This weekend's Río Costilla Studio Tour (Sept. 7-8) promises some exceptional artwork in a wide range of media, plus it offers a couple of features which contribute to making this tour a standout …
This weekend's Río Costilla Studio Tour (Sept. 7-8) promises some exceptional artwork in a wide range of media, plus it offers a couple of features which contribute to making this tour a standout event. Those features are the Emerging Artists Show and Silent Auction.
The Río Costilla Studio Tour, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, got its start 21 years ago. The annual Emerging Artists Show, now in its 11th year, seeks to encourage young artists in the Costilla area while the Silent Auction offers studio tour fans a chance to bid on colorful tote bags decorated with the art of some of the artists on the tour.
The tour begins in Costilla's historic Plaza de Arriba. As well as showing the works of several artists and artisans, information, maps and food will be available there. The Southwestern photographs and cards of Nancy de Herrera Crochet will be shown at the plaza as well as the digital art of Evelyn Oliva and the oil paintings and metal sculptures of R.C. Santistevan.
Across the road from the plaza the furniture and cabinetry of David Satrun will be displayed.
The handiwork of Michelle Vigil, which includes quilting, crochet, jewelry and baskets, can be seen slightly farther down State Road 196 from the plaza toward Costilla. Her studio will only be open on Saturday.
Turning back toward the stoplight at the intersection of state roads 196 and 522 is the studio of Karen McCurtain-Blair with her exquisite Northern New Mexico transparent watercolors.
The rest of the tour is across State Road 522, but tourgoers may want to check out the Costilla Gas and Grocery, a stop with public restroom, snacks and drinks.
The LED paintings of Linda Louden can be seen shortly after crossing 522 at her studio, and farther on are the bright portraits of wildlife at Karen Ahlgren's studio on County Road 13.2. Ahlgren is an image artist for the 2019 Taos Fall Arts Festival as well as a Taos Lamppost Banner artist.
The next two stops feature the furnishings - such as rug hooked pillows and footstools - of Anita McDaniel and the ceramics and ceramic sculptures of Sarah Welch. McDaniel helped create this tour two decades ago.
The final three artistic stops in adjacent Jaroso, Colorado, display the work of six artists - two sculptors, three painters and one glass artist.
The figurative bronzes of Lynn Kircher can be seen with the acrylics and watercolors of Mike Cline nearby. Across the small street are the bronze figurative sculptures of Matthew Gonzales, the slumped and fused glass pieces of Jane Kircher and the LED-illuminated paintings of Kathryn Tatum. Gonzales worked with Lynn Kircher sculpting figures for the Stations of the Cross installed in Cloisters on the Platte, Nebraska (see Tempo's story "Making the spirit tangible through art," Aug. 29).
Just down the road, the landscapes and still lifes of Judy Burch, oils and pastels, can be viewed.
A delightful aspect of the Río Costilla Studio Tour is the well-rounded feel of it. With only 10 stops, although some are hubs with several artists, it is possible to leisurely explore each stop, enjoy food and drink, particularly at the plaza. The tour even includes the opportunity to visit the Dean Swift Seed Company, which grows wildflower seeds.
According to Lynn Kircher, a unique aspect of this tour is that over the years a core group of artists have worked together, rotating the various aspects of organizing the event. This has led to a vibrant social network in the community.
The Emerging Artists Show makes the studio tour a family-friendly and community event. Traditionally, winners receive their prizes and awards at school, and the schools also often receive art supplies. According to Jane Kircher, who is managing the details for the Emerging Artists, children who participate in the arts have a greater probability of success as an adult because art develops the faculty of creative thinking. Painting pictures is, in some ways, she says, a shortcut to success later in life.
The winner of the Emerging Artists Show receives the People's Choice prize of $100. There are four age groups and students in each category who will be awarded first, second, third and honorable mention certificates. Art supplies are also distributed.
The Río Costilla Studio Tour raises money for Emerging Artists through the Saturday and Sunday auction of the artist-decorated tote bags at the plaza and through a garage sale earlier in the year. The colorful, conference-style tote bags are made of sturdy canvas and are 10-by-14 inches, and all the proceeds benefit the young artists.
The Río Costilla Studio Tour offers the opportunity both to be immersed in the studio experience and to support the next generation of artists and creative thinkers.
For details and a map, visit riocostillaart.com/rio-costilla-art.
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