Things are up in the air at Fuller Lodge Art Center with the latest themed show “Things with Wings.” The show opens with an artist’s reception 5-7 p.m., Friday.
Lily Schlien’s solo show in the Portal Gallery also is opening Friday.
This reception includes a number of flight-related activities including raptors from the Wildlife Center, gymnasts from High Flyers Gymnastics, a kite-making workshop, a quill making demonstration, high altitude tales from Los Alamos Airport Manager Peter Sodorquist and much more.
This is a large show with 106 pieces by 66 artists and the variety of pieces is extremely wide. Media range from fabric art, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, photography, oils, pastels and watercolors. Birds might first come to mind from the theme, and there are plenty of avian delights, but the theme also inspired artists to create works featuring other winged things, including insects, fairies, dragons, airplanes, angels and more.
“Cicada,” a metal and mixed media sculpture by Los Alamos artist Christian Byler Beattie is one of the most striking pieces in the show. The artist passed away before the piece was quite finished. He planned to include the sound of the cicada’s distinctive buzz, but there wasn’t time. This is his final piece. The glittering insect will give gallery-goers a new appreciation for the humble cicada.
Insects also make an appearance in the fabric art of Nancy Ullman. Her silk painted scarf “Butterflies, Bees etc.” includes a subtle helicopter visible to sharp eyed viewers. Ullman is a Los Alamos artist who is a longtime weaver and started silk painting about six years ago. Her work usually includes flowers, leaves, butterflies and “whatever else may appear in my yard,” she said.
‘A Quiet Place’ by Jaquita Beddo. Courtesy/FLAC
Ceramicist Jaquita Beddo’s whimsical “A Quiet Place” features a figure with a winged being atop her head. It might be a product of her imagination or a magical creature, who knows? A native New Mexican, Beddo lives near Abiquiu and sees the world with what she describes as “a particularly New Mexican point of view.”
Another whimsical piece is Los Alamos artist Ruth Schulte’s “Blue Dragon.” A paper maché class at Village Arts started her on the path that led to this piece. Schulte is inspired by her menagerie of horses and dogs. She enjoys capturing the personality of an animal, and this dragon has plenty.
An airplane is the subject of Los Alamos photographer David Elton’s piece. Elton is fascinated by urban settings and architecture. “I find it interesting that the highly functional aspects a wing, even a human-manufactured one, can be visually appealing,” he said.
‘Bath Time’ by Leslie Bucklin. Courtesy/FLAC
Then there are birds of every shape size and color. Los Alamos photographers Leslie Bucklin and Martin Cooper each have several pieces in the show, all showing off the grace and glory of birds, still and in flight. Bucklin has an artist open house from 6-8 p.m. at the Manhattan Project Restaurant the same night, so be sure and stop by after the “Things with Wings” reception.
‘Pinon Jay‘ by Roger Denham. Courtesy/FLAC
Cerrillos artist Roger Denham’s soft pastel “Pinon Jay” captures the bird in flight. “Soft pastels are for me the cleanest, no fuss medium for vibrant living color,” he said.
‘Fabulous Flicker’ by Lois Manno. Courtesy/FLAC
Glass sculptor Lois Manno’s “Fabulous Flicker” is a larger-than-life depiction of a feather. The refractive qualities of her medium give her piece a magical gleam. It may take a few moments to realize the piece is sculpted from glass.
The ceramic pieces of Santa Fe potter Ginny Zipperer often uses crows and ravens in her work and the three pieces in the show feature these trickster birds. “The raven, messenger between the spirit and material worlds, dominates these pieces….,” she said.
Santa Fe metal sculptor Don Kennell has two large pieces in the show, both featuring birds. Kennell likes to stop alongside the road to pick up pieces of metal for his work. The history behind found objects adds an extra dimension to his subjects.
Then there’s “White Wings.” Los Alamos artist Gordon McDonough’s moving constructions are always a big hit in the Art Center’s shows and he has two in this one. “White Wings” features a flying bra. An avid cycler, McDonough often finds what he calls “road kill bras” beside the road. One of them forms the centerpiece of this work. Where do they come from? We can only speculate.