Art traditions to be honored at exhibit

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By Special to the Monitor

The Art Center at Fuller Lodge invites the public to the opening reception for its newest exhibit, Traditional Fine Arts and Crafts, from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

A quick glance at a patchwork collection of Polaroid photos might inspire the question, What is traditional in fine art and crafts? Artist Ivan Faucon points out the religious theme as one of the traditional foundations in art. Yet, his work suggests another question: Is there now a tradition of the avant-garde and the radical in art? Faucons triptych, Homage to Lawrence Weiner: The Residue of a Flare Ignited Upon a Boundary, follows a style developed by David Hockney in which the photographer captures a scene while remaining stationary, moving only the cameras point of view. If teaching this technique has become almost de rigueur in high school photography classes, does this qualify the style itself as traditional?

Showing in the Art Center Gallery from May 9 June 14, Traditional Fine Arts and Crafts features the work of 30 regional artists, thus reflecting a communitys interpretation of traditional. In Los Alamos, which hosts glamorous New Years Eve galas in a log cabin, its not surprising that this interpretation crosses between old and new. Faucons modern interpretation of the traditional playfully complements Gary Larsons works in egg tempera, which reflect a centuries-old Dutch style, with his piece Young Master reminiscent of Albrecht Drers self-portrait, both call forth religious imagery. Chris Judson incorporates religious imagery as well, capturing a dove in her stained glass piece Rise.

Maria Cole shows oil portraits, her subject a woman with Rembrandt-esque cherry cheeks and lips. Red Ribbon, Urzsula Andrejczuks oil painting of an Anasazi pot, balances classic styling with cultural tradition, nesting comfortably with Elizabeth Bears pine needle baskets and Grace Parlimans highly polished wooden vases inlaid with stone. Alex Sullivans weavings reflect a native-style pattern.

Paula Reids Traditions from the Land Chimay takes the tradition of culture back to the earth, with a family seated before an adobe home smiling over baskets overflowing with fruit and vegetables. Eliza Schmids oil painting, Santa Maria de la Paz, portrays an adobe church in the style familiar to New Mexico. Schmid also shows a still life, Fading Roses II, which looks impressionist beside Molly Hydes Nectarines, a reflection of the ambiance of the Renaissance. Alternatively, Jerry Beguins use of modern technology allowed him to capture a bee in flight along with garden flowers in Hover Fly.

Fran Stovall captures an oft-considered first thought of traditional with her stained-glass Rose Lamp, and offers a pastel landscape, Dutchess Castle, as well. Conversely, Christine Brown uses a traditional technique, solarized printing, to produce an abstract image. Weavers Sheila Burke and Mary Cost both feature pieces with bold color, but where Burke favors straight lines, Cost integrates the curves of nature, capturing the images of sand dunes and flowers. Melissa Alexander enters this show with a delicately knitted vest, Pretty in Pink. Ann Shafer used alpaca wool she brought from Peru for her pieces Peruvian Memories and Rose Garden.

The remaining artists focus on a traditional theme: landscapes. Janet Shaw Amtmann, Robert Estep, Nancy Kriebel, Phil Kilgour and Roberta Wellems all paint scenes familiar to northern New Mexico, while Janice Muir went farther afield with her Saguaro. Landscapes in photographs range from Corinna Stoeffls dramatic sunsets to Kimber Barbers softly misted scenes, Jim ODonnells active animal scenes and Robert Crowleys colorful fall and winter scenes. Crowleys Balloons Ascending! extends the concept of cultural tradition with a contemporary theme.

In the Portal Gallery, Maria Jonsson shows her most recent work, which combines painted surfaces and woven structures. She first paints the surfaces then by weaving further manipulates them into new compositions.

The world of fine art tends to categorize artists into one medium or another, Jonsson said. I feel the importance to break down those barriers to allow the creative process complete freedom.