Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Nancy Wood Taber

Jump—Bull Terriers, by Nancy Wood Taber

Chain Maille, jewelry, by Nancy Wood Taber

Key To Opportunity, by Nancy Wood Taber

Signpost featured artist

Layering & listening: the art of Nancy Wood Taber

~Oli Robbins

For many artists, the selection of a subject is based upon the depicter’s personal interests, attractions, and connections. This is particularly true of Nancy Wood Taber, this year’s featured artist of the Placitas Holiday Sale, best known for her lifelike, incredibly detailed colored pencil drawings of wildlife and domestic animals. But it’s much more than Nancy’s technical virtuosity that has earned her various awards and landed her work in permanent and private collections worldwide. Her trained eye is the result of hundreds of rich communication sessions with her subjects over the past forty-plus years.

Following her graduation from Albuquerque’s Sandia High School, Nancy went to Europe on an educational teen trip. Says Nancy, “The biggest thrill was in Florence, where I saw the statue of David. I looked up and said, ‘Oh my God—that was done with human hands!’ Almost at that moment, I knew I wanted to be an artist.”

Nancy then received her BFA, with a focus on jewelry, and began a job at a jewelry factory as a designer and model maker. Soon, however, she found herself enjoying drawing jewelry more than making it. Following her instinct, she left the jewelry business to focus on drawing.

Says Nancy, “At first, the process of drawing in colored pencil seems so simple since most everyone has used them at some time in their life… Over the 25 years I have worked in colored pencil, I have discovered that the very nature of the layering process required has a meditative quality for me. The wonders and limitations of the medium have led me to a deeper understanding that the lure of simplicity is often an illusion; that there are in actuality limitless layers to explore both in the medium, nature, and in life itself. The very fact that the medium can be quite time consuming allows me to contemplate and appreciate the true nature of my subjects more deeply.”

When exiting her meditative space to step away from and observe her work, Nancy is often surprised, feeling as if she didn’t in fact make the drawing, but rather was an active participant in its creation.

Whether depicting wildlife or pets, Nancy turns to her own photographs for reference. Taken in nature, national parks, wildlife rehabilitation places, or someone’s home, her photographs call to mind her one-on-one experiences with her subjects. The photographs help her access the energy of her subjects—paramount to her process—and Nancy maintains that such energy flows through her as she creates.

Nancy’s strong connection with animals eventually led to an apprenticeship in animal communication, a modality that Nancy now uses almost daily. Says Nancy, “The process of creating my images begins as a dance of sorts, where I listen and open myself to receive information from the spirits of my subjects. When a particular subject presents itself to me, usually an animal, and I am inspired to incorporate it into a drawing, I feel that the individual has come to me to give me information on a spiritual level that is appropriate for me at that time in my life.”

Since 1977, Nancy has been a member of the Great Pyrenees Club of America. For four decades, she has shown her dogs at conformation, obedience, and drafting competitions. Such experiences deepened her understanding of animal behaviors and energies and also ushered in an extensive training in animal proportions and skeletal structure. But participating annually in the Great Pyrenees Club of America National Specialty can be a costly tradition, so Nancy tried to offset the cost of her travels by selling artwork at a vendor’s space during the event. She found great success selling Pyrenees-themed jewelry, and later, colored pencil drawings. She would bring two originals, limited editions and note cards to the yearly event. In a short time, Nancy found herself with a loyal following; her patrons were eager to see what she would offer each year, sometimes reserving print numbers well before the event commenced. These annual events were made even more rewarding by showing her late Great Pyrenees Ailo, a Grand Champion and one of her dearest life companions.

Nancy has recently returned to jewelry making, using the skills she learned much earlier in life to create wildlife, Pyrenees, and Chain Maille jewelry. Her “Chain Maille” jewelry is comprised of hundreds of individual, interwoven jump rings. The technique dates back to ancient times, when it was used to create protective garments worn under armor. Nancy finds the process similar to that of drawing in that it’s both time intensive and involves a layering of sorts: each circular ring must combine with another to make something greater. Says Nancy, “it’s another thing that’s so simple. You can look at a pencil and go, ‘oh, it has lead and a wooden ring.’ Or look at a jump ring and say, ‘it’s just a circle.’ But you can take those two simple objects and make something so incredible out of them.”

Nancy lives with her husband Cliff in the Manzano Mountains, where they built their home over thirty years ago. For years, they lived without running water, electricity, or phones, heating their home with a wood-burning stove. Says Nancy, “My choice of art techniques and mediums reflect my preference for a simpler way of life, away from the city lights and traffic. I do appreciate modern comforts and conveniences but find a peace in living closer to nature in my mountain home. Living for a number of years without the conveniences often taken for granted stoked the creative flames within me to figure out unique ways to solve problems both in my life and in my art.”

You can find Nancy and her work in the Anasazi Fields Winery during the Holiday Sale. In the meantime, visit her website at for a peek at her mesmerizing drawings and jewelry.

Carol Ordogne’s colorful impressionistic renderings of New Mexico animals and landscapes will be at Site #3, the School Hall.

Mary Steigerwald will be at Site #1, the Winery with her Mother Spirit Creations of eco print wall hangings, table runners and cotton clothing.

Celebrating 36 years at the Placitas Holiday Sale

—Nancy Couch

Every fall on the weekend before Thanksgiving, residents and visitors have eased into the holidays while shopping, talking with artists, and meeting old friends amidst the creative wonders of the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale. The Holiday Sale is celebrating 36 years as one of the most fun and entertaining arts and crafts fairs in New Mexico. This well-liked event has become a tradition for art lovers who want to discover new fine art, crafts, and treasures off the beaten track. Back in1982, the Placitas Mountaincraft and Soiree Society had the vision to start the Placitas Holiday Sale to help local artists sell their work. That started a local custom that lives on to this day. Year after year, the show kept getting better and soon had a reputation that attracted top artists locally as well as from other artistic communities from New Mexico and Colorado.

As the show features work from over eighty juried artists, visitors can expect to see a diverse mix of all types of art. The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale is a fun gala combining the arts with delicious food, wine tasting, and an art raffle that benefits the kids' art program at the Placitas Elementary School.

The Placitas Holiday Sale will come to Placitas on November 18 and 19, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Talented artists will fill the three central sites in the village of Placitas with a wide array of art, from handmade holiday gifts to colorful creations to decorate and enhance anyone’s home.

The Placitas Holiday Sale is spotlighting Nancy Wood Taber as the 2017 Featured Artist for the show. Taber expresses her passion for nature and animals through her detailed and thought provoking colored pencil drawings that capture the unique spirit of animals. Read the featured artist story in the Signpost this month to learn more about her. (above story)

In special recognition this year, the Holiday Sale will offer the work of Jim Fish, owner of Anasazi Fields Winery, who suddenly passed away earlier in 2017. He was a master of seeing the beauty in nature in wood and transforming them even further into unique wooden sculptures and walking sticks. His woodwork will be at the Winery.

This is a juried show and many artists compete for the opportunity to be in the fair. The result is a fresh lineup of artists in all media. Everything is handmade, and many of the artists create special gifts for the holiday gift season. The artists have been busy working in their studios all year to create their unique artwork. More than a third of the artists are from Placitas with other artists coming from areas like Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Corrales, Santa Fe, Taos, Ojo Sarco, Tijeras, and as far away as Colorado. Painters, printmakers, ceramic and glass artists, woodworkers, silk painters, photographers, gourd artists, jewelers, metal artists and more will bring their incredible work to sell. Homemade clothing, leather goods, painted drums, pottery, hand-carved furniture, and much more will be on display at all of the three central locations: Anasazi Fields Winery, The Big Tent next to the Presbyterian Church, and the Placitas Elementary School.

The show draws people to the scenic setting in the village of Placitas, with its cozy, fun, and intimate atmosphere.

Site #1: the Anasazi Field Winery has always been a popular and pleasant venue with a rustic decor and a fire crackling in the fireplace. Accompanying the wonderful art in the Winery, homemade flavored organic goat cheese makes a great gift and goes well with wine sampling. Chile ristras, garlic decorations and exotic honey enhance the mood with the colors of the Southwest harvest. Handmade chocolates made with the many unique flavors of the Southwest will be available for sampling and gift giving.

For the wine-lovers, Anasazi Fields Winery will be serving cups of its hot, mulled cranberry wine and featuring a new release of their American Cranberry Table Wine. To get more information about the wines and the winery, check out their website at

Site #2: Heated for the comfort of all, the Big Tent east of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, has a fun, festive feeling and becomes alive with laughter and conversations between artists, patrons, and friends. The artists decorate their booths with their work, inviting people to come down each aisle to see what they have created. The clear window walls bring light inside the tent and illuminate the diverse artwork on display.

Site #3: Placitas Elementary School is a popular location with almost fifty exhibitors. Booths fill the gym and some of the halls, giving this site a colorful and cheerful market-like atmosphere. It is enjoyable to discover the many unique treasures in the various school areas and you’ll surely want to take your time so you do not miss anyone.

The school is also where you will find the Holiday Sale Art Raffle. The artists of the Holiday Sale have raised more than $16,000 dollars in the past fourteen years for the Placitas Arts in the School program. The Placitas Holiday Sale will be donating one hundred percent of all money from the raffle to this program to buy art supplies for the children of the Placitas Elementary School. The public can purchase tickets for one dollar for the chance to win a nice piece of artwork. All raffle items will be on display at the School.

Delicious food will be available at all of the sites.

For more information, go to the website to become familiar with the artists and see where they will be set up this year.

The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale is organized by several local artists and sponsored by the Placitas Mountaincraft and Soiree Society, a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to serving the community, the arts, and artists.

2017 Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale artists locations

SITE #1: Anasazi Fields Winery—26 Camino De Los Puebilitos

Free wine tasting, Hot Food by Little Smokies

  • Terry Adams-Southwest and contemporary metal wall art and sculptures
  • Martha Alcantar and Gadiel Ramirez-varietal honey, southwest decor and honey soaps
  • Sallyjane Bolle-wire wrapped minerals, fossils and gemstone jewelry
  • Nancy Coonridge and Andy Coon-organic goat cheese from free-range goats
  • Melicent D'Amore-handmade ceramic petroglyph wall hangings and clay jewelry
  • the art of Jim Fish—wooden sculptures and walking sticks
  • Colleen Constance Franco-one of a kind ceramics, stamped and painted crosses, mirrors, boxes and wall hangings
  • Josh Franco-magic realism acrylic paintings that explore the complexity of relationships and feelings
  • Cay Garcia-knife cut paper images framed as wall art and jewelry
  • Jeff Keenan and Kari Keenan-artisan small batch chocolate nuts, fruits, bars and gifts
  • John LaRosa-multi-layered fused glass plates, bowls, platters, sculpture and pendants
  • Christina Miller-modern icons 2-D acrylic paintings
  • Mary Steigerwald-eco print wall hangings, table runners and cotton clothing
  • Nancy Wood Taber-colored pencil drawings of animals and silver chain maille and animal jewelry
  • Lori Thompson-gourd art with pine needles embellishing and other found treasures
  • Erica Wendel-Oglesby-clay mosaics and jewelry necklaces, earrings and photography of local architecture and wildlife
  • Suzanne Woodworth-sterling silver, gold filled and semi-precious gemstone jewelry
  • Walter Wright and Kim Del Margo-handmade art boxes


Hot Food at the Presbyterian Church- Chile Pepper Café, Breakfast burritos, tamales, pulled pork sandwiches, beans, cole slaw, green chili by the quart, brownies and drinks

  • Jeanine Allen-original pastel paintings on handmade surface, cards and ornaments
  • Linda Running and Kipp Bentley-hand woven wool rugs
  • Dona Calles-copper repousse, etched copper and mixed media image transfers
  • Nancy and Jon Couch-glass water prisms, pyramid lamps, mandalas, sun-catchers, ornaments and jewelry boxes
  • Denise Elvrum-fused glass home decor art and dichroic, iridized jewelry
  • Myra Gadson-unique handmade jewelry designs
  • James M. Gay-scenic and floral photographs
  • Olaf Heintz-fine wood, small furniture and home accessories, rocking chairs, tables and cabinets
  • Joan Hellquist-wildlife images hand-painted on drums, cards, latest book
  • Elizabeth Jenkins-hand-woven clothing and silk scarves
  • Das Lanzilloti-handcrafted jewelry using mixed metals set with natural stones
  • Sarena Mann-paper- mache mobiles and sculpture figures
  • Adrian Martinez-all natural wood inlay pictures
  • Judy McCullough-jewelry strung with international beads
  • Michael McCullough-acrylic and watercolor paintings
  • Dana McDaniel and Ron McGowan-mixed metal jewelry with copper, aluminum, pearls, set stones and found objects
  • Bertha Medina-carved, burned and painted gourds
  • Kae Willow Milane-crocheted knit wire jewelry, wearable art and collage embellished postage stamp pins
  • Karen Murry-quilted wall hangings and wearable quilted jackets scarves, purses and totes
  • Dana Patterson Roth-photography of botanicals, landscapes, and people that get in the way
  • Phil Sonier-wildlife and nature color photography
  • Kandy Tate-oil paintings of New Mexico landscapes, garden scenes and fun animals on canvas
  • Patricia Wyatt-watercolor, colored pencil, oils and pastels


Bernalillo Thespian Club, Posole, green chile stew, frito pie, breakfast burritos, baked goods and drinks


  • Catherine Alleva-wheel thrown pottery, mugs, bowls, sake sets and pitchers
  • Roxanne Bebee Blatz-archival prints, photographic images on giclee, calendars and greeting cards
  • Bunny Bowen-matted and framed batik landscapes, paintings, and silk scarves
  • Barbara Burzillo-bronze sculptures and alcohol ink paintings
  • Merle Dallison-gourd art with inlaid stones and weavings
  • Diane Eger and Robert Eaton-fabricated jewelry using sterling, gold and unique precious gemstones
  • Lyra Fiset-handmade jewelry made with precious metals and gem stones
  • Renee Brainard Gentz-hand dyed silk scarves, shawls, scrunchies and dolls
  • Todd Howell-stained glass panels in SW and Mission style designs
  • Janine Jones-stamped tin tabletop and wall mount jewelry organizers
  • Sandy and Michael Kadisak-handmade, hand-painted fine art functional pottery and Little People and Animal Spirits
  • Marta Lichlyter and Guy Watson-fused glass plates and bowls
  • June Malone-one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry
  • Kay Marcotte-acrylic impressionistic style paintings of New Mexico
  • Carol Mullen-collage painting whimsical abstract
  • Linda Nisenbaum-fused and dichroic glass jewelry and home décor
  • Christian Olsen-hand-cast and hand-carved beads, pendants and clasps made of sterling
  • Roger Preston-archival prints, photographic images on giclee, calendars and greeting cards
  • Riha Rothberg-crocheted hats and home art objects
  •  Glo Smith-kiln formed glass wall hangings
  • Brian Webb and John Newell-aluminum jewelry and home décor
  • Fehrunissa Willett-unique glass art composed of layered glass, metals, paper and stone


  • Mark Alan Bennett-small furniture and home accessories
  • Bessy Berman-jewelry handcrafted from sterling, copper, gold vermeil icon images
  • Ellen Chamberlin-exotic stone rings, bracelets and pendants
  • Erica Collins-wood cut prints, watercolors and pastel giclee reproductions
  • Claudia Fluegge-hand painted silk neckties, scarves, shawls and jackets
  • Rodofo Rosas Hernandez-handcrafted mosaic art wall panels and mirrors
  • Mario Hinojo-hand-carved gourds and jewelry made of cut pieces enhanced by beads
  • Mary and Karl Hofmann-functional pottery
  • D.L. Horton-petroglyph etched stemware and fused glass dichroic jewelry
  • Maaike Hurst-handmade soaps, body butters and bath bombs
  • Sandy Johnson-bold contemporary, mixed media jewelry, pins and bags
  • Rachel Nelson-small paintings, wreaths and ornaments made from pinecones and other plant materials
  • Carol Ordogne-colorful impressionistic renderings of New Mexico animals and landscapes
  • Karen Melody Shatar-fused glass jewelry, functional ware, chimes and sculptures
  • Turza and Andy Shows-hand-carved stone and shell inlay jewelry
  • Geri Verble-contemporary tribal and ethnic jewelry
  • Holly von Winckel-artfully crafted pens, knives, and accessories

Placitas Artists Series presents Willy Sucre and West Shore Piano Trio

Chamber works by Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák are featured in the second Placitas Artists Series “Willy Sucre and Friends” concert of the 2017-18 season. The West Shore Piano Trio—violinist Heather Haughn, pianist Jay DeWire, and cellist Diana Flesner—will begin the concert with Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 3 in C Major, Op. 101. After the intermission, Sucre will join them on viola for Dvořák’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 87. The concert is at 3:00 p.m. on November 12.Prior to the concert, a 2:00 p.m. visual artists reception will feature the art of Debby Brinkerhoff, watermedia; Amelia Arlene Kemp, oil and acrylic on canvas; Diane Orchard, mixed media prints; and Zsuzsanna Rossetter, watercolor.

Their works, which are for sale, will be on display from October 28 to November 24.The concert and visual artist reception take place at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in the village of Placitas, located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). The facility is completely accessible. For ticket information and further details, see page 2 of this Signpost or go to

3D stereograms pop out in new Lexus ad campaign

~Signpost Staff

Hidden image 3D stereograms by the Signpost’s stereogram artist, Gary W. Priester will be featured in a new advertising campaign for automaker Lexus. The full page national print ads will run from late October through Christmas and will appear in national magazines including Forbes, National Geographic, Wired, Inc., The New Yorker, and Architectural Digest as well as Facebook and Twitter. The campaign was developed by Lexus’ advertising agency, Team One Advertising in Los Angeles.

Priester, a partner in eyeTricks 3D Stereograms, contributed images for the campaign along with co-artist/partner Gene Levine. The hidden images in the ads, including a leaping deer and a jogger, illustrate a new electronic feature on some Lexus models that can see road hazards that may not be visible to the driver. Priester and Levine have worked together for nearly twenty years creating stereograms for books and magazines. Several years ago they teamed up with Brad Honeycutt who handles the account service side of the business. eyeTricks 3D Stereograms creates custom stereograms for business and advertising. The Lexus ad campaign is a very big achievement and Priester is hopeful that it will drive more business to eyeTricks 3D.

Autumn Morning, by Jim Weisner

Wild Butterfly, by Vicky Kimmel

Jardineros de Placitas presents photography group exhibition

~Bonnie Hayes

On November 4, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Placitas Community Library, 453 Highway 165, there will be a reception to showcase the photos of twelve members of the Jardineros de Placitas Photography Group. The theme of the show is “Shutter At The Thought.” Their work will be on display throughout November. Photographers are Nancy Bennett, Roz Corrier, Jeff Doll, Rozanne Hakala, Todd Hakala, Vicky Kimmel, Bebe Marks, Harriet Neal, Jim Neal, Mike Stoy, Erica Wendel-Oglesby, Jim Wiesner. For more information, call 835-9938.

Holiday Faire returns to San Antonio Mission

A Holiday Faire will be held on November 18 and 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the San Antonio Mission on Avandia San Antonio in Placitas. Amongst the goods will be pastel art by Nancy Hawks, jewelry by Fran Stephens, beaded jewelry by Pat Oshel, glass art by Ellen Baker, metal crosses and deco wreaths by Limberly Martinez, and pearl and crystal jewelry by Estella Martinez. There will be light refreshments available. To get there, head east for seven miles along Route 165 and turn right onto Avenida San Antonio. Follow the red holiday stocking signs.

Danielle Nicole

Big tent shelters the huge dance floor at the Land Of Enchantment Blues Festival

Main stage fans groove to the music

Globalquerque! organizer Tom Frouge enjoys the day with others at the fest.
—Photos by George Koinis

Land of Enchantment Blues Festival was a hit at its new location

Fifteen hundred people attended the Land of Enchantment Blues Festival on a fine October day at its new location at Loretto Park in Bernalillo. Maud Beenhouwer of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop called the festival “a huge success which may become an annual event.”

This year’s event included performances by Danielle Nicole, Hollard K. Smith, Chill House with Hillary Smith, Memphis P Tails, and Felix y los Gatos.

Kaktus Brewing Company in Bernalillo provided the beer choices alongside food trucks and winery venders. Arts and crafts booths abounded.

The family friendly event was organized by the New Mexico Jazz Workshop and supported in part by the Town of Bernalillo Lodger’s Tax, New Mexico Arts, and BikeABQ. For further information, go to

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