An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Artist Tony Paraná-Rodrigues brainstorms with artists in Bernalillo.

Artist Paraná-Rodrigues envisions cultural center in Bernalillo

—Ben Forgey
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 in Albuquerque.

“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:

“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 or contact Jennifer Chávez, at 771-4849, or Jay Smith, at the Hubbard Museum of the American West, (505) 378-4142.

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

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

made palatable.

I’ve got the stove to myself.

What next?

Three syllables: apple pie.

One door opens, then another,

a continuum of dialectical application

organized toward

unconditional delicacy.

—JB Bryan, Placitas/Corrales

Reprinted from Big Thank You,
Tres Chicas Books, New Mexico

Stilts by Pat O'Brien

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.

CE Frappier and Dali Lama

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

Pianist Davide Cabassi

Van Cliburn-competition finalist to play in Placitas

—Jackie Ericksen, Vice-President, Placitas Artists Series Board
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 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 Opening-night tickets are $25 for all seats. For the remainder of the performances, tickets are $20 for general admission.

Lynne Pomeranz

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 North America.

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






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