Two Great Art Events Oct. 16-18: Part 9

‘Red Tulip’ by Kathi Geoffrion Parker. Courtesy photo

ART News:

Oct. 16-18 is Art Weekend in Los Alamos! Both the 2015 Los Alamos Studio Tour and the Gateway to the Holidays Arts and Crafts Fair will take place that weekend. The Los Alamos Daily Post is featuring artists from both events leading up to the Tour and Fair.

The 2015 Studio Tour is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. There will be an artists’ reception 5-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16. Samples of all artists’ work will be on display throughout the weekend in the Pajarito Room at historic Fuller Lodge.

The Fuller Lodge “Gateway to the Holidays” Arts & Crafts Fair runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at Crossroads Bible Church. A list of particating artists and their work can be viewed at http://fullerlodgeartcenter.com/Fair_Fall2015.

 

‘The Parker triplets’ by Kathi Geoffrion Parker. Courtesy photo
 

Meet Kathi Geoffrion Parker

Kathi Geoffrion Parker is a native of Los Alamos. She was awarded Signature Member status in the New Mexico Watercolor Society in 2004. Her watercolor paintings and drawings have been in juried shows in New Mexico and nationally. Her work will be on display during the 2015 Los Alamos Studio Art Tour.

“When asked how long it took to do that piece I always want to answer, all my life,” Geoffrion Parker said. “I’m not sure if that response sounds sarcastic, and maybe it is, partially. You see, every piece I’ve ever done has been a learning experience—I learn about myself, I think about the world, I think about love, I think about fear and I think about God. I wonder how I am able to do each piece, every time I paint or draw I’m sure I don’t know how to do it and then when I’m done I’m surprised. 

“Of course, there’s the actual work of the piece: I learn how to see and how to put it on paper. I learn about shapes, relationships, about the background, about darks and lights and color—endless color. And that’s just one piece, and each piece is more than before. More what? More everything”

When asked why she does her art, Geoffrion Parker replied, “Because I have to. Because when I don’t, I really, really miss it. My art balances out my life, it reminds me that there is a God. It’s an important gift that I shouldn’t ignore. Sharing my art is joy.”

 

Tree ornaments by Neal and Ophelia Crosier. Courtesy photo
 

Meet Neal and Ophelia Crosier

Neal and Ophelia Crosier have been delighting fair and festival attendees with their miniatures since 1985. They will do so again at the Gateway to the Holidays Arts and Crafts Fair. They carve teeny tiny church and adobe house ornaments, some of which are tucked into gourds. The addition of ladders or chile ristras gives the pieces an alluring touch of realism.

 

Ornament closeup. Courtesy photo
 

They first delved into the world of miniatures when a friend of Ophelia’s asked her to carve a small church, something that could be offered for sale in a gift shop. At the time Ophelia was carving nativities and she was intrigued with the challenge of working on a smaller scale.

She and Neal tried a variety of woods and nothing seemed to work well. Ophelia’s friend, who makes ceramic storytellers, suggested they try cottonwood bark. The friend uses cottonwood bark for firing her ceramics and knew it was a popular wood for carving. Ophelia found it a perfect medium.

The Crosiers now both carve the ornaments, using little chisels and gouges. Neal describes cottonwood bark as looking like the volcanic tuff at Bandelier. “Just like the cliff dwellings were created. We carve into the wood, carving out around the feature.” 

Neal and Ophelia met while attending college NMSU. They started carving their ornaments and selling at fairs to support themselves while attending school and it turned into a lifelong career.

“In this machine age it’s cool to do something with your hands and have people like it and buy it,” Neal said.

He and Ophelia love the community of artists they see at the different arts and crafts fairs, and also the customers who return to visit with them year after year.

CSTsiteisloaded