On Stands Now
July 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Courtesy Photo Our Lady of Guadalupe by Maria Mikhailas

QCC UPDATE: July 2023

Artistic traditions live on

Questa’s long history as an isolated village in northern New Mexico brought about a necessary creativity. If you needed a piece of furniture, you made it. If you wanted a devotional piece, you painted or carved it. Skill at leatherwork, metal work, quilting, and much more enriched the lives of our early settlers and created a legacy of craftsmanship that still thrives. Today, affordable land has drawn artists who draw inspiration from our very unique and dramatic scenery.

The arts are playing a part in our communities’ post-mining economic recovery. Artisan designed and handmade furniture, for example, is made in Questa by craftspeople such as long-time resident Mose Rainault. He especially enjoys making tables because, he says, “a table is where people meet, where you share, where you argue safely with a table between you!” Questeña Evelyn Coggins may share this feeling as she repurposes pre-owned furniture with a modern, artistic eye.

The Questa Quilters Guild; Monica Ortega, Elizabeth Huddle, Louisa Aragon, Gloria Martinez, Phyllis Zimmerman, and Evangeline Jaramillo carry on the cozy and practical traditions of their mothers and grandmothers. A skill refined by women across the U.S. frontier when housewares and fabric were not easy to come by. Fabric arts are also practiced locally by newcomers such as Jiwanshakti, who has traveled the world and brought back traditional felting techniques using natural wools. Other practical traditions are refined by Jill Kamas, an expert silversmith and hat maker at Ute Mountain Studios in Sunshine Valley, and by leatherworker Torre Strong, manager of Saturdays’ Art Market.

Pottery is another craft well represented in our village, with at least three beloved potters in Sandra Harrington of Art Questa gallery, Mike Ridder at his private gallery, and Kathy Morsell who shows at our Farmers Market. What else can one do with a kiln? Barrie Andrews, of the former OCHO Art Space, has become a nationally-recognized fused-glass artist, whose colorful jewelry and decorative pieces echo her past work in monoprints.

Spiritual inspiration for artistry has been present in Questa since our first settlers and it fills the restored San Antonio de Padua church today. Spiritual guidance also inspires the work of newer neighbors such as Monique Parker’s colorful acrylic paintings, Maria Mikhailas’ portraits of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the images of Spirit Birds that Mark Lewis Wagner paints. “I paint them as prayers,” he says.
And, of course, what has brought the artistry of New Mexico to international renown over the last century is the expressionistic painting of our dramatic landscape. This is well represented in Questa by our own Peggy Trigg, Roger Harrington of Art Questa Gallery, and Cerro’s Mary Jo Kellyand Judy Archuleta among others.

Questa’s mid-August studio tour showcases these artists and many more. Open studios start at the south end of the village and stretch to the border of the Carson National Forest to the east, and north to Cerro and Sunshine Valley and this summer, the tour extends into southern Colorado. All year long, the Creative Council offers an artists’ directory on its website QuestaCreative.org to provide information, display images, and provide contact with our local artists and craftspeople 24/7. Sign up if you are an artist; it’s free!

And Don’t Forget:

This summer’s Questa Art Tour will be held the weekend of August 12-13. And, every Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., visit the Art Market, offering original art, crafts, and collectibles. At the Farmers Market site by Questa’s Visitors Center.

Mark your calendars!

This year’s Questa Art Tour will be Aug. 12-13. Expect diverse works from the traditional to the modern, music, snacks, and fun; all along a 10 m scenic route. www.QuestaCreative.org. Or visit Art Questa Gallery.