Art in all shapes and sizes

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By Kirsten Laskey

Linda Garlick, an artist from Taos, fell into her trade by accident. “I needed money as a single mom supporting a child,” she said. “I decided to do Christmas ornaments of retablos and they sold really well.”


Her art expanded as she turned to printing, which allowed Garlick to produce more retablos at a reduced price.

“Then they took over my life and became a real business,” she said. “I feel like this is what I was suppose to do … they changed my life.”

Garlick took her art to the Los Alamos Arts Council Spring Arts and Crafts fair between 11 to 12 years ago. It was not a great experience because it snowed, but the venue proved that it had a lot of value. “I know it’s a great show when the weather is good,” she said.

As a result, Garlick, along with her son, will set up a booth at this year’s fair.

The 43rd Annual Spring Arts and Crafts Fair will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on the lawn at Fuller Lodge.

Garlick is one of more than a hundred artists who will participate in this year’s fair.

Another artist who will show his work is John Staple.

Staple, who also lives in Taos, will display his porcelain pottery for the first time at Fuller Lodge.

“I’ve heard good things about it and I had heard that pottery, in particular, is well supported in the neighborhood,” Staple said. “I’m encouraged to meet patrons and to sell my work on Saturday.”

Staple said he was introduced to his art while attending college in California. He explained he took a ceramics class and fell in love with the art form.

He chose to work with porcelain because it is a great medium for color.

Porcelain, by nature, is very white, Staple said. Light reflects off of a white surface with a certain luminescence.

“That’s why I chose porcelain so my colors would be bright and stand out,” he explained.

Staple added, “My work is functional, one-of-a-kind porcelain pottery. I use six to 10 colors on my pottery, which I hand paint on, then I enhance the design using motifs and symbols from different cultures around the world. I’ve traveled extensively and pottery is ancient technique and I like enhancing it with symbols of a universal nature such as stick figure birds from Mesopotamia, patterns from ancient Crete and leaf branch motifs from Japan.”

Robert O’Dean, a third artist to participate in the fair, is also impacted by what he sees during his travels – both in New Mexico and throughout the country.

The former Los Alamos resident who now resigns in Eldorado, described New Mexico in a press release as a “photographer’s paradise with all its natural beauty.”

After buying some bird feeders and a bird bath for the backyard, O’Dean said in the release he became interested in bird photography. Additionally, he wrote in the press release that he enjoys snapping shots of moose and elk in Colorado and Wyoming as well as “taking the motor home to various locations and bringing along a motorcycle, which allows us to get back in the boonies looking for subjects.”

Throughout his life, O’Dean said in the announcement he has always owned a camera.

One of his fondest memories occurred while attending a coffee shop concert that featured Jim (Roger) McGuinn of the Byrds in Madison, Wyo. As O’Dean snapped pictures of the musician, a reporter from the local underground paper asked him if he would take photos during an interview with McGuinn the next day.

He wrote in the press release, “I remember thinking to myself, ‘boy, can life get any better than this.’ It turned out to be a great interview and I was sold on this photography stuff.”

These three artists’ work is just the tip of the iceberg of what will be seen at the arts and crafts fair.

The arts council has hosted the fair every spring since 1967. All the work must be handmade or crafted and must have originated from New Mexico.

In addition to the visual arts, Sol y Luna will provide some audio artistry throughout the fair.

Also, lunch will be sold at the Coffeehouse Café and John Henry will sell his Kettle Korn.

The Spring Arts and Crafts Fair is a major fundraising event for the Los Alamos Arts Council.

Proceeds from booth rental fees are used to present cultural programs throughout the year. These programs include the Kite Festival, Missoula Children’s Theater, the free Brown Bag concert series, the Pumpkin Glow, Scarecrow Contest, senior student recitals and Guitars and Gateaux series.

Support for the arts council can be done in other ways besides attending the arts and crafts fair. People can become a member of the arts council. Individual memberships are $15.

 For more information, call 663-0477or visit www.laartscouncil.org.