Artist Cooperative Operative at Amapola

After a hundred years anybody can use a little restorative attention. At a robust 101, Romero House on Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza, home to Amapola Gallery, is no different.

Last year’s renovation transformed the ground floor and saw the establishment of Yay! Yogurt and a customers’ lounge complete with free wi -fi. Now it’s Amapola Gallery’s turn.

This painting is "Blowing in the Wind" by Vera Russell, head painter at Amapola Gallery.

Thanks to a team of stalwarts headed by oil painter Vera Russell, our artist cooperative is undergoing a bit of a facelift. Instead of a (lucky) canvas, Vera and her troop of transformers are painting the walls and display cubes.

To avoid as much disruption as possible, Russell’s Rustlers are painting one or two rooms at a time, so most of our oils, acrylics, ceramics, silver and beadwork, glass, quilts, feltwork, watercolors, stone carvings and more are available to you, our appreciative and appreciated public.

Special kudos to boss Vera and the folks who painstakingly paint the gaps between the slats in our slatwall. Geez what a job! nimbly and patiently undertaken by Carol Sparks, and Pat Oliver with an assist by Katherine Gauntt. (Hmmm. All three watercolorists. Come in and compare their styles and subject matter!)

Other Russell’s Rustlers include Neal Drago and Martie Anspach (wood and printmaking, respectively), Becky Olesen (acrylics), B.J.Briscoe (watercolor), Cristina Diaz – Arntzen (punch quilts), Sandra Moench (ceramics) and Ann Connely (acrylics.) Apologies to anyone  inadvertently omitted. Thank yous to each and every volunteer!

As you can imagine, other folks are taking down artwork, display props and jewelry towers in advance of the onslaught and then replacing it all. It’s a real co -operative effort. (Pardon the pun.) But you don’t need to imagine — come see for yourselves!

After a lifetime batting words around like shuttlecocks in an endless game of badminton, it is a pleasure to use them to promote Old Town and my fellow artists at Amapola Gallery. –Kristin Parrott, carver, painter and acorn stuffer

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