Local galleries deck out for Christmas

Sculpture at Des Montes Gallery

Christmas music is playing on the radio. Taos neighbors start shopping for gifts and trees. Homes look festive and so do local galleries, as artists get inspired with the arrival of the holidays.

Las Comadres Women’s Gallery is celebrating its fourteenth holiday season with a show of miniatures, “Good Things Come in Small Packages.” The show will run from December 3rd to December 30th.

A reception and book signing has been planned for Saturday, December 3rd, from 3 pm to 6 pm. “All of our artists have donated artwork for drawings that will take place that evening,” said Gail Russell, a photo artist and member of Las Comadres. “Just drop by and fill out a drawing slip… you may be a lucky winner!”

Las Comadres is introducing its newest member, painter and printmaker Donna Caulton. Caulton is a recipient of multiple painting awards and was a recent fellow at the Wurlitzer Foundation inTaos. Judy Tafoya, a sixth generation potter fromSanta Clara, will have nativity sets, ornaments, and angels made of the famous black pottery ofNew Mexico.

The gallery is located in the north part of the Taos Historic District, directly across from The Taos Art Museum. “We are definitely in good company here on Paseo del Pueblo Norte,” said Russell.

Las Comadres artists bring their unique vision to tin work, weaving, glass, photography, sculpture, pottery, painted gourds and wearable art.

The gallery has nine artist owners. “Everyone is looking forward to the holidays,” said Russell. “We all share the gallery responsibilities and time behind the counter. It’s a good way to do business these days.”

The Des Montes Folk Art Gallery is known for its larger-than-life yard sculptures and beautiful oil paintings. The owner is local artist Floyd Archuleta, whose ancestors were among the original settlers of Arroyo Seco. Archuleta plans to go the extra mile when decorating his space this Christmas.

“I am going to give all my yard sculptures a holiday update,” he said. “One in particular is sure to make an impression. It’s a metal tree around 20 feet tall, quite imposing. It will be decorated with cutout pieces of animals, also made of metal, and plenty of lights.”

Archuleta’s sculptures are made of 100% recycled material, which includes bailing wire, antlers and horns. “Every year, after we feed the cattle, we collect the baling wire and then I use it to make full-size sculptures of animals,” he said. They are big, impressive-looking pieces of art.

“When I finish decorating them for Christmas, this entire place will be a sight to behold,” Archuleta said. “The lights will add a festive touch to the carving and metal pieces.”

Des Montes Folk Art Gallery is offering a 20% discount off all local art, including oil paintings and yard sculptures. The offer is good for all of November and December 2011.

Shaun Richel, artist and owner of 201 Fine Art, plans to put up white Christmas lights in the front windows and decorate the interior with accents of greenery and baubles on the mantles of the fireplaces. “We have four fireplaces,” she said. “Well, actually six if you count the ones in the casita we rent out.”

They like to decorate the Christmas tree that is inside the gallery in an original way. “We gather the golden leaves of fall, then dry them and lay them heavily on the evergreen,” she explained. “It is natural and beautiful, and very organic.”

As for gifts, 203 Fine Arts is focused on early moderns to contemporary art pieces. A few of the early moderns represented by the gallery are Bea Mandelman, Louis Ribak, Fritz Scholder and Michio Takayama. Among the contemporary abstract artists are Tom Dixon, Robert M. Ellis, Ron Cooper, Shaun Richel and her husband Eric Andrews. Their paintings are available for sale.

“This is Christmas with sophistication,” Richel said.

Open Space, an artist-owned gallery, will be decorating their windows in their traditional starlight white bulbs.  “But this year we are featuring something different, said artist Lina Thewlis. “We will have our Christmas tree decorated with hand-painted and hand-crafted ornaments.”

Diane Harris will feature her angel, star and heart motifs in Raku pottery while Charlotte Shroyer and Lina Thewlis will paint Christmas globes. All ornaments will be available for sale. “Who could think of a better memento of a trip toTaos?” asked Thewlis with a smile.

Everyone looks forward to the annual Open Space Gallery Christmas Open House that will take place on December 17th.  “Every member of the gallery will be bringing home-made delicacies,” said Thewlis. “The buffet table is known for its abundant goodness. You are all invited, so come and toast the holidays with us!”

Las Comadres Gallery

228-A Paseo del Pueblo Norte

Taos, New Mexico  87571




Hondo Seco Road– 1.4 miles west of Arroyo Seco

Phone: 575-770-6970




203 Ledoux St.,Taos,NM87571

Phone: 575 751-1262



Open Space

103 B EastTaosPlaza under the Gorge Restaurant.

Taos,New Mexico87571

Phone: (575) 758-1217