourds, jewelry made of cut pieces enhanced by beads
  • Al Hockwalt and Karen Nein—functional wooden folk art birdhouses
  • Mary Hofmann and Karl Hofmann—functional pottery
  • D.L. Horton—petroglyph etched stemware, fused dichroic jewelry
  • Sara Kelley—kiln fired glass vases, bowls, frames
  • Ross Lockridge and Ann Murray—sculptured clay flutes, sculptured clay jewelry
  • Dana McDaniel and Ron McGowan—mixed metal jewelry with copper, aluminum, pearls, set stones, found objects
  • Rachel Nelson—wreaths and ornaments made from pinecones and other plant materials
  • Nancy O’Brien—handmade original designed handbags
  • Carol Ordogne—impressionistic, colorful paintings, landscapes, still life
  • Finley Rice and Al Woods—functional pottery, teapots, mugs, platters, bowls
  • Geri Verble—contemporary tribal and ethnic jewelry
  • Al Wood—antique tin tile, mirror frames, boxes, and umbrella stands

Oil painting, by Birgit Seeger-Brooks.

Handmade jewelry, by Dennis Lee Gomez

Placitas Artists Series features string quartet in November

—Jay A. Rodman

The 28th season of the Placitas Artists Series continues on Sunday, November 16, with a 3:00 p.m. concert featuring Willy Sucre and Friends playing music for string quartet. Joining Willy Sucre are violists Krzysztof Zimowski and Carol Swift-Matton and cellist James Holland. The program includes Five Pieces for String Quartet by Erwin Schulhoff and String Quartet No. 1, Op. 51 in C minor by Johannes Brahms.

The concert is generously sponsored by Rondi and Duane Thornton.

Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. artist reception will feature the art of Joe Cabaza, Dennis Lee Gomez, Diane Orchard, and Birgit Seeger-Brooks. Joe Cabaza is a black-and-white large format photographer who processes, scans and prints all his own work. Dennis Lee Gomez believes in creating jewelry by hand. Quality, design, tradition should not be forgotten and should be celebrated. Forging, fabrication and traditional lapidary and inlay techniques are used to create bold art jewelry. Diane Orchard’s nonrepresentational art includes contemporary mixed media paintings and sculpture, as well as prints. Birgit Seeger-Brooks emigrated from Germany to the United States in pursuit of higher education and to realize her dream of becoming a painter.

Their works, which are for sale, will be on display at the church from the beginning of November to November 28.

The concert and artist 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 concert will be available at the door one hour before the concert or may be purchased for twenty dollars in advance at The Merc Grocery Store in Homestead Village Shopping Center, Placitas; Under Charlie’s Covers Fine Used Book Store at 120 E. Highway 550, Bernalillo; or online at Tickets at the door are twenty dollars for general admission and $15 for students with ID.

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.

For more information, visit or call 867-8080.

Holiday reception for Corrales Bosque Gallery

—Anne Engelhardt

On November 7, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Corrales Bosque Gallery will be celebrating their twentieth year by featuring new work by outstanding, professional artist members. For the holidays, there will be wonderful ornaments: original, handmade, affordable pieces suitable to adorn a tree, window, or wall. Jewelery cases will be well-stocked with beautiful and innovative works. One of the oldest cooperative galleries in New Mexico, Corrales Bosque Gallery has been artist owned and operated since 1994. The exhibit will be open everyday (excluding some holidays) through January 13, 2015. Located at 4685 Corrales Road. For more information, call 898-7203 or go to

San Antonio Mission holiday fair

A holiday fair will be held on November 22 and 23, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the San Antonio Mission on Avenida San Antonio in Placitas. It will be a great weekend for finding a perfect gift for yourself or others. Light refreshments will be available. Follow the red holiday stocking signs.

Albuquerque Youth Symphony Chamber Musicians to perform at Loma Colorado main library

—Joseph McKenzie

On November 22, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Chamber Musicians will perform a variety of the finest chamber music ever composed for string, woodwind, and brass. These ensembles perform regularly at Popejoy Hall and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Treat yourself to a stolen Saturday afternoon of great music performed by the best young musicians in New Mexico.

Loma Colorado Main Library Auditorium is located at 755 Loma Colorado Blvd, NE, Rio Rancho. The event is free—no ticket or registration required. For more information, call 891-5013, Ext. 3033.

Under Charlie’s Covers fine used book store to host book signings

—Lara Harrison

Under Charlie’s Covers fine used book store will host a book signing by two local authors in November.

On November 15, award winning Rio Rancho authors Tomi Jill Folk and Hank Bruce will be selling and signing a selection of their books for children and adults, including Stasha’s Secret Dream: A Hot Air Balloon Adventure, Children’s Peace Garden, Lady Coffee’s Autobiography, Enchanted by the Light: Celebrating Christmas in New Mexico, and Visits with the Old Indian Storyteller from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. For more information, visit

Under Charlie’s Covers is located at 120 East Highway 550 in Bernalillo.

Patricia Socci’s mixed-media exhibit New Mexico Fantasy opens in Rio Rancho

From November 3 to November 26, Patricia Socci’s display of personal New Mexico-inspired reflections in acrylic, watercolor, and photography accompanied by the artist’s poetry will be on display at Loma Colorado. Accompanying this will be a few pieces by Socci’s son, L.A. graffiti artist RDS70, which explode with the kinetic energy of Hollywood’s vibrant nightlife.

Loma Colorado Main Library Auditorium is located at 755 Loma Colorado Blvd, NE. For more information, call 891-5013, Ext. 3033.

Hunting and Gathering: New Additions to the Museum Collection at the New Mexico Museum of Art

Recently acquired works by artists Ansel Adams, Gustave Baumann, Betty Hahn and many others will be on view in Hunting and Gathering: New Additions to the Museum Collection. The exhibition opens at the New Mexico Museum of Art on November 7, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a free public reception and will run through March 29, 2015.

Hunting + Gathering presents a sampling of artworks that have entered the Museum’s collection in the last five years. The title refers to a curatorial process of growing and cultivating the Museum collection. Nearly two hundred works of art will be on view in a range of media, including painting, photography, sculpture, prints, ceramics, mixed media, textiles, and drawings. Other artists of local and international renown represented in the exhibition include John Beech, Harry Callahan, Louise Crow, Imogen Cunningham, and many others.

The diverse, newly acquired works are grouped thematically under headings such as “Horizontal/Vertical,” “Boundary Issues,” and “Indeterminate Object,” to fire the viewers’ imaginations and allow fresh interpretations of the art. The creative, thematic arrangements are intended to engage audiences by making the art come alive in novel ways through these unexpected juxtapositions.

The Museum is located at 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, just off the downtown Plaza.
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