The Art of Love

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Española artists put on an art show with heart

By Jennifer Garcia

Hearts, cards, jewelry, stuffed animals, candy and a night out are all some of the usual Valentine’s Day gift ideas for hopeless romantics, but this year, a trio of Española artists are offering a different type of gift. The gift of art.
Nikki Bustos, Cruz Lopez and Toby Morfin collaborated to put together “The Art of Love,” a show featuring art pieces devoted to the theme of love. The show opens from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 11, at the Bond House Museum in Española, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Lopez and Morfin are no strangers to doing shows together — in fact, they put on a Dia de Los Muertos show that ran for three days last fall at Northern New Mexico College.
They said that show was so successful that they began planning “The Art of Love” show almost immediately after “Muertos” ended.
“The Art of Love” show however, is different because Bustos has been brought into the fold. The duo has known Bustos for several years and Lopez said she’s part of a circle of artists that gets together frequently to work on their art.
“We get together about five times a month,” Bustos said, “but Cruz and Toby get together as much as they can.”
Despite the different theme, Morfin said there will be no difference in the quality of work displayed.
“The body of work will be based on Valentine’s Day and love,” he said. “It’ll be cool to do something like this. The energy will be different.”
Morfin said none of them have ever done a show like this one.
“We’re trying to reach out to people,” he said.
“We have a good fan base,” Lopez said. “We thought this would be a good occasion to do another show.”
Lopez wanted to assure those who attend that the works chosen for the show are not random pieces.
“They fit with the holiday,” he said.
 “We already had some work completed,” Morfin said. “We’ll have a solid body of work. I have eight fresh pieces that I’ve never shown. Cruz’s work is new and Nikki’s work is new.”
Morfin said his art pieces will focus on the heart.
“I’ve always liked to draw the heart. It’s just part of me,” he said. It’s in my nature.”
The trio will display approximately 35 pieces, which will include black and white photography as well as sculptures and paintings.
Though Bustos is focusing on black and white photography for this show, she also does wood carving, tinwork and pottery. In addition, she teaches art in the Pojoaque Valley School District and has a degree in fine arts.
Some of her photographs are of a religious nature and feature the Matachines of Alcalde, a group of dancers that perform a traditional, religious Spanish dance a few times a year, mainly around Easter and Christmas.
“Northern New Mexico is one of the only places they still do that,” Bustos said. “It’s important to keep these traditions alive and teach them to the youth.”
She said she’s always been appreciative of the culture of New Mexico.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to so many beautiful places. It’s hard not to be inspired when you live here,” she said.
Lopez said he’s looking forward to this show because the energy of a new show has pushed them to do better art.
“It’s pushed us to be prolific artists,” he said. “Knowing that a show is coming up gives us the energy to produce (art). We’re excited to show our fans our work. It (showing) keeps us fresh, sharp and creative.”
The “Art of Love” show will run through Feb. 28 at the Bond House Museum, 710 Bond St., Española. The artwork can be viewed during regular museum hours, noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. A special viewing time has been established for those who can’t make it during regular museum hours; from noon-5 p.m. Feb. 27.
Lopez and Morfin are currently selling numbered, signed posters for the show for $20 each. To view the posters or some of the artwork on display, visit www.cruzlopezart.com, or www.tobymorfinart.com. Contact Lopez at cruz@cruzlopezart.com or 505-225-0345. Morfin may be contacted at morfinart@hotmail.com or 505-919-9288. Contact Bustos at nikki_rowdeez@hot
mail.com or 505-550-6948.