Artist Tony Paraná-Rodrigues
brainstorms with artists in Bernalillo.
Artist Paraná-Rodrigues envisions cultural center in Bernalillo
On a recent late summer evening in Llanito, the Brazilian
artist Tony Paraná-Rodrigues prepared the famous Brazilian
dish feijoada while listening to his muses Bob Marley and
Miles Davis and speaking about his own life and work. Feijoada
is a hearty black-bean, sausage and pig's-knuckle soup with
African and European origins—Brazilian soul food. Tony spread
the ingredients on the counter, appraising them in their raw state
almost as if they were colors on a palette. Slices of moon-white
tripe and bright orange peppers from the garden were added to the
dark purple stew. Tony sniffed from jars of spices he knew only
by smell, not by the English labels. He added pinches of those too,
and the thickening aroma conjured memories of Brazil and thoughts
about art in Bernalillo.
“I like to paint boats. My dad had a boat, a very old boat.
He was always working on that boat—always. And when he goes
fishing, he never gets fish, never! He always gets back home saying,
'Where are the fish?' 'I didn't get any. Well, I got a few, but
I gave them to the poor people.’”
Tony is from the coastal city of Bahia. His father is an electrician
and his mother is a teacher. Being part of the Brazilian middle
class means that the family has one car and his mother has to ride
two buses for over an hour to get to her school—crowded buses,
both ways. All around is a backdrop of struggle. He is very conscious
of being from a third-world country where, “if you want something
you got to really fight for it.”
In the US, it's been anything but a struggle. Though he drew henna
tattoos for a living in Bahia, he did not consider himself an artist.
Within seven months of coming here with his wife, Angel (originally
from Bernalillo), Tony put together a sell-out show at the Arte
Loca Gallery. Co-owner Alvaro Enciso, described Tony's art as "refreshing".
"Tony is self taught," he said, "an outsider both
to the art world and to the US, so he gives us color and vibrancy,
he gives us Brazil.”
A bit later, he joined the Albuquerque drum group Concepto Tambor,
which went on to win the citywide Battle of the Bands. He learned
to speak Spanish and English simultaneously while working at the
Range Café, where his wife was a manager. His handsomeness
and winning personality draw people to him and open doors. When
Angel got a job producing the show Trato Hecho (a Spanish language
Let's Make a Deal show) for Univision in Los Angeles, Tony went
along and got a job as the cue-card holder, and in a hilariously
“Hollywood” story, he became the only person on the
set that the host of the show would talk to.
A year in Los Angeles was enough for Angel and Tony and they moved
back to be with her parents, Julie McGaharan and Brian Lang, in
their restored adobe in Llanito. Something in Bernalillo again stirred
Tony's creative urge. He celebrated their return by putting together
an epic garden-wall mosaic for Julie and Brian. With shards of broken
Fiesta ware from the Range, he began by making portraits of each
of his American family.
Currently Tony has been making a more public mosaic in the main
entryway of the Range Café.Two large, colorful lizards brighten
the drab stucco of the south wall, while a desert landscape enlivens
the walls surrounding the door. Curious patrons and fellow Range
employees stop to chat with Tony as he sits amid a multitude of
bowls filled with the cheery Fiesta chips. A few have brought their
own broken plates to add to the mosaic.
But Tony has found that he has returned to a much different art
scene in Bernalillo than the one he left. The Arte Loca gallery
is gone, as is the Katrina Lasko Gallery and Siete Nombres. The
Bernalillo Arts Trail hasn't been put on since 2004. “Right
now, nobody is doing anything. There are no galleries and there
are so many artists.” He called together a meeting of some
of his friends and other artists to talk about what to do. Perhaps
out of his sense of such great opportunity in America, he would
like to instigate a movement here. Tony's group has met several
times and is working to propose some sort of cultural center for
Bernalillo along the lines of the South Broadway Cultural Center
“You know when a bunch of artists get together, only great
ideas come out. We need a place to show every month, a place maybe
to teach classes. It would be beneficial to the artists. It would
be beneficial to the town, to the whole community. It's like we
have a salad and we just have to find the cucumber. That one place,
that one guy, or that government support to pull it all together.”
The next meeting for area artists or anyone interested in developing
a cultural center in Bernalillo will be on Monday, October 2, at
7:00 p.m., at Textures, in Bernalillo. For directions and further
details, call Teresa Muñiz at 238-8290.
To view Tony’s Web site, visit: www.tonyparana.com.
“Where the Buffalo Roam,” 50” x 120” oil
painting, by Arturo Chávez
Arturo Chávez takes top award at Western art exhibition
On August 26 the Western Artist of America annual sale and exhibition
opened at the Hubbard Museum of the American West, in Ruidoso, New
Mexico. Arturo Chávez, who lives and paints in Placitas,
was awarded the most prestigious award, the Best of Show, for a
fifty-by-120-inch painting of the Grand Tetons entitled Where the
Buffalo Roam. The award, sponsored by R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard,
included a $5,000 cash prize. Additionally, the prize-winning painting
sold Saturday evening for $65,000 and will be displayed at a private
resort and golf club in Palm Desert, California.
Chávez said, “Among such a talented group of artists
as the Western Artists of America, I am especially honored to have
been awarded the Best of Show. I am dedicated to the preservation
of the Western landscape. Painting the West in a large-scale format
is my passion and it is always gratifying to see the art work appreciated
by the judges and the buyers alike.”
The nationally juried show included approximately 120 oil paintings,
watercolors, pencil sketches. and bronze sculptures. In addition
to the Best of Show award, gold, silver, and bronze medals were
awarded in all media. The show will be on exhibit at the Hubbard
Museum through October 18.
For more information, visit www.arturochavez.com or contact Jennifer
Chávez, at 771-4849, or Jay Smith, at the Hubbard Museum
of the American West, (505) 378-4142.
An old-fashioned ghost story
If you’ve been to London in the last fifteen years you may
have seen the longest-running play in recent theater history. The
Woman in Black is a clever tale full of surprises and suspense,
and one that will keep you on the edge of your seat or jumping out
of it. Not since Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has a thriller
been so popular with audiences of all ages. The shivers will begin
on Friday the thirteenth of October and continue through Halloween
to November 5.
In this story, a lawyer hires an actor to help him recount the
startling and eerie events of a visit he once paid to the country
house of a deceased client. The estate is haunted by the specter
of a woman whose child was accidentally killed nearby. The locals
will not even approach the house, which they believe is cursed.
Will telling the story to family and friends (the audience) exorcise
the ghosts of the past? With a simple set, a few props, and perfect
sound effects, the tale will make your spine tingle.
The Woman in Black, by Steven Malatratt (based on the novel by
Susan Hill), will be at the Adobe Theater, 9813 Fourth Street NW.
Shows are at 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:00 p.m. on
Sundays. Tickets are $12 ($10 for students and seniors), with group
rates available. For ticket information and reservations, call 898-9222.
Festival coming during Balloon Fiesta
The eighteenth annual Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival will
be held both weekends of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, October
6 through 8 and October 13 through 15. More than seventy thousand
people visit this outstanding show, where they are able to shop
and browse through the work of over 280 of the most talented artists
and crafters from around the country.
The festival takes place at the southwest corner of I-25 and Paseo
del Norte, in Albuquerque. Admission is $6 for adults; six-day passes
are $9; children under twelve are admitted free. The $13 Rio Grande
pass is being offered this year for unlimited admissions to October
and December 2006 and March 2007 festivals. Hours for both weekends
are Fridays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
A portion of the gate receipts, as well as booth space, is donated
to Casa Angelica, a home for profoundly disabled children.
Apples from Larry Goodell
Where I sit at 7000 feet,
there’s the narrow trail
& the daily shelter.
I lean mutually into the good medicine,
I steer away from swindle.
I have no weapons.
I follow the sky with strategy.
The weather is cloudy with a chance of rain.
Around the clock I trust like a frog
—that to be buried isn’t,
that I’ll arise in this life.
Quietly to notice—for example,
apples from Larry Goodell,
permeated with their inexplicable history
of endless reproduction by seductive fruit,
of evolutionary intelligent design.
Lightning out of the north,
thunder & rain,
the charity of fragile kinships
I’ve got the stove to myself.
Three syllables: apple pie.
One door opens, then another,
a continuum of dialectical application
—JB Bryan, Placitas/Corrales
Reprinted from Big Thank You,
Tres Chicas Books, New Mexico
Stilts, by Pat O'Brien, of Albuquerque, awarded
one of the three top prizes for the Corrales Fine Arts Show
Corrales Visual Arts to present annual benefit show
The eighteenth annual Corrales Fine Arts Show, a New Mexico multimedia
art exhibition and sale in Corrales at the Historic Old San Ysidro
Church, will be held October 7-15. There will be works by forty
artists in the fields of painting, mixed media, sculpture, and photography,
selected by jury from over two hundred entries.
The show will be open to the public from 11:00 am to 5:00 p.m.
daily, and there is no charge for admission or parking. An opening
reception will be Friday, October 6, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The
church is one mile north of the Corrales Post Office on Corrales
Road then .3 mile west on Old Church Road. A portion of each sale
at the show goes to the Corrales Historical Society for restoration
and preservation of the Historic Old San Ysidro Church.
Carol Frappier and Anthony Mastrandrea of Placitas
present the Dali Lama with an oil portrait Carol painted of him.
Placitas artist meets Dali Lama
Placitas portrait artist Carol Frappier traveled to Los Angeles
on September 14 to present to the Dali Lama her portrait of him.
Frappier was inspired by her own spiritual advisor to paint the
portrait after her yoga class played a recording of the Dali Lama
reciting a Buddhist chant.
Anthony Mastrandrea, her husband, navigated through channels more
successfully than many heads of state to make this meeting happen.
Frappier and Mastrandrea met with the Dali Lama as he was leaving
the Westin Hotel in Pasadena early in the morning. His Holiness
accepted the portrait graciously and thanked them both.
Frappier and Mastrandrea recently celebrated the grand opening
of their Placitas Portrait Studio and Gallery, on Highway 165 and
Homesteads Road, in Placitas. Frappier paints classical-style portraits
in watercolor and oil.
Pianist Davide Cabassi
Van Cliburn-competition finalist to play in Placitas
—Jackie Ericksen, Vice-President, Placitas Artists
The Placitas Artists Series will present the 2005 Van Cliburn
Piano Competition finalist Davide Cabassi in a special recital on
Sunday, October 22.
Cabassi made his orchestral debut at the age of thirteen with the
RAI Symphony Orchestra in Milan. He has also collaborated with the
Munich Philharmonic, the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, and the Russian
Chamber Philharmonic, as well as with several Italian orchestras.
Cabassi has played concerts in Austria, China, France, Germany,
Japan, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, and Switzerland, with appearances
in Salzburg’s Mozarteum and the Gasteig, in Munich, and Rachmaninoff
Hall, in Moscow.
After graduating from Milan’s Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory,
Cabassi spent several years as one of the select few students at
the International Piano Foundation in Cadenabbia, Italy, where he
studied with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher,
Rosalyn Tureck, and William Grant Nabore, among others.
A funny, charming, personable performer, Cabassi was prominently
featured in the PBS documentary about the Cliburn competition.
The concert is generously sponsored by Rondi and Duane Thornton.
Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for October exhibiting
visual artists Nina Adkins, Carmine DeVivi, Janet Yagoda Shagam,
and Suzanne Visor. Adkins is a watercolor artist specializing in
Southwest subjects; DeVivi is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor;
Shagam is a printmaker, and Visor paints on silk, producing functional
items as well as wall art.
The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Las Placitas Presbyterian
Church; the artist reception begins at 1:30. 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 and Day Spa, in Homestead
Village Shopping Center, in Placitas; at Gatherings, 9821 Montgomery
NE, in Albuquerque; or on-line at www.PlacitasArts.org.
Prices are $18 for general admission, $15 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.
New adaptation of Candide opening at UNM
Tricklock Company and the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance are
joining forces, to mark Tricklock’s new status (as of June
1) as company in residence at UNM, in a new adaptation of Voltaire’s
novel Candide, with original music. The production was conceived
and developed by Joe Feldman and Tricklock artistic director Joe
Peracchio, with script and direction by Joe Feldman and produced
by Joe Peracchio and UNM.
“In approaching this classic work, we wanted to stay true
to the aspects that have made it a beloved novel since it was written
in 1759. The book is full of wisdom, sarcasm, religious and political
conflict, and sexiness. Naturally, Tricklock is bringing its unique
combination of absurdism, theatricality, and physicality to this
adaptation. This show is a feast for the eyes and ears with great
costumes and sets, plus original musical numbers and sound design
by Michael Keck, with whom I’ve worked in New York and Atlanta,”
said Joe Feldman, who has directed several Tricklock productions,
including MacBett, Waiting for Godot, and The Beard.
Joe Peracchio, Tricklock artistic director and producer of Candide,
said, “We wanted to stage a production that would be a great
coming-out party to celebrate Tricklock’s affiliation with
UNM, and we were also looking for something we could do that was
fun, huge, and had a great social commentary that would be useful
for our time and our community.”
Candide follows the comic adventures of the eponymous youngster,
played by Kevin R. Elder, and his tutor, Pangloss, played by William
Sterchi. The pair travel from the old world to the new, through
all times and no time and even into space. They encounter kings
and beggars, mermaids and truck-stop managers, priests and cabdrivers
along their journey of discovery. The cast features ten University
of New Mexico theater and dance students playing over thirty roles,
along with Tricklock Company members.
Candide runs from October 12 through October 29 at Rodey Theatre,
in the UNM’s Center for the Arts, and asks the question, “Is
this the best of all possible worlds?” Performances of Candide
will be on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays
at 2:00 p.m. For tickets, call the UNM ticket office, 925-5858,
or go to unmtickets.com. Opening-night tickets are $25 for all seats.
For the remainder of the performances, tickets are $20 for general
Born free and running wild
Is there a more romantic and powerful image than wild horses roaming
free? It is a symbol both of the nobility of the horse and the pioneer
spirit of the American West. And while many may think wild horses
are only the stuff of Hollywood Westerns, they still do exist in
Along the state line between Montana and Wyoming, in a landscape
of high desert, rocky ridges, and semi-alpine slopes, live the Pryor
Mountain mustangs—bands of wild horses descended from the
original Spanish steeds brought over by the conquistadors in the
late fifteenth century.
Fine-art photographer Lynne Pomeranz, of Corrales, spent two years
tracking and photographing the Pryor Mountain mustangs, and the
result is Among Wild Horses, an intimate study that gives readers
a rare glimpse into the lives of these magnificent animals. Pomeranz
watched their routines, observed their complex relationships, and
captured on film the essence of their wildness. Her photographic
journal is a story of courage, resilience, and freedom that speaks
eloquently to the human spirit.
Preserving these animals' wild habitat and way of life has become
a life's work for a growing number of people who realize the immeasurable
value of nature's real-life fairy tales, and a portion of the profits
from Among Wild Horses will support the work of the Pryor Mountain
Wild Mustang Center in Lovell, Wyoming.
Lynne Pomeranz has been a fine-art photographer for over twenty-five
years, and her photographs are shown in galleries throughout the
Southwest. The mustangs of the Pryor Mountains are her special passion.
Signed copies of Among Wild Horses are available at www.LynnePomeranz.com.