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

Art buzz – August 2017


OK, so this isn’t in Albuquerque but…About 75 percent of all Native American art sold worldwide is made in the Gallup region, and for the first time, local artists have come together to create a showcase unlike any other. The first Gallup Native Arts Market is Aug. 10-12, deep in the landscape that has inspired and nurtured their art for generations, featuring artists selected by a commission of Navajo and Zuni master artists, creating the finest and best examples of Native art in the region. Spanning everything from jewelry to ceramics, and sculpture to weaving, the work on display and for sale is certain to connect powerfully with collectors and enthusiasts alike. It’s free and open to the public. More at Continue reading

Local Favorite: Great Southwestern Antiques Show

GSA-Ross TrautHow often do you get to shop for one-of-a-kind treasures and support a great charity at the same time? Not often enough, so don’t miss the Great Southwestern Antique Show’s Charity Sneak Preview, held Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Expo New Mexico. More than 175 dealers offer everything from Native American artifacts and antique Indian jewelry to ethnographic and early American art, furniture, vintage costumes, estate jewelry, pottery, decorative arts and more. Not only will you be able to shop the show before the doors open to the public for the weekend, you’ll feel good knowing that 100-percent of the event’s admission fees benefit New Mexico PBS.

“Because PBS is a really great partner, and because of the current political environment—with funding being cut for NPR and PBS—we felt strongly enough that we decided to continue with PBS as our major nonprofit,” says Terry Schurmeier, founder of the Great Southwestern Antique Show. “With our PBS endowment, we’ve raised more than $125,000 to help pay for New Mexico programs including Colores and New Mexico in Focus.” Continue reading