Meet Artists and See Art Demos at Party on the Patio

Kris Parrott demonstrates stone carving.

Kris Parrott demonstrates stone carving.

You’ll have an opportunity to meet artists and see art demos Saturday August 15 as Amapola Gallery launches its 35th year anniversary celebration.

“Show and tell” provides a wonderful opportunity for your to learn more about our artists and how they do what they do. Throughout the day, you’ll find different artists demonstrating techniques, answering questions, and helping you have a great time.

Demonstrations will be ongoing from 10am to 5pm, inside and outside. Here’s a recap of what you can expect:

10:00am – 12:30pm

Vera Russell – painting demonstration – inside

Julie Murray – painting pottery demonstration – outside

Anita Daniels – glass demonstration – outside

Debra Montoya, mosaic demonstration – outside

Annette Galvano, fiber demonstration – outside

Meet Annette Galvano and see her demonstrate her fabulous fiber work.

Annette Galvano demonstrates fiber work.

12:30 – 3:00pm

Kay Richards, painting demonstration, inside

Amy Sproul, book making demonstration, outside

Diane Swanson, glass demonstration, outside

Richard Wolfson, poetry demonstration, outside

Mary Sharpe-Davis, ceramics demonstration, outside

Mary Ellen Merrigan demonstrates hand-made cards.

Mary Ellen Merrigan demonstrates hand-crafted cards.


Mary Ellen Merrigan, jewelry demonstration, inside

Denise Ballou, painting demonstration, inside

Diana Kirkpatrick, jewelry demonstration, inside

Anita Daniels, glass demonstration, outside

Cristina Diaz-Arntzen, fiber demonstration, outside

Kristin Parrott, stone carving demonstration, outside

Dare we say there will be even more going on?

Upstairs, we will feature art for $35 in honor of our 35 years in Old Town. Visit each artists’ area and see the wonderful and affordable displays.

Welcome to Amapola Artists’ Co-op Gallery where we’re more than a flash in the pan. Help us celebrate our 35 years in business.

When is an artisans’ gallery also a gift shop? When is a gift shop also a gallery? When it’s Amapola Gallery! For all your decorating, gift-giving and souvenir needs, visit Amapola Gallery.

Remember, Albuquerque + Artisans = Amapola Gallery.

Albuquerque + Artisans = Amapola


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Old Town Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery Celebrates 35 Years in Business

Four Women Artists Lead the 35th Anniversary Events

In an Old Town Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery, four Amapola women illustrate much that is good about New Mexico and her art community. They are a paper artist, a glass artist, a photographer and a watercolorist.

Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery features the work of origami artist Vicki Bolen.

Vicki Bolen first learned the art of origami 25 years ago. She combines the origami crane figure with words, stitchery, collage. She calls herself a “hybrid printmaker” to create something complex out of the simple, working to “keep the viewer captivated.” She could be said to push artistic boundaries as an art form.

See the glass work of Anita Daniels at Amapola Gallery, an Albuquerque Co-op art Gallery.

Anita Daniels’ degree is in chemistry and industrial arts and she integrates this knowledge into contemporary fused glass pieces. She says she loves glass, “the chemical processes, the endless variety of color and all the possibilities of design.” Her newest work involves manipulating the liquid glass to create pieces of amazing visual depth.

Photographer Mikki Roth exhibits at Amapola Gallery, an Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery.

Photographer Mikki Roth grew up in New York but when she moved to New Mexico thirty years ago she adopted the area as her “choice” home. Her passion for photography evolved from interests both in nature and in the many cultures of the Southwest. She offers her viewers “a permanent record of beauty.

Watercolorist Katherine Gauntt displays at Amapola Gallery, an Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery.

Watercolorist Katherine Gauntt manipulates light and shadow to get the most drama possible in her interpretations of landscapes, chickens, ballerinas, horses. She strives to capture “the magical uniqueness and drama of each subject” with a technique grounded in her mastery of drawing.

All of these women have stepped out of their studios this summer to work as chairwomen of the events celebrating Amapola’s 35th year in business. Vicki, clearly a masochist (though a highly organized one) is in charge of the overall celebration which takes place over 35 days, beginning with our Party on the Patio on Saturday, August 15.

Party on the Patio is Anita Daniels’ baby, complete with show-and-tell-demos by more than a dozen of our artist members, refreshments, and more.

That day also kicks off 35 days of showcasing art pieces for $35 each, designated in each artists’ display area in the gallery. This will be highlighted with a reception August 29, another chance to meet and chat with us while you enjoy the art. The special $35 displays and reception are to be organized and overseen by Mikki Roth, though the $35 items remain through our Alumni Party on Sunday, September 12, the concluding event for our 35-day-long, 35th year celebration.

Katherine Gauntt is busy rounding up past Directors of our co-op as well as other alumni but she welcomes all of you to the party.

Organizing artists is a lot like herding Gila Monsters. We’re as independent as cats but usually slower to move! Our chairwomen, with their fabulous paper-glass-photographic-watercolor art, deserve a round of applause.

Come see the wonders each of these woman artists produce in their art time, and keep our anniversary events on your calendar, too. We’ll love to see you!

Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery Conclusion:

Explore Amapola Gallery, an Old Town Albuquerque Co-op Art Gallery and join us for these 35th year Anniversary Events:

  • August 15, 2015 – 10a-5p – Party on the Patio, featuring more than 12 show and tell artist demos
  • August 15 through September 13, 2015 – Choice $35 items in each artist’s display space
  • August 29, 2015 – 10a-5p – Super $35 Sale. A select grouping of items at 1980 prices
  • September 13, 2015 – 10a-5p Finale celebration. Ribbon cutting at 11am, cake all day, honoring all Amapola past and present directors and all Alumni.

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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Featured Artists Show for August is “Dog Days of Summer”

About our Featured Artists Show for August

Four featured artists team up to showcase our theme, “Dog Days of Summer:” Amy Sproul, handmade paper collage and boxed books; Cristina Diaz-Arntzen, punch quilts, watercolorist Barbara B.J. Briscoe and clay artist Julie Murray.

Our gem of the month is peridot, a stone emitting a warm, friendly energy.

Amy Sproul is a featured artist for August

Amy Sproul incorporates handmade paper into her botanical assemblages, books and boxes. She states, “I am inspired by natural materials and they define my art. The southwestern landscape features magnificent vistas of mountains and deserts, but when I am outdoors, I am most intrigued by the details – the way a root twists in red earth, the veins in a leaf, its edges, or the excitement of opening a seed pod.”

This punch quilt wall hanging is from featured artist August Cristina Diaz-Arntzen.

Cristina Diaz-Arntzen has an amazing knack for finding just the right bits of fabric for her color-intense, light-weight wall art. As she puts it, “I’ve been enjoying and creating punch quilts since 2006. My passion and technique for the ‘no sew’ method to create a punch quilt using multicolored fabrics and textures, foam board, batting and a glue stick allows me to design and create a one-of-a-kind unique wall hanging.”

This watercolor painting is from August featured artist BJ Briscoe at Amapola Gallery.

B.J. Briscoe reflects the special light of New Mexico in her subtle landscapes and flower paintings. She especially likes the phrase, “paint what you love.” Because New Mexico has such intense skies and wonderful light to color the high deserts and mountains, it is a joyous challenge for her to attempt to express those in watercolor.

Julie Murray, featured artist for August, presents this dragonfly container at Amapola Gallery.

Julie Murray totally immerses herself in the process when she works with clay, transcending time and conscious thought. As she explains, the clay decides what it will become. “I try to learn something new every day, to improve and inspire — to make my pottery useful, special and unique. I create from the heart – what I do is truly a labor of love.”

The four featured artists for August welcome the public with a reception 1pm – 3pm Sunday August 2, 2015. There is no charge for the reception and refreshments will be served.

“Dog Days of Summer” will be on display through August 31, 2015.

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Quilts and Quilting Art a Practical Specialty of Marge Farmer-Page

This is a view of the quilts and quilting art and macrame art from Marge Farmer-Page at Amapola Gallery.

Marge Farmer-Page came to quilts and quilting art through a series of happy accidents. Like most of the members of Amapola, she began her art career in the previous millennium. Her family had recently moved to Albuquerque.

During tax season she worked for a major tax return company, and worked full-time as a homemaker with three sons. She was, she says, very lonesome. Then the two sons in Boy Scouts took up knot-tying. Marge learned all she could from them and never looked back.

At a show in Santa Fe in 1979, Jean Hayes, a gallery founder, saw Marge’s macrame and invited her to join Amapola. For years Marge sold her wine racks and plant holders in the gallery, but an eventual result is osteoarthritis in her thumbs. Talk about no good deed going unpunished!

After many years of homemaking, tax returns, working as a Woman Friday for a manufacturer of laser markers, and taking over as bookkeeper for Amapola, Marge found herself walking into a quilt show in answer to an ad for employment. A passion was born.

This is a Christmas quilt from Marge Farmer-Page on display at Amapola Gallery.

Marge put her meticulous attention to line and detail to work on quilting. She now displays cheerful, colorful quilts as well as pillow slips, napkins and place mats, aprons, potholders and table runner. She prefers wall hangings, which she sews using a tucking process she learned in classes at the quilt shop.

She never stops learning, experimenting and inventing new combinations.

“I love knowing that someone appreciates and will use my pieces,” she says. “It’s the ultimate accolade for every artist.”

So: homemaker, scouting, knots, Amapola, arthritis, quilts! There’s a progression. It’s all in the work of member artist Marge Farmer-Page, one of Amapola Gallery’s original members.

Come to Amapola and see Marge’s work as well as the works of 39 other member and guest artists. Amapola Gallery, an artist’s cooperative, celebrates its 35th year this year with events throughout August and September.

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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Encaustic Art Presented by Guest Member Artist

Join us in welcoming Tricia Simmons as our newest guest member artist at Amapola Gallery.

Tricia spent most of her life in the Chicago area, where she raised her five children. Over the years she worked as a registered nurse, massage therapist and aromatherapist before moving to Albuquerque nearly a decade ago. She, with her cat and dog, and her sister for company, drove down to see a fellow Tricia had met on e-harmony. The sister flew home but Tricia stayed, and is still enjoying the relationship made in on-line heaven. (See! It can work!)

See Dubai Door, encaustic art from Tricia Simmons at Amapola Gallery.

Tricia’s art background includes photography and monotype, fabric art, ceramic jewelry and vessels, as well as jewelry-making using a variety of metal clays. However, her current work provides a medium new to Amapola Gallery: encaustic.

Encaustic uses a combination of bees wax and damar resin, a tree sap. This is melted and applied hot to the background material, usually some type of wood board. The board can be pre-painted, and painted between wax layers, with a vast variety of media, including oil paint mixed with the encaustic medium itself.

You can tinker with the surface before the encaustic is applied, or afterwards, while the wax is still warm. A torch or heat gun fuses the piece between the applied layers of color. The result is impervious to moisture but not to great heat. (You wouldn’t want to stash your encaustic art in a hot car!)

Encaustic art entitled Sun, Moon and Aleph from Tricia Simmons is on display at Amapola Gallery.

The ancient Romans and Egyptians made paintings using encaustic. A Smithsonian Magazine article talks about Fayum portraits as the oldest of modernist paintings. Google the Fayum portraits – they’re gorgeous.

Better yet, come welcome Tricia Simmons to Amapola and see her beautiful eucaustic art in person.

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Woodwork Art Addresses Form and Function

Amapola Gallery’s Woodwork Art by Neal Drago and Mark McCallaster

“Woodworking requires a completely different kind of thinking and problem-solving ability than writing. With writing, you take a set of facts and ideas, and you reason your way forward to a story that pulls them together. With woodworking, you start with an end product in mind, and reason your way backward to the raw wood.” -Joshua Foer

We have a pair of woodwork art makers at Amapola Gallery: Neal Drago and Mark McAllaster. Neal creates boxes in lyrical, organic shapes. Mark turns graceful bowls in a variety of sizes and shapes. They have some things in common: they’re both men (“Yay! I say.) and they both work in wood. Otherwise…

 This is a tall ring woodwork art box from Neal Drago at Amapola Gallery.

Neal Drago refers to his lovely boxes as “micro-wood working” because he began his wood career by building his own home. He and wife .Martie Anspach (who shows her copperplate etchings at Amapola) began their East Mountain home in 1977. It was habitable, he says, by 1981, but remains a project still on-going.

Their carpenter neighbor provided help and what amounted to a wood-working tutorial. For the big stuff! The boxes began about 15 years ago when Neal retired after 45 years as an auto mechanic. (You swear you never knew an honest mechanic? Come meet Neal!)

This is a square woodwork art box from Neal Drago at Amapola Gallery.

Neal begins with a raw block of wood. He studies the grain structure to see how he can use it to best effect. The shapes evolve. “I can’t draw worth a darn!” He utilizes a series of French Curves in various combinations to please his own eye. A French curve is a template, usually five plastic curve plates in one set. He also utilizes boat curves, which are on a larger scale. A paisley, points out Martie, is a French curve. Neal sketches out an approximate desired shape on the wood block itself. A smooth transition between one curve and the next is critical, and “sanding is the essence of the box.” Neal’s boxes may occasionally seem similar, but no two are ever alike.

Mark McAllaster trained in mechanical design and spent over 40 years at Sandia National Labs, putting  his design expertise to work. He always enjoyed working with his hands, and after retirement he turned a 35-year wood-turning hobby into a passion.


Mark does not construct his boxes, he turns them on a lathe, sort of organized deconstruction of a chunk of wood. Any finished wood bowl that’s round, he says, was spun on a lathe. The wood is held in place and spun, while various tools are used to refine the shape as it’s spinning.

Mark uses New Mexico mountain mahogany, big chunks of mesquite, and Arizona ironwood. Bolivian rosewood, like ironwood, is extremely hard, but because of that, both polish up with great beauty. Some wood cannot be bought in a log or large block, so Mark glues (laminates) the smaller pieces together, matching woods of similar hardness to facilitate not just the turning but the finishing.

This woodwork art is from Mark McAllaster at Amapola Gallery.

Mark says deciding on and cutting each shape is the most fun — the initial generation of form. Sanding is least favorite but most critical. (Sounds like Neal, there.)

Come to think of it, Mark and Neal also share their love of the wood itself. Not such a contrast after all.

Come compare woodwork art for yourself – box or bowl?

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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July Featured Artists Show at Amapola Gallery

July Featured Artists Show “Scarlet Sunsets”

During the summer months Amapola offers July Featured Artists Show with the theme, “Scarlet Sunsets.” The exhibit, which continues the Gallery’s focus on gems of the month, is suggested by the ruby, a stone which encourages the wearer to follow his or her bliss.

You’ll find bliss as you experience works by featured artists Marti Anspach, etchings; Neal Drago, wooden boxes; Diana Kirkpatrick, sterling jewelry; and Lynda Burch, watercolor and mixed media paintings.

Marti evokes the natural world in her meticulous etchings, lino cuts and other prints.

Art from Martie Anspach, Featured Artist July at Amapola Gallery.

Neal conjures boxes from blocks of wood and sets a turquoise gem in each finished piece.

Boxes such as this with a turquoise insert are the work of Featured Artist Neil Drago at Amapola Gallery.

Diana creates art to wear with sterling and gemstones.

These necklaces are the work of July Featured Artist Diana Kirkpatrick at Amapola Gallery.

Lynda’s passions are color and experimentation to express emotion.

This painting is by Lynda Burch, featured artists July at Amapola Gallery.

The featured artist reception, 1 to 3pm, Sunday July 12, is open to the public.

Amapola Gallery is an artist co-operative in Old Town Albuquerque. Earlier this year, we featured a blog post about the Amapola system of featured artists. Read more at this link.

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Meet Guest Member Artists New to Amapola Gallery

Guest Member Artists Julie Murray and Diana Swanson join Amapola Gallery

Join us as we share information about guest member artists Julie Murray and Diana Swanson.

Julie Murray remembers how, as a little girl in Northern Minnesota, she made pinch pots out of clay she found near her parents’ lake cabin.

See large and small pottery bowls by Julie Murray.She has made potting her hobby since high school. Since moving to New Mexico in 2013, ceramics have been her focus.

See functional pottery from guest member artist Julie Murray.

Though she does accept commissions for four of these or eight of those, she prefers to play and follow the clay. She also enjoys gardening. Just can’t get her out of the earth! (dirt)

Diana Swanson began playing with glass 40 years ago when she took classes in stained glass at a community college.

See the fused glass work of guest member artist Diana Swanson at Amapola Gallery.

In 2007 she had a hip replacement. Prior to that, largely immobile, she watched a lot of do-it-yourself shows on television, which got her interested in glass fusion. It was then she bought her first kiln. “I was always a crafter, but I didn’t find my passion until I discovered glass fusion.” She now laughs and calls herself a “glassaholic.”

Fused Glass of Diana Swanson, guest member artist, is now at Amapola Gallery.

She was born and raised in Janiy, Wyoming, lied in Albuquerque for a time in the 1970s and spent 22 years in the Palm Springs, CA area. She moved here permanently in 2008.

Julia and Diana’s work adds a new sparkle to Amapola’s wide and wondrous variety. Come on up, welcome them, and see for yourself.

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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Memorial Showcase at Amapola Gallery

This is a picture of the Mabel Culpepper Memorial showcase.

Memorial Showcase in loving memory of Mabel Culpepper at Amapola Gallery

When you enter the Romero House on your way up to Amapola Gallery, you will see a beautiful display case at the bottom of the stairs.

This case holds examples of the work of half our members at a time. It provides the viewer a glimpse of the variety of visual and tactile wonders waiting upstairs.

A generous legacy from Mabel Culpepper (June 20, 1936 – October 24, 2013) made this case a reality. It was on our wish list for years.

Mabel, working primarily in oils and acrylics joined Amapola Gallery in January 1995. She was a wonderful member, participating in all the many aspects of running the gallery.

Her art was delightful, reflecting on a childhood spent on her father’s farm: dogs, horses, pigs, old trucks. She never met a critter she couldn’t capture the essence of, including zoo animals. I should know. I own three of her small paintings.

Mabel’s entire body of artwork conveys simplicity, serenity and peace. It was a grief to lose her, but her memory will remain a gift to all who knew her.

Our memorial showcase display is sincerely dedicated to her, “In Loving Memory.”


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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The Onion Fine Oil Painting

The onion – allium cepa – is a plant of the lily family. It has an edible bulb with a strong, sharp smell and taste. The dictionary says so!

Onions range in color from white to red. The American variety is said to be the most pungent.

All onins are cousins of the Easter lily. Who would make that association?

So valued have onions been through the centuries, that the ancient Egyptians used them in taking oaths, as we might use a copy of the Bible. One hand was held in the air, while the other held an onion. Now that’s a terrific visual, don’t you think?

This botanical marvel is strikingly represented at Amapola in a work by oil painter Vera Russell.

This is Vera Russell's oil painting of an onion.

With a finished size of 12″ x 12″ in a black wood frame, these bulbs pack a punch far greater than their size. The painting portrays a pair of onions – Vidalia? Yellow? that virtually emanate pungency.

Their skins are translucent and papery, just ready to flake off. Their solid, round bodies nestle into the dusky blue tablecloth. Their solidity validates the Egyptian devotion to their wonderfulness.

The “Garden Guide” (1930) declares, “Onions are indispensable.” One of the most famous of quotes about onions comes from Will Rogers:

“An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.”

For the onion lover among you, this painting surely should be. Come, take a whiff!

To read more about onions, check out the National Onion Association.

Amapola Gallery’s oil painting of The Onion was done by Vera Russell. She says:

Art has always been my voice. “Hey, did you notice?…  ordinary things  that catch a special moment  and record it for all time…the high light on an apple, the vigil for an ailing pope, a landscape or skyscape that draws your attention or takes your breath away.”

Amapola Gallery is home to 40 member artists including Vera Russell.

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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