An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Riha Rotheberg and Wayne Mikosz

Riha Rothberg and Wayne Mikosz with a collaborative work hanging behind

“Park View,” acrylic on canvas, collaborative painting, by Wayne Mikosz and Riha Rothberg

“Park View,” acrylic on canvas, collaborative painting, by Wayne Mikosz and Riha Rothberg

“Convergence,” mixed media sculpture, by Wayne Mikosz and Riha Rothberg

“Convergence,” mixed media sculpture, by Wayne Mikosz and Riha Rothberg

Featured artists of the month:
Wayne Mikosz and Riha Rothberg

Twofold joy in collaborative painting

Just imagine making the perfect mark on canvas, only to have someone come along and paint right over it. Maybe it looked like a cloud or a snake. Maybe it reflected exactly the way you felt at the moment. Maybe it was your first attempt at anything artistic, and you and your wife were enrolled in a collaborative painting workshop.

This winter, Placitas artists Riha Rothberg and Wayne Mikosz will guide just such a workshop at the Art Center Design College in Albuquerque. Both artist and non-artist (and non-artist/artist pairs) will explore their creative potential by way of drawing and painting while sharing interpersonal process issues that inevitably arise. John Shannon, Organization Development Consultant and painter, was invited to join the teaching team to help individuals move forward to freer expression, as they tackle the “you-touched-my-side” issues. Participants will work together first on a large-scale drawing on paper and then move to acrylic paintings on paper and then canvas. “It will also be an opportunity to see us demonstrate working together, which we have had many requests for through the years,” Riha explained.

During over ten years of collaborative painting, Wayne and Riha have learned that “there are no precious marks.” Riha says, “Nothing is protected. One of us does something and the other does something relative to that. During the process, we quickly lose track of who did what.”

Their abstract work first came together in solo shows at the same Santa Fe gallery in 1995. They discussed their individual styles and somehow came up with the idea of passing a painting back and forth, studio to studio. Then they created a sculpture entitled “Convergence,” with plaster masks of themselves face to face, heads filled with abstract stuff and separated by a thick pane of glass. It symbolizes their coming together in a new way of relating through art.

Experimental monotypes followed, which were created by working on the printing plates at the same time. That finally led to painting on the same canvas, at the same time. “Sometimes we would take turns making marks,” Wayne explained. “Other times we would work at the same time, side by side or reaching around each other in a kind of dance. We found we were like one brain with four hands.”

That first collaborative works sold and are now collected internationally. Diane Armitage of THE Magazine wrote, “Because each of their paintings possesses a readily perceivable coherency, the viewer is less intrigued by the notion of who did what than by the obvious fluency, competency, and unity achieved in each painting.”

They say that they are not thinking in mechanical terms and don’t talk much while working, except maybe about what tools to use—brushes, knives, hands. The abstract themes come intuitively, but often appear as images such as kites or laundry blowing in the breeze. “We don’t paint to a title or start with a theme,” said Riha (or was it Wayne?).

“Abstract expressionist painting can be intimidating to a viewer without a little coaching or a title to provide a jumping-off point. Then if they look long enough, they can see things for themselves.”

Their paintings are vibrant and complex and tend to inspire an emotional response from many viewers, regardless of level of sophistication.

Wayne and Riha are founding members of the annual Placitas Studio Tour, which has introduced Placitas artists to the greater art community and provided a network of support. Last May, the tenth anniversary of the tour, visitors had the opportunity to meet fifty-nine artists in their own studios and get a behind-the-gallery look at creative spaces hidden in the hills.

They also collaborated on Lunatique, a jazz/tapas bar in Placitas, greatly missed by locals and a growing clientele of city folks. Riha has taken Lunatique on the road as a private chef. She also sings, creates mosaics, does faux painting, and provides color consultations for folks who are ready to add color to those white walls. “Artists often work on many fronts,” she said. Wayne teaches design and is a writer, printmaker, and residential designer. They occasionally help each other in their individual pursuits (surprise, surprise).

Their colorful work can be seen by appointment in Placitas (call 771-1006 to arrange), the Range Café in Bernalillo, or in Scottsdale, AZ, at Occasions by Design. Visit their website at, or, or the tour site at Workshop dates will be posted on their website.

Signpost cartoon, c. Rudi Klimpert

Young composers to share stage with NMSO, in Hey, Mozart!

On Friday, September 7, at 7:00 p.m., at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Journal Theatre, Hey, Mozart! New Mexico will recognize the pre-teen composers whose works were selected for inclusion in the 2007 Hey, Mozart! New Mexico CD.

Over one hundred students, twelve and under, from across the state submitted original melodies for consideration in this second year of the project. Sixteen of these melodies were selected for orchestration and recording. In addition, the quality of many of the others was considered so high that an honorable mention category was added.

At the September 7 concert each child will perform his/her melody and then members of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Felberg will play the orchestrated versions. Bob Bishop of Classical KHFM 95.5 and 102.9 will emcee the event. The CD with the orchestrated melodies will be released at the ceremony. The concert and the reception afterwards are free and open to the public. Brookes McIntyre, president of the nonprofit organization, says the free tickets are going fast. Tickets may be picked up at the NHCC box office or ordered through TicketMaster for a $0.75 fee.

The child composers include: from Albuquerque, Jocelyn Boyack, Stephanie Brener, Dylan Cuellar, Angela Jerkins, Simon Laird, Maia Scarpetta, Tankred Steinbach and Maya Vansuch; from Aztec, Sierra Stackhouse; from Bosque Farms, Benjamin D. Harris; from Corrales, John Paul Norman; from Las Cruces, Quintin Dean and Philip Miller; from Las Vegas, Sophia Wickert; from Placitas, Ian Kingsolver and from Rio Rancho, Christopher Musson.

The honorable mention category includes Las Cruces composers: Andrew Scott McLaughlin, Tiffani Montoya, Susana Navarro, Jazmine Quintela and Amalia Zeitlin. From Albuquerque come Tanner Boyack, Juliana Runnels, Sage Sarason, Abigail Schneebeck, and Emma Stevens. Toby Mueller of Tijeras completes the category.

At the free reception following the concert, children and audience members can speak with the project’s artistic and music directors, arrangers of the works and the NMSO musicians.

The concert is preceded by a free teacher workshop in composition with Maestro Alejandro Rutty, creator of the Hey, Mozart! project at 5:30 pm at the NHCC. As part of the NMSO, NHCC and Hey, Mozart! partnership, concerts also will be given at Edward Gonzales Elementary School on September 20. For more information, call 505-250-2341 or visit

Signpost cartoon, c. Rudi Klimpert

String quartets to open Placitas Artists Series season

On Sunday, September 23, Willy Sucre and Friends will perform a program of string quartets. Violist Willy Sucre will be joined by violinists Carmelo de los Santos and Anthony Templeton, as well as cellist Joan Zucker. Award-winning Brazilian violinist Carmelo de los Santos has played with major orchestras throughout South America and is currently Assistant Professor of violin at UNM. Anthony Templeton is Principal Second Violin of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO). Returning popular cellist Joan Zucker is Principal Cello of the NMSO.

The program should include String Quartet No. 11, by Heitor Villa Lobos; Quartet No. 2, by Cesar Guerra Peixe; and String Quartet in C Major “Dissonance” K 465, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The concert is generously sponsored by Lucy Noyes, Dick Hopkins, and La Puerta Real Estate Services, LLC.

Preceding the concert, a reception will be held for exhibiting visual artists: watercolorist Debby Brinkerhoff; nature/wildlife/fine art photographer David Cramer; oil painter Vera Russell, who also works in watercolor and pastels; and sculptor and jeweler Victor Vigil, from Jemez Pueblo.

The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. on September 23 at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church; the artists’ 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 online at Prices are $18 for general admission and $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 located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). For more information, call 867-8080.

“Body Burden” to play at Adobe Theater

“Body Burden,” written by Santa Fe playwright Dale Dunn and directed by Albuquerque’s Lou Clark, will have its world premier September 14 at the Adobe Theater. The production is best described as the personal story of protagonist Katie Pendleton set against the backdrop of infamous local history, the development of the atomic bomb. The piece features a six-member ensemble cast including local favorites Alan Hudson, Laurie Lister (as Katie), Ninette Mordaunt and Vernon Poitras (as the ghost of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer) joined by talented newcomers Morgan Black and Don Garcia.

Katie Pendleton is a broken woman. Although she wins a battle with thyroid cancer just prior to the beginning of the play, the strain of it costs her the life of her unborn child and ultimately her marriage.

Dunn began the piece several years ago with extensive research into the history of the development of the atomic bomb and became especially fascinated with her findings about the radiation experiments scientists performed on children of Los Alamos in the 1960’s. Dunn found willing artistic partners in the Adobe Theater and in director Lou Clark. Clark states she was drawn to the piece because “Dale’s script reminded me of the work of Sam Shepard in that it is a true blending of the two theatrical styles, Realism and Absurdism. All the characters, particularly Katie, struggle between their senses of hope and hopelessness.”

“Body Burden,” opens at Adobe Theater, 9813 Fourth Street NW (2 blocks North of Alameda) on Friday, September 14 and plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. through October 7. There is a pay-what-you-can preview on Thursday, September 13. To reserve tickets call the Adobe Theater Box Office at (505) 898-9222. Ticket prices are $12 General admission and $10 Seniors/Students. There will be a pay-what-you-can preview on Thursday evening, September 13.

Margaret Randall

Poet Margaret Randall dressed in a huipil—a Maya woman's traditional blouse.

Duende Poetry: “Four Women”

The Duende Poetry Series will be presenting another reading at Anasazi Fields Winery called simply, “Four Women.” The Duende readings have been an ongoing success, with each one having a different flavor—always entertaining and interesting, if not provoking. This one brings Diana Huntress, Mary Oishi, Arden Tice, and Margaret Randall together in a showcase of women important to poetry in the Southwest and beyond—past, present, future.

Diana Huntress moved to New Mexico in 1965 and was one of the presidents of the Rio Grande Writers’ Association, originally started by Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya in the mid- 1970s. This organization was an early attempt to organize writers throughout the Southwest and address issues of publication and presentation. At one point, she rented a barbershop in Nob Hill and held readings there! Known for her very short poems, Huntress doesn’t read publically much, so this is a rare opportunity.

Mary Oishi is a current instigator of the Albuquerque poetry scene, and also a KUNM (89.9 FM) deejay, who believes in the democratization of art. She introduced the “poetry kiss,” a non-competitive round robin open mike for poets which results in a spontaneous and organic “verbal collage.” She has produced and participated in numerous art-as-protest events including “Mightier than the Sword: Writers Address the Nuclear Age” (2005), and “Peace Buzz,” an event during which twenty poets and activists shaved their heads to protest the invasion of Iraq (2003).

During the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Arden Tice was an engaged social activist, including a journey to the South at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. For many years, she was the Social Services Director in El Paso/Juarez of a Saul Alinsky program on problems of health, housing, food distribution, and birth control. Tice was the first woman assigned to teach psychology to inmates at La Tuna Federal Penitentiary in Anthony, Texas. She also started drug and alcohol programs in several areas. In 1986, Tice returned to New Mexico, where she studied in the graduate creative writing program with Wolfe Mankowitz and Harvena Richter. After retiring from ten years of private practice as a therapist, she did pro bono work with a Vietnam veterans’ group, and has published articles and poetry on travel, artists, social issues, Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, and Eskimos at Point Barrow, Alaska. Her poetry is widely published, including the book A Time to Tango.

Margaret Randall grew up in New Mexico, left for Spain, New York, and finally Latin America as a young woman, and returned to New Mexico in 1984. During the years she was away, she co-founded and co-edited El Corno Emplumado/The Plumed Horn, a bilingual literary journal out of Mexico City (1962-69), lived and worked in revolutionary Cuba (1969-80) and Sandinista Nicaragua in the early eighties. When she returned to the U.S., she was ordered deported under the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act because of the content of several of her books. She received tremendous support from many quarters in an immigration case that would change U.S. immigration law. This struggle lasted for five years, and she emerged victorious in 1989. Margaret has taught at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; Macalester College in St. Paul; The University of Delaware; and Oberlin, as well as a few adjunct courses at the University of New Mexico. She has published more than one hundred books.

As can be inferred from this write-up, these four women each “speak truth to power” as both witness and contributor in accord with Freud’s statement, “Work, love and play are the wellsprings of one’s life. They should also govern it.”

And as per usual, Anasazi Fields Winery is a marvelous venue for poetry, and their wines will be available for tasting and purchasing. The event is free, but a suggested donation of $3 will help pay the poets.

To get to the Winery, take I-25 to the Placitas exit 242, drive six miles east to the Village, turn left at the sign just before the Presbyterian Church, and follow Camino de los Pueblitos through two stop signs to the Winery entrance. For more information, call 867-3062 or visit

Corner of Latin America

La esquina de Latinoamérica

it’s called

where a weathered fence of rusted metal

cuts white sand, then disappears

into water that has no knowledge

of borders.

Metal recycled

from Vietnam-era tanks and planes,

gap-toothed and bearing improbable image

of cactus and skeleton.

Broken pilings, a division

that once was what: shabby, imposing,

makeshift or absurd bravado?

This corner of Latin America,

where lines on a map

translate to searchlights, guns,

pickup beds heavy with hunched men and women

caught, taken back to their point of origin

only to try again tomorrow

or next week.

Corner as in the uppermost and outermost

point on that map.

Not a place that gathers,

enfolds, comforts or protects.

Not refuge

but exposure.

Danger writ large in global script.

One side of the worn fence

a young man lifts his body in pushups,

strains against twisted pieces

of a cement platform, crumbling.

Woman and child

sleep in the fence’s long shadow.

On the far side: San Diego’s powerful skyline

disappears in mist.

La esquina de Latinoamérica,

containment vs. we don’t want you—

except to watch our children, clean

our floors, keep our profit high.

Like a hologram, this place

emptied of itself,

waits restive for change.

In dreams and in grief

I am riding that corner fence,

its rusted metal cuts the flesh

of my thighs.

Blood runs to the sand

then disappears

as high tide overtakes the beach.







Ad Rates  Back Issues  Contact Us  Front Page  Up Front  Animal News   Around Town  Classifieds Calendar  Community Bits  Community Center   Eco-Beat  Featured Artist  The Gauntlet Health Community Links  Night Skies  My Wife and Times  Public Safety Real People Signpost Arts  Schoolbag  Time Off Uncle Duffy Word Heard Around Town