The Questa Studio Arts Tour has become a much-anticipated event that “opens the doors” for the fall season of Northern New Mexico art tours. Now in its seventh year, the tour features up to 50 local artists and craftspeople who reflect the cultural diversity and creative talent of our vibrant community.
This year’s tour will feature 18 locations, with 12 multi-artist hubs. Spanning 20 miles, the route starts at the south end of Questa and runs east to the edge of the national forest and north through Sunshine Valley. During COVID, many artists have developed whole new bodies of work and exciting new artists have emerged.
The first stop is located along NM Hwy 522, at the furniture restoration studio of Evelyn Coggins, at Cosas Hermosas. Evelyn takes old, worn furniture and repurposes it into new treasures. She is joined by furniture maker Mose Rainault, mixed media artist Martha Shepp, and nature watercolorist Karen Ahlgren.
Next, on the opposite side of Highway 522, is ArtQuesta Studio & Gallery. This long-time Questa gallery will show work from potter Sandra Harrington, and paintings by Roger Harrington, mixed media paintings from collage artist Monique Belitz, leather wearables from Torre Strong, and weavings from Hillary Heyl.
Up the road in his private studio, Nick Ortega, a Questa favorite, will be showing his stained glass, along with woodwork by Larry Cisneros.
Near the Questa traffic light on 522 you’ll find Rael’s Store and Coffee House, featuring many local artists, including woodworkers Armando Vigil and Armando Vigil III; Valerie Vigil, crafts/foods; quilters Ruth Archuleta and Cynthia Rael-Vigil; Marcus Herrera, carving and drawings; Ken Gallegos, santero carver; Carla Ortiz, jeweler; and the late Clarence LaCome’s folk art.
Hub # 5
Around the corner to the east of the light on the left of NM38, visit the Questa Visitors Center, for tour information and brochures, restrooms and snacks. Behind the Visitors Center, the historic St. Anthony’s Church houses many examples of beautiful crafts produced by local artists: handmade light sconces, retablos, carved beams, stained glass windows, and the beautiful altar screen.
Across from the Visitors Center Jay’s Unique Treasures will show Blayne Roger’s painted antler sculptures, Paul Flores’ assemblage art and more unique items!
Visit the beautifully restored St. Anthony’s Church. Tour information including hub locations, handicap accessibility, and artwork descriptions.
New this year, down Cabresto Road, are the strong, colorful, images of graffiti-esque painter John Jeffory Brunson.
Hub # 9
Down Hwy 38 a bit and to the left, on North Kiowa Road, is Mike and Peggy’s place. Here you will find pottery by Mike Ridder and paintings and fiber arts by Peggy Trigg. This stop will also host Diane DeFremery’s mixed media pieces, Joan Norris’s pastels, and Monique Parker’s mixed media and acrylic sacred art paintings. Also showing will be Julieanne Hadfield with her jewelry.
Then head north on Highway 522 to the newly expanded Questa Public Library, with five artists, including the Questa Quilters Guild, folk art painter BJ Konior, photographer Nancy DeHerrera-Crochet, painter Bonita Currey-Brown, and paintings by Mary Jo-Kelley.
Eight miles north of Questa, off Highway 522, the beautiful El Rito/Latir area nestled against the Sangre de Cristo mountains is packed full of artists in five unique hubs.
Next you will get a chance to see work by children’s book author and illustrator, Jenny Kostecki-Shaw.
On El Rito Road is the studio of Bill Brown with an assortment of abstract and contemporary works by the famed east coast artist, the late Nancy Brown as well as jewelry and paintings by Bill Brown.
On Quintana Road you will find the Oasis of Lorien, with five artists. On display will be Maria Mikhailas’ spiritual awareness paintings, Betsy Irwin’s beautiful gourd art, and Teresa Gostanza’s paintings, Steve Racicot’s bronze work, and jewelry and stuffed animals by Audrey Kunkel.
Hub # 14
Next up Quintana Road is a new hub at The Star House Studio of author and painter Ellen Wood (Maruška) and her daughter, painter and illustrator, Harper Wood.
Hub # 15
Just off Quintana Road is Barrie Andrews’ studio, featuring fused glass, printmaking, and encaustic works.
Hub # 16
On the north end of El Rito/Latir area, at the Takoja Institute, painter, illustrator and quilter Winter Ross will be shown, along with paintings by Shera Maher, Mario Sauceda and magical realism work by Catherine Porter-Brown.
Hub # 17
Across the highway at the Virsylvia Farm Store (formerly Iris Herbal) are homemade local products, textiles, textile demonstrations, and a petting zoo for kids. Print artist and folk art painter Betsy Peirce and textile artist Jane Stuehling will display their works.
Hub # 18
Finally, a little north on Sunshine Valley Road, the northern anchor of the tour is Ute A.I.R., with jewelry by silversmith Jill Kamas, pottery by Kathy Morsell, watercolors by Claire Coté, paintings by Mark Lewis Wagner, drawings and paintings by Jessica Hook, and luminous paintings by Cami Thompson.
The Questa Studio Arts Tour 2022 promises to be a rich experience and welcomes art lovers and collectors from around the world! This tour is a project of the Questa Creative Council. It is funded and supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Further support comes from the Questa Economic Development Fund, the Taos Community Foundation, New Mexico Arts, Questa Del Rio News and Chevron. We offer our gratitude and thanks to our funders.
Questa Creative Council Board member and artist: I paint the Southwest because I love the land! Being raised in the country, I have a strong tie to it. It’s a sense of deep emotions, of memory, and of history. While I am painting, I try to capture the feeling of the place, what is all around me: the smells, what I hear, and what I see – a complete picture. My abstracts represent “My Other Side.” I play with emotions through color, shapes, and energy to make playful compositions.