As we approach the gift giving time of year, The Independent looked at original work by artists east of the mountains.

The town of Mountainair is host to three interesting art destinations.

Cibola Arts Gallery is at 217 Broadway, in the heart of Mountainair. The bright and pleasant space is home to about 20 artists, 11 of whom jointly own and operate the gallery.

Gene Darnell’s work in fused glass produces colorful suncatchers like the dragonflies hanging in the sunny front window. He also creates stained glass panels, drawing on nature or abstracted.

His brother Ray Darnell works in several mediums including watercolor, oil, and silver jewelry. Darnell describes his inspiration as coming from the land and nature. His painting style can approach impressionism with a colorful palette or soften in a celebration of pre-Raphaelite femininity. His silver jewelry sometimes includes pearls or semiprecious stone, while his designs range from elegant modernism to mid-century brutalism.

Bead jewelry by Mary Schultz, in semi-precious stone like turquoise or amber is on display. Necklaces and sets including earrings make a statement with large elements.

Anne Ravenstone, who also happens to be the president of the Manzano Mountain Arts Council, shows original tin work at Cibola, including candle holders to fit the colorful tapers she also makes.

Rebecca Anthony, who opened La Galería in the Shaffer Hotel in June, exhibits her work at Cibola too. Using a technique known as scherrenitte, a kind of paper collage, she said she is inspired by New Mexico, creating mostly landscapes. Her subjects may also turn to old buildings or nature. Her execution expresses a poetic mood in a delicate hand.

Landscapes and cactus or floral studies come from the brush of Dianne Doan, working in watercolor and oil. She employs a saturated palette and a bold, deliberate hand to capture the vibrancy of nature. Doan’s work is represented at Galleria as well. Anthony said Doan has been experimenting with palette knife techniques, “adding deep, heavy texture to her work.”

Functional art by fine woodworker Roy Taylor and potter Annette Austin includes Taylor’s cutting boards, chessboards, and doorstops, in beautiful hardwoods, and Austin’s hand-thrown bowls, cups and garlic pots.

Photographs from the lens of Ann Adams can feel like a bright watercolor focusing on a single flower or studied realism in oil when she lays the lavender of lilacs against the texture of weathered wood. “I have always been fascinated by the hidden within nature,” Adams writes.

Glass mosaics by Tomás Wolff bring more color to the gallery; mixed media retablos by Lorenzo Romero depict religious icons; a wide selection of beautiful, wooden-barreled pens by Chris Tegard are available; and elaborately decorated eggs, including a “trinket box” that opens, were created by Jane Chevalier.

Photographer Marilyn Conway said, “I juxtapose a technically sharp photo with a fine art painterly quality.” Conway’s sense of composition and use of contrast create images seen through her unique perception.

Other artists’ works are to be found at La Galería in the Shaffer Hotel, which again has a restaurant also.

Anthony co-owns the gallery with Linda Marie, who works in oil on canvas. While also a portraitist, Marie presently has a collection of landscapes.

Other work includes artist Ray Darnell’s studies of female figures.

Kathy Bauer does ceramic sculpture inspired by native American traditions. She works in paper-clay, often using a crackle finish. Anthony said, “she changes her style; it’s really fun to watch her change her methods.”

Dean Schroeder “sculpts in wood,” Anthony said, using wood salvaged from burn scars for vessels finished in tung oil, adding, “They’re really quite fabulous.”

Books by photographer David Policansky depicting churches across New Mexico are available as well as Gicleé prints of much of the hanging work.

The non-profit Manzano Mountain Arts Council at 101 Broadway in Mountainair has promoted art in the community for 20 years. Art rom dance to music to fine art.

Information about the many things they have going on throughout the year can be found at,

Fine art exhibits change about every about two months, according to Taylor, who said, “We try to get as much diversity as we can.”

Presently, colorful quilts by area quilters hang throughout the large room. A small gift shop also offers original art from the community.

In the Edgewood area, the Route 66 Arts Alliance has about 60 members, according to Sandra Holzman, president of the organization. The group has events and classes throughout the year and more can be found at

With so many members, works from the Art Alliance can be found at three Edgewood locations, all with rotating exhibits of paintings, watercolors, photography, prints, etchings, collage, and more.

Edgewood Town Hall boasts local art on the walls. Works now on display include evocative, post-impressionist etchings by Holzman; abstract impressionist flowers, simple form in a soft palette, in acrylic on canvass by Lauren Lundgren; and Martin Matlack’s landscape photographs on aluminum.

The courthouse in Edgewood offers a foyer filled with art. If court is not in session, ask to see the courtroom where more art is on display.

A rotating display of the group’s work is also in The Independent’s office; a new show will be hung with an art opening coinciding with a party Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. at The Independent.

All the art mentioned in this story is for sale. Prices can range from a few dollars to about $4,000.