Local artist featured in new book

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By Carol A. Clark

Longtime Los Alamos fiber artist Katy Korkos is featured in a new book, “The Quilting Arts Book,” available at Otowi Station bookstore on Central Avenue, and at Pandy’s Quilt Store in White Rock this holiday season.

The book is the first that Quilting Arts Magazine has published and is a composite of special articles that appeared in the magazine, including one by Korkos.

“My article is about filling your art with meaning,” Korkos said. “When creating art, any kind of art, the important thing is getting your message across. That’s what makes the difference between art and craft for me.”

Korkos praised the book’s editor for making the literary process easy and interesting.

“It’s just been great working with Patricia Bolton,” Korkos said. “The book is filled with interesting and informative articles as well as amazing art by a variety of artists.”

A fiber collage created by Korkos highlights the book’s cover and several pieces of her artwork are featured inside.

“I was thrilled when I saw the book for the first time,” she said. “It was so unexpected.”

Korkos’ artwork featured in the book, along with dozens more, include her collages, quilts, works on paper and altered books are on exhibit in the upstairs gallery of Mesa Public Library through Dec. 31.

The show is called “A Personal Ornithology and all of her work is available for purchase. A reception to meet the artist is set for 2-4 p.m. Sunday in the upstairs gallery.

Korkos has a particular interest in birds, which is reflected in much of her work.

“I’m drawn to birds because of all that they symbolize to me: flight, freedom, song, language, nesting and beauty,” she said. “In my December show, every piece has something to do with birds.”

Korkos first became interested in creating art after graduating from college. “The first time I feel I really ‘saw’ art I was 14,” she said. “I was with my family and we visited a Van Gogh exhibit at the Guggenheim in New York City on our way to spend a year in England,” she said. “I was blown away by the intensity of the experience.”

Korkos has evolved into a passionate artist who because of her self-described impatience, typically works on at least four pieces simultaneously. “I start 50 or 60 pieces a year and only finish about a quarter of them,” she said. “Color and scale have always been important to me, although I never considered myself an artist until I moved to New Mexico, and like so many others, found myself driven to create.”

Korkos recalled her first art show, which was held at the Jemez Views Gallery in Jemez Springs. She showed a collection of quilts she had created over several years.

Anyone who frequented Katherine’s Restaurant in White Rock is familiar with Korkos and her work, which decorated the restaurant’s walls for more than two decades.

She and her husband, David Korkos, owned and operated the restaurant for 23 years before selling the property in 2006.

Korkos now serves as membership coordinator for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.