Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Signpost featured artist: Barbara Clark

Barbara Clark

Artist Barbara Clark
Photo credit: —Dennis Chamberlain

c. Barbara Clark

Corrales Color, oil painting

c. Barbara Clark

There Were Three, oil painting

c. Barbara Clark

The Guest House, oil painting

From counting to creating: Barbara Clark

—Oli Robbins

There seems to be a general belief that artists exercise the right side of the brain more than the left—that the right side is more dominant in creative, intuitive individuals than in those more analytical and detail-oriented. But Corrales landscape painter Barbara Clark is imaginative, expressive, and pragmatic; she became an artist after decades of excelling in the more “sensible” field of accounting. And unlike many artists who proclaim to have been predisposed to the arts from early childhood, Clark admits that art entered her life much later on. She did enjoy a couple of years of art-making and daydreaming in high school, but was jolted back to “reality” soon after. Says Clark, “I was going to get married, have a husband support me and my ten children, be an artist, and have a house that was a mess all the time.” But none of that materialized and, instead, Clark became an accountant.

Clark grew up outside of Baltimore, spending decades on the East Coast and feeling no particular attraction to the Southwest until she moved here for work in ‘97. Says Clark, “I had not even the most remote interest in the Southwest. They could have cut it right off the map and I wouldn’t have cared!” Even after moving here, Clark’s appreciation for New Mexico’s unique landscape took a little time to develop. “At first,” Clark explains, “everything looked brown. But after a couple of months, I started to see all the color. And now there’s no place else I’d need to live. It’s a beautiful place to be.” Clark finds constant solace and inspiration at home in Corrales, which offers her a lovely view of the mountains and morning walks along the ditch.

Painting is a relatively new career for Clark, who worked in Albuquerque for a computer services company until 2006, when the company was sold. Without a job, she decided to take one summer off to unwind. She told herself that in the fall she’d “find an easy accounting job where I just add numbers.” “But,” says Clark, “that’s not at all what happened. I started painting, and I really liked it. I told myself that I’ll do it for a year, and if I make a profit, I’ll let myself continue.” The transition was timed fortuitously, since she had rediscovered painting just months prior when a friend invited her to a dinner party, featuring a pastel painter. At the dinner, Clark watched a painting demo and later created her own work. Clark found the dinner/art party “really fun” and was pleased with her resultant painting. Even though she was too busy working at the time to continue studying painting seriously, she equipped herself with an easel and high-quality paints. “I started to look forward to when I had off on the weekends so I could paint. That’s what started it all.” Little did she know that the following summer she would begin to work as a full-time artist.

Clark’s objective as a painter has shifted over the past decade. “When I began painting,” explains Clark, “I did what a lot of painters do. My desire was to replicate what I saw—replicate that tree or that peach and make it look as much like a peach or tree as I could.” But as she cultivated her individual identity as an artist, and further understood her relationship with form and color, she began to move away from mimetic portrayals. “I grew into a period when I started adding more color, turning the volume up on things and distorting them a bit.” Now, says Clark, “I want to catch the essence of things. I want people to look at my work and know, from ten feet away, exactly what it is, but get up to the painting and say ‘what is this?’” Clark’s paintings represent their subjects (usually landscapes) faithfully, but do so by capturing the sentiment of the object and the moment. She hopes to convey the smells and atmospheric effects that she encountered while observing her subject, for her paintings to be experiential as much as visual.

Clark’s canvases are teeming with nature’s landscapes, from marshlands to boating docks to rolling hills and desert mesas. She relishes painting en plein air and the fresh, confident brush strokes that it demands. For large paintings, Clark rarely works from photographs, preferring to work from her smaller plein air paintings. “I never get tired of landscape,” says Clark. Part of her unending fascination stems from her acquired ability to mindfully observe her surroundings. In them, she sees a myriad of colors in every form—more colors than initially greet the eye. “When I used to see trees, I’d see green. Now I see red trees and green trees and blue trees. I see all these other colors in the green. I’m obsessed, just obsessed.”

The Placitas Artists Series will feature Clark’s paintings this month at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church. The artist reception will take place October 25, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., with a concert to follow at 3:00 p.m. Her work can also be seen at the Corrales Bosque Gallery, Weems Galleries in Old Town, Gallery Tamaya, and Lacuna Galleries in Santa Fe. She welcomes visits to her home studio by appointment. Visit her website to view paintings and contact the artist:

Applications sought for arts commission

The City of Rio Rancho is seeking applicants interested in filling the City Council District 4 position on the City’s Arts Commission. Applicants must have knowledge and experience in an art-related discipline and reside in the City of Rio Rancho. The Arts Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Rio Rancho Governing Body and works to enhance and promote the arts within the City. The mission of the commission is to present public art in all its forms, which provides a formal art presence in the City for the enhancement and growth of a diverse community. The commission meets at 6:00 p.m., on the second Thursday of each month, at Rio Rancho City Hall, 3200 Civic Center Circle. Individuals interested in applying to serve as a volunteer on this commission must submit an application form and resumé to the Office of the City Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on October 9. Applications can be obtained by visiting the Clerk’s office inside Rio Rancho City Hall, or by visiting the City’s website: For further information, such as to confirm City Council District residency, contact the Clerk’s office at 891-5004.

Arts & Entertainment melds with Signpost calendar

The Signpost online Arts & Entertainment Calendar will now be included in the regular Signpost Community Calendar for easier accessibilty. If you have an art or entertainment event of interest to the residents of Sandoval County, you may submit the information to the community calendar via our online form at Press releases are accepted for consideration by emailing to: The deadline for submissions is the twentieth of each month.

Tony Hoagland

Levi Romero

Last Duende Poetry Series reading of 2015 features Tony Hoagland and Levi Romero

One of the top U.S. poets, Tony Hoagland, will read at the last Duende Poetry Series of the year, together with New Mexico’s Centennial Poet, Levi Romero, on October 11, at 3:00 p.m., at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas. These are two strong and top-notch poets and this will likely be one of the best readings of the year in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.

Tony Hoagland’s newest book of poems, Application For Release From The Dream, is just out from Graywolf Press. His most recent collection of essays on poetry, Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays was also recently issued. He teaches at the University of Houston. Hoagland is also the author of several books of poetry, with his most recent being: What Narcissism Means To Me, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry.

Levi Romero of Embudo Valley, New Mexico, was the Centennial Poet of the State in 2012. He is a bilingual poet whose work is immersed in the regional dialect of the northern part of the state. In addition to being widely published in journals and anthologies, Romero is the co-author of Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across The Chicano Homeland and author of A Poetry Of Remembrance, among others. Romero received the 2009 New Mexico Women’s Press Excellence in Communications Award and the 1996 Bill Moyers Language of Life Award in Poetry. He has taught at the University of New Mexico in the fields of Creative Writing, Chicano/a Studies, and Cultural Landscape Studies. He was the featured poet in the Autumn 2012 issue, the Centennial issue, of Malpais Review.

For all Duende Series poetry readings, wine, free snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks are available. Donations to pay the poets are encouraged in the donation jar as you enter. Contact Jim Fish at the winery at 867-3062, or email for more information.

To reach the winery, take I-25 to Exit 242 for Placitas and Bernalillo, go up the hill toward the mountains, drive about six miles to the old village of Placitas, then turn onto Camino de los Pueblitos, opposite the Presbyterian Church. After two stop signs, turn left into the winery parking lot.

Dancer, bronze sculpture, by Stephen Feher

Corrales Bosque Gallery welcomes new members

—Dianna Shomaker

The Corrales Bosque Gallery is pleased to announce three new member-artists: Melba Bushmire, Stephen Feher, and Edward Gonzales.

Melba Bushmire comes to us with a history of travel and management that infuses her striking landscapes and still life oil paintings. She has a studio in Bernalillo that sings with atmosphere and introspection.

Melba is joined by Placitan Stephen Feher—a metal sculptor. He has a unique process of working in metals that focuses on human forms, often from models and more recently, from subjects through a process of life casting.

Edward Gonzales is well-known throughout the region for his figurative work that draws heavily on family roots in New Mexico and Mexico. His lineage dates to Juan de Onate’s settlement of New Mexico as a Spanish province in 1598. He is a direct descendant of the founder of Corrales, Juan Gonzales Bas.

The Corrales Bosque Gallery is honored to show the work of these three outstanding artists alongside our other member artists. The gallery is at 4685 Corrales Road,

Old Church Fine Arts Show returns

Corrales Historical Society’s Visual Arts Council is pleased to present the 27th Old Church Fine Arts Show set in the beauty of the newly restored Old San Ysidro Church. Forty juried artists will showcase a wide array of art forms. An opening reception will be held on October 2, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. From October 3 to October 10, the show will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on October 11, it will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The show is held at Old San Ysidro Church, 966 Old Church Road, across from Casa San Ysidro, in Corrales.

Katie Mahan

Pianist Katie Mahan

Placitas Artists Series October 2015 music and arts events

The Placitas Artists Series continues its 29th season on October 25 with “Debussy, Gershwin, and the 2 Faces of Beethoven,” a solo piano concert by Steinway Artist Katie Mahan. The program features Claude Debussy’s Estampes and L’isle joyeuse, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata No. 21, “Waldstein” Op. 53 and Sonata No. 23, “Appassionata” Op. 57, and a version of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue arranged by Mahan. Mahan has been recognized as “a daring and innovative performer.” She possesses an unquestioned technical mastery combined with a kaleidoscopic palate of tone colors

The concert is generously sponsored by Sal and Deborah Gullo—Scrap to Sculpture.

Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. visual artists reception will feature the art of LuAnne F. Aragon, pottery and jewelry; Barbara Clark, oil and pastel paintings; Diane Orchard, mixed media; and Erica Wendel-Oglesby, photography. Their works, which are for sale, are on display through October 30.

Aragon says, “I see my work as a statement of who I am as a Native American female in a modern society. I try to keep the traditional elements while adding a contemporary twist to my art work whether in jewelry or pottery.”

Barbara Clark has developed a colorful and unique style that is somewhat reminiscent of stained glass.

Orchard’s nonrepresentational art includes contemporary mixed media prints and paintings and sculpture. Her work is included in collections in the U.S. and Canada.

Erica Wendel-Oglesby is a free-lance photographer whose photographs capture nature and the outdoors, primarily in New Mexico.

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 Grocery Store in Homestead Village Shopping Center, Placitas; Under Charlie’s Covers Fine Used Book Store, Bernalillo; or on-line at Tickets at the door are twenty dollars for general admission and $15 dollars for students with ID. Music students through high school are admitted free with a paying adult.

Placitas Artists Series projects are 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 call 867-8080 or visit

Fine art photography of Shiprock, by Don Strel

Don Strel—Landscapes of the Southwest

A photo show featuring the works of Don Strel, former director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, will be featured at the Placitas Community Library, opening October 2 and closing October 30, with a free, public reception on October 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The large photos present an arresting look at our southwestern landscapes.

Mr. Strel has said that he works to capture the feeling that the subject presents to him. He does not like to change the colors or alter the subject. He want to show the experience that he felt at the moment of capture, the instant the photo was taken. And his intent is to present each image to the viewers as they would see it, without major manipulation.

Mr. Strel graduated from San Francisco State University with a master’s degree in Creative Arts and taught there for two years. He left SF State when Ronald Regan cut the budget for the college. He then taught design at Northern Illinois University for seven years. He left there and became director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and later worked for the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos and Santa Fe Ski Area in public relations. He currently works as a photographer. His photos have been published in Tony Hillerman’s Landscape and Gardens of Santa Fe, published by HarperCollins.

Corrales Art in the Park celebrates community

On October 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at La Entrada Park, in the heart of Corrales, the final Art in the Park of 2015 will take place. Admission and parking is free. Award-winning artists will show a wide range of art and fine crafts, two food trucks will be on-site, and there will be roving musical entertainment: Dog in the Middle (Bluegrass) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Chamberlain/deVall from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. As usual, there will also be free activities for children. For more information, visit nmartistsmarket.

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