New Gallery Opening In Socorro
Grand Opening Festivities
Friday, February 1st, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Saturday, February 2nd, 11 AM to 6 PM
Opening day: January 23rd, 11 AM
Wednesday — Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM
Sunday — Noon to 5 PM
and by chance or appointment
The fine art gallery in the Juan José Baca House, on Abeyta Street in Socorro, has seen many changes. The weathered sign on the east end of the building has, for years, advertised the Fullingim, Isenhour, Leard Galleries; the space has also been home to Curious Crow Studios, the working studios of Natasha Isenhour, Margi Lucena and Georgette Evans Grey.
Lucena and Isenhour recently made a decision that, although it takes them away from this gallery, allows them to establish closer relationships with the several galleries that represent them across the Southwest.
Grey, having owned and operated a gallery for many years in Newburyport, Massachusetts, has seized this opportunity to establish a new gallery in this historic space. The new gallery will be known as the Vertu Fine Art Gallery, named after the well-known gallery she closed when she moved to New Mexico. But even while there is a new name, and new management, there are strong ties to what has gone before. Work by Leard and Fullingim will continue to be featured, and Grey will continue to have a working studio at the gallery.
Vertu means "a love or knowledge of, or taste for, fine art", and all of the artists included in the gallery surely fit that definition. Leard, Fullingim and Grey will be joined by Don Boyd, Karyn DeBont, Nancy McCloud and Chrysan Spreng, all noted local artists who intend to assure that their new venture will offer a wide variety of high-quality art suitable for many budgets and tastes.
Skeeter Leard is well known for acrylic paintings inspired by her love of horses and wildlife, as well as by one of her favorite haunts, the Bosque del Apache NWR; her distinctive paintings, prints and cards have always found a wide audience. Nationally recognized sculptor Sharon Fullingim, who aptly describes herself as “Head Chisel sharpener and Sculptor”, offers exquisite work in bronze and Indiana Limestone, as well as some interesting furniture and hand-colored etchings.
Many have said that Grey’s detailed floral portraits and local landscapes "take you somewhere you want to be". Boyd’s photographs of outdoor spaces convey a notion of intimacy that he hopes will make the observer care about the natural world, as well as about themselves and their relationship to it.
DeBont’s en plein air oils tap into a resource largely undiscovered by southwestern artists: the beauty and inspiration of south-central New Mexico. Spreng’s magic on the potter’s wheel brings to life elements of earth, fire, water, air and spirit she has transformed with her custom glazes and bold designs using vibrant reds and purples.
>McCloud has a far-flung reputation for her hand-crafted custom leather chaps and belts, flute bags, and backpacks as well as for beautiful handmade jewelry done in a fabulous southwestern style.
Hoffacker's jewelry demonstrates his feel for nature, how its contours and structure evolve to enhance survival and perform functionally. He says, "shapes found in the organic world harmonize to produce appropriate and necessary forms. I am deeply inspired by the natural world. This inspiration is often revealed in my sculptural ‘freeform’ pieces as well as the wildlife creations"
More information about the artists can be found on their individual websites:
- Don Boyd
- Karyn DeBont
- Sharon Fullingim
- Georgette Evans Grey
- Ben Hoffacker
- Skeeter Leard
- Nancy McCloud
- Chrysan Spreng
The gallery’s near-term focus will be on establishing a loose salon-style hanging in its four separate rooms, as well as arranging displays for its varied 3-dimensional work; establishing one of the rooms as a teaching/learning center where Grey, Leard and others will give classes; hosting frequent receptions and events for the artists represented in the gallery; and continuing its extensive web presence. Opening celebrations are scheduled for February 1st and 2nd, 2013. Details about this and future events will be available at http://www.vertuarts.com/events.html. Check back often, as this is expected to become a fairly dynamic web page with frequently changing and updated information about current and coming events.