Riha Rothberg and Wayne Mikosz with
a collaborative work hanging behind
“Park View,” acrylic on canvas, collaborative
painting, 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,”
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
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 convergencestudios-nm.com,
or the tour site at www.placitasstudiotour.com.
Workshop dates will be posted on their website.
Young composers to share stage with NMSO, in Hey,
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
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 www.heymozartnm.org.
String quartets to open Placitas Artists Series
—JACKIE ERICKSEN, PLACITAS ARTISTS SERIES
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 www.PlacitasArts.org.
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
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.
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
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
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
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 www.anasazifieldswinery.com.
Corner of Latin America
La esquina de Latinoamérica
where a weathered fence of rusted metal
cuts white sand, then disappears
into water that has no knowledge
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.
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
as high tide overtakes the beach.