Drive-by sculpture by Sara
Earth Tongue, clay sculpture, by Sara Lee
D’Alessandro, October Featured Artist
A quick detour off US 550 in Cuba provides the curious motorist
with what sculptor Sara Lee D'Alessandro calls a drive-by art experience.
Outside her Mudwasp Sculpture studio on Reed Road, terra-cotta
figures rise up to ten feet, some in organic columns reminiscent
of the trunk of a saguaro cactus. Others collect abstract forms,
repeated as they climb in spires and spirals.
“It's the best of all possible worlds,” D'Alessandro
said. “They're in a natural setting with shifting daylight
and dramatic lighting at night.
“There's a sense of their being inhabited.”
Each piece is unique, formed from wet clay, fired in segments,
and assembled into the larger works. Where she once painted the
clay, making it a vehicle for the colors covering it, now she lets
the textured surface speak for itself.
“Over the last ten years, I've gotten more into the “clayness,”
where the clayness has become the subject,” D'Alessandro said.
“It's like walking down a beach and seeing footprints in the
sand. Clay records actions on it.”
A New York native, D'Alessandro had worked in clay for four decades
but found her enthusiasm for tabletop sculptures waning. Then her
job as a scenic artist at the New York Metropolitan Opera spilled
over into her own art with a grand sense of scale.
“The proscenium at the Met was fifty-six feet,” she
While her larger pieces like Earth Tongue, the cactus-like spire,
may need an outdoor display, others are suitable for interiors,
particularly in a space like an atrium. There, changing daylight
can play off the textures while artificial light can add drama,
D'Alessandro moved to Cuba two years ago, finding the town reminded
her of Bernalillo thirty years ago. At that time, a Placitas couple
temporarily living in Long Island lured her out west for several
summers before she became a full-time resident of Placitas for about
The large sculptures outside her studio have been removed for
the moment and relocated to the Katrina Lasko Gallery in Bernalillo,
where D'Alessandro will join painters Laura Wacha, Sharon Schwartzmann,
and J. Mehaffey, adobe-and-cast-iron sculptor Kendra Brock, and
found-object artist Marilyn Dillard in a group show opening October
1 and continuing through November 12 (see story below).
Two Saturday receptions are planned from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on
October 1 and October 15.
D'Alessandro's Cuba studio also is open by appointment by calling
505-220-2462. When the large pieces return, the drive-by experience
comes by turning east off US 550 on Reed Road, between El Bruno's
restaurant and the Chevron station, and going two-tenths of a mile.
Stone Toss, mixed media, by Marilyn
Katrina Lasko Gallery show features six artists
The contemporary-art scene in Bernalillo just got smaller and bigger
with the combination of two well-known galleries.
So instead of separate one-artist shows, Arte Loca Gallery and Katrina
Lasko Gallery will feature four to six artists in their combined
space at 336 North Camino del Pueblo. The joint effort will retain
Lasko's name, while Arte Loca, founded by Alvaro Enciso and his
former business partner, Gene McClain, joins the masters of art
Both galleries featured contemporary art in all media, and that
will continue with the new show opening October 1 with a reception
from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The work of six artists, plus selected pieces
from a private photography collection, will remain up through November
12 and include a second Saturday reception from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
on October 15.
“We would like to convey to art collectors, occasional buyers,
and those who are perhaps contemplating their first art acquisition,
or are just learning about contemporary art, our strong commitment
to showcase original art at prices that anyone can afford,”
Lasko and Enciso said in a statement.
The duo said their first show features the following:
• New wild and wacky acrylic paintings by Laura Wacha,
who grew up in Florida watching the Ringling Brothers' circus
• Elegant, ominous, and moving figurative paintings by Sharon
• Marilyn Dillard's fascination with the transformation
of natural forms, expressed through soil, plant life, rocks, deteriorating
architectural forms, and a collection of found objects.
• J. Mehaffey's “OPUS” series of paintings,
inspired by the New Mexico landscape, and his “Ancients”
series, often wrapped like an Egyptian mummy, sealed with wax,
and enshrouded in gold.
• Sara D'Alessandro's richly textured terra-cotta sculptures
in natural and totemic forms.
• Kendra Brock's “people,” formed from unfired
adobe, rusted metal, and Polaroid transfers, linking the ephemeral
nature of those materials and evolving humanity.
• Selected pieces of black-and-white fine-art photography
from a private collection.
Gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, from noon to 5:00 p.m.,
and by appointment, by calling 867-2523. The Web address is www.katrinalaskogallery.com.
The gallery maintains an e-mail list to notify patrons of shows
Remember the Art Wall
The Art Wall at Placitas Elementary school was established twenty
years ago. The school was small and there was a chance that is would
be shut down. The community of Placitas took notice and was advised
to try and get someone elected to the school board in the hope of
preventing the closing.
That someone turned out to be me. I had lived in Placitas about
sixteen years and both my kids attended the school—first Kira
and then Cody. So many people in Placitas (and the district) voted
in that election that we saved the elementary school.
When you enter Placitas Elementary School today, on the wall by
the library you will see a little plaque that reads, “The
parents, children and staff of Placitas Elementary School dedicate
this art wall to Evelyn Jones for her years of service on the Bernalillo
Public School Board.“ Artwork contributed at the time by several
community members is still hanging there.
I am now retired from my long career as an art teacher and am
a practicing artist at home. My philosophy as educator, artist,
and humanitarian has always been that art is a part of life. It
is my hope that we say the same to children—that art is a
normal, everyday part of ones’ life—and that we show
our young students how art touches lives, that it is inside all
of us, and that being an artist is work!
It is in this spirit that I would like the Art Wall to be a continuing
presence in the school. I wish the young students to see that their
parents, neighbors, relatives, and friends are involved in the arts
and that they take pride in what they do.
Time has moved along, and now it is my grandson, Noah, who attends
Placitas Elementary. It is for him and his children, and all children,
that I would encourage this ongoing legacy—that art and art
making are important components of a rich, meaningful, and generous
Christina Werenko and the Placitas PTO have been supportive in
continuing this project. We are forming a small group to implement
a call for artwork and to take on the task of recreating the Art
Wall on a more permanent basis. Anyone interested is welcome to
You can contact me, Evey Jones, at 867-2424 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
the PTO President, or the school principal, Christina Werenko, at
with any questions or suggestions.
Oil painting, by Judy Asbury
Jemez artist Asbury shows oil landscapes at the Santuario de Guadalupe
in Santa Fe
Judy Asbury’s new exhibition, "Illuminated: recent
oil paintings," will be at the Santuario de Guadalupe, 100
Guadalupe Street, in Santa Fe, from October 3 to 15. The landscape
oil paintings of the Jemez Mountains will be exhibited on the walls
of the oldest shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe in America.
A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, October 7,
from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. Louisiana poet Ava Leavell Haymon
will read from her latest book, The Strict Economy of Fire.
Asbury is an internationally exhibited artist who has lived in
the Jemez Mountains for thirty years. Her landscape paintings are
begun on site and embellished in the studio with gold leaf, metallics,
and iridescents. Asbury has had numerous one-person and group exhibitions
in museums and other venues. She had a one-person show at the Hayden
American Museum of Natural History, in New York, and has shown widely
Corrales art show benefits old church
The seventeenth annual Corrales Fine Arts Show, an exhibition
and sale of New Mexico art, will take place in Corrales at the historic
Old San Ysidro Church October 1 through 9.
Forty artists will present paintings, mixed media, sculpture,
and photography selected by jury from over two hundred entries.
There will be an opening reception on Friday, September 30, from
5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
A portion of each sale goes to the Corrales Historical Society
for restoration and preservation of the Old San Ysidro Church.
The show will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
daily, and there is no charge for admission or parking. The church
is one mile north of the Corrales Post Office on Corrales Road,
then three tenths of a mile west on Old Church Road.
Author Marilyn Stablein reads in Corrales
Marilyn Stablein will read from her work on Thursday, October
6, at 7:00 p.m. at Acequia Booksellers, 4436 Corrales Road, in Corrales.
The reading is part of Arts Alive—a Corrales community event
on the first Thursday of each month featuring the work of local
artists, artisans, and writers and the unique shops and services
available in Corrales. During the event refreshments are served
and many shops remain open until 9:00 p.m.
Marilyn Stablein is the author of eight books, most recently Sleeping
in Caves: A Sixties Himalayan Memoir. Other books include a nonfiction
work on wild weather, Climate of Extremes: Landscape and Imagination,
and the fiction collections The Census Taker: Tales of a Traveler
in India and Nepal and Vermin: A Bestiary. Her book Night Travels
to Tibet is a collection of prose poems.
For further information contact Gary Wilkie, at
Acequia Booksellers, 890-5365.
Concert saxophonist and pianist to perform in Placitas
—JACKIE ERICKSEN, PAS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Placitas Artists Series welcomes concert saxophonist Ashu, and
pianist Winston Choi to perform on Sunday, October 30, at 3:00 p.m.
at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church.
Ashu, age twenty-three, has won numerous international and national
competitions, and has performed as recitalist and concerto soloist
throughout the world. He gave his first public performance at age
sixteen as concerto soloist at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington,
D.C. This was followed by his recital debut two years later at Carnegie
Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Since then, performances have taken him
to such locations around the globe as Norway, Switzerland, Hawaii,
and the Caribbean.
Ashu has recently won first prizes at several major competitions,
including the International Heida Hermanns, National Federation
of Music Clubs, National Midland-Odessa, International Kingsville
Wind Instrumentalist, National Lennox/RSO, National George S. Howard,
and National Alliance for Excellence Competitions. Ashu has been
featured as soloist with symphony orchestras and wind symphonies
throughout the United States and been presented on numerous recital
series. He has also been invited to Switzerland as a guest instructor
to teach a saxophone workshop and master class. Ashu received his
bachelor and master of music degrees in saxophone performance from
Northwestern University, under the guidance of saxophonist Frederick
Pianist Winston Choi has won numerous international and national
competitions, including first prize at the Orleans Concours International
(France) and most recently Second Prize at the prestigious Honens
International Piano Competition (Canada). As a result, he has received
several tours and numerous recital and concerto engagements throughout
the world. He recently made solo recordings for the l'Empreinte
Digitale and Quadro Frame labels which have received rave reviews.
There will be an artists' reception before the concert at 1:30
p.m., at the newly renovated Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, which
is six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). This month's featured
artists are Charl Agiza, Joy Eaton, Geraldine Mlynek, and Betty
Tickets for the concert will be available at the door one hour
before the concert, or may be purchased ahead of time a La Bonne
Vie Salon and Day Spa, located in the Homestead Village Shopping
Center in Placitas (867-3333). You can also purchase tickets in
Albuquerque at Gatherings, 9821 Montgomery NE. Finally, tickets
may be purchased online at www.PlacitasArts.org.
The prices for the concert are $15 for general admission and $12
for seniors and students.
There is still time to purchase season tickets for the entire
nine-concert series, which will include five Willy and Friends concerts
as well as saxophone and piano music, a holiday Broadway performance,
the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, and a concert of baroque music “from
the courts of Europe.” PAS will continue its exchange policy:
any unexpired ticket may be exchanged in advance at the door during
the same season, as available. For further information, please call
867-8080 or visit www.PlacitasArts.org.
As a reminder, the purchase of season tickets not only offers
price savings for these great concerts but season-ticket holders
also are entitled to preferred seating (the first six rows) at the
Placitas Artists Series concerts and art exhibits are made possible
in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Office of Cultural
Affairs, and the National Endowment for the arts. There is handicapped
access and free care for children under six.
Amado M. Peña, Jr.
Rockin’ R gallery hosts opening for famous artists
On October 8, Gary and Carolyn Roller will welcome Amado Peña
and Jorge Quintana to the Rockin’ R Gallery. Peña,
an old friend of the Rollers, is one of the nation’s preeminent
Native American artists. His colorful paintings are recognizable
anywhere Southwestern art is treasured. He will bring some new work
in several media to the opening and will meet the public from 4:00
to 8:00 p.m.
Peña himself is a collector of the museum-quality pottery
of Jorge Quintana, who is one of the most well-known potters from
Mata Ortiz, in northern Chihuahua. He will present his revival work
based on pottery found at the ruins of Casas Grande. In the Mata
Ortiz style, pottery is thinner, firing is hotter, and originality
is rewarded. Quintana will be at the Rockin’ R from 2:00 to
8:00 p.m., during which time he will throw, glaze, and fire an original
The gallery will offer discounted art and donate a percentage
of the day’s profits to Hurricane Katrina disaster-relief
Rockin’ R Gallery is at 3 Homesteads Road, Suite C, in Placitas.
For more information, call the Rockin’ R, at 867-9550.