Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Cheri Reckers

Fiber artist Cheri Reckers wearing Swallowtails & Coneflowers, organza jacket.

Black Eyed Susans, silk chiffon shawl

Lucky Ladies, silk shawl

Praying Mantis II, dyes on silk and linen

Beneficial Wasps, silk organza jacket

Signpost featured artist

Wearable art: the silk paintings of Cheri Reckers

~Oli Robbins

Some art asks that you gaze from a safe distance and restrain from touching, while other art prompts you to utilize multiple senses—to look but also touch, to wear and move around in. Cheri Reckers’ painted silk works fall into the latter category. Each of her pieces are original paintings that can also be worn, hung, framed, or even cozied up with (in the case of her pillows, at least). Says Reckers, “I’ve always loved painting, the brush touching paper, or in my case fabric. With my garments, the paintings become three-dimensional.”

Her (literally) dynamic paintings have been exhibited in New Mexico at the New Mexico Museum of Art and Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Art, and outside of the country in Tokyo and New Zealand at the “World of Wearable Art” show.

Cheri lives with her partner, sculptor Michael Ceschiat, in Jarales, outside of Belen. Despite the fact that Cheri and Michael think of New Mexico as their true home and where they’re “supposed to be,” a job opportunity will force the duo to relocate to Arizona. Says Cheri, “we chose New Mexico for the big skies, mountains, and for it being a place where people appreciate and support the arts.”

Even though Cheri will soon be leaving her beloved state, for now she’s enjoying her environment, especially the “critters” that she encounters daily while walking her dogs. Many of her paintings depict these insects, which she studies while gathering ideas about what she will work on later in the day. “It’s sort of like research for me,” she says. She’ll sometimes collect the recently deceased bugs in order to further observe them, or will just watch the lively ones in their natural setting. “My current silk paintings are inspired by patterns in nature. I have an irresistible attraction to colors, spots and stripes on flowers, bugs, and plants, and I’m fascinated by their life cycles and their role in the environment.”

Late this year, five of Cheri’s insect paintings will be featured in a Nature Anthology series entitled Nature Inspired: Animals Edition Vol. II. The publisher, Falling Leaves Press, is “inspired by nature and its ability to offer us powerful reflections on how to live simply and in harmony.” Visit for more information.

Cheri grew up in Cincinnati and has been drawing and painting since she can remember. Her parents sent her to art classes in the first grade, after her teacher told them that she believed Cheri possessed a special talent. Her art studies continued through college at Columbus College of Art and Design. She majored in retail advertising and fashion design—and the knowledge she gained continues to be of service in her current pursuits. After college she landed a job at an Ohio crafter gallery, which happened to carry the work of a silk painter. That silk painter soon needed an assistant, and Cheri was recommended for the position.

She had previously been exposed to silk painting in college, when she took a weekend workshop to learn how to paint fabric for her senior design show, but being an artist’s assistant provided her with a sort of apprenticeship in silk painting—the medium which would soon become her own. “She was my first mentor, and I did everything with her. I helped her with painting, went to shows, ran errands, learned the whole business.” Cheri assisted her for two years before moving to New Mexico in 1993. Once here, she quickly went out on her own and found a market for her work. She and Michael lived in Albuquerque for their first few years in the state, but were more attracted to life outside of the city, soon settling into Bosque, just south of Belen. “We like rural living and having open space around us,” says Cheri.

Before painting a garment, Cheri designs the paper pattern and determines how much fabric she’ll need to paint. She hand-makes nearly all of her pieces (with the exception of some silk scarves), so much time is devoted to the strategic placement of designs and determining where sleeves and necklines need be. Says Cheri, “painting sort of follows the design of the garment.” She paints horizontally and has wood frames that she stretches her silk to. “I’ll draw very lightly on the silk with quilter’s markers that disappear with water. The painting process is a layering technique and I can’t erase the dyes once they’re on there.” Since silk painting isn’t very forgiving, Cheri develops a plan for her colors ahead of time. “But,” says Cheri, “sometimes happy accidents occur. And I just start with the lightest color first.”

Cheri has teamed up with Black’s Smuggler Winery in Bosque, where she offers a variety of workshops ( This month, she’s also teaching a silk painting workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, where her work will be on exhibit in Arrowmont’s Wolpert Gallery.

She was selected to paint Bandelier National Monument’s Centennial Parks Pass, after spending a day last summer silk painting en plein air at the Monument. Her work can be found in Santa Fe at Handwoven Originals and Marigold Arts, in Albuquerque at Weyrich Gallery, and in Belen at the Belen Art League Gallery. Cheri has shown in the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale, and is a member of Silk Painters International, where she attained the designation of “Master Silk Artist.” Her work was featured in Fiberarts Design Book and FiberARTS magazine.

Visit for information on upcoming shows and workshops, or to book a private silk painting event with the artist.

Kim Perkins

Kim Perkins plays Celtic harp at Library

One of the earliest musical instrument discoveries was made in France and shows a harp-like instrument on rock paintings dating back to 15,000 BC. Kim Perkins plays a Celtic Harp, an instrument that has a vivid and important history of its own, with the Celtic Harp origins dating back to the eighth century.

The harp has been a National symbol for both Scotland and Ireland. During the 12th century, it was “de rigeur” for Scottish and Irish kings and chieftains to have their own resident  harper who, in turn, enjoyed high status and special privileges. The royal harper was held in esteem, second only to that of the clan poet, or filidh. This ancient tradition eventually died out following the failure of the Jacobite rebellion and the subsequent destruction of clan society and repression of Gaelic culture.

Since Celtic harp music was an oral tradition and not written down, it was, until recently, believed to be entirely lost. However, there has been a revival of the music. Musicians such as Ms. Perkins who perform and teach about this ancient instrument help to keep this historical music alive.

Ms. Perkins began playing the Celtic Harp as an adult, and at the 2015 Rio Grande Celtic Festival’s harp competition, Ms. Perkins won “best performance of the Day.” Join Ms. Perkins at the Placitas Library on October 15, starting at 2:00 p.m. where she will discuss the history of the Celtic Harp, some of the composers of the music, and play examples of music from this time period. You can learn more about Ms. Perkins at her website:

Overlook, Winter Morning, by José Eloy Cabaza Yosemite National Park, CA

Whispers of wonder and awe—José Eloy Cabaza presents fine art photography

The Anasazi Fields Winery will be hosting an exhibit of José Eloy Cabaza photography during the month of October. Many of Cabaza’s Yosemite landscapes are reminiscent of, and often mistaken for, the works of Ansel Adams. A member of the f64 Group, Joe is a practitioner of straight black-and-white-film photography and the Ansel Adams Zone System. Joe will also be featuring some of his Signature Series prints of the Penitente Moradas of los Hermanos Penitentes. An artist’s reception will be held on October 9, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and will include wine-tasting classes by vintner Jim Fish and guest photographer Stephan Cooper.

Placitan Mary Carter reaches finals in Book Co-op contest

The New Mexico Book Co-Op has announced its 2016 contest finalists in all categories. Placitan Mary Carter has won a finalist spot in the Religious Books category for her book of essays A Non-Swimmer  Considers Her Mikvah—on becoming Jewish after fifty. Final awards are to be made at the annual Book Co-Op banquet this November.

The New Mexico Book Co-Op promotes the literary diversity of New Mexico book publishers, authors, and New Mexico books. They invite any individuals actively engaged in publishing and authoring books to join any of their activities; there are no membership dues. The meetings of the New Mexico Book Co-op are held at noon at the Golden Corral on San Mateo in Albuquerque (next to Cliff’s). People start gathering for lunch between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. Further information about the group can be found at

Corrales Bosque Gallery seeks young artists

The Corrales Bosque Gallery is seeking exciting young fine art artists who are interested in being represented by the Corrales Bosque Gallery.

The Corrales Bosque Gallery is an established artist-owned gallery, 22 years in the same location, at 4685 Corrales Road in the heart of the village.

Applicants are juried every month on the second Tuesday, (e.g., September 13, October 11, November 8) at 7:00 p.m.

All fine arts styles and medium are considered. Applications and further information are available at the website

or by visiting the gallery at 4685 Corrales Road. It’s open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 898-7203.

Best of Show: On the Beach, oil on canvas, by David Moss

Corrales Historical Society’s 28th Old Church Fine Arts Show

The Corrales Historical Society’s Visual Arts Council is pleased to present the 28th Old Church Fine Arts Show, an artist-juried show. This event features many of New Mexico’s fine artists, set in the beauty of the Old San Ysidro Church, located at 966 Old Church Road, across from Casa San Ysidro. Meet the artists, take home a treasure, or find a gift of fine art for someone on your holiday list. This year’s show features forty juried artists who will showcase a wide array of art forms.

There will be an opening reception on September 30, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. After that, the show will be open daily from October 1 to October 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on October 9, from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free. For further details, call 344-2110.

Joseph Johnson

Corrales Winery at Sunset, pastel, by Carol Ordogne

Placitas Artists Series presents cellist Johnson and fine art exhibit

The Placitas Artists Series continues its thirtieth season with cellist Joseph Johnson. Currently principal cellist for the Santa Fe Opera and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Johnson has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Johnson’s program for this concert includes J.S. Bach’s first and third cello suites, Benjamin Britten’s third cello suite and two shorter pieces by contemporary Mexican composer Manuel de Elías.

The concert is generously sponsored by Vicki Gottlieb, and Deborah and Thomas Hanna.

Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. visual artists reception will feature the art of Lisa Chernoff, glass; Helen Johnson, photography; Carol Ordogne, oil and pastel; and Denise Weaver Ross, mixed media on paper. Their works, which are for sale, will be on display throughout until October 28.

The concert and visual artist  reception 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 in advance. For ticket details, see page 2, this Signpost (print edition only).

For more information, email, visit, or call 867-8080.

Fine art piece in “Kiss My Glass” show, by Ellen Baker,

“Kiss My Glass”

The Placitas Community Library is pleased to announce its October art exhibit, “Kiss My Glass.” The show will features eight Placitas artists and will be on display from October 1 to October 27. Ellen Baker, Lisa Chernoff, Susan McWilliam, Linda Nisenbaum, Cathryne Richards, Laura Robbins, Karen Melody Shatar, and Erica Wendel-Oglesby will exhibit a variety of art glass, glass tableware, jewelry, and mosaics.

The artists incorporate glass that is hand-cut and assembled in mosaics or fused in a kiln. Each piece is unique, interesting to examine, and reflects the personal style of the artist.

The artists’ reception will be held on October 14, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., in the Collin Room at the Placitas Library. Along with the exhibit, the artists will have additional work for sale that night. A portion of all sales will be donated to the library.

Under Charlie’s Covers to host book signing with mystery writer J. L. Greger

Award-winning Bernalillo author J. L. Greger will be selling and signing her new collection of short stories The Good Old Days? at Under Charlie’s Covers fine used book store on October 2, from noon until 2:00. Greger is also the author of the Science Traveler Series, which includes five books: Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight; Ignore the Pain; Malignancy; and I Saw You in Beirut. All of her books will be available during Greger’s visit. Under Charlie’s Covers is located at 160 South Camino Del Pueblo, Suite B in Bernalillo, next to The Vision Store.

For further information, call 404-2097 or go to

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