10 Terrific Tidbits About Old Town Albuquerque

Get Re-Acquainted With Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque can fall off your radar. It’s truly an Albuquerque treasure and we invite you to brush up on Old Town with these 10 Terrific Tidbits:

This sculpture is at the entrance to Old Town Albuquerque and Amapola Gallery.

10. Walking in Old Town means you walk in the steps of the Conquistadors. It’s a tiny area with a big impact. Shall we say Historic Old Town Albuquerque?

9. Hotel Albuquerque sits on the site of a “pueblo” formed by Native Americans gathered for Spanish protection. Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town can also boast Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame 2015, a unique accolade granted only to those businesses that have won the Certificate of Excellence for five years in a row.

8. Easily-accessed parking is readily available behind La Hacienda del Rio restaurant. Enter from the Plaza and park all day for $5.

7. New Mexico Bead and Fetish at 401 Romero NW is a great bead store, but I love their affordably priced Zuni and Navajo fetishes!

6. Church Street Cafe, on block-long — Church Street! (!) Huevos rancheros! Oh, baby!

5. “Hidden chapel (don’t know name) is a serene and lovely oasis of contemplation.

4. San Felipe de Neri Church on the Plaza is an active church filled with both history as well as beauty and sanctity, and well worth a visit.

3. The Historic Old Town Albuquerque Plaza itself is a pleasure, with benches, shade (in season, of course), frequent city-sponsored entertainment and a view of…

2. Yay! Yogurt. At 205 Romero NW, right on the Plaza, this shop offers coffee, soft drinks, water, and frozen yogurt in fantastic favors, as well as a smorgasbord of toppings. Enjoy them in the comfy lounge with free wi-fi so you can rest before coming upstairs to…

These are the stairs to Amapola Gallery, on Historic Old Town Albuquerque Plaza.

1. Amapola Gallery! This artists’ co-operative with 40 local members offers a vast and exciting array of both collectible and giftable art and fine crafts, in all price ranges. Y’all come up! Tell ’em Kris sent you!


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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Gallery Photographers Frame New Mexico Anew

Today we focus on the works of three Amapola Gallery photographers. In this age of digital photography, Photoshop and general image manipulation, you might say their works showcase reality and then some.


Elzbieta Kaleta began her art career with traditional animal-motif Polish paper cutting. This imparted a grounding in minute control, highly structured design and harmonious color combining. Her move into photography reveals even more clearly her love of animals: charming carriage horses wearing flowery straw hats; portraits of dignified ravens; quartets of seated (and various) hummingbirds, dragonflies and doors. No artist’s eye can possibly ignore the glorious and distinctive architectural details of New Mexico.

This is a photo of Corrales in the snow by Patrick O'Brien, Gallery photographers at Amapola Gallery Albuquerque.

With characteristic self-deprecation, Patrick O’Brien, a wildlife biologist, calls himself “just another photographer.” His carefully manipulated landscapes and animal portraits put the lie to that statement. The stunning clarity of his images is enhanced when projected onto aluminum panels. Panels or more traditionally matted and framed images include wonderful bison and quail, big-eyed owls and fierce eagles, and, oh yes, those doors.

This sunflower is the work of Amapola Gallery Photographers Albuquerque, Mikki Roth.

Mikki Roth grew up in New York but when she moved to the Southwest thirty years ago she chose New Mexico to call home. Her passion for photography evolved from interests in both nature and the many cultures of the Southwest. She offers her viewers a “permanent record of beauty,” from processions of Native dancers to brilliantly-colored hummingbirds, a quartet of hot-air balloons, cliff dwellings and petroglyphs, glorious sunflowers and vignettes of New Mexico life. And those doors…

Amapola Gallery’s three photographers share overlapping visions but unique individual styles. Each is well worth multiple exposures. Come see for yourself.

In addition to the work of three Gallery photographers, you’ll see art from 37 other artists at Amapola Gallery, an artists’ cooperative located in the heart of Old Town Albuquerque at 205 Romero St NW. Amapola Gallery is open 10am to 5pm seven days a week.

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Golden Gathering is theme for Featured Artists November

Featured Artists November share Golden Gathering theme

Our Golden Gatherings theme is suggested by golden citrine, this month’s gemstone. Citrine dissipates negative energy and tends to balance energies. We all need a little balance heading into the holidays! Featured Artists November are Kay Richards, mixed-media paintings; Pat Oliver, pastels; Mark McAllaster, turned wooden bowls; and Sara Carley, cut paper.

Kay’s paintings are filled with the bold use of joyful color and light.

This is a mixed media painting from Kay Richards, featured artists November at Amapola Gallery.

“I began my art career in 1969, then took a break to raise my family and pursue a nursing career. I now devote full time to my painting in watercolor, acrylic, collage and oils. I try to capture the beauty and feeling of each subject with liberal use of vivid colors bringing uniqueness to the painting, which reveals my strong ties and personal affection to the Southwest. I want the viewer to be able to feel connected to the painting and bring them joy.”

Kay is a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society and has served in various positions. She has been in numerous juried exhibitions. Her work is in many private collections throughout the US and Europe.

Pat’s pastels portray aspects of the vibrant culture of the Southwest.

This pastel is from Pat Oliver, featured artists November, Amapola Gallery.

“I have been a pastel artist since 2002. My pastels have been shown in the Pastel Society’s Small Works show, New Mexico State Fair shows, Johnson’s Gallery in Madrid, and in Saint John’s Cathedral shows, all in New Mexico, with a few from foreign travel.”

Pat’s style is realistic, but not with rigid adherence to the scene or photograph being painted. Especially with color, the harmony of colors is taken as more important than “what you see is what you get”. Pat feels that the best thing about pastels is the colors and that they can be layered to show several levels.

Mark’s turned wood vessels are created to enhance and emphasize grain, color, and other natural characteristics of the wood.

These wood turned bowls are from Mark McAllaster, featured artists November at Amapola Gallery.

“I retired from Sandia National Laboratories in December of 2014 after a forty-one year technical career. In March of 2014 I was participating in the Rio Grande Spring Arts and Crafts Show when then director Kris Parrott approached me about the possibility of considering membership in Amapola. I have been a member of Amapola since May of 2014 and have enjoyed meeting, getting to know, and working with the gallery members.”

Mark  is a craftsman who has been working with wood for over forty years. He enjoys most being able to create pieces that enhance and emphasize the grain, color, and natural characteristics in each piece he makes. Working with the rustic qualities of many of the native woods in the southwestern area of New Mexico as well as other exotic woods is what he really enjoys. Adding a little ‘splash of color’ with some native turquoise inlay has become a characteristic of many of his turned bowls.

Sara brings her quirky sense of humor and acute observation to her cut-paper interpretations of the world around her.

This cut paper art is from Sara Carley, featured artists November at Amapola Gallery.

“I really can’t think of much about my take on art, except I that I find it necessary for my life. I’m probably more musician than fine or folk artist, but I am just compelled to express myself in both mediums. It’s who I am, “when I’m not with the one I love, I love the one I’m with.” You have to have a sense of humor, especially when you are new at what you are trying. Don’t take yourself too seriously and have a sense of humor.”

Sara enjoys working with paper and its mixed media applications which draw her further into art. Cut paper absorbs her – its design, its colors, its patterns and its connections to every part of the world.

The Gallery’s featured artists November will host a reception 1pm – 3pm Sunday November 1. They will also be honored during ArtsCrawl, (every first Friday) 4pm – 6pm. The Golden Gathering show will be displayed through November 30, 2015.

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Straight Lines, Artists and Supporters of Art

Local Albuquerque Artists Make Amapola’s Art Fun

We artists who man (and woman) Amapola while the gallery is open frequently hear, “I wish I could do that, but I can’t draw a straight line.”

This photo shows oil artist Denise Ballou creating a pet portrait at Amapola Gallery.


This raises two issues, one of which I’ll tackle. First, you don’t have to draw a straight line to make art. But if you’re meant to be an artist, you’ll figure that our for your own self.

Second, and dearer to my heart, you don’t need to draw in order to sign a check or charge slip. And if you can do that, you are supporting an artist, voting for art, and acting on the side of the angels.



The works.

The decorative arts, no less than theatre or orchestral work, requires an audience, a paying audience. Imagine the Santa Fe Opera with empty seats on an audience of six at Lincoln Center. They wouldn’t stay open, and everyone involved would have to find work elsewhere.

So, without you, the bill-paying, non-artist, we would all be in that unhappy space.

We salute your inability to draw a straight line. Come on up and see what you can’t live without.

These poppies represent the works of local artists at Amapola Gallery.

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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Saluting Past, Present and Future Amapola Gallery Directors

Amapola  Gallery Directors Manage Co-op Success

My grandfather used to say, “All men are created equal, but some are a damn sight more equal than others,” leaving no doubt as to were he fit in. Well, in Amapola artists’ cooperative gallery we are all equal. Trouble is, we still need a board of directors, including, under our current system, a Director (the Big Magilla) and Co-Director (Magilla in training). So, it’s a two year gig for those who take it on.

Typically our nominating committee, after several weeks of fast talking, finds one co-director nominee for the election of officers in the autumn. This is the one susceptible to guilt (“where will we be if everyone says no?”) or like a naïve national politician, who believes he or she can actually engineer positive, valuable change, or who enjoys authority (ha, ha, ha!) or who simply stumbles while fleeing and is shanghaied into service.

The job of gallery director involves an enormous amount of time and patience, stopping bucks thrown not only by the outside world but by 39 other artist-members can be and generally is exhausting. In my case it gave me an overwhelming respect for our Marge Page, who was Director many years ago and has been Treasurer since the year naught. How she can! (But thank goodness!)

Current Director Brenda Bowman and Past Director Rachel Nelson smile for the camera during Amapola Gallery's 35th Anniversary Celebration.

Current Director Brenda Bowman and Past Director Rachel Nelson smile for the camera during 35th anniversary festivities.

So as a part of our 35th year celebration we saluted all our past and present directors with cake, bonhomie and an overwhelming dose of gratitude.

Now that the hoopla (35 days celebrating 35 years August 15 – September 13, 2015) is complete, we can showcase those folk with the listing of their service and an ongoing moment of applause. (NOTE: Please accept our apologies for any misspellings, incorrect attributions, etc. We searched 34 years worth of minutes to compile this list.)

1980 Jan Hayes
1980 Betty Reuscher
1981 BJ Miller
1982 Sue Williams
1983 Marge Farmer
1984 Ann Oleson
1985 Rachel Nelson
1986 Gail Maio
1986 Marta Light
1987 Jan Hayes
1988 Sam and Jo Ann Lockwood
1989 Maureen Cue
1990 Joyce Hamil
1990 Cynthia Ploski
1991 Undetermined
1992 Ramona Vigil Eastwood
1992 Matthew Eastwood
1993 Ramona and Matthew Eastwood
1994 Cathleen Kardas
1995 Cathy Haight and Penny Roberts
1996 Leslie Kranz
1997 Marjorie Bassler
1997 Ramona Eastwood
1998 Marjorie Bassler and Ramona Eastwood
1999 Leslie Freeman
1999 Bob Leblanc
2000 Lois Rae
2001 Cathleen Kardas
2002 Sandra Lipka
2004 Midge Aragon
2005 Garcia
2006 Bob Leblanc
2007 Bob Leblanc
2008 Vera Russell
2009 Sandra Lipka
2010 Becky Olesen
2011 Kevin Burgess
2012 Allen Lowery
2013 Diane Marshall
2014 Kristin Parrott
2015 Brenda Bowman

It is with humility and gratitude that we salute each of you – those who have made it possible for the rest of us to participate in an ongoing, vital business for the past 35 years. Thank you! We couldn’t do it without you.

Give us your good wishes for 35 more years in Old Town, and 35 more naive, guilt-ridden, stumbling runners to Direct us into a successful future.

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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Sculpture Art from Stone

Amapola Gallery Member Kristin Parrott Loves Sculpture

This is a bear sculpture from Amapola Gallery member artist Kristin Parrott.

I had a sort of vision once, a flash onto my inner eye. A red stone bear, carved by me, with a hawk’s feather as her power bundle. (Tied onto her back with a triple length of genuine synthetic faux sinew, for those of you unfamiliar with the protocol.) Just a flash, but a year later I signed up for a stone carving class given by a Lakota acquaintance of mine. A first for both of us.

Here is what the class consisted of: A prayer, in Sioux, over us, the stone and the sacred process, with a ceremonial smoke of sweet grass to cleanse us. Pick the piece of alabaster that speaks to you–here are tools–ask me questions as you need to–Carve!

Odd, isn’t it? From a family of artists, I have been “arting” professionally since 1973. Painting, mosaic, found-object assemblage, jewelry fabrication, ceramics. But until then I had never carved. It was as if the Universe said “Go!”

I have been “going” now for over fifteen years, in alabaster and pipestone but overwhelming in the softer soapstone, since I don’t and won’t use power tools. A Navajo carver once called me a romantic. If I had more family to support than a single rescued dachshund I dare say I’d head for a Dremel, at least. Instead I use files, rasps, chisels, knives and oddments, many from flea markets.

My subjects are what I see and feel in the stone, which of course is heavily influenced by my interests: Hands,bears, elephants, birds, frogs, bison. And the odd Madonna, dog and cat thrown in.

This elephant sculpture is known as Judy Blue Eyes and is a sculpture from Member Artist Kristin Parrott at Amapola Gallery.

Some of these figures step easily from their stone, but some resist the process. One white alabaster elephant kept me company for well over a year before she agreed to be finished. My largest piece, a bear, weighs 21 pounds. Most are much smaller. Some are tiny, in the 1/2 inch range.

Once each piece is otherwise finished, I seal it with a beeswax compound and hand buff it.

I’ll have a nice selection of pieces at the 27th annual Old Church Fine Crafts Show in Corrales December 4-6, but every day you can see not only my carvings but also a display of my mixed media paintings and crystal-stuffed acorns at Amapola Gallery in Old Town. I am an original member of the co-op, loitering around the premises since 1980. Come by and see us!

(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, acorn stuffer)


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Co-Op Gallery Albuquerque a Balloon Destination

Amapola Co-op Gallery ABQ Balloon Destination

Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta is a long-standing wonderment, what with a field of more than 600 balloons this year, mass ascensions, special shapes rodeo, key grab, races–Wow! Wondrous though it is, it is largely an early-morning event. Ah, Fiesta goers think, now what?

This collage featured Kay Richards' acrylic, Anita Daniels glass and Katherine Gauntt, watercolor at Amapola Gallery.

Fear not! The answer is Amapola Co-op Gallery, an Albuquerque balloon destination! Amapola Gallery is a 40-member artists cooperative on the Plaza in Old Town. After you grab a bracing cup of coffee or refreshing frozen yogurt in the downstairs of historic Romero House, (205 Romero NW) make your own mass ascension to our co-op upstairs.

Sure, we have collector-quality painting, photos, glass, wood, stone carvings and much more–and that’s not hot air! But we also have an enormous treasure trove of lower- and mid-priced gifts and souvenirs, all made right here in New Mexico!

This collage shows mosaic art from Debra Montoya, encaustic art from Tricia Simmons and Punch Quilt Art from Cristina Diaz-Artnzten at Amapola Co-op Gallery Albuquerque.

Traveling in an RV with no room to spare? We have minis as small as a couple inches square to ornament that tiny corner. Larger items can be shipped, matted work tucked into a suitcase. And surely you need a special “thank you” for your local host or hostess! Trust me, absolutely local beats made in China–or even Arizona–balloons down. We even carry balloon-themed items from most of our artist-members.

Do yourselves a real favor. When the balloons come down, it’s your time to soar to Old Town and Amapola Gallery. We’re open 10-5 every day.

Call (505) 242-4311 for more information and enthusiastic directions to Amapola Co-op Gallery, an Albuquerque balloon destination!

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 October at Amapola Gallery

Amapola Gallery Presents Featured Artists October

The theme of “Glimmer and Glow” refers to the month’s gemstone, opal. Opal promotes imagination and inspiration.

Be inspired by October featured artists K.D. Fullerton, clay wall sculpture; Kristin Parrott, mixed-media painting and stone sculpture; Jack Boglioli, wire-wrapped jewelry and Tricia Simmons, encaustic.

K.D. incorporates found metal objects into wildly imaginative clay sculptures with a hint of Native American influence.

This wall sculpture is from K.D. Fullerton, one of the featured artists October at Amapola Gallery.

Kristin’s colorful, multi-layered paintings are serenely beautiful. Her stone carvings are both whimsical and intimate.

The hand sculpture is from Kristin Parrott, featured artists October at Amapola Gallery,

Jack’s “wire-wrapping” is actually wire-weaving, a magical process that surrounds natural and faceted gemstones.

The wire weaving pictured here is from Jack Boglioli, featured artists October at Amapola Gallery.

Tricia adds a new medium to the featured artist tradition: encaustic. Layers of wax are melted onto a surface, incorporating drawing, painting, natural objects and cut-paper collage. Interesting stuff.

This encaustic art is from Tricia Simmons, featured artists October, at Amapola Gallery Albuquerque.

Join Amapola and our featured artists October show throughout the month and especially during ArtsCrawl, 4pm – 6pm Friday, October 2, 2015 or for our featured artists October reception, 1pm-3pm Sunday, October 4, 2015.

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Art and Balloons at Albuquerque’s Amapola Gallery

Lynda Burch talks with a customer at Amapola Gallery.

Lynda Burch has been a valuable member of Amapola Gallery since 2005. Her mixed media wall pieces encompass collage, acrylic, watercolor and a healthy dose of imagination. Her stamp and map collages are especially distinctive and unusual. Prints of both her pictograph series of collages and of her stamp/map collages have been carried by the Palace of the Governors gift shop in Santa Fe, a real artistic coup.

Lynda recently completed her largest stamp collage ever, using a full sheet of watercolor paper as the ground.

This is the poster contest entry from Lynda Burch for the AIBF Balloon poster 2016.

©2015, Lynda Burch, “New Mexico Rising”

This is her entry in the International Balloon Fiesta poster contest for 2016. The image is of three hot air balloons. The largest contains 135 stamps, including ten hot air balloon stamps. (Who knew?) The smallest balloon is composed of sections of maps of both Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Every entry must have concealed in it the image of a roadrunner and Lynda actually found a roadrunner stamp!

This collage entitled "View of the City" by Lynda Burch is on display at Amapola Gallery.

©2015, Lynda Burch, “View of the City”

When her husband gave her his old stamp collection years ago, asking, “Can you use these in your collages?” he opened the flood gates of Lynda’s creativity.

You may be able to see Lynda’s work as next year’s poster (the jury is still out) but you can enjoy prints of her many stamp/map collages at Amapola now. And don’t miss her dramatic acrylic on canvas abstracts.

This heart balloon collage is by Lynda Burch.

©2015, Lynda Burch, “Heart Balloon”

We love all things balloon-related, especially at this time of the year. If you’re in town for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, or if you’re a local, come into our co-op gallery and see art and balloons from Lynda Burch and 39 other member artists. We’re open 10am to 5pm daily.

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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Co-op Art Gallery Founded by Art Trio

Amapola Co-Op Art Gallery, Founded 35 Years Ago

This ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates Amapola Co-op Art Gallery's 35th year.

Amapola was founded by a trio of talented artists 35 years ago. Jan Hayes was first director, Doris Parry first bookkeeper (not a small job!) and Betty Reuscher rounded out the trio. Ms. Reusecher moved back to Texas many years ago. Doris Parry remained in the gallery for some five years, working mainly in oils. For 20 years she has been living with Parkinson’s and gave up her art career.

As Jan Hayes says, “Amapola was my baby.” The organization was conceived ass a spring-board for artists not yet fully established, perhaps without other gallery representation, to help them grow their art careers. The three recruited prospective members from among artist friends whose work they admired and whose personalities seemed likely to mesh.

Amapola’s original location, at the northwest corner of Rio Grande and South Plaza Street, was the first of four in Old Town. At our first meeting of 30 members Jan declared, “You can name the gallery anything, as long as it’s ‘Amapola’!” That name, and the poppy logo, continue to serve well.

Jan Hayes’ southwest watercolors delighted the art world for over 30 years as Jan participated in various shows and galleries, winning many awards and a loyal following.

As a child with an artistic father, Jan “always did art.” She began selling her paintings when husband Dennis was in graduate school. Over a period of five years she studied with a variety of wonderful teachers including the design-oriented Todd Tibbals and wet-on0wet technique artist Jack Dietrich, who urged her to paint without fear, to “just let it happen.” In night classes at UNM Jan also studied with oil artist Walter Barubrook, another long-time pillar of the art community here.

Oils were Jan’s first medium, to which she has returned. She enjoys leisurely producing her landscapes as gifts for family and friends.

Between the explorations of these very different mediums, Jan Hayes headed in an entirely different direction. She had, she said, “a blessed life,” and wanted to give back. She founded Sandia Mountain Bear watch. This 23-year old conservation organization encourages co-existence with our bear population, advocating for bear-proofing, non-feeding of wild bears, (“A fed bear is a dead bear”) and strict kill limits, especially on sows. The group is some six hundred members strong, and for the first fifteen or so years worked closely with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Unfortunately, she now feels she and Bear Watch must work against them as Game and Fish’s new direction has, she feels, undone much of the previous progress made. As she speaks of this she reveals her devotion to and passion for the wildlife of the Sandias, and its preservation.

Jan Hayes’ passion for art and the community of artists got Amapola Gallery up and running in 1980. We share that passion still today. Come see what Amapola has become. We’re betting you’ll develop a little art passion of your own!

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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