Art Buzz – Dec 2017—Jan 2018


KArl_Hofmann_FINAL516 ARTS presents In the Balance, a large-scale installation by Karl Hofmann, an Albuquerque-based artist with a lot of international exposure. His solo project was commissioned to transform the windows and entrance of the gallery, in part to “engage the cityscape and street traffic in Downtown Albuquerque with non-traditional visual art.” Hoffman uses repurposed scrap building materials to surprising effect, and says, “The title of this project references the profound sense of uncertainty I feel as much of the world seems to teetering between order and chaos.” Check it out from Dec. 1 (when the opening reception’s held in conjunction with First Friday Artscrawl) through Jan. 13. Details at

Hosted by 516 ARTS in partnership with the Albuquerque Museum, a dynamic show titled The US / Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility, co-curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims and Ana Elena Mallet, opens in the new year on Jan. 13 and runs through Apr. 15 at the Museum, and Jan. 27 through April 14 at 516 ARTS. The idea is to feature designers and artists working along the US/Mexico border. This is an opportunity to understand what their lives are like in that region of the world and experience images of the migrant-citizen hybrid culture. Details at: and Continue reading

The Art Buzz – November 2017


More than 80 New Mexico juried artists and artisans show their arts and crafts at the 36th annual Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale, Nov. 18 and 19. While you browse, enjoy good food and fine local wine. There are three sites to choose from and you should choose them all: Placitas Elementary School, the big tent east of the Presbyterian Church, and the Anasazi Fields Winery. Details at

What can you expect from Thanksgiving Holiday weekend other than many opportunities to shop? Well, the 18th annual Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival, Nov. 24-26 at the Lujan Exhibit Complex at Expo New Mexico Fairgrounds is not any old opportunity. Shop from the works of 185 of the best artists and craftsmen from all over the country, and enjoy ongoing entertainment in the form of professional pianists, carolers, mariachis and more. Even Santa Claus will be in attendance! This family oriented event also features dozens of ‘Artists at Work’ and a Kids’ Creation Station! Details at Continue reading

Art Buzz – September 2017

Art Buzz graphicAlbuquerque

Sept. 3, the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History once again hosts the 2017 Local Treasure Awards. Every September, the Albuquerque Art Business Association, the gallery association that brings you First Friday ARTScrawl, recognizes and honors Albuquerque artists who not only excel in the arts and their artistic discipline, but who have given back to their community. This year’s master of ceremonies will be the 2016-2018 City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate Manuel Gonzalez. The 2017 recipients of the Local Treasure award are Elaine Bolz, Jade Leyva, Renee Gentz, Mark Horst, Cheryl Godin and Ilene Weiss. A reception will follow the awards presentation with music by Don Shearer. Details at

It’s a hoopla! Join the Ghostwolf Gallery Sept. 9 to celebrate online literary magazine Eclectica’s 20th anniversary. There will be readings, music, food, libations and several guest artists including internationally renowned tapestry artist Sue Klebanoff, mosaic artist Laura Robbins, photographer Stuart Gelzer, and jeweler Pamela Gemin. Ghostwolf was founded and is curated by Amy M. Ditto, and is focused exclusively on displaying contemporary fine art and craft created by artists with truly unique visions. Visit Continue reading

The Sawmill District…A New Urbanism

Sawmill Market rendering

Sawmill Market rendering

Today, the former home of Frank Paxton Lumber Company is a scruffy blue-and-white warehouse down Bellamah Avenue in Albuquerque’s Sawmill District. In the early 20th century, it was part of a bustling lumber district whose neighborhood-wide operations earned the quarter its moniker. In the ensuing century, Albuquerque has grown up around Paxton Lumber—most recently in the form of the residential Sawmill Lofts and the luxurious Hotel Chaco—and the neighborhood has become an A-plus location, nestled between Downtown, Old Town and the Rio Grande River. By early 2019, that vintage lumber building will be the home of the state’s first food market in the style of San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace and New York’s Gotham West Market, to name two. Continue reading

Terran Kipp Last Gun


TERRAN_05_klWe think of artists as this rarefied species that splashes brilliantly into life like meteors, child prodigies of astonishing genius instantly recognizable. While the rest of us struggle to figure out who and what we want to grow up to do, they’ve known since the beginning—it’s the air they breathe! But not all artists arrive like meteors, and some breathe the same air we do. In fact, among the most daring and adventurous artists are those whose paths of discovery appear to them just like ours do, one clue at a time.

Terran Kipp Last Gun, 2016 graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, says, “I’ve always felt creative—I always did creative stuff. But I never felt like I was an artist, growing up.”  His father, Terrance Guardipee Last Gun, is a painter and ledger artist, “so I grew up around it that way. And my dad always encouraged me,” he says. “But romanticized art—realism—that you see a lot of in Montana was just not intriguing to me.” Some adults from previous generations “didn’t want to be Indian or felt ashamed; they had almost no pride, just a sense of disconnect,” and Terran neither understood nor felt a part of the Catholic faith in which he was raised. But in fourth grade, he began attending the Lost Children immersion school on his reservation, founded partially by his great uncle Darrell Robes Kipp as part of the Piegan Institute, and there, Terran first learned the cultural narratives of his Piikani people and to speak the Blackfoot language. He continued through seventh grade and, although he didn’t know it at the time, that turned out to be his first step on his path to being an artist.   Continue reading

Flight to the Future: Kevin Red Star and the Institute of American Indian Arts

07_KRSnGA_14062056_klIt is hard to overestimate the influence and importance of the Santa Fe-based Institute of American Indian Arts on contemporary Native American culture, art and artists. The school, co-founded by Dr. George Boyce and Cherokee textile and fashion designer Lloyd Kiva New, opened its doors in the fall of 1962, with Boyce serving as superintendent and New as art director. It was established and funded by the United States Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs as a two-year high-school program, but today offers bachelor of arts degrees and a handful of master’s degrees. Its list of alumni and faculty reads like a who’s who in the field of contemporary Native arts.

One such IAIA graduate is Kevin Red Star. Over the course of a year researching this prominent Native artist for our book Kevin Red Star: Crow Indian Artist (Gibbs Smith, 2014), interviewing his peers, family, teachers, collectors, associates and Kevin himself, my wife—photographer Kitty Leaken—and I gained a deep respect for the man and admiration for his art. This included a lovely few weeks spent on his family ranch in south-central Montana, adjoining the vast Crow Reservation, where we were ensconced in a teepee. It was an experience we will always treasure. Continue reading