UNM-LA Participates In Los Alamos Artists Studio Tours; Campus Tours Available Saturday

Benjamin Hanlon stands with one of his paintings. The finished piece will show during the Studio Tour. Courtesy/UNM-LA

Jacqueline Quintana wets the clay in order to continue adding texture to the mermaid mug she is building. Courtesy/UNM-LA

UNM-LA News:

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos will participate in the Los Alamos Artist Studio Tour (LAAST) Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16. While providing the public a chance to meet the student artists and view their work, this event also helps the students develop their voice as artists.

UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney also will lead tours of the UNM-LA campus 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. The tours will focus on campus renovations that have resulted from Statewide GO Bond funds in the past. These include the EMS facility, science labs, Wallace Hall and the South Wing of Building 6. 

This will be UNM-Los Alamos’s second year to participate in the Los Alamos Studio Arts Tour. The efforts are led by two UNM-LA Instructors, Barbara Yarnell and Patrick Harris. They invite the community to view student work from their ceramics, drawing, and painting classes.

The ceramics class will exhibit a variety of functional and sculptural ceramic forms that showcase their ability at hand building, throwing, slip and glaze work. The art of reduction firing will be well represented with works in Raku. Also, unique aluminum saggar fired and sawdust fired works will be displayed.

Students from the drawing class will show large works in charcoal on paper; portraits and landscapes are featured. Artwork from the painting class varies wildly. Each student imagined, designed, and painted an original work in oil or acrylic.

As part of their instruction, Yarnell and Harris talk to students about planning towards exhibiting. The instructors agree that the Studio Tour is an important opportunity for the students. For many it is their initial experience in explaining what they do in a larger context than the classroom. Yarnell expanded, “We give students the creative and supportive space to develop their ‘voice’ as artists. The Studio Tour gives them an opportunity to learn how to use words to share their vision.”

To show their work professionally during LAAST, students learn to how to display, price, and sell their work. At UNM-LA, the tour stop takes place in building 5 in the Janette O. Wallace Hall. Students have signed up for 1-2 hour shifts as gallery assistants. “They end up talking about their own work,” Harris said. “And the community members always ask really interesting questions.”

Harris continued, “People are surprised that we have such a vibrant art community here at UNM-LA. And such diversity of students – from high school to homeschool, the traditional students and the working students, as well as retired folks. The classes are much better because of that.”

“The more our community knows about UNM-Los Alamos, the more involved we can be in their education and lifelong learning,” Yarnell added. “There are a number of students who take clay classes that are not typical degree seeking students. Some of my students submit works of art for entry into shows at Fuller Lodge Art Center, or go on to show and sell their art in other venues.”

UNM-LA, 4000 University Dr., is stop #4 on the Los Alamos Artists Studio Tour this weekend. Instructors and students will host a reception serving snacks and drinks 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Jeanette O. Wallace Hall.

To see some of the participating artists, visit http://losalamos.unm.edu/studio-tour/index.html. For more information on LAAST or to download a map, visit http://losalamosstudiotours.com/.


Margie Sarrao creates jewelry holders and yarn holders in Ceramics Class that she later offers for sale on Etsy. Courtesy/UNM-LA

JoAnn Lysne has been working on a variety of different types of clay vessels. In this set she worked on complementary designs. Courtesy/UNM-LA

Artist Jesse Romero. Courtesy/UNM-LA


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