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June 2024

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

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Courtesy Photo Scott Sutton with his art

The Art of Acequias & Cultural Landscape of the Northern Rio Grande: An Interactive Exhibit

EXHIBIT:
Thursday, May 2 – June 30, 2024
OPENING EVENTS:
Saturday, May 18
Acequia Mapping Workshop
Noon – 2 p.m.
Art Exhibit Opening
2 -4 p.m.
WHERE: Questa Public Library, 6½ Municipal Park Dr., Questa, NM
MORE INFO: contact
Peggy Trigg (505) 974-5314
Library hours are noon to 5 p.m.
Monday through Saturday.

For more information, please call the library at (575) 586-2023.

By CONTRIBUTING WRITERS SCOTT SUTTON and PEGGY TRIGG
The Questa Public Library presents Scott Sutton’s interactive display, ”The Art of Acequias & Cultural Landscape of the Northern Rio Grande.” In this art installation, he will share with the community the geological beauty and understanding that surrounds our precious water.
The exhibit highlights the relationships that Cerro, Questa, El Rito and Sunshine Valley have had with water for over the past 200 years.
Historically, the area was known as San Antonio Del Rio Colorado. Its first acequias, including the Acequia De La Plaza, were dug in 1815—these same acequias have been used to sustain life as a source of water for livestock, pastures, orchards, and gardens for generations.
The art installation will include historical maps of the area, including land grants, acequia maps, topography maps, and geological maps that highlight the unique aspects of both the natural and cultural landscapes of the place we all call home.
Art that reflects a sense of place using local materials and mapping will be displayed on the walls walls of the library as well as in a large portfolio book where you can flip through the pages to view a diversity of historical maps of the acequia systems that include Costilla, Latir, Cabresto, and Red River watersheds—all a source of water to the Upper Rio Grande Basin.
The exhibit will also include local minerals, clays, and soils that reveal the beautiful colorations that comprise this land, along with a diversity of plants that grow in the native ecosystem—cultural landscapes that have been cultivated for generations.
Sutton, whose home, or Querencia, exists here in northern New Mexico, is creating an art studio and artist-in-residence program focused on creating a sense of place using sustainable building materials and regenerating relationships with the land through the development of community orchards and gardens in Questa.
Sutton has been making paints with natural materials from the land, such as colorful minerals and clay and plant-based dyes, for over 20 years. He studied fine art at Oregon State University and then received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of New Mexico. Over the years his work has begun to weave together the creation of art, the art of pigment hunting, and the mapping of landscapes for a better understanding of topography and water, from the headwaters of the mountains down to acequias in gardens.
Currently, Sutton is taking classes at UNM in the Historic Preservation program, which includes historical research and an acequia class.
Don’t miss this beautiful and informative show. Get to know our local acequias!

Authors

  • Peggy Trigg

    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.

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  • Scott Sutton