Los Alamos artist Janice Parker Muir will display her work in a solo exhibition July 19-Aug. 11 at the Karen Wray Gallery. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner
The community is invited to the opening reception for Janice Parker Muir’s solo exhibition, “Visualizations of Earth and Sky Music,” 5-7 p.m., July 19 at the Karen Wray Gallery in downtown Los Alamos.
Muir is a local artist who works with pastels, acrylics and stained glass.
“The sky and earth create their own type of music. I hope my paintings help the viewer resonate with the places that I have loved,” Muir said. “As I was thinking about this show I reflected on how important the sky and land is to me and to my whole family. I want to dedicate this exhibition to them. I’m at a point in my life when I want to acknowledge all the support I’ve received from friends and family.”
First of all, her parents have been very supportive and led her in the direction of being an artist. Her mother was an artist and art educator, which gave her the desire to communicate the beauty around her through art.
“My love of skies comes from my father,” Muir said. “We spent a lot of time watching weather. And growing up in New Mexico, what better place could there be to watch skies?”
Her father was a machinist by trade, but he was always interested in meteorology. His love of weather wasn’t necessarily scientific. It was more of a love and respect and an awe for the power of nature, Muir said.
Muir’s family spent a lot of time camping, back when you could go camping and not see a single soul the entire time you were out.
Even though her parents set the stage for her love of art, Muir didn’t start her art career until later in life, after she got her degree from University of New Mexico in Elementary Education, Art and Recreation. Which is why she also wants to dedicate her show to her husband of 57 years, Lewis.
“If it weren’t for Lewis, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue art like I was able to,” she said.
In 1994, Muir began entering juried exhibitions and winning awards. She is a signature member of the Women Artists of the West, The Pastel Society of the West Coast, Pastel Society of New Mexico and the Pastel Society of Colorado.
In 2007, Muir had an image selected for publication in the Jack Richeson book, Plein Air New Mexico. She has been published in the Pastel Journal’s Top 100 list twice where she took second place and an Award of Merit. Her paintings hang in corporate, private and government collections.
Muir has taught art classes and workshops through UNM-LA, the Art Center at Fuller Lodge, through the Karen Wray Gallery and through her own studio.
“I love teaching … it energizes me,” she said.
Muir also wants to dedicate the show to her children, her daughter-in-law, her two grandsons and her two granddaughters, who are both very musical. One is pursuing a music education degree and the other is a talented French horn player.
Most of the paintings for this exhibit were completed in the past six months, and she enjoyed a fun evening with her daughter and her two granddaughters going through the work and choosing titles with musical themes.
“I feel privileged to be able to do my thing and am extremely thankful to live in a part of the country where I can just step out my back door and see this gorgeous land and sky,” Muir said.
“Visualizations of Earth and Sky Music” runs July 19 through Aug. 11. The reception is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 19.
The Karen Wray Gallery is at 1247 Central Ave., Suite D-2. The phone number is 505.660.6382 and the website is www.thekarenwraygallery.com.