2015 ANMPAS

2015 ANMPAS – Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show

2015 ANMPAS, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show, will once again be held in the Fine Arts Building at EXPO NM. It is open to the public December 6 through December 27, 10:00am – 5:00pm, except December 24 and 25. The show is free to the public throughout. Some days, particularly the weekends, EXPO may charge a parking fee. The opening reception is December 5, from 2:00-4:00pm.

This is a juried show, and artists participating must be residents of New Mexico. All artwork is for sale, and may be taken by the buyer at the time of sale.

I have enjoyed participating in ANMPAS and the related InSight shows over the years. These are the brainchild of organizer LeRoy Perea, who has watched the submitted entries grow in both quantity and quality over the years.

I am thrilled that for 2015 ANMPAS, the jurors selected three images from my series, Persephone.

Those of you who have followed me very long know that sunflowers are frequent photographic subjects for me, as are butterflies. I grew these sunflowers, and they are from the second crop of 2015. I really liked the structure of the sunflower plant in the “Heart of the Matter.” My son appreciates structure, especially in black and white images, and I converted the image immediately.

2015 ANMPAS
Sunflower in Black and White

My son liked it as much as I had hoped.

I showed that image to a friend, Jim Stallings, with whom I have corresponded over the past couple of years and whose input has influenced some other photographic work, such as “The Observer/The Observed,” which I decided to show after Jim wrote a short poem. He wrote in the context of activities of autumn, after seeing the sunflower image:

…it is that ancient mythic time for the daughter Persephone of the Earth Goddess Demeter to return to the Underworld and stay there until the return for Spring. So all that feeds into the unconscious…the separation of between life on the surface of the world of fall and winter and waning and yet returning light and another go at renewal and new life. It must be motivating in your photographic subjects as well.

It is true that my fall images, even of bright flowers, tend to be dark.

I had not read mythology in a long time. As I read some of the stories of Persephone, I was struck by the fact that she did not seem to be constantly miserable in her months in the dark Underworld with her husband, Hades, who had first abducted Persephone with the permission of her father, Zeus. Mythology is full of plots and subplots, but I decided to create this particular series using some of my favorite subjects – flowers and butterflies – around the theme of hope in a dark spot.

Butterflies have multiple meanings to me. They are a symbol for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – “lupus” – an autoimmune chronic disease with multiple manifestations, with treatments but no known cure. One of the manifestations for some people is the so-called “butterfly rash,” and thus, the butterfly as a symbol.

The particular butterflies I chose to use in this series have special meaning to me. The butterfly in “Heart of the Matter” is a tiny hair streak butterfly photographed at the Corrales home of friends Tim and Laurie Price: special friends, special place, special day. People who have brought hope to some of my dark places… The butterfly in “Awakening” is a glass wing butterfly photographed at the Albuquerque BioPark. The butterfly in “Emerged” is a red lacewing photographed at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

I was asked to write a brief description of “Heart of the Matter:”

Persephone, goddess of Spring, was abducted by Hades to become his wife in the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the Earth and of the Harvest, in her anger and grief, caused the earth to go barren in her daughter’s absence, our dark winter months, and to bloom again upon her return in spring. This series is about the annual descent into the underworld of the darkness of Winter and rebirth into the light of Spring. “Heart of the Matter” represents the potential for rebirth – from any dark situation – in the developing bud (the heart) of the sunflower, and in the butterfly (with its heart shape), showing the strength, delicacy, and light of hope.

2015 ANMPAS
Heart of the Matter, from the series, Persephone
2015 ANMPAS
Awakening, from the series, Persephone
2015 ANMPAS
Emerged, from the series, Persephone

I have been asked whether there will be more in this series. Persephone’s story is one full of plots and subplots, all very stimulating for this photographer. These particular three, tell one of the stories I wanted to tell. There are many more I look forward to telling visually, but I do not anticipate black and white sunflowers with colorful butterflies as the vehicles of the next set or sets.

The Persephone series that will be shown at 2015 ANMPAS means much to me on a very personal level, and I thank LeRoy Perea and the 2015 jurors for selecting these three images for the 2015 show. I hope those of you in the Albuquerque area will come out for the show in December.

The Alignment

Dawn, At the Peak of the Venus-Jupiter Alignment

The alignment of Venus and Jupiter, which has been putting on quite a show at dawn in the past couple of weeks, reached the closest point to alignment this weekend. This is the closest these two brightest planets will be until 2021. Sky and Telescope has some diagrams, as well as upcoming things to watch for in the coming days.

I have been photographing this phenomenon in the predawn hours for several days, and will continue to do so for several days. I have truly enjoyed seeing it all and watching the changes in the alignment of these planets.

Even I, however, could not have anticipated the beauty at dawn this morning. I hope you enjoy this image of the peak of the alignment of Venus and Jupiter as seen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

alignment of Venus and Jupiter
The Peak of the Alignment of Venus and Jupiter at Dawn in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque Hawks

Hawks in Albuquerque

Albuquerque hawks, right in the middle of the city, are common. The part of Albuquerque in which I live is known for its high concentration of Cooper’s hawks here in the “urban forest.” in August of 2014 I had a prolonged encounter in my back yard with a young Cooper’s hawk. Since that time, it has been easy to just consider similar appearing hawks to be Cooper’s hawks. This year, however, it has become clear that I am being visited regularly by a beautiful sharp shinned hawk. Not that they are always easy to tell apart, but I am relatively certain that the images I am going to post first are of a sharp shinned hawk, and, given the relatively large size, probably female.

hawks
Sharp Shinned Hawk

This hawk has been seen often in the past month or so. I now managed a good look, and feel comfortable with the identification as a sharp shinned hawk.

Hawks
Sharp Shinned Hawk Landing

These now are some images of a juvenile Cooper’s hawk, with whom I had an extended encounter of August 2014. Part of that encounter was an impressive display of some type, which I have documented elsewhere. At the time I took it to be a territorial display (which it might have been), but I’ve also come to wonder if this juvenile was also putting on a courting display. I’m showing parts of that as individual images, because it allows the viewer to see the underparts in some detail, although from a somewhat unusual perspective as the hawk “mooned” me. 🙂

In this first image, note the pattern on the tail feathers.

hawks
Cooper’s Hawk. Note the pattern on the tail feathers, as well as the rest of the underside
Hawks
Cooper’s Hawk, Showing Underside in Display
hawks
Cooper’s Hawk
hawks
Cooper’s Hawk

These images probably make you wonder, “what is so difficult about telling them apart?” In many ways they really do look alike. A female sharp shinned can be as large as a male Cooper’s. Adults and juveniles of both have different appearances. But, if you are fortunate to have them periodically drop into your back yard, differentiating them becomes – sometimes – a little easier.

Keep in mind that this is a juvenile Cooper’s hawk and an adult sharp shinned hawk. But, note the shape of the head; the relative lengths of the neck; the position of the eyes. Some of the other differences you see here may be related as much to differences in maturity as much as to real differences between the two, but I think the differences are pretty striking when someone has the luxury of seeing them for a few minutes as opposed to passing through overhead in flight. The sharp shinned hawk seems to go for the small song birds. The Cooper’s seems to prefer doves, and this is a difference that has been noted by others as well.

hawks
Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk
hawks
Sharp Shinned Hawk

One thing is for sure: the “urban forest” of Albuquerque, along with the bird feeders placed by residents, make an attractive environment for hawks. I am thrilled to know I have had two different kinds of hawks visit me. Just one more thing I love about living in Albuquerque!

2015 Fine Arts Show

Opening Reception at the 2015 Fine Arts Show at the Old San Ysidro Church, Corrales

The 2015 Fine Arts Show at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales is so typical of the many things I love about New Mexico. The show is very eclectic, with a variety of art. The artist is free to exhibit his/her art in any style he or she wishes. This is in contrast to the shows that require a specific gallery style (I enjoy those shows also!). The setting is a beautiful old adobe structure from 1868. As I have mentioned here over the years, adobe takes a lot of upkeep, and one of the purposes of the show is to raise money for the maintenance of this beautiful old adobe. It sustained a lot of damage in the 2013 “desert hurricane” that swept down the Rio Grande, and at the 2013 and 2014 shows the building was in such bad shape from that I wasn’t sure that much could be done. Some major repair work in the interim had the Old Church looking great this year.

Two dimensional pieces are hung using strong twine with attached hooks, the twine going over hooks in the large beams. Nothing can be hung in any way that harms the adobe or any other part of this historic building. The Visual Arts Council has worked with this for so long that they have no problem hanging the show with the various constraints.

The opening reception is wonderful from the standpoint of seeing old friends, making new friends, and also being delighted when new friends made in the past year come out to the show. That’s the kind of night last night was.

View walking in to the Old Church:

2015 fine arts show
Inside the Old San Ysidro Church, Opening of the 2015 Fine Arts Show

Friends Tim and Laurie Price have come to the reception every year I have had pieces there. Both had had pieces in shows long before I started entering. This year they both entered pieces, and I personally was happy to see that the show committee hung their pieces in close proximity! Tim’s is the photograph, Laurie’s is the watercolor.

2015 Fine Arts Show
Tim Price with His Photograph and Laurie Price with Her Watercolor

Laurie’s watercolor is her view of the crowd waiting to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. It’s whimsical, which shows she has a sense of humor and does not get stressed out by things that are unimportant in the big scheme of life. Later in the evening I was showing Laurie’s piece to a young woman I met this year, Jacque, an exercise specialist from the gym (thank you for coming out!!!!). A woman who overheard me called her husband to come take a second look. They had seen the watercolor earlier and had liked it, but did not pick up on the scene. She said, “Oh, right here is where we were when we were waiting to see the Mona Lisa. This is such a great depiction. I didn’t catch that when I first saw it.”

2015 Fine Arts Show
Laurie Price with Her Watercolor, Showing Crowds at the Louvre Trying to See the Mona Lisa

Tim with his photograph, made with film, of a view through a window that no longer exists. New construction destroyed the building with the window in this image. Tim developed it in his own darkroom, and it is a beautiful image.

2015 Fine Arts Show
Tim Price with His Film Photograph, Developed in His Own Darkroom, of a View That No Longer Exists

Thanks to Tim for the next two images, of me at the show.

This is me with the two little pieces done on aluminum. This image says so much about New Mexico in general and this show in particular. Note the thickness of the adobe walls. Note the trees outside the window still have green leaves. Note the colors of the image on the wall behind my head – the colors of Ne Mexico. Note my little pieces sitting on pedestals instead of hanging. A requirement for this show is that all two dimensional pieces must be hung on the wall, and these pieces do hang. At most shows this would be a big thing. At the end of the evening I was told that the people hanging the show thought they looked better that way. Fine with me – this is a “friendly” show. I did not own a pair of jeans until I retired. For the first couple of Old Church shows I attended (I was still working), I dressed up. I felt out of place, really. Jeans – pretty much what I live in these days, and I don’t feel out of place at all in the Albuquerque/Corrales area.. 🙂

2015 fine arts show
Me, with the Two Small Pieces.
There is so much New Mexico in This Image – Look at the Thickness of Adobe Walls!

“The Observer/The Observed.”
Some photography acquaintances who had not seen this piece before said it was beautiful but that they didn’t know I did art besides photography. I thanked them, and said, “but this is a photograph. Well, it began as a photograph.” I was really happy that they liked it, and also that they took it for a painting.

(The hummingbird is an oil done by Paul Rodenhauser.)

2015 fine arts show
Me, with “The Observer/The Observed”

I have the best neighbors anyone could hope for. Like Tim and Laurie, Burton and Rosemary come to any shows in which I have pieces. This is Burton with Tim. Rosemary had a baby shower for a new grandbaby to attend! Happiness all the way around! I first met Tim and Laurie through the Albuquerque Rose Society. Tim and Burton first met through the local bonsai society. Lots of different overlapping networks in this community!

2015 Fine arts show
Burton and Tim with “The Observer/The Observed”

For me, it was an enjoyable evening all the way around, and I will be out several more times before the 2015 Corrales Fine Arts Show closes Sunday, October 11 at 4:00 pm. If any of you are in the area, think about dropping by.

Corrales Fine Arts Show

27th Annual Corrales Old Church Fine Arts Show, October 3 – 11, 2015

The opening reception for the Corrales Fine Arts Show is, for me, the kick-off event for a very busy week in the Albuquerque area, that of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon event in the world. Many events apart from those of the Balloon Fiesta itself occur in the coming week, in and around Albuquerque and surrounding areas. The Corrales Fine Arts Show has always held a special meaning to me.

This year I was pleased to have all three of my entries juried in.

“A Delicate Balance” will be shown as a small dye-infused aluminum piece:

Corrales fine art show
A Delicate Balance

“Nature’s Rhythms” will also be shown on dye-infused aluminum:

Corrales fine arts show
Nature’s Rhythms

The third piece, “The Observer/The Observed,” which many of you have already seen several times, will be shown as an archival pigment print on fine art canvas:

Corrales fine arts show
The Observer/The Observed

I have to once again thank friend, fellow anthropologist, and writer Jim Stallings for the fact this image is being shown at all. I created this image during a very dark time in this year’s winter, and showed it to only a very few people who were extremely supportive at that time. I had no intention at the time of showing it outside that small circle. Anthropologists, among many others, are aware of myth and ritual around the world involving birds of the crow/raven family. Jim wrote a short poem as a gift to me and my family at that time.

Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow

In the lofty life of a wise old crow
Swaying in the topmost backyard branches
Like a magical clock counting down mortality’s coil,
May it not be in some secret way
We the awed observers
Have all along been honored by a wiser watcher?

– Jim Stallings

After Jim wrote the poem, I decided to show it to others. It has been juried in to every show to which I have entered it. Thanks, Jim.

The opening reception is always a special evening for me, but this year will be even more so. Friends Tim (photographer) and Laurie (watercolorist), who have always come to the opening reception to support me, each have pieces in this year’s show! Tim Price will have “Through the Concrete Window,” a photograph done on film and developed in his own darkroom. Laurie Price will have “La Joconde,” her view of what waiting in the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa was like. You may preview their work on Tim’s blog, and then see it this week at the Old San Ysisdro Church in Corrales.

Times for the show:
October 3 – 10
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
October 11
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Admission is free, as is parking.

A portion of all proceeds is donated for the preservation and care of the Old San Ysidro Church. Deconsecrated some years ago, the structure is important in the life of the community. I hope my friends in the Albuquerque area can visit during the show, and also those coming to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta.