Fine art

Wild Rivers Paint Out this weekend

Event is the brainchild of the Questa Creative Council


From dramatic chasms and mountain meadows to traditional architectural gems, there is a subject to satisfy every plein-air painters taste at the third annual Wild Rivers Plein-Air Paint Out. The event, which began July 17 and continues through this weekend, is expected to attract 60-plus artists from all over the Southwest, according to organizers.

The Paint Out is produced by the Questa Creative Council.

Painters had their blank canvasses stamped at the beginning of the festival to confirm the work will be created on-site, then independently they set out to points that ranged from the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, the restored St. Antonio church in the village of Questa, or views from the John Dunn Bridge to Amalia.

A highlight of the event is the Quick Draw planned Saturday (July 21) in the town of Red River, located 15 minutes east of Questa via State Road 38.

Beginning at 9 a.m., viewers will be able to purchase a painting-in-progress direct from the artist, in and around the town, or view all the created works at noon, in the special-occasion tent to be set up at the Ponderosa Lodge in the center of Main St.

That evening, an art exhibit, titled “Places we Love in the Questa Area,” will also take place at the Art Deco style Brass Rail Theater at the Alpine Lodge in Red River. Works in the show will be for sale. The event will be catered by Shotgun Willies, with beer from the new Red River Brewery, and wine from Sheehan Winery.

Guests attending the opening will be able to vote for People’s Choice awards, and watch as additional awards are given for the Artist’s Choice, Best Landscape, Best Architecture, and Best Celebration of our Wild and Scenic Rivers and Trails. The latter award honors the 50th anniversary of these important protections for our natural beauty and habitat.

During the week’s event participating artists had an opportunity to watch demonstrations by Colorado artist Lewis Williams, who works in a variety of mediums; and Idaho artist Bonnie Griffith, a well-known western artist working in oils and pastels. Their finished work will be auctioned off at Saturday’s art reception. In addition, demos were also planned by Natasha Isenhour on pastel landscape painting, and by Terry Chacón on palette-knife painting. An artist dinner and painting swap has also been planned for participants.

For more information, call Peggy Trigg at (505) 974-5314 or visit