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starr hardridge: a distinctive style | 02.07.2017


Blue Rain Gallery continually offers the best and most distinctive art to their clientele. Recently Starr Hardridge’s bold style and design elements caught our eye.



An enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Hardridge was raised in central Oklahoma and his subject matter is highly influenced by the mythology, symbolism, and extraordinary beadwork of native peoples. Trained in classical traditions, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration and painting from Savannah College of Art and Design and completed a year’s residency at France’s Nadaï Verdon Atelier of Decorative Arts. Each of these experiences helped to shape his unique artistic voice. They were, he says, “my jumping off point.”



In works such as Mvskoke Nocturn, a portrayal of a communal and ceremonial stomp dance, we see Hardridge’s detailed pointillist style fully on display. Employing his inclination to combine narrative and abstract inspirations, his paintings begin with a unique technique he’s developed to enhance the canvas’s texture and work out the composition. With infinite patience he then applies the paint, drop by drop, using a special tool to control its viscosity. “In this piece,” says the artist, “a cosmic rhythm takes place around the fire, balanced and aligned with the universe’s four cardinal directions. I have a special interest in portraying the mysterious relationship between man and environment.”



In addition to traditional scenes, wildlife is among the artist’s favorite subject matter. Living in a rural area surrounded by open country, he daily observes a multitude of creatures in their natural habitats. His keen eye for the world around him and his love of birds is revealed in his painting Grand Gesture/Wild Flight, which aptly captures the freewheeling flight of the southeastern red-tailed hawk.



Each of Hardridge’s paintings glow and refract light—their textured surfaces, audacious color, and exceptional design draw viewers for a closer look. He has participated in nationwide traveling exhibitions and garnered numerous awards. In 2015 one of his designs was selected by Pendelton Woolen Mills for their Legendary Blanket Artist series and recognition of his signature style continues to grow.


alberto valdes (1918 – 1998) | 12.23.2016




While some artists naturally embrace the attention their fame brings them, there are other artists that shy away from the spotlight, and at the extreme, choose privacy and solitude in the studio. Without the constant examination of the public eye, the recluse artist is left to his own devices. Ironically, this insular environment only encourages speculation about their inspirations, reasoning, and artistic choices. Alberto Valdés (1918 – 1998) is such an artist and we have no choice but to conjecture about his artwork as it is now slowly emerging into the light of the public sphere.



Alberto Moreno Valdés was born in El Paso, Texas, March 28, 1918, the eldest son of Alberto Valdés, Sr., a celebrated Mexican composer and conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra. The Valdés family relocated to east Los Angeles, California in 1925, specifically to the Boyle Heights neighborhood that was predominantly inhabited by Mexican and Italian families. At a young age, Valdés exhibited a natural ability for the plastic arts and he blossomed eventually into a commercial artist and illustrator, a career choice that not only paid the bills but also afforded him the means to study and purchase art books and magazines. He never physically traveled but, his countless art subscriptions whisked him away to the far corners of the international art world.



It was the early 20th Century Modernists, among them Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Wassily Kandinsky, and most importantly, Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, that particularly appealed to Valdés and, years later, he stated that “through the years of study, they have given me the necessary foundation that I needed.” It cannot be discounted that, in addition to his interests in these fine European and Latin American Modernist artists, his own neighborhood of Boyle Heights had a profound influence on him: East L.A. was a hotbed for the Mexican-American, or Chicano, Civil Rights Movement (el Movimiento), which began in the 1940s and culminated in the 1970s. The ideology of the era celebrated a Pre-Columbian cultural origin and many artists embraced a hybridized heritage with indigenous iconography like ancient glyphs and figures. In looking over the body of paintings that Valdés created, we find figurative abstraction with a heavy emphasis on contour and color. The strength and quality of his lines determine the underlying structure of his subjects, while simultaneously heightening the sensuous experience of the shape. Like Tamayo, Valdés adopted a sober approach to his use of color, choosing to focus on brightly saturated colors in limited number — Tamayo was noted for adopting the attitude of “less is more” with color. Adding in a touch of Fauvist color influence, Valdés used color to translate a range of spiritual emotions. In speaking of his artwork, Valdés claimed to be spiritually moved by the mere execution of his work; each painting was an epiphany of subconscious thought and idea. He frequently said, “Mi vida es mi arte” (My art is my life).



Valdés painted in the same studio in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles for over 55 years, steadfastly refusing to exhibit or sell any of his artwork. He passed away on May 10, 1998 in the home that he painted in for six decades. Before now, the only people to ever witness him working or see the completed paintings and drawings were his immediate family and a few friends. His artwork first met with public attention in 2011 – 2012 when it was chosen for inclusion in the Autry National Center’s exhibition, Art Along the Hyphen: The Mexican-American Generation. This important presentation was actually part of a larger prestigious, multi-year initiative by the Getty Foundation, entitled Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 – 1980, which included feature art exhibitions, concerts, and performances focused on celebrating those who helped to put Southern California on the cultural map after World War II.



Blue Rain Gallery is proud to continue to shed light and attention on Alberto Valdés, as the vibrancy of his paintings stand the test of time. At the very least, we propose that his artwork is certainly worthy of in-depth aesthetic examination, and in following suit, the artwork should elicit and demand further appreciation.


z. z. wei: on the road to inspiration | 12.06.2016


Z. Z. Wei loves to drive, to hit the road and wander. The Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Southwest and further afield all inspire his creatively imagined large-scale paintings. Like any master portraitist, Z. Z. brushes past detail to capture the character and personality of a region. His art is not about replicating a scene; each painting is alive with emotion, sparking personal memories in each of us and reminding us of the richness of the American landscape.



Born in Beijing in 1957 and growing up during the Cultural Revolution, it was not easy for an aspiring artist to achieve recognition but, as a skillful tapestry weaver and soft-sculpture artist in the 1980s, Z.Z Wei produced innovative artworks using a variety of materials. He was awarded two exhibitions at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. This success brought him to the attention of American collectors while he was still living in China.



Shortly thereafter, a Washington exchange program offered him and nine other Asian artists a chance to come to the United States and Z.Z. jumped at the chance. The opportunities for more artistic freedom were irresistible and US immigration policies at the time allowed him to stay on. Back roads captured his imagination and he learned to drive, wandering daily and returning to his studio to paint what inspired him. His strong sense of the landscape being alive became the central character in his signature style.



“I paint what I feel,” says Wei, “Simplicity is power.” Each inspiration for a new painting begins with a sketch. He does “tons of sketches on 3 x 5” index cards,” allowing him to resolve composition, structure, essential elements and even the color palette before approaching the canvas. As he begins to paint, he carefully sets forth his plan, adjusting intuitively as he works, building layer upon layer. His paintings comprise bold, stylistic components of abstraction, movement, and expressionism.



Many of Wei’s paintings feature a rusty car traveling down a winding road or other well-worn modes of transportation. Buildings are weathered, hills rounded, drawing your eye into what lies ahead. There is a sense of loneliness in some scenes, a sense of possibility in others. His paintings are often exercises in nostalgia, a “re-envisioning” of an earlier time. Occasional road signs seem to portend future events. Striking, richly hued brush strokes delineate rolling hills, buildings, and highways, while elongated late-day shadows stretch and dance across each scene like patterns of lace through a sheer, sun-pierced curtain. We are passengers along for the ride.


narratives from the heart of new mexico | 09.19.2016




Blue Rain is pleased and proud to announce that two of our artists, David Bradley and Jim Vogel, have been honored with the New Mexico’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for 2016. These exceptional artists have each taken risks in order to pursue their vision—Bradley by tackling controversial, often discomforting subject matter, Vogel by abandoning the stultifying security of the corporate world to dedicate his talent to celebrating New Mexico’s cultural depths. Both have embraced the challenge of reminding us of basic truths that are often forgotten or unappreciated, in the process telling the stories of the unsung heroism of ordinary people.



The trenchant quality of Bradley’s social commentary is softened somewhat by his whimsical, almost magical portrayal of Native Americans and their surroundings, but his bite is felt nonetheless. The Chippewa artist mocks the stereotypes of Native peoples, in the process providing us with glimpses of the rage, sorrow, and ambivalence that result from hundreds of years of misunderstanding. He balances all this with beauty and humor in paintings and bronze sculptures so rich in detail that one can spend years contemplating their intricacies. Some of his recent work eschews overt commentary in favor of pure beauty, abstracting iconic landscapes and situations and imbuing them with vivid colors and a sense of admiration for his subject matter.



Viewing Bradley’s work has become all the more poignant as he struggles against the ravages of his illness, ALS, and we’re reminded of how precious his artistic output is and of the resiliency of his spirit, which continues to offer us insights and inspiration despite the daunting challenges he faces.



New Mexico native Jim Vogel’s affectionate depictions of rural New Mexican life are so full of charm and respect for his subjects that their appeal is irresistible. His narrative approach exalts the ordinary with a deceptive simplicity, focusing on details like work-worn hands, weather-ravaged skin, and beatific smiles that show us that a hard life can also be a fulfilling one. His newest body of work, a series he calls Ludlow: Labor, Liberty, and Loss, tells the story of the 1914 struggle of coal miners in southern Colorado to wrest sustenance and dignity from a company that thwarted their efforts to unionize by massacring the workers who strayed from the company line.



While this may seem like a departure from his usual subject matter of rural scenes and people, there is, in fact, a direct connection. “It’s tied into the idea of the invisible working class,” says Vogel. “It may seem like a departure, but it’s really a deeper look at the commonality of people working to improve their lives and ours. When we use electricity we don’t think of the miners who supply the coal, just like when we eat we don’t think of the farmers who supply the food. Often what they contribute is disparaged or denigrated. That’s why I chose to celebrate them.”



Vogel’s new work goes on display at the gallery on September 23, with a reception for the artist on September 30.


cannupa hanska luger: “we have agency”: a narrative in process | 08.30.2016



Cannupa Hanska Luger, an artist whose work represents the human experience through powerful and relevant statements, presents a new series with a message that reminds us of all of our will and ability to change. “We Have Agency” is an inspiring collection that reaches far beyond the mere longing for change and instead, displays the very act of making one.



Inspired by Shibari, a Japanese bondage practice literally meaning, “decoratively tie,” this process often involves a single rope that is twisted and used to create knots to bind an individual. Luger was intrigued by the use of only one rope, stating that, “regardless of where you cut the bond, the entire thing unravels.” “We Have Agency” is Luger’s personal narrative of setting oneself free from the things that bind us and, if you look closely, each figure is holding a knife against the nylon cord that binds them, representing the precise moment of letting go.



The series portrays a collection of human figures, some freestanding and some suspended in mid-air, but each bound with a nylon rope keeping them static. The ceramic and steel figures suspended from a wall represent the fragility and resilience of humanity, while presenting the reality that severing these bonds is often met with a fall. The anticipation of the fall that each of these pieces display may cause discomfort upon recognition but, as Luger himself puts it, “you will fall, but you’ll be free.”



Additional aesthetic choices that Luger made with this work further support the narrative of cutting the bond, beginning with the shape. The geodesic ceramic surface represents the multifaceted aspect of being human, our many angles and beliefs that makes us who we are, yet it’s those sides of ourselves that tend to serve as the very rope that ties us down. The choice of color was something new for Luger, who primarily uses lighter shades of color in his work, describing the black-on-black method as “a subversive choice, representing our dependency, or our bond, to oil.”



Cannupa Hanska Luger is a true expert in articulating his thoughts through his work just as effortlessly and clearly as his words. Through “We Have Agency,” Luger reminds us that, although we are constantly subject to whatever it is that may bind us, be it social media, money, politics, etc., “the only way you can affect any change, is to live by example. You can hope all day but that’s all you’ll get. Let’s be active, let’s allow the world to see change.”


the cameros collection | 08.15.2016


Blue Rain Gallery has established its pre-eminence in the realm of contemporary fine art so firmly that it’s easy to forget that we have long been the leader in offering the best in Native pottery. Over the past 25 years we’ve shared the talents of such luminaries as Al Qöyawayma, Richard Zane Smith, Tammy Garcia, and more, all groundbreaking artists whose work has stood the test of time. We’ve also been fortunate to acquire entire collections from some of the most discriminating collectors, which we now are sharing with the public.



On Friday, August 18, we’ll be releasing a treasure trove of exceptional Southwestern pottery from the collection of Nancy and Alan Cameros, which comprises the work of the aforementioned artists and others—the finest Native American potters of the past 125 years. You’ll probably never see a more comprehensive and visually stunning collection, with a breadth, variety, and quality that borders on astonishing and whose roster of artists reads like a Who’s Who of Southwestern ceramists.

Among the highlights are polychrome pots by Maria and Julian Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, two of the biggest names in Pueblo pottery, as well as exquisite black-on-black collaborations between Maria and her son, Popovi Da. From her grandson, Tony Da, we offer an extremely rare piece: a sgrafitto-carved redware turtle jar that features elaborate inlays of stone and silver, an intricately sculpted and decorated stopper, and a surprise sculpture inside.



Another highlight is a monumental storage jar with an impressed bear claw by Sara Fina Tafoya of Santa Clara Pueblo, whose long line of descendants includes Margaret Tafoya, considered the matriarch of Santa Clara pottery, Nancy and Nathan Youngblood, Grace Medicine Flower, and other notables, all of whom are also represented in this collection. Jody Folwell and her daughter, Susan, also from Santa Clara, bring an experimental, avant-garde take on contemporary pottery that demonstrates the flexibility and adaptability of the art form while honoring its traditional roots.



From Hopi come the works of Hopi-Tewa artist Nampeyo, who single-handedly revived the designs and techniques of the ancient Sikyatki people, as well as contemporary pots by her descendants Fannie Nampeyo, Dextra Quotskuyva, and Les Namingha, among others. A particularly exciting piece is a large panel of painted tiles, possibly the only one in existence, by Jacob Koopee Nampeyo, which illustrates the distinctive Hopi designs that appear to be contemporary abstracts but which were inspired by the Sikyatki designs of millennia past.



Also not to be missed are the dazzling geometric designs of Lucy Lewis and her clan from Acoma Pueblo, their distinctive white slip providing negative space that lets the artistry of the designs stand out.



All in all, this is one of the broadest, most definitive collections ever compiled, and we’re excited to be able to once again offer these masterpieces to today’s discriminating collectors. Pricing for the collection will be available on Thursday, August 18th and the sale will open on Friday morning, August 19th at 9am in our Downtown gallery location. This is a collecting opportunity you won’t want to miss!


preston singletary’s “raven and the box of daylight” | 08.03.2016


In 2013, Preston Singletary was the first artist to create a glass totem pole that reached an astonishing 7-feet tall and took nearly five years to complete. Glass casting in a scale of that size had never been accomplished before and Singletary has since become an expert in creating large-scale glass art and telling stories through a medium so complex, yet pristine. Today, Preston Singletary presents a traditional glass totem pole that required this rare talent and provides insight into the symbolism of the Tlingit culture with a piece called, “Raven and the Box of Daylight.”

Preston Singletary’s recent work began in Alaska where the story behind “Raven and the Box of Daylight” originated. “You have to understand the cultural style and significance to be able to differentiate one totem pole from another,” Singletary explains. Knowing the meaning behind each figure on the totem pole can allow someone to pinpoint the exact clan that the story was derived from. This particular totem pole tells the tale of how the stars, birds and daylight were trapped in a box until one day, the Raven opens the box and tosses them up into the sky where we can find them today.



This story began to take form when Preston Singletary traveled to the Czech Republic where this work of art eventually came to life. Singletary describes the process as “a collective effort,” as one could only imagine when thinking about moving a piece of this scale, let alone creating it. Traveling over 5,000 miles to the Czech Republic was necessary for the materials, technology and surprisingly, the bead making industry. “They are known for their bead-making culture, especially when it comes to creating unusual colors based on the current fashion.” Inspired by these beautiful hues, Preston Singletary plans to offer this totem pole in a series of colors.

“I’ve spent the past twenty years developing my style and focused, not only on the innovation of the object, but now the scale,” Singletary states when describing the 125-pound totem pole. There is no denying the amount of time, detail and calculation that is essential to creating a piece of this magnitude. But to have the ability to etch an entire narrative into a piece of glass is best described by Singletary himself as, “a natural evolution of indigenous art in a new medium.”


leroy garcia: the long road from taos | 07.29.2016


by Rosemary Carstens



Leroy Garcia’s heritage stretches back through four centuries of New Mexico settlement. His earliest ancestors in the state made their way from Spain and up through Mexico to forge a dynasty of cattle ranchers in and around what is known today as Taos. As a boy, second of eleven children, Leroy spent many hours on his grandfather’s cattle ranch doing chores. Milking cows twice a day acquainted him with their multiple personalities and the pranks they could play—he’s had his nose broken and been “kicked, smacked, and pooped on”—all in a day’s work.

Leroy’s father worked at a mine north of Taos for 20 years providing their gas and electric services and then another 20 years as a planning engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratories. He instilled in all of his children the importance of a strong work ethic. The family built their own home by making the adobes, collecting logs from the mountains to peel and use for vigas, and collecting rocks for the exterior walls.

No stranger to hard physical labor, at age 8, Leroy started selling newspapers to help out his family and took his turn chopping wood and stacking it for winter heat. As a young man he put in time as a tire buster at Big O and worked construction. The importance of getting in there and doing whatever it takes to reach a goal has been a lifetime perspective and no doubt underlies his strong success in the gallery business.

After high school, Leroy completed an Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree in business administration and management at Brigham Young University-Idaho and then transferred to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He began a long-term collaboration with noted Santa Clara Pueblo potter and sculptor Tammy Garcia. During the course of their relationship Leroy directed all aspects of business, and most aspects of concept development and creative production, to include Tammy’s expansion into bronze sculpture, jewelry, and glass.

Leroy opened Blue Rain Gallery in 1993 in an upstairs bedroom of his father’s house, located right along the road near the north pueblo entrance. The Gallery’s fast growing success led Leroy to pursue a more prominent brick and mortar location for the gallery on the Taos Plaza, and eventually in Santa Fe. A born entrepreneur, Leroy has a well-developed eye for innovation and opportunity, two essential qualities for a man engaged long-term in the business of art. Also a talented artist, he continues to produce a personal line of limited edition bronze sculptures and patinaed tiles and, recently, cast-glass lead crystal artworks.

When asked about his ability to stay successful and relevant over almost a quarter of a century, Leroy emphasizes his team: “I have been blessed to have surrounded myself with great people who have supported us from the beginning.” Named after Tammy Garcia’s grandmother, also a pueblo potter, Blue Rain Gallery initially focused on Native American art. But around 2000 they began to diversify to include outstanding regional and contemporary artists working in a variety of media. Leroy also saw the potential and rising collector connoisseurship in fine art glass and began to include top and emerging artists working in the medium.

“We look for talent that is innovative and refined, not mass produced, and for those with a unique voice,” says Leroy. “We look for relationships that empower the gallery to act exclusively and allow us to fully invest in marketing their artworks. Mutual trust and transparency is essential. One element of our success is that we have always reinvested a substantial portion of our profits in the promotion of our artists.”

Painter Doug West, an artist who appreciates his six-year relationship with the gallery, concurs which makes it mutually beneficial:

From the first, I greatly valued Leroy’s clarity in defining the parameters of business responsibilities on both sides. He told me exactly what to expect in terms of shows, sales efforts, promotions, and payment. He set forth guidelines concerning exclusive representation and regular production of new art. Most of all, he insisted that I immediately discuss with him any concerns over the course of our arrangement.

Leroy has an excellent sense of humor while at the same time being a very serious, astute business man. I have great respect for how he has built Blue Rain’s excellent reputation, and I am proud to be included in the gallery’s outstanding mix of creative, excellent artists.


Collector confidence relies upon a gallery’s solid ongoing foundation and reputation. Over the decades, they have expressed their confidence in Leroy Garcia by continuing to come first to Blue Rain when looking for new acquisitions and, when it’s time to divest, they know they can count on Blue Rain for highly professional representation.

Blue Rain Gallery has expanded across the country to participate in major shows from coast-to-coast, maintained a satellite gallery in Scottsdale’s art district for six years, and recently opened a new location in the progressive Santa Fe Railyard Arts District, which will eventually become their main gallery. The gallery represents a rich assortment of Contemporary, Native American, and Regional art to include include paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics, and jewelry. Leroy Garcia continues to push the boundaries of what constitutes “Western Art,” to explore originality and break through to new heights.

It has been a long and winding road for the skinny kid from Taos, but one that continues to reward his efforts and enrich his life and the lives of art lovers everywhere.


spanish market group show: el moisés, leroy garcia and larry blissett | 07.26.2016


Each year, Santa Fe comes together to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture of New Mexico during the Traditional Spanish Market. This year, Blue Rain Gallery embraces the diversity of our state by putting the spotlight on three artists who have combined their personalities and backgrounds to share their unique artistic expressions during this celebration of cultural history. The gallery’s exhibit will highlight the works of El Moisés, Leroy Garcia and Larry Blissett, who each provide a wide range of technique and varying experience levels while staying true to the roots and allure of New Mexico.



“Somewhere between fine art and folk art,” is how artist Larry Blissett describes his work after finding inspiration in the Hispanic art and culture of Santa Fe where he resides today. Larry began his career as a contractor in California and began dabbling in the world of art after work to keep busy. “I don’t take life so seriously,” Larry states as he describes the humor that stems from his personality and melts into his work. Although Larry is fairly new to the realm of art, he already has a strong following with fans appreciating his unique style, even finding poetic inspiration from his paintings. His abstract pieces are full of textures, muted colors and so much character that they can unknowingly display a smile on the face of the observer.



“En mi dominio, soy El Rey [I am the king of my domain].” Leroy Garcia began his art career as a “gallerista” when he founded Blue Rain Gallery 25 years ago. During that time, he became an expert in the technicalities of the creation process and discovered his love and appreciation for art by embracing the works of others. “In the more difficult times of life, it felt healing to get my hands in clay,” Leroy explains while describing his own work and recent collection of skulls that he brought to life through self-reflection. El Rey, El Fuego and El Macho, represent exactly what their names describe with accessories like bandanas, graffiti lettering and facial hair that bring these pieces to life. The collection is now available in a variety of mediums including bronze and cast glass.



“The voice of the contemporary Hispanic art movement,” is one of the best ways to describe the impact that the work of El Moisés has had on the Hispanic community and culture. El Moisés has taken his personal background in Mexican and Native American folk art to the entire world with works that can be found on labels, murals, books, motorcycles and so much more. The vibrant colors and cartoon-like narratives seen across his work convey a playful, humorous tone with a profound sense of the place and people El Moisés calls home.

Each artist brings forth a taste of New Mexico in the form of art and a flavor that is distinct to their individual backgrounds. What ties each of these artists together is the conveyance of personality that is seen within each piece and a sense of self that was built from the very land we celebrate today. Blue Rain Gallery invites you to come enjoy this group show July 22-31, 2016 in our Downtown location and celebrate the history of New Mexico with us in beautiful Santa Fe.


shelley muzylowski allen: ode to the natural world | 07.12.2016




“I identify with open spaces, natural surroundings, flora and fauna,” says fine artist Shelley Muzylowski Allen, who presents her artistic visions in elegant combinations of glass, paint, stone and steel. Her masterful work in glass is the springboard for her creations, each a perfectly rendered interpretation of the natural world.

“I also have a love affair with rust, railroad tracks, and rocks,” she continues. “I spent most of my childhood observing nature closely, “branding” insects and snails with paint so I could track their paths through the summer, charting the growth cycle of birds, tadpoles, and snakes, and drawing my sightings of deer and horses.”



Born in Northern Manitoba, Canada, from the time Shelley could toddle around, she drew and painted. Later in her childhood she lived in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, surrounded by farm fields and ocean beaches. In 1988 she accomplished her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC, with a major in painting and a minor in intaglio. Always it was nature that mesmerized her and would become a most important inspiration for her art.

Today Shelley lives and works in the Pacific Northwest and creates blown, engraved, and hand-sculpted fine art glassworks depicting a menagerie of creatures coveted by private, corporate and institutional collectors worldwide, including such notables as Sir Elton John, Dale Chihuly, and Allen Ginsberg. A high point of her career came about recently when she worked in collaboration with the Italian maestro Davide Salvadore, one of the first women to work at her own bench and create glass sculpture with a maestro in Murano, Italy, to be exhibited in the United States.



Glass has always been among the most fascinating of mediums, with its matchless ability to reflect, refract and diffuse light. But it demands the highest level of sophistication and skill to move through its complexities, to blend color, patterns, and texture, and combine elements as Shelley does. In her latest series, two sculptures, Ripple and Rain, the swan and deer pieces that include the presence of water, were inspired by her home environment:

Living rurally, we are in the migration path of swans, deer and other wildlife. This winter to early spring we had so much rain that I realized if I didn’t embrace it, I would be overwhelmed by it. Close to dusk each day, a herd of deer would cross through our field to eat the early buds and fruit. During their passage, I would stand outside in the rain as close to them as possible. Each day they accepted me more and one afternoon I was standing amidst the herd. It was silent except for the rain. We gazed at each other. It was truly a life-changing moment.



Shelley Muzylowski Allen has been a full-time working artist for over 22 years and is one of the leading contemporary glass artists working today. She celebrates her world through art, using a lively, gestural visual language, capturing in action moments of natural grace. If artistic eminence is defined as possessing and embracing a variety of attributes, fearlessly experimenting to achieve more and push boundaries, Shelley Muzylowski Allen walks in that spotlight.


rimi yang: painting with meaning from artist to audience | 06.24.2016




11 years ago, Rimi Yang left behind a field of science and literature after discovering her passion for art. One of the most significant moments in Yang’s realization came while wandering through a museum in Italy, admiring centuries of work when she recalled stumbling into a room by Early Renaissance painter, Sandro Botticelli. It was upon entering this space that Rimi found herself in tears from the sheer energy of Botticelli’s work and the way it seemed to resonate seamlessly. “A painting can carry sincerity,” Yang continues, “and painting itself is about the ability to feel the intention of the painter.” This energy is exactly what Rimi Yang strives to convey each time her brush meets the canvas.



Rimi’s family emigrated from Korea to Japan and she later moved to the United States, eventually settling in Los Angeles, California where she lives today. Her Korean-American heritage has influenced her work considerably over the years as she continues to blur the lines where traditional Asian art meets Western art’s mentality. “A lot of Asian art is centered on the beauty of simplicity and taking the time to complete a single line with extreme patience, whereas Western art seems to focus more on the meaning, always seeking some sort of answer in the art. I respect both and use both.” Rimi’s emphasis on patience has allowed the process of her work to become her personal form of meditation. Additionally, her intention during the creation of each piece provides each member of the audience with a gift - the emotion, or meaning, that arises within each individual upon observation.



Dreamlike narratives, vibrant colors, complex patterns and recurring symbols are just some of the ways one could describe the work of Rimi Yang. It doesn’t take long to become captivated by her craft as your eyes move across layers of floral patterns, abstract shapes and horse-like creatures that Yang describes as, “carriers to a destination,” “life partners,” or simply, “destiny.” But one of the most enchanting aspects of Yang’s work can be found in the incredibly realistic and almost-familiar faces that she paints with ease, seen frequently throughout her work and each with an expression conveying meaning from the artist to the audience.



Blue Rain Gallery presents an exhibition of Rimi Yang’s most recent paintings June 24 – July 16 at the new Railyard location.


the cattle drive: visions of the old west | 06.08.2016


Nothing prompts images of the wide-open West like the cow. From dusty cattle drives across vast landscapes of arroyos and sagebrush to rodeo thrills starring majestic bulls, steer-roping, and daily ranch life, the cow is an iconic symbol recognized the world over. Angus, Texas Longhorn, Hereford, Brahman, and more dominate the breeds and each has its own unique characteristics.

“I was raised around cattle,” says Leroy Garcia, owner of Blue Rain Gallery. “They have such personality and each is different. When I was 15, I had some of the milking chores on my grandfather’s ranch and I’ve been kicked, smacked, and pooped on when one of the cows felt I was not doing my job correctly! I thought it would be interesting to host an invitational exhibition themed around these characters with artwork created by five talented Western artists.”



“The Cattle Drive” opens on Friday, June 17th, and will run through the end of the month in Blue Rain Gallery’s new Railyard gallery. Teresa Elliott, Billy Schenck, Julie Holthaus, Sonja Caywood, and Nathan Bennett are the show’s featured artists and we are excited about the stunning and often surprising interpretations of the theme.

Each participating artist has expressed the appeal of this unique motif and some have several works in the exhibition.



Teresa Elliott’s glowingly lit Young Brahman imbues him with the individuality her paintings are known for: “The cow is central to western art iconography. Rather than embed them in a western landscape, I prefer to bring them forward to create an intimate atmosphere for the viewer to contemplate.”



Who doesn’t enjoy the stylized photorealism of Billy Schenck’s paintings? His artworks celebrate the romance of western legends, with a nod to his pop art roots. As exemplified in A Day in July, one of the invitational’s featured paintings, his focus on elements of a sizzling southwest summer—silhouetted cattle, bold red mesas beneath a cumulous-laden sky—merge to evoke pleasure and nostalgia in its viewers.



Coming from a family of farmers and ranchers in Kansas, Julie Holthaus likes to think cattle ranching will always be “an important part of American history and culture.” There is something “genuine and strong,” she continues, “about the West, and I think Western legend deserves to be preserved.” Art is certainly one means of doing that and Julie’s bold cattle portraits may tempt you to rope one in for your own collection.



Sonja Caywood’s childhood in the saddle, growing up as a ranch girl, informs and inspires her art too. It pleases her “to see cattle are now central subjects of western art instead of background,” their significance in history placing them center stage: “I’ve always loved animals, and livestock figures prominently in both my memories and my paintings.” Sonja’s signature use of amplified color and light combined with her energetic brushwork make her artworks instantly recognizable and never fail to draw your eye.



Called a master patineur, many consider Nathan Bennett to be a modern-day alchemist as he calls forth fire and minerals to patinate bronze panels and sculptures. His lustrous atmospheric images often emphasize “the mystique of the West and western culture” drawn from regional scenes—bulls snorting, cows grazing, rodeos and cowboying, open landscapes under a big sky. Wait until you see what he has in the show!

Come to Cow Country and soak up reminders of life on the range—we hope to see you here!


preston singletary: reflections on a tribal legend | 04.13.2016


Award-winning artist Preston Singletary is well known for his ability to shed light on his ancestral history. He draws upon its rich cultural treasure to create his highly sought-after fine art glassworks. Blue Rain Gallery has just received Killer Whale Totem, a striking new limited edition piece with a unique character.



Singletary is a member of the Tlingit tribe and the Kagwaantan house group. The killer whale represents his family crest and this sculpture was inspired by its creation story. Legend has it that a man named Natslinae carved a whale figure out of wood and brought it to life to take revenge on his brothers-in-law who were jealous of his success in life. Once he’d carried out his act of revenge, says Singletary, “Natslinae instructed killer whales never to harm man again—there are even historic accounts of these whales chasing seals toward hunters in their canoes, of being a helper to man. This totem is a very literal interpretation of a traditional model totem.”

With the formation of this distinctive piece, Singletary moves to a glass casting process. To cast glass requires collaboration. After he conceived the design, he worked with master woodcarver David Franklin to develop the form. A casting mold is created from the wood original and an open-face mold is created out of steel, into which the liquid glass is dripped and then pressed to increase detail. Once the glass has cooled, the back is polished and then cold-fused to the base. The piece is then dipped in or sprayed with hydrofluoric acid to create a satin finish.

Singletary had these works produced in the Czech Republic, home to some of the best glass technology in the world. They still make lead crystal, which is no longer done in the United States. Lead crystal, as anyone knows who has enjoyed the iridescent sparkle and weight of Waterford or Steuben glassware, has a reflective quality all its own.

As with each of his marvelous artworks to flow from inspiration to completion, Preston Singletary’s Killer Whale Totem proves he can adopt new methods, connect his cultural perspective to current modern art movements, and keep his work fresh and relevant.


al qoyawayma: blending the ancient and the modern | 04.10.2016



To examine Hopi artist Al Qoyawayma’s pottery is to be transported to a world beyond time, a place where the ancient and the modern blend seamlessly amid the subtle hues of the high desert, where a centuries-old cosmology informs a contemporary vision that pushes the boundaries of experimentation. It takes a special person to navigate this world, and Al Q, as he is known to his friends, is special indeed.



A member of the Coyote Clan whose origins date back to the ancient village of Sikyatki, Qoyawayma credits his late aunt Polingaysi Qoyawayma, a renowned potter also known as Elizabeth White, with inspiring his distinctive style. Emulating the low-shouldered forms and intricate designs of the Sikyatki, whose pottery is considered by experts to be among the most sophisticated ever produced, he creates complex, lightweight pieces of ceramic art that serve as both a repository of traditional stories and an exemplar of modern minimalism. Smooth surfaces, intricate carvings, and inviting shapes characterize his highly innovative approach to the art form, combining techniques old and new to craft vessels of singular beauty.



“I use the repoussé technique on the clay to produce fluid forms with high sculptural relief,” he says. “I use many motifs, such as ancient architecture, dancing figures, and icons like corn, animals, and feathers.”

Qoyawayma’s vision is influenced not only by ancestral art forms but also by his own scientific background as an accomplished engineer and hydrologist. He owns patents worldwide on advanced aerospace navigation systems, and is co-founder of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. But despite his success as a scientist, teacher, writer, and scholar, it’s through his art that he expresses his “unified field theory” of a world that exists outside of linear time.



“It’s art, almost more than science, that’s taught me to be disciplined,” he observes. “Persistence and endurance are also family traits, Hopi traits. I make a lot of my own tools because they don’t exist elsewhere, and I’ve tested a hundred or more different clays to come up with one that’s ten times stronger than any commercial clay.”



It’s also his affinity for his culture, and the landscape that gave rise to it, that keeps him grounded. “Sitting on Hopi Mesa in the pure silence, feeling the wind blow, puts me into a kind of trance,” he explains. “Focusing isn’t just about working—it involves inspiration.”


dan friday: glass baskets and totems | 03.19.2016





A totem is an animal, plant, or natural object serving among certain tribal or traditional people as the sigil of a tribe. A totem pole is a structure carved and sculpted to tell a story or mark a historical event using those representations. It is the representation or affiliation of the totems which particular groups of Native peoples use to trace their heritage & beliefs. Today, glassblower Daniel Joseph Friday introduces ancient totems brought to life through glass. “Native cultures have always carved totems in wood, which have deteriorated and decomposed over time” he says. “However, casting totems in glass is similar to stone, though it is fragile. It is also durable and can withstand time.”



Daniel Joseph Friday is a Native of the Lummi Nation from the Washington state Puget Sound region. Friday has spent the past few decades dedicating his time to the study and manifestation of cultural and ideological aspects of totems. Friday creates his representation of totems through his work with blown glass. Totems are often not religious objects; however, they communicate and commemorate aspects of the spirit. Friday explains, “My work is a contemporary representation of my culture, as well as a totem. My grandfather was a totem carver and my grandmother a basket maker. I learned how to work with my hands from an early age.”



Using his hands, Friday produces stunning original pieces that masterfully combine color and form. Friday’s vibrant collection includes, owls, totems, ravens, bears, and baskets. Each piece constructed by Friday creates a glowing silhouette, hollow and distinct. Color is a central element of his work. Friday explains, “Through the use of colors I can make each piece my own and exercise my freedoms.” The thinness of each layer of color creates a glowing effect, catching the light and magnifying each individual color. The co-mingling colors found within the glass totems are indigenous to the sculptures very purpose and creation.



There is an art to shaping a mass of molten glass and Friday has mastered that art. During the long glass blowing process, Friday explains, “the glass begins to take on a life of its own.” His totems begin to tell a story, commemorating his history and culture. Native American tradition has survived through Friday’s need to create. His love for his culture, as well as his family ensures many generations will be able to appreciate his totems. “I want my art to represent things that are special to me.” Friday continues, “I create them knowing that they will become a future artifact.”


q and a with santa fe artist martin spei | 03.14.2016





Blue Rain Gallery recently sat down with Martin Spei to find out more about the local artist and his extraordinary collection portraying the archetype of man. With detailed facial expressions and body language that brings each character to life, Spei’s artwork tells stories of familiar feelings and places. Whether it’s walking to work against a strong wind or the sensation of dragging heavy, long arms across the floor as you lunge to move forward, each piece illustrates a story we can all recall from our own lives.



“I believe that all real artwork is autobiographical. I am a part of this universe, this world, this country, this culture and this city so of course, my work is going to be a reaction to existing in this life.”

Examining human behavior in everyday settings has always served as a primary source of inspiration for your work. What is a recent observation that inspired you?

“I can’t help but to observe everything and constantly take it all in but recently, with everything going on politically and during the presidential elections, I can’t help but observe some very strange behavior and body language. I haven’t quite put it into a new piece yet but it’s there. There are a lot of interesting things going on right now and it would behoove me to take the time to simply pay attention to it and not react so quickly.”



You once described life as “a series of emotions.” If you had to choose just one emotion to describe your work, which would it be and why?

“I’m not sure the concept of one emotion really exists. I think we’re way more complex than that. I feel that an emotion is really just a conflict of two emotions like, if you’re really angry, it’s actually a conflict of feeling anger and sadness simultaneously. I’m trying to communicate what I feel and see through these pieces so when others view them, I hope it strikes a narrative in them that represents their own history and something they choose to feel.”



Your work has been showcased all over the United States and overseas in Paris and London. What message or story does your work convey that makes it so relatable on a global scale?

“We’re all human and the human figure, specifically, is something we all recognize as ourselves. The things that we find different from one another are far less than all the things that we have in common. We all experience regret, love and hate, regardless of religion or upbringing; power, failure, struggle, struggle, struggle. We all know what it feels like.”



What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Be ready for luck. There are a lot of very talented people out there, in every industry, so you need to continue to work at what it is that you love and become good at it until you find success. It’s not even a riddle. Work hard at what you love and when luck comes your way, you’re ready.”



lisa holt and harlan reano: earth, wind, and fire | 03.09.2016





Earth, Wind, and Fire: Pottery with a Modern Touch Lisa Holt (Cochiti Pueblo) and Harlan Reano (Santo Domingo/Kewa Pueblo) are breathing fresh life into traditional pottery. Working together they have created a body of work that blends Cochiti methodology and older Santo Domingo designs and then expands beyond those boundaries to include contemporary references.



Lisa comes from a family of celebrated Pueblo potters, including Laurencita Herrera, Seferina Ortiz, Virgil Ortiz, and her mother, Inez Ortiz. She and her husband, Harlan, learned their craft from Lisa’s mother while still teenagers. With such a rich heritage to draw from, they quickly became skilled potters in their own right and were soon adding their personal designs to the mix. To begin with, they produced conventional Cochiti pottery—frogs, lizards, pots and jars, and an array of traditional figurines. But every generation puts its unique fingerprint on its art and Holt and Reano are no exception.



What remains at the foundation of their work is their use of all natural materials and paints. They dig their clay from the ground and process it themselves. Once it is ready to work, each piece is coil-built by hand, not thrown on a wheel. The clay is rolled into coils and built one coil on top of another until the piece is complete. Larger vessels, such as ollas, take much more time to build.



While both Lisa and Harlan make the pottery, Harlan adds the designs, which are applied onto a rare white slip with black paint made from Wild Spinach/Rocky Mountain Beeweed. Drawing inspiration from everything from ancient Native American designs to super hero figures, he spends hours sketching and developing his own unique patterns. Harlan recently collaborated with Preston Singletary on an innovative new series of Pueblo Warrior and Circus figures in blown glass. The work of this talented, award-winning couple continues to evolve. Stop by the gallery and be delighted!


billy schenck: perspectives on the familiar | 02.08.2016

Billy Schenck likes to break the rules. Back in the late sixties, a time when the New York art “establishment” was eschewing narrative content because it was too literal and social and political commentary as a way of making art seem dated, this prolific painter of Western people and scenes burst into town with his own way of looking at the West. Initially inspired by old black-and-white posters of Western movies, he achieved almost immediate success by ignoring the common wisdom and following his instincts, imbuing his paintings with a narrative arc and a subtle commentary on the human condition. His work celebrates iconic Western characters and lands while approaching them with a kind of affectionate irony, acknowledging the power of the enduring Western myths even as he pokes fun at them.



The archetypes of those myths include such figures as the Rugged Individualist pitting himself against nature, the Lonesome Cowboy who’s only at peace in the saddle, and the Stoic Indian who bears his burdens with dignity and an aura of mystery. Linking them all is the vast Western landscape, a character unto itself that exudes the drama and subtlety of an inhospitable terrain while beckoning us with its unique challenges and stunning visual appeal.



If Schenck’s flattened, reductivist renderings of these characters and geographic features seem reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s hyper-realistic observations of pop culture, it’s no accident. Intrigued early on by Warhol’s irreverent explorations of the relationships among art, celebrity, and advertising, Schenck became ensconced in the Warholian band of iconoclasts in the late sixties and early seventies and hung out with some of the biggest names of that era: Lou Reed, his proto-punk band Velvet Underground, Viva, et al. Often more observer than participant, he absorbed the unique aesthetic and sensibilities of the time and reflected them in his work.



Schenck is the most recent addition to Blue Rain Gallery’s growing stable of exceptional contemporary artists, and his fresh approach to familiar subject matter is a good fit. “I like his humor, his constructs, the way he develops a scene,” says Blue Rain Gallery owner and founder Leroy Garcia. “He has the vision to create a dialogue that’s new and unique, and he serves as a kind of bridge between the Western art world and the Pop Art movement.”



Schenck cites Sergio Leone of Spaghetti Western fame as another influence. “I have a cinematic approach to my imagery,” he says. “Sergio Leone brought a wry, tongue-in-cheek attitude to his work, and he spoke to the moral ambiguity of the era. I figured if Sergio could do this with film, I could do it with art, presenting an alternative vision of Western painting.”


leroy garcia reveals a collection of skulls at the la art show | 01.28.2016




Inspiration can strike at any time, anywhere, even in the palm of your hand. When Leroy Garcia stumbled upon a piece of jewelry at a local store, he placed the skull-shaped pendant in his hand and instantly, it became his muse. “Most people associate skulls with evil,” explains Garcia, “but to me, they represent mortality and serve as a reminder that we are only here for so long before we, too, become skeleton remains.”



The founder of Blue Rain Gallery is no stranger to the realm of art, yet he tends to keep his own creations and creativity hidden behind the scenes. Garcia has always been closely involved with the conceptualization of ideas and the engineering and production process with many artists represented by the gallery, describing art as “a collaborative event.” For the first time in his career, Leroy presents a 3-dimensional series that tells a story beyond the corporal existence.



The series includes three skulls, entitled “El Macho” (tough guy), “El Fuego” (the fire) and “El Rey” (the king), which is a play on Leroy’s name in French, Le Roi, with the same meaning. Each skull displays more culture and personality than any collection of bones could ever attempt to convey. The sculptures carry powerful names and characteristics that include flames, goatees, bandanas and tattoos written in graffiti lettering across the parietal portion of the skull. Furthermore, these skulls exhibit intentional imperfections and exaggerations, such as an elongated skull and a mouthful of teeth, far more than the average 32. “My thumbprint is even hidden in these sculptures.” Garcia continues, “It’s important to me that these pieces represent the authenticity of handmade art and not something a machine could make.”



Blue Rain Gallery began in 1993 with 95% of the focus centered on Native American art. Since then, the gallery has diversified and grown to represent a variety of cultures including Hispanic influence. “Hispanic art is undervalued in Northern New Mexico,” states Garcia. Which is exactly why the skull series brings forth a contemporary artistic expression of a large part of New Mexico’s community. All three skulls began as clay and evolved into bronze sculptures but Leroy Garcia wont stop there. He plans to create skulls made of lead crystal and glass a few months from now, allowing the medium to convey its own message to the audience. Until then, “El Macho” and “El Fuego” will make their debut at the LA Art Show taking place in Los Angeles, California January 27-31.


matthew sievers: energy in light and color | 12.21.2015


Matthew Sievers steps up to his easel with passion and energy, qualities that stream from his palette knife and brush in great sweeps of vibrant color and emotion.



Sievers came to art at an early age, studying with his father, Gregory Sievers, an accomplished professional artist. They explored an array of mediums and styles together, and his father’s encouragement and guidance laid a solid foundation upon which Matthew’s talent could thrive and expand. “Our home was filled with art,” he says. “Outside my bedroom door hung an ink drawing of Charlie Chaplin, a cubist painting of a royal king and queen, and a diverse range of other artworks.” Within such a rich environment it is no surprise that Matthew felt free to experiment widely to find his own artistic voice.



When the time came, Sievers studied art formally at Brigham Young University-Idaho and Utah State University where he delved into a variety of mediums and subject matter. Traveling in Africa and Europe broadened his understanding of art as expressed in other cultures, but he still considers his father to be his greatest inspiration.



Sievers’ signature style is uniquely recognizable. Applying paint liberally and laying in his brush and palette knife work side by side allows the artist to sharply contrast soft passages with bold, expressive impasto textures. He is fascinated with how light on these different surfaces creates interest and varies the viewer’s experience from day to night. Combined with his preference for glowing color, these are works with an underlying sense of joyousness that increasingly draw collectors’ appreciation.



Sievers’s newest work explores abstraction in the individual elements and beauty of the human form: “My figurative series is an expression of the beauty I see in people doing everyday things,” he says. “I’m trying to convey a scene without getting distracted by the details or over-rendering the likeness, to move instead toward capturing the essence of my subjects.”


rimi yang: world’s eye view | 12.08.2015


There’s a mysterious force at work in the art of Rimi Yang. It derives from her intense curiosity about the world, her enthusiastic and wholehearted absorption of its symbols, history, and cultural means of artistic expression. She translates this mélange of influences into incandescent bursts of color and design, intuitively blending and reshaping them into fresh, multi-textured compositions that intrigue viewers and spark imaginations.



Yang’s unique background has imprinted her with a remarkable understanding of both Asian and Western artistic sensibilities. An ethnic Korean born and raised in Osaka, Japan, she was exposed early on to the traditional fundamentals of Japanese and Chinese art and encouraged by the contemporary influences of her teachers there to press beyond restrictive boundaries. She came to the United States in 1986 and studied at Bowling Green University and then relocated to Los Angeles in 1991, where she studied at California State University, the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, and the Otis College of Art and Design. A summer in Italy studying at the Florence Academy of Art further infused her paintings with refinement and global iconography.



Recently, Yang became fascinated with patterns used in Japanese porcelain. As with each new interest, her compositions become fields for exploration and discovery. Central feminine figures with wide-eyed gazes or sweet child-like smiles often appear, elaborately costumed, and frequently on horseback, immersed in dense swirls of emblems and motifs. Marks, drips, and vibrant passages of impasto and scraping all dance across her canvases, creating fairytale-like atmospheres, a dialogue between worlds. Their international appeal has garnered her global recognition.



Rimi Yang is a master artist who uses her craftsmanship to communicate her lively engagement with the world around her. Her paintings are filled with the velocity of those connections, of a mind never at rest but intensely devoted to beauty and joy.


nathan bennett revolutionizes ancient patina painting | 12.03.2015


When most people visualize the Statue of Liberty, its blue-green appearance is usually the first characteristic that comes to mind. The color comes from the natural patina process that occurs over time with changes in temperature and exposure to moisture on the statue’s copper surface. Although patina can naturally occur, the deliberate act of applying it remains an ancient technique, and one of the most secretive art forms today. Ancient Egyptians would patina their sculptures to create shades of red, blue, green and gold and today, Utah artist Nathan Bennett introduces this process on 2-dimensional pieces of bronze, resulting in complex patina paintings.



Nathan Bennett describes the method as “using different metals and applying them through the use of fire and various chemicals to create colors on bronze.” The technique is just as complicated and as messy as it sounds, and it requires a great deal of time and patience to master. Bennett’s interest in art stemmed from a young age, receiving 2 university scholarships right out of high school to pursue his dreams. However, during a period of pain and confusion at the age of 18, Bennett was told, “take time to find yourself” and it was then that he found patina and his gift in mastering the art.



While discussing the process with the artist, one could hardly believe that Bennett doesn’t have a solid background in science and alchemy, considering the immense technical terminology and understanding that patina requires, but trial and error led him to create the most vibrant colors and beautiful images.



Even for those who are not aware of the complex patina process, Nathan Bennett’s art proves to be nothing short of compelling. Take his piece “Four Seasons,” for example; all four sides of this bronze sculpture are painted with the image of each season, but they are not the seasons of the earth. Rather, they represent the seasons of our lives. Bennett explains, “we all have seasons, some quick burning, some mark significant life changes, but they all shape who we are in the end.”



One element that distinguishes Nathan Bennett’s work from all others is his use of trees. “Trees are a symbol of us,” he states. Bennett found that he could convey the human emotion through the use of a tree much more clearly than any other symbol. These trees are usually black or gold, silhouettes that breathe against a dreamlike mist of color. Although the trees tend to be portrayed as shady images, the magic in Bennett’s work comes with the realization of what creates that shadow. Take a close look at Nathan Bennett’s art; you’ll notice that, although the darker images tend to make you feel a certain way, once your eyes catch the light of the colors, the feelings seem to lift. “You can’t see the light without the dark,” Nathan continues, “mostly what I paint is hope.”


happy thanksgiving from blue rain gallery | 11.23.2015

Each year, Thanksgiving signals the start of the holiday season and we pause before the rush of events and celebrations to think of all we have to be thankful for. All of us at Blue Rain Gallery recognize and appreciate the fullness of our relationships with each of you, our collectors and artists, everyone who visits and shares our pleasure in the joy that art brings to our lives.



When one of our artists brings in new work, we are as excited as he or she is—we get to experience and discuss with them their ideas, the development of a theme, what inspired them to put in hours of dedication to make by hand something that never existed before. And then we get to share those details and the beauty of the finished piece with those of you who fill your homes and your lives with the results of their labor. There can hardly be a better way to spend our days!



We often read these days that experiences make a longer-lasting gift than “things.” And that’s the beauty of giving art during the holidays. Opening a beautifully wrapped present to discover a finely crafted work of art not only makes the moment special, but it is truly the gift that is also an experience, giving pleasure for years to come.



Between now and the end of the year, we expect to have new work from many of your favorite artists. Stop in to experience the beauty and warm up with a cup of hot cider, a staff favorite! We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you during the holidays.

Wishing you and yours well, Your friends at Blue Rain Gallery


blue rain gallery: a downtown anchor in santa fe | 11.18.2015



The New Mexican experience can be found in the culture, traditions, and arts native to New Mexico. In discussing the staples of this region certain focal points will occur: green and red chile, sunsets, the immense cultural depths of Native American and Spanish traditions, and the art that makes New Mexico unique. In the capital city of New Mexico, Blue Rain Gallery reigns supreme in the forefront for introducing New Mexican art and culture to the world. Since 1993, Blue Rain Gallery has brought together the most prolific artists from New Mexico and abroad. The Gallery undeniably has one of the best venues for exhibiting art in town, and enjoys its status as an anchor in the downtown art community.



Blue Rain Gallery—with its ambitious schedule of shows and events, and celebrated cast of artists—helps to form the core of the city and its trends. Despite the changes in the downtown, and the flux of galleries on Lincoln Avenue, Blue Rain remains a constant—a destination for travelers and locals alike. When asked what makes Blue Rain Gallery so prolific, Director of Business Development, Denise Phetteplace says, “the gallery has always been forward thinking in its approach to business. Blue Rain Gallery consistently stays ahead of the curve.“ And with a recent 4000 square foot expansion, the gallery now boasts one of the largest art showrooms in the city.



But one cannot speak about Blue Rain Gallery without mentioning the mastermind behind it, Leroy Garcia. Phetteplace states that, “Owner Leroy Garcia has always been viewed as cutting edge in the art world, tirelessly searching for new young talent, spearheading collaborations between his artists, and always giving his collectors something fresh to look forward to. He advocates for a friendly, engaging and dynamic environment—and he has created a team that delivers that and more. Leroy is inventive, intuitive, and a true entrepreneur.”



Featuring an extraordinary collection of paintings, bronze and ceramic sculptures, pottery, and jewelry, Blue Rain Gallery sets the bar high for quality and collectible art in the Southwest. As a nationally respected gallery firmly rooted in Santa Fe, Blue Rain Gallery helps add to the national spotlight that the City Different has come to enjoy.


preston singletary and harlan reano: collaborations in glass | 11.05.2015



The creative process is usually a solitary pursuit. Artists are known for holing up in their studios to summon the muse, reveling in their individuality as they execute their vision. But at Blue Rain, the art of collaboration—the commingling of symbols, mediums, talents, and inspiration—renders the process less an individual journey and more a celebration of shared vision and spontaneity. And the results are, in a word, stunning.



Tlingit glass artist Preston Singletary, whose groundbreaking partnerships with a variety of Blue Rain artists have yielded exceptional creations over the past few years, most recently teamed up with ceramicist Harlan Reano to showcase the beauty and versatility of traditional and contemporary Pueblo pottery designs rendered in glass.

“Collaborations are something I like to do because I learn how other people interpret their culture, and I learn new forms,” says Singletary. “My mission is to carve out a place for glass in the contemporary indigenous art market. Traditional materials are increasingly rare, so more contemporary artists are open to trying new materials, and it’s interesting to see how ancient symbolism can carry over into a new age.”



Glass is a new medium for Reano, but he’s no stranger to collaboration. A native of Santo Domingo/Kewa Pueblo, he regularly works with his wife, Cochiti potter Lisa Holt, to create enigmatic ceramic figures that follow the pottery tradition of using designs to chronicle the events and realities of Pueblo life. Where that originally meant symbolizing the water, animals, and plants that gave meaning and sustenance to the lives of prehistoric peoples, today it reflects the media-driven world of contemporary concepts and challenges.

“I’m inspired by the Cochiti figures of the late 1800s and early 1900s,” says Reano of the time when tourists first began visiting the pueblos, giving rise to clay sculptures representing these foreign figures. “I like to render them as superheroes, inspired by comic books,” he says, “because they refer to the modern world of media.”



Rendering these sculptures in glass opened up new creative possibilities for Reano, who carved the designs for the glass figures blown by Singletary. “With glass I can work with colors I don’t normally work with, and I’m excited to be trying something new and working in a different medium.”

The figures evince characteristics reminiscent not just of superheroes but also of space aliens, pan-Native designs like Polynesian tikis, masked warriors, and traditional Native symbols, combining the sculptural qualities of the clay with the luminous appeal and permanence of the glass while blending traditional forms with contemporary sensibilities.



“For a long time Native artists have been kept in a kind of cultural corral,” observes Singletary. “People say, ‘It’s not traditional,’ but these newly adapted forms prove we’re a thriving, living community, trying out new material and mediums.”


roseta santiago's paintings to appear on set of new epix series graves | 10.29.2015

October was an exciting month for Santa Fe painter, Roseta Santiago, who was approached by the television network, Epix, to use a few of her paintings on the ongoing set of a new original series called “Graves.” The political satire tells the story of a former U.S. President, Richard Graves, starring actor Nick Nolte, in his journey to right his wrongs 25 years after he leaves office. His home in New Mexico will feature some of Santiago’s beautiful pieces including “The Collector”, “Icon” and “A Place Where I Have Been.”



Roseta Santiago began her career as a painter back in 2000 and describes the experience as, “I moved to New Mexico, locked the door and taught myself how to paint.” Nearly 15 years later, Santiago has excelled not only in painting striking works of art, but in teaching the method as well. Santiago explains her formula as simply, “If you paint, paint well and know what you’re painting. Then, the right pair of eyes will [see] your painting.” Santiago’s stunning Western art certainly succeeded in catching the attention of the television network earlier this month.

Many of Roseta Santiago’s paintings offer a nostalgic presence full of symbolism and storytelling beyond what words can express. The piece entitled, “A Place Where I Have Been” portrays the wanderings of a man draped in a penny blanket walking with his horse, and surrounded by bright-yellow Chamisa wildflowers with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains peeking over in the distance. Santiago describes this piece as being, “reminiscent of how we feel when we’re in a place we’ve been before.”



Another work that will appear in the upcoming television series is called, “The Collector.” This piece is filled with possessions that Roseta has collected over the years from various parts of the world. The most emblematic portion of this painting is the Peregrine falcon, a species known for its own role as a collector, which sits in the very center of the piece. Santiago chose to include the falcon, not only for the symbolism but, “in an effort to give a still life some sort of life.”



The piece entitled “Icon” represents a buffalo skull that Santiago compares to a mask. “Masks can tell the story of the living thing beneath.” Similarly, the buffalo skull tells the story of the living thing that once was. Be sure to keep an eye out for these paintings when “Graves” premieres in the fall of August 2016. Until then, you can view the aforementioned pieces and many more paintings by Roseta Santiago at Blue Rain Gallery.


martin spei: the human figure and the stories within | 10.05.2015

One could look at an ancient Greek sculpture and immediately determine the emotion and context of the piece in front of them, whether it is the embrace of lovers or the strength and power of man. When it comes to the sculptures of local Santa Fe artist, Martin Spei, each character represents a contradiction of feelings and a narrative that takes deep inspection to unravel. Viewing Spei’s sculptures from a distance can create an entirely different perspective from examining the pieces up close; and therein lies the beauty of his art and the accuracy in representing the archetype of man.



Spei’s love for the observation of people, be it in a grocery store or in the Santa Fe plaza, provides him with an understanding of himself and inspiration for his work. “All of these characters are me and my reaction to the world and what is in it,” Spei explains. Through the use of bronze, iron, aluminum, plaster and many other materials, Martin Spei conveys complex human emotions in pieces that are frozen in time.



Martin Spei’s “Golden Box Series” represents a sentiment that each and every human can relate to. Each figure is nowhere near perfect and portrays the sense of inadequacy that we all have a propensity to feel. Furthermore, each sculpture incorporates a golden box, which represents something precious. This collection of work is a reminder that we all have something precious. Regardless of who we are or where we come from, we each have something we cherish and value; we all have a golden box.



Another fascinating piece is Spei’s “Seven.” At first glance, one could observe seven individuals holding briefcases walking in what appears to be a busy scene. Upon closer inspection, it is clear that each of these characters are walking against the wind, or as Spei put it, “against the force of nature.” Also, each figure is barefoot upon a monolith, representing the idea that, “although we do all these things to feel bigger and better, we are still animals marching atop a manmade structure.”



Martin Spei’s work requires a considerable amount of time to create and can take just as much time to comprehend, but in the end, each person can find a way to relate. “There is no one story to describe the human story,” Spei states. Life is a series of emotions and Martin Spei’s sculptures help to justify just that.


doug west: new mexico 360 | 10.01.2015

Doug West: Mapping New Mexico – A 360-Degree View



The eloquent western writer Willa Cather once said, “The plain was there, under one’s feet, but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud . . . the sky, the sky!” She could have been describing the paintings of Doug West, often featuring great expanses of dramatic signature skies above uncluttered landscapes, an eagle’s eye view of the Land of Enchantment.



West traveled some 1,500 miles earlier this year to photograph the most spectacular scenes New Mexico has to offer in a continuation of his love affair with a land he never tires of exploring. Using those photos as an inspiring visual prompt, West retreated to his Baja, California, studio where, as he says, “the magic happens.” The result is twelve large-scale oil paintings that epitomize New Mexico’s unique and compelling character, qualities he’s focused on in fine detail for over four decades since moving to Santa Fe in 1974.



New works such as Opus in C and Solace are outstanding examples of West’s ability to marry graphic design elements with fine-art painterly skills, shaping each composition into a majestic retelling of southwestern geography. In Opus, note how the artist’s placement of elements in diagonals across the canvas draw the eye rhythmically and evoke a sensation of motion within the landscape, while Solace adeptly portrays the feeling of solitude as a stately Spanish Bayonet stands sentinel above a lonely sweep of White Sands National Monument. West maps not only New Mexico’s topography, but the essence of what it is to be present beneath those grand skies, to stand before those endless panoramas.



One of Doug West’s paintings is featured by the U.S. Postal Service on a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of New Mexico statehood and his work has been acquired by such prestigious institutions as the Smithsonian. His paintings, serigraphs, and monographs are held in numerous private and public collections worldwide.

New Mexico 360°, West’s upcoming one-man exhibition, opens October 9th and runs through October 24th.



jim vogel: dr. el ocio's circo curioso | 09.22.2015



Jim Vogel’s new show, Dr. El Ocio’s Circo Curioso, explores the interactions of an isolated New Mexican village — easily associated with Vogel’s rural home —and an exotic otherworldly circus, circa 1920s. Each painting boasts a colorful narrative, a vibrant atmosphere, and lots of humor. Vogel is always a fantastic storyteller and this series prompted such dialogue at home that, he said, that the whole family half expected Dr. El Ocio to walk through the front door.



The circus attracts a diverse group of characters including the local Norteños, who gather to see a giant striped cat (a.k.a a tiger). We don’t see the cat but we do see what the onlookers miss: the enormous pachyderm sneaking out of the train car right behind them. Another work shows Juan De Dios Gallegos, the best cowboy in Northern New Mexico, who catches air on his zebra as it bucks up under a crisp blue sky. At sundown, the Aztec fire masters blow flames while Vidal, an enchanted youngster, stares up at their brazen confidence. According to Vogel, no circus is complete without a flying man, painted here on an arched support and framed by an actual antique birdcage. Also in the mix: Our Lady of Perpetual Tattoos, the roustabouts, gypsy performers enjoying down time, and a myriad of other curiosities best seen to believe.



Dr. El Ocio and his circus invade and astonish the townspeople, and then Dr. El Ocio vanishes in the thick of night. The artist elaborates, “every good showman knows when it’s time to roll out of town (with the lights off).” At just over six feet tall (framed), Dr. El Ocio’s Exit documents this dramatic goodbye in a cinematic portrayal of the smarmy, one-eyed, ringmaster proudly heading a locomotive bustling straight out of town and straight for us! He hangs on with one oversized grip while the other hand victoriously waves his magician’s wand overhead, narrowly escaping the swirling storm clouds behind that allude to some metaphoric uproar. A shooting star dives aside the doc’s towering contrapposto — a cosmic sign that’s as ephemeral as Dr. El Ocio himself. Constantly siting the New Mexico landscape, Vogel references a nearby cañon where the narrow gauge railroad ran. Depicted here in the background, the cañon harbors the lonely giant who stayed behind. Dr. El Ocio’s Circo Curioso isn’t all make-believe and a certain top hat at Blue Rain Gallery lingers as evidence.




shelley muzylowski allen's glass compositions | 09.12.2015

Glass composer, Shelley Muzylowski Allen creates blown glass animals crafted from the finest sediments of the earth. Her masterful pieces conjure imagery of strength, beauty, and divinity, connecting the most regal of beasts with ancient elements known to man. Her collection treads upon the sacred bond and intuitive pact that connect all species across the earth.



Allen’s glass animals are a manifestation of a deity. The animals embody spirit and imagination. When describing the material for her animals Allen declares, “the material chose me.” After the vigorous glass blowing process Allen incorporates other media such as horsehair, beads, leather, steel, and stone to compliment the glass and make the overall piece more tactile. Using organic material “heightens the contrast and brings out the element of surprise.” Many of her pieces are set upon a unique stone foundation, a foundation that Allen discovers and harvests while hiking and exploring the wild. She is always inspired by her surroundings.



Allen’s work is a contemporary manifestation of the sacred bond and connection we share with the many other species on this planet. Her creative process is informed by her rural lifestyle and the harmony she experiences with her environment: “My inspiration is a connection with the natural world. I live intuitively.” Allen responds to the beauty and grace of her surroundings and creates what she witnesses in her daily life.



Allen’s newest collection of glass sculptures will be displayed in her upcoming solo exhibition at Blue Rain Gallery entitled, Bellwether. When asked of her goal for this exhibition Allen clearly stated, “to capture bellwether,” and to have “each piece incite tension in the audience. I want to share with them a story leading them through my process…with the hope that their own story will come from it.”



Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe will debut Bellwether: New works in glass by Shelley Muzylowski Allen September 18 – October 10, 2015, with an opening night reception on Friday, September 18th from 5 – 7pm.



thomas breeze marcus | 09.09.2015

From concrete walls to canvas, one could spot the intricate and colorful work of Thomas Breeze Marcus almost immediately. An artist who began expressing his talent in alleyways and backstreets has since begun embracing the desert heat and long days to master his skill at home in Phoenix, Arizona. Once you begin to take a close look at the incredible detail within each piece, it comes as no surprise that Marcus’ art requires a great deal of time and concentration. “On those days when I’m tired of being tired and the hours begin to take a toll, I remember the sacrifices my ancestors made and the effort in making a simple basket—it keeps me going.”



Thomas Breeze Marcus not only gained motivation from his Tohono O’odham ancestors and their style of basket weaving but also found inspiration in the patterns and incorporates them into most of his artwork. “There are two things I love about line work,” Marcus states, “the first is its connection to graffiti and the second is that it represents how everything is connected—there is no beginning and no end.” Another significant aspect seen in his art are the striking colors and hues of blue, pink, orange, red and green. The source of inspiration for the vibrancy of the colors in Marcus’ work can be found in the desert sky during sunset, which he makes a point to stop and watch each day.



The piece entitled “Little Hero” beautifully combines Marcus’ line work, color usage and cultural background. An acrylic painting of a detailed and brightly colored hummingbird atop a backdrop of geometric shapes and patterns tells the story of an old tale from the Tohono O’odham Nation. “When the people in the desert were waiting for rain, the hummingbird was the only one brave enough to fly out far into the desert and bring it back,” explains Marcus. “That’s why it is the little hero.”



Although Thomas Breeze Marcus’ work has transitioned from the walls of streets to canvas, paper, gourds and even old vinyl records, his style has remained consistent and is just as breathtaking as ever. With deep roots in graffiti, Marcus has expanded his skill set with the use of a variety of mediums and has excelled at each. Thomas Breeze Marcus’ artwork blends color and continuity, describing this juxtaposition himself as simply, “beautiful chaos.”


chris pappan: an evocative twist on a traditional art form | 09.02.2015



“Traditions have to change and evolve in order to stay relevant and alive,” says Chris Pappan, a Chicago-based artist of Kaw, Osage, and Cheyenne River Sioux heritage. About seven or eight years ago, Pappan began creating works that referenced traditional American Indian ledger drawings of the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Old paper, such as sheets from U.S. Calvary recruitment ledgers and 1930s receipt books, form the repurposed backdrop for his contemporary renderings of ancestral themes.

Pappan’s compositions are charged with subtle political and cultural commentary and composed of figures masterfully created in pencil, graphite, and mixed media. He also produces larger acrylic paintings in the same style. Subject matter is often inspired by his base materials—for example, he has used U.S. Cavalry paper to portray warriors or refer to specific historic battles.



The artist doesn’t avoid edgier interpretations either. His works depicting American Indian women are an evocative twist on old school pin-up beauty. They are intentionally erotic but with an overtone of feminist power and confidence. Moving away from stereotypical representations form the foundation of Pappan’s art. Each piece suggests a story and he invites his viewers to be a participant as it unfolds before them.



Recently, Pappan traveled to Australia as one of four artists chosen for the Landmarks Fellowship Project with the renowned Tamarind Institute of Albuquerque, NM. He has also been honored by the Southwestern Association of Indian Artists (SWAIA) and has repeatedly taken top Heard Museum awards during the Santa Fe Annual Indian Market.

In addition to private collections around the world, Pappan’s artworks can be found in several prominent museum collections, including the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC; the James T. Bialic Native American art collection at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, OK; the North America Native Museum in Zurich Switzerland; the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, KS, and the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures in Aurora, IL.




erin currier: the orchard keepers | 08.31.2015



Erin Currier sees beauty in all people, everywhere in the world, and she depicts this beauty in her art as a means of confronting injustice, oppression, and prejudice in all their forms. You won’t find evidence of outrage or despair in her collaged portraits, though, despite the strong political subtexts that animate them; instead you’ll witness luminous spirituality and the complexity born of simplicity in the lives of ordinary people.



In her latest series, “The Orchard Keepers,” Currier’s subjects wear beatific smiles and are framed by mandala-like shapes reminiscent of Buddhist thangka paintings, underscoring the sacred nature of the human condition even in the humblest of circumstances. “All of my work is about the human spirit,” she says, citing the struggles of women, workers, activists, and peasants against persecution around the world. The orchard keepers of the title represent the many ways humans have learned to sustain and heal themselves through subsistence agriculture, transmitting their knowledge to subsequent generations and upholding traditions. “There’s an autonomy in growing food and in taking back our ability to heal ourselves,” she says. “I honor that tradition of growing crops for food, sustainability, and healing.”



Currier uses reclaimed trash in her work, not only to add color and texture to her paintings but also to draw parallels between the detritus of modern civilization and the many lives that have been marginalized and devalued by society, their intrinsic value dismissed or ignored. “So much in today’s world is discarded,” she says, “but there’s so much beauty in it—the jewel tones of tea boxes and wrappers, the graphic quality of packaging. Human beings have been discarded in a similar way, treated as if they’re dispensable.” In her world travels, Currier seeks out these marginalized people, using her art to exalt their ordinary existence and show them as worthy of admiration and respect. She also points out the commonalities that bind us all as human beings regardless of geography, culture, and custom.



“We’re constantly beleaguered by our distinctions and differences,” she explains, “but in my travels I’ve found the opposite—we’re not all that different from one another. My work is about our shared humanity.” Radiating love, joy, and respect, Currier’s paintings thus give us a fresh perspective on the world’s problems and teach us that the solutions lie in the inherent, simple beauty of the indomitable human spirit, the force that connects us all.


les namingha's paintings are a natural evolution | 08.21.2015



Les Namingha’s debut paintings expose a natural yet transformative evolution for the artist and firmly establish him at the crux of Native painting and American Modernism. New Mexico’s own art historical legacy is steeped in abstraction, garnered by Taos’s early adopters in the 1940s. Namingha thus carries the torch instinctively. His meticulously crisp, clean lines and tight compositions so notable in his Hopi/Zuni pottery effortlessly translate to painting, as he owns his cultural heritage in more ways than one.



Each pot or painting is a novelty as each surface presents an opportunity for traditional designs with seemingly quirky interferences. His circumferences may get a lateral band or less predictably striped, dotted, or subdivided while his paintings undertake the flat picture plane. Namingha’s abstractions and Native iconography are then expertly painted in colorful acrylics. A pot like “After Stuart Davis” takes advantage of the primary colors and lyrical compositions so often found in its namesake’s work, and likewise resonates with the other great American heritage, jazz. This piece more than any other feels like a painting wrapped neatly around a cylinder.



The addictive Gene Davis stripes in the acrylic on panel “Kiva Painting” vibrate blue and orange within their eccentric star shape. Sitkyaki spikes intermingle and weave between neatly sectioned off Mondrian planes of blue, black, and orange. Namingha brings depth to the two dimensional panel, using color block painting in unforeseen ways. His Native imagery merges with the established lexicon of Stuart Davis, James Dougherty, and even Jorge Fick. Namingha’s two-dimensional paintings stage dynamic amalgamations that open up his abstractions to a world notably influenced by his American Modernist predecessors.



His painting titled, “Crag” pieces indigenous symbols and shapes into a puzzling figure, whose spikey hands protrude asymmetrically from either side and neck kinks with a single triangular eye that surprisingly invokes Picasso. Muted earth tones pile from the bottom up like slabs of clay. There’s a bird, a claw, waves, kiva steps, a rock’s edge (as the title suggests), or perhaps a metaphoric fragmentation of histories. “Crag” deconstructs as much as it recreates, and in so doing, presents an engaging future of multiple homegrown movements.


jody naranjo's whimsical animals | 08.20.2015



We all remember having that favorite doll when we were young. Imagine if that doll turned into a masterpiece. Years ago, contemporary potter, Jody Naranjo started making animal dolls for her children with leftover clay she had around the house. Once people started to notice these amusing clay figures, it became the beginning of a great creative endeavor. Naranjo began to design and bronze her clay animals, ensuring their permanence with a medium that can stand the test of time.



Jody Naranjo comes from a family of traditional Tewa potters and she is renowned for her contemporary pueblo pottery. Working with clay is as natural and necessary for Naranjo, as the strokes of a paintbrush are to Picasso. Though Naranjo’s family is known for their master works in traditional pottery, her designs veer away from the conventional shapes and motifs of her native descent. Naranjo has more of a “comical view” when it comes to her designs.



For the last few years Naranjo has been creating these whimsical animal sculptures in bronze. After getting one glimpse of these charming animal sculptures it is almost impossible not to desire one. Ranging from striking bronze deer to smiling bronze spiders, each individual animal is unique in shape and color. Naranjo describes her animals as, “happy little creatures that will make you smile.” Not only do the animals themselves tell a story but there is also a story behind each animal. The figures are initially created from a three-course process that involves traditional and ancient routines. Naranjo’s process involves hand-digging clay for each individual piece. Mindful of quality and consistency, she then adds volcanic ash to ensure the texture of the piece. Furthermore, she uses Taos micaceous clay to ensure shimmer. Each singular work is exposed to this process before its transition to bronze.



Naranjo is known for her award-winning contemporary art and adding these exquisite bronze sculptures to her oeuvre only further demonstrates that her creativity is boundless. As an artist, Naranjo believes that, “it is about entertaining yourself” and “growing as an artist.” These bronzed cuties are as fascinating and likeable as the artist herself. Discover these amazing creatures for yourself at the Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe!


jennifer moquino: east meets west with potter’s unique pieces | 08.20.2015

The sgraffito technique of etching detailed designs into layers of clay has appeared in the world of ceramics and pottery since the 16th century. These intricate carvings can be seen in many styles of Southwestern Native American pottery. Jennifer Moquino, of Santa Clara Pueblo, has recently introduced a new direction on the traditional black, red and polychrome pottery that has been created for generations by Santa Clara Pueblo. Moquino’s love for East-Asian art and popular culture has inspired her to create something new and exciting, blending Native American pottery with Japanese anime and manga.



One of her most recent pieces is a tile with the detailed carving of a creature that combines the image of a water serpent and the Chinese dragon, which both have similar symbolic significance in cultures across the East and the West. The creature on the tile is holding back the storm clouds hanging from above and the waves crashing down below. “There’s a story here about the water serpent that saved Santa Clara from a flood a long, long time ago,” recalls Moquino. “The story stuck with me and I wanted to try to create a piece that portrays this in visual form.” The end result is a powerful piece, tying elements from Santa Clara’s past and Asian mythology.



Another piece from Moquno’s latest work depicts the image of two “chibi”, or small, pueblo girls dressed in traditional Native American attire with charismatic anime expressions. The tile is a cheerful scene of one girl widely grinning while the other holds up the peace sign with her hand. “I noticed that most anime and manga portray Native Americans as half-naked, stoic people,” Moquino says as she giggles. This tile represents a more realistic and uplifting interpretation of the pueblo people, while staying consistent with the style of Japanese manga.



Over the past five years, Jennifer Moquino has been integrating Asian styles of art within her work, but it wasn’t until this past year that she began incorporating one of her favorite pastimes, Japanese anime. Moquino’s talent and passion for combining art and culture has seamlessly brought forth an innovative style of contemporary Native American pottery. The abovementioned tiles and other stunning pieces can be seen at Blue Rain Gallery’s Annual Celebration of Contemporary Native American Art, August 19 – 23, 2015.



nani chacon video | 08.17.2015



Nani Chacon is an accomplished mural artist and fine art painter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both a Diné (Navajo) and Chicana woman, Chacon grew up between Chinli, Arizona and Corrales, New Mexico. Her work explores topics such as femininity, culture, traditionalism, and modernism.

Chacon’s art has taken her around the world, and most recently to Russia, where she was commissioned to create a mural on the wall of the Municipal Arts Gallery on Izhevsk’s central square.

In this video, Nani Chacon combines her mural art with her fine art panel paintings to create a unique compositional experience for her debut show at Blue Rain Gallery.


mateo romero: from field to fine art, a landscape series | 08.13.2015

“I identify with the idea of taking a leap of faith into the unknown,” says Mateo Romero. “Artists such as Richard Diebenkorn and Pablo Picasso have often charted new territory in the course of their careers, moving, for example, from figurative to abstraction. I’ve always painted landscapes as part of my subject matter, but recently it has become a dominant direction and I’m very excited about it.”



Romero often hikes in the canyons and along the rivers lying south of Abiquiu. He sketches, photographs, and makes notes on evocative scenes. In his studio he translates these experiences into portrayals of a landscape rich in light-reflecting ochres, terra cottas, shadowy greens, and shimmering waterways reflecting the vast blue New Mexico skies. “It’s been wonderful and given me a fresh perspective on this region.”



The evolution of an artist’s work can be mysterious, with the forces of change rising slowly to the surface. Romero has long been known for his well-recognized mixed-media art with its complex references to his native ancestry and highly crafted design components. While his earlier works took a deep existential look into history, as he pivots in this dramatic new direction we share his emotional connection with a landscape traveled by his people for thousands of years. Using explosive impasto palette-knife strokes, each painting vibrates with energy. Each is painted alla prima with not even a whisper of hesitation—they are filled with power and authority.



With these works, Romero takes a bold step into the world of American landscape painting, and he does it brilliantly. He takes his intuitive narrative gifts and carries them forward into a visual language of interpretive realism. His landscape series will be exhibited during Blue Rain Gallery’s Annual Celebration of Contemporary Native American Art, August 19 – 23, 2015.


tammy garcia returns to her roots for indian market | 08.12.2015

Indian Market is the time when Tammy Garcia returns to her roots to produce her sought-after pottery, and there’s always a frisson of anticipation among her admirers as we wait to see what new inspiration has taken form in her exquisitely carved vessels. We wonder how she’s going to top what she did the previous year, but somehow she manages to surprise and delight us every time.

This year is no exception. Already known for using the entire surface of her pots as a “canvas” for her designs rather than the standard band, she takes her design genius to a new level with fresh subject matter that she incorporates into the shapes and details of the carvings in innovative ways.



Her octopus-themed pot, for example, uses the creature’s tentacles to form the handles, while blossoming sea urchins float about like a free-flowing bouquet. “I was looking through books about prehistoric life,” she says, “and was struck by the idea of the ancient sea that once covered the entire region, leaving fossils of shells and fish for us to find millions of years later.” She uses coral beads to provide a contrast with the inky-black of the octopus form, another reference to the ocean, as well as turquoise accents for still more contrast.



Another pot features a beautifully realized bee that’s framed by flowerlike forms and grounded by a chrysanthemum. Inspired by vintage brooches that use elaborate but delicate frames to showcase inset stones, she devised her own take on these frames to elevate the image and underscore traditional design elements while giving them a contemporary interpretation. “In Roman mythology the bee is a sacred insect that bears a message of good fortune from the gods,” says Tammy, “and the chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy.”



A recent innovation is her use of intricately carved stoppers and lids, a labor-intensive undertaking because of the challenge of shaping them to fit the pots exactly and balance out the weight. One stopper in particular, decorated with a bear, became the inspiration for the pot’s theme and dictated the shape of the vessel’s neck as well. “My grandmother, Serafina Tafoya, taught me that whenever you see bear tracks, you know water is close by,” says Tammy, “so the bear signifies the presence of water in addition to symbolizing strength. The fluted rim is designed to suggest raindrops, another reference to water.”

It’s the use of new imagery and fresh designs that engages Tammy’s imagination and leads her to experiment with shapes and finishes, she says. “I find the process as exciting today as it was 20 years ago.”





storytellers and more | 12.08.2014





rik allen show catalog | 10.02.2014









blue rain gallery news | spring 2014 | 03.31.2014

Click the image to view the spring newsletter.



Click the image to view the spring newsletter.



celebrate with us during heard market weekend | 02.19.2014

Blue Rain's Annual Celebration of Contemporary Native American Art (during Heard Market Weekend) February 27 - March 2, 2014 Artists' Reception: Thursday, February 27th, 7 - 9pm Featuring the artwork of Preston Singletary, Tammy Garcia, Tony Abeyta, Richard Zane Smith, Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano, Jody Naranjo, David Bradley, Hyrum Joe, and Maria Samora.









Enjoy a pdf from a blog about Erin Currier's work from "Chasing Santa Fe" by C. Whitney Ward. Photography by C. Whitney Ward.



preston singletary and jody naranjo | a collaboration in glass | 09.28.2013

Click here to download a pdf of the brochure.


Click here to download a pdf of the brochure.



tony abeyta video | 08.14.2013





group glass show | 06.25.2013


celebrating 20 years | 01.10.2013

click the image to download a pdf letter from Leroy Garcia



click the image to download a pdf letter from Leroy Garcia


happy new year | 01.02.2013



exclusive holiday sale | 12.04.2012

10% off selected fine art pieces now through December 24th Call the Gallery for further details: 505.954.9902





tammy garcia: 2012 pottery collection | 10.11.2012

Enjoy a comprehensive look at Tammy Garcia's 2012 Pottery Collection. Feel free to download the pdf or check out some screenshots of the article.

Enjoy a comprehensive look at Tammy Garcia's 2012 Pottery Collection. Feel free to download the pdf or check out some screenshots of the article.

 5 comments 


doug west: dawnings | 10.02.2012




the tammy garcia award for excellence | 08.14.2012

Tammy Garcia, Blue Rain Gallery, and SWAIA are proud to announce a special, new award for Indian Market 2012. The Tammy Garcia Award for Excellence Tammy will choose an artwork that best exemplifies the qualities that she strives for with her own work: technical prowess, creative vision, and overall excellence. This award will be open to all submitting SWAIA artists, across all of the classifications and mediums. Tammy will present this award at the official SWAIA Best of Show Ceremony and Luncheon. August 17, 2012, 11:30 am — 2:00 pm



santiago: witness | 07.03.2012

Over the course of her life, Roseta Santiago has pursued careers as varied as graphic designer, interior designer, builder, and mural painter, all of which inform her joyful, high-energy approach to painting. Fulfilling a lifelong dream upon her arrival in Santa Fe in 2000, she took up oil painting with such dedication and fervor that a mere two years later she was exhibiting her work in galleries and enjoying the kind of acclaim many painters spend decades trying to achieve. The same curiosity about the world around her that led her to such a broad array of successful undertakings now spurs her fascination with the artifacts and Native cultures of the Southwest, and she expresses that fascination via finely wrought paintings in oil that evoke an unseen realm of spirit that animates the figures and artifacts she so reverently depicts. Santiago’s paintings reveal a subtle narrative arc and serve as a kind of meditation on the quiet mysteries that define a moment in time or a sweeping era. Moving from still life to figurative painting to lyrical expression, she revels in the natural settings and serendipitous placement of objects that take her work beyond the literal to a place at once inspired and inspiring. “I like to paint old, worn, lived-in things,” she says. “The objects are not anonymous; they all belong to someone who made them in the real world. I’m exploring the beauty in the mystery and the mystery in the beauty, delving into whatever that essence is that drives artists to create.” In her newest body of work, Witness, she exhorts the viewer to “bear witness, to really see,” as she puts it. She adds a touch of impressionism to the otherwise realistic scenes she creates, and plays with light and shadow while rendering edges loosely to give her paintings a dreamlike quality. “Pueblo Shadows” displays this skill in manipulating light to dramatic effect; the graphically rendered figure is a striking presence, with a facial expression that hints at complex emotions and a life filled with challenges. The still life “Time Travelers III” defies the inert nature of painted objects by imbuing them with a strong sense of the lives lived in connection with these things—well-used moccasins, a bit of a pipe, and utilitarian pottery. As one studies Santiago’s paintings, stories begin to unfold, allowing the viewer to bear witness to the enduring nature of culture and spirit in an otherwise transient world.



Click the image to learn more about Roseta Santiago's new show.

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like us on facebook | 06.18.2012





tammy garcia pottery videos | 02.02.2012

Renowned potter and sculptor, Tammy Garcia spent all year creating one of the most innovative pottery shows in contemporary Native American ceramics which was released at Blue Rain Gallery in August of 2011. The new works emphasized perfume bottle forms and design schemes ranging from statuesque Chinese lions to 1930s and 1940s pulp magazine cover imagery. Not surprisingly, it was a sell-out show! Because of the unique and special nature of this new work, Garcia choreographed 5 videos to capture her intent in the process.



Renowned potter and sculptor, Tammy Garcia spent all year creating one of the most innovative pottery shows in contemporary Native American ceramics which was released at Blue Rain Gallery in August of 2011. The new works emphasized perfume bottle forms and design schemes ranging from statuesque Chinese lions to 1930s and 1940s pulp magazine cover imagery. Not surprisingly, it was a sell-out show! Because of the unique and special nature of this new work, Garcia choreographed 5 videos to capture her intent in the process.

 6 comments 


jim vogel: life along the chili line | 01.24.2012



Jim Vogel's newest paintings portray scenes of life along the Chili Line, a historic, narrow gauge rail line that ran in northern New Mexico until 1941.



Jim Vogel's newest paintings portray scenes of life along the Chili Line, a historic, narrow gauge rail line that ran in northern New Mexico until 1941.


dinner with the artist: tammy garcia | 01.10.2012



Join us for dinner with world famous Santa Clara artist, Tammy Garcia, at the Museum Hill Café at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum Hill, in Santa Fe and a multi-media presentation “Behind the Lens: Ceramic Works by Tammy Garcia” based on the edgy and risky works that she created for Indian Market this year, to be held in the Museum Theater afterwards. WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 5:30–8pm $45 per person includes dinner with cash bar and presentation. Tickets may be purchased from the Lensic Theater box office, by phone at 505.988.1234, or online at www.TicketsSantaFe.org. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, January 4th. Seating is limited. This event is Co-sponsored by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and Blue Rain Gallery.



Join us for dinner with world famous Santa Clara artist, Tammy Garcia, at the Museum Hill Café at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum Hill, in Santa Fe and a multi-media presentation “Behind the Lens: Ceramic Works by Tammy Garcia” based on the edgy and risky works that she created for Indian Market this year, to be held in the Museum Theater afterwards.

WHEN: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 5:30–8pm

$45 per person includes dinner with cash bar and presentation. Tickets may be purchased from the Lensic Theater box office, by phone at 505.988.1234, or online at www.TicketsSantaFe.org. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, January 4th. Seating is limited.

This event is Co-sponsored by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and Blue Rain Gallery.


tammy garcia video, roar | 11.22.2011


Renowned potter and sculptor, Tammy Garcia spent all year creating one of the most innovative pottery shows in contemporary Native American ceramics which was released at Blue Rain Gallery in August of 2011. The new works emphasized perfume bottle forms and design schemes ranging from statuesque Chinese lions to 1930s and 1940s pulp magazine cover imagery. Not surprisingly, it was a sell-out show! Because of the unique and special nature of this new work, Garcia choreographed 5 videos to capture her intent in the process. Be sure to check back as four more Tammy Garcia videos will be released in January 2012.



Renowned potter and sculptor, Tammy Garcia spent all year creating one of the most innovative pottery shows in contemporary Native American ceramics which was released at Blue Rain Gallery in August of 2011. The new works emphasized perfume bottle forms and design schemes ranging from statuesque Chinese lions to 1930s and 1940s pulp magazine cover imagery. Not surprisingly, it was a sell-out show! Because of the unique and special nature of this new work, Garcia choreographed 5 videos to capture her intent in the process. Be sure to check back as four more Tammy Garcia videos will be released in January 2012.

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jim vogel, open studio | 10.28.2011



November 5–6, 2011
Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to visit with artist Jim Vogel at his studio in Dixon, New Mexico. His studio will be open in conjuction with the 30th Annual Dixon Studio Tour. The Vogel studio is stop 12 and will be open fom 9 am to 5pm each day. Turn into the Vivác Winery driveway at the intersection of highways 68 and 75, and follow the signs.



November 5–6, 2011
Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to visit with artist Jim Vogel at his studio in Dixon, New Mexico. His studio will be open in conjuction with the 30th Annual Dixon Studio Tour. The Vogel studio is stop 12 and will be open fom 9 am to 5pm each day. Turn into the Vivác Winery driveway at the intersection of highways 68 and 75, and follow the signs.


rik allen featured in american art collector | 10.04.2011

This article appeared in the October 2011 issue of American Art Collector magazine (www.americanartcollector.com). Feel free to download the pdf or checkout some screenshots of the article. Courtesy of American Art Collector magazine.

This article appeared in the October 2011 issue of American Art Collector magazine (www.americanartcollector.com). Feel free to download the pdf or checkout some screenshots of the article. Courtesy of American Art Collector magazine.




christy vezolles | 07.20.2011


deladier almeida featured in southwest art | 06.29.2011

This article appeared in the July 2011 issue of Southwest Art (www.southwestart.com); text by Bonnie Gangelhoff. Feel free to download the pdf.

This article appeared in the July 2011 issue of Southwest Art (www.southwestart.com); text by Bonnie Gangelhoff. Feel free to download the pdf.


sean diediker | 06.01.2011

Click here to download a pdf of the Sean Diediker article from the June 2011 issue of American Art Collector magazine (courtesy of American Art Collector magazine).



Click here to download a pdf of the Sean Diediker article from the June 2011 issue of American Art Collector magazine (courtesy of American Art Collector magazine).


the eagle family collection in native peoples | 05.18.2011

This article first appeared in the May/June 2011 issue of Native Peoples magazine (www.nativepeoples.com); text by John Villani and photos by Justin Galloway. Feel free to download the pdf or checkout some screenshots of the article.

This article first appeared in the May/June 2011 issue of Native Peoples magazine (www.nativepeoples.com); text by John Villani and photos by Justin Galloway. Feel free to download the pdf or checkout some screenshots of the article.


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jim vogel | 02.02.2011


roseta santiago | 01.06.2011


preston singletary | 11.23.2010


sofa chicago | 11.05.2010


doug west resonance | 09.21.2010


tammy garcia in southwest arts | 08.09.2010

Feel free to download the pdf or checkout some screenshots of the article.

Feel free to download the pdf or checkout some screenshots of the article.



extra, extra, read all about it.... | 06.08.2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About It..... Well Blue Rain Gallery has done it again: they have curated another incredible show that breathes new life into contemporary Native American art. Glass dynamo, Preston Singletary has paired his talents, passions and interests with that of Marcus Amerman—best known for his beaded accoutrement loaded with pop art reference and social and political juice--to create an expository and exploratory show based upon forms and symbols of the ancient Mound Builder cultures of North America. If you are unfamiliar with the legacy of these ancient peoples, as many are due to lack of historical preservation, this new body of work should not be missed! Click on http://www.blueraingallery.com/artists/preston_singletary for a preview of the show.

SOFA Santa Fe

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letter from the owner | 06.01.2010

Dear Friends, As you all know, we are approaching one of our busiest seasons—summer. Leading us into that season, is a new show with intuitive painter, Randall LaGro titled “Feminine Mystique”. I can honestly say, “this is the best new body of work by Randall LaGro in years”. I have been a representative of his painting as well as a collector, and I was recently reminded of all the reasons I was first drawn to his work. LaGro’s artwork is not easily summed up in a few sentences; it takes years to understand the density of his paintings, and often longer to speak about them. There is a great sense of depth, mystery, and poetry suspended in the rich layers of paint, continuing to reveal itself as time passes. “Feminine Mystique” explores the mystery and complexity of the female consciousness, and is ultimately a testament to the strength and endurance of this fine painter of our day. If you are not already versed in Randall LaGro’s artwork, please allow yourself the joy of discovery. LaGro’s newest body of work can be viewed online and in the gallery. Warm Regards, Leroy Garcia, Owner Blue Rain Gallery

LaGro’s artwork is not easily summed up in a few sentences; it takes years to understand the density of his paintings, and often longer to speak about them. There is a great sense of depth, mystery, and poetry suspended in the rich layers of paint, continuing to reveal itself as time passes


who is blue rain contemporary? | 02.23.2010

Who is Blue Rain Contemporary? Blue Rain Contemporary is the newest incarnation of Blue Rain Gallery. Our first satellite location is located in Scottsdale, Arizona where we plan to take in the warmth of the desert sun while offering residents and visitors of Scottsdale a unique contemporary art experience. Blue Rain Contemporary has been built around core Blue Rain artists such as Tammy Garcia, Preston Singletary, and Tony Abeyta. Additionally, Blue Rain Contemporary is committed to the further promotion of its artists; therefore, we make a point of visiting urban areas such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles to participate in internationally recognized contemporary art shows such as SOFA and the Los Angeles Art Show. For more information regarding our new Scottsdale location and shows please call Denise at 480.766.2897 or email denise@blueraingallery.com.

Blue Rain Contemporary is the newest incarnation of Blue Rain Gallery. Our first satellite location is located in Scottsdale, Arizona where we plan to take in the warmth of the desert sun while offering residents and visitors of Scottsdale a unique contemporary art experience.


the transformation of blue rain gallery | 02.08.2010

Dear Friends, Eighteen years ago I took a few folding tables and a great deal of hope, along with the best pottery, basketry and paintings I could get my hands on (without having an established reputation as a dealer), and opened a small gallery on the second floor of my family’s home in northern New Mexico. To my surprise, I did quite well at my new vocation, and the need to grow soon became evident. This need brought me to the Plaza of famed art colony, Taos, New Mexico, eventually the business district of stylish Santa Fe, and now the Southwestern gem known as Scottsdale. Blue Rain Gallery has been through a great transformation from its humble beginnings as a source for Native American crafts, to showing the finest in contemporary Native American and regional art, all the way to its most recent eclecticism in contemporary art. The amorphous tendency of Blue Rain Gallery has made us an undeniable force in the contemporary world of fine art. This force, sustained by rockstars of the contemporary art world such as Tammy Garcia, Tony Abeyta, and Preston Singletary, has now breathed life into Blue Rain’s newest incarnation—Blue Rain Contemporary. I proudly present to you, and encourage you to visit, what we believe to be the first of many alternate locations that give justice and new stage to the pillars which we stand. Sincerely, Leroy Garcia Owner and President Blue Rain Gallery | Blue Rain Contemporary

Blue Rain Gallery has been through a great transformation from its humble beginnings as a source for Native American crafts, to showing the finest in contemporary Native American and regional art, all the way to its most recent eclecticism in contemporary art.

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leroy garcia elected | 12.10.2009

Blue Rain Gallery is proud to announce that owner, Leroy Garcia, was recently elected to the Board of Trustees for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. In addition to his responsibilities for serving on the board, Garcia has also been selected to serve on the finance committee for the Foundation. The Museum Foundation has a long and rich history of serving New Mexico. Founded in 1962 , the Private, non-profit Museum of New Mexico Foundation provides funding for endowments, capital projects, exhibitions, education, collections, and other valuable programs and projects at the Museum of New Mexico. More than 11,000 foundation members statewide and across the United States support the Palace of the Governors and the New Mexico History Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology; seven state monuments; and the Office of Archeological Studies. This year the Foundation is scheduled to complete its $22 million Shape the Future capital campaign, which includes $6.5 million of private funding for the New Mexico History Museum. The Foundation also provides annual grants to the Museum of New Mexico for exhibits, programs, and discretionary purposes. In addition to providing direct financial support for the Museum of New Mexico, the Foundation provides a wide range of support services that have a value of more than $1 million annually. www.museumfoundation.org

Blue Rain Owner, Leroy Garcia has been elected to the Board of Trustees for the Museum of New Mexico foundation...


l.a. art show | 12.08.2009

If you plan on being in the Los Angeles vicinity in January, please come and see the Blue Rain Gallery exhibit at the 15th Annual LA Art Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We'll be there from Thursday, January 21st through Sunday January 24th.

Join us in Los Angeles...


casting andrea | 08.14.2009

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See the process of turning a clay sculpture into a bronze beauty courtesy of the craftspeople at Bronzesmith Foundry

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For nearly two decades the Blue Rain Gallery has been committed to excellence in Native American Art and Indian Market has become a keystone of its existence. More...




indian market | 08.04.2009

Dear Friends, The better part of each year is spent in anticipation of what has become a cornerstone in Blue Rain Gallery’s seventeen year existence—Indian Market. Even with the gradual changes that we have made over the years, the focus of Native American art has remained vital to Blue Rain Gallery’s reputation and core; however, the place where Blue Rain Gallery makes it’s mark is with its continued commitment to innovation and refinement. Blue Rain Gallery’s stellar stable of mid-career and up and coming artists gets better every year and leading the pack are favorites like Tammy Garcia with her much desired works in clay and a new direction in figurative bronze sculpture; Tony Abeyta with his broad repertoire in neo-modern oils on canvas to more abstract charcoal & ink on paper; and Preston Singletary with his sculptured glass interpretations of Tlinglit iconography adorned with concentric geometric patterns. As if this ensemble is not enough of a treat, Blue Rain Gallery welcomes distinguished Santa Clara potter, Nancy Youngblood—known for her smooth, spiral ribbed melon jars and nautilus shell motifs. For the last 3 decades, Youngblood has built a reputation for excellence in innovative design and execution. Youngblood’s newest works in clay will add an extra air of excitement to the Friday morning pottery sale that should not be missed! Sure to please jewelry lovers, this year’s Indian Market poster artist, Maria Samora, is known for her clean, understated jewelry designs and will be a highlight of Blue Rain Gallery’s Indian Market shows. Her mixed metal work—sometimes adorned with diamonds, turquoise or quartz—moves with the body and accentuates the natural beauty of the wearer. Whether this is your first Indian Market in Santa Fe or your 21st Indian Market in Santa Fe, we hope you discover something new and wonderful in Blue Rain Gallery! Respectfully, Leroy Garcia, Owner Blue Rain Gallery

The better part of each year is spent in anticipation of what has become a cornerstone in Blue Rain Gallery’s seventeen year existence—Indian Market. Even with the gradual changes that we have made over the years, the focus of Native American art has remained vital to Blue Rain Gallery’s reputation and core; however, the place where Blue Rain Gallery makes it’s mark is with its continued commitment to innovation and refinement.


Watch Art Lopez talk about his work, his techniques and his materials.

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The Summer starts to heat up with multiple shows in June... read all about it.

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sofa new york 2009 | 03.02.2009

12th Annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) in New York City at the Park Avenue Armory featuring new works by Tammy Garcia, Preston Singletary, Richard Zane Smith, Shelley Muzylowski Allen, Tony Abeyta, Al Qyawayma, Les Namingha and Larry Vasquez. Join us April 16 - 19, 2009! Credits: Videography by Blue Rain Design Group Tony Abeyta video excerpt by Gabriel Mozart Steven Abeyta Music by Michael Shorr, Chocolate Strawberry Studios

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We're looking forward to attending SOFA New York for the second year! Join us April 16 - 19, 2009.


in the studio with doug west | 02.09.2009

Blue Rain Gallery is proud to bring you inside the studio of Doug West. Doug has been capturing the magical skies and environment of the great Southwest for over 20 years. Click here to view artwork by Doug West Credits: Video by Blue Rain Design Group Music by Michael Shorr, Chocolate Strawberry Studios

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Blue Rain Gallery is proud to bring you inside the studio of Doug West. Doug has been capturing the magical skies and environment of the great Southwest for over 20 years.

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is art the right investment for you? | 01.20.2009

In 2008 many of us have experienced a severe drop in the value of our assets and investments. The real estate market has declined substantially since its peak in the third quarter of 2006. Foreclosures have skyrocketed almost everywhere which has dramatically lowered values to levels comparable to 2003 or before. The Dow Industrial index declined 40% from its peak of October 9, 2007. 45% of the equity value of some of the largest companies in the world has simply up and vanished in 15 months. Even esteemed institutions such as Harvard and Princeton have lost billions of dollars in their endowments. The US Treasury, Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Government have concocted several new rescue plans to help the economy. In the process of trying to achieve their goal they have created trillions (not billions) of dollars to reverse the economic downturn. They have succeeded in avoiding a deflationary cycle, however the virtual doubling of the money supply will undoubtedly create an inflationary cycle. The dollar and other paper currencies faced with similar problems will be worth less and less until consumer confidence begins to reverse the US economic direction and money supply and budget deficits are brought under control. So where do we go from here? How do we protect our capital base from inflation with safe investments that will appreciate in value? Can we trust asset managers and experts to provide a return of our capital as well as a return on our capital? While there are different investment vehicles that will protect capital and create wealth, hard tangible assets will be the best performers. One of the best hedges against inflation is the buying and collecting of art from well established, living artists. The demand for high quality art from unique and well known artists always exists in both good and bad economic cycles. Art also has an aesthetic and emotional value that provides intangible returns. Art can be a multigenerational investment. The passion of owning valuable pieces can be passed on to heirs for their enjoyment and wealth creation. The preference of buying art from living artists is due to lower acquisition costs which usually generate larger percentage returns. Also the lower costs allow greater diversification in the collection. And dont forget to take a chance on new and upcoming artists. Sometimes the most meaningful purchase is from a new talent that has a special piece that speaks to you. Many, many changes are coming and when the ultimate results become clear, high levels of inflation, which is currently in hibernation, will surface. This will devalue hard earned capital unless proper investments to protect it are made. -Daniel Wolfus, Private Equity Investor

One of the best hedges against inflation is the buying and collecting of art from well established, living artists.
--Daniel Wolfus, Private Equity Investor


larry vasquez in the studio | 01.06.2009

We invite you inside the studio of Larry Vasquez as he creates "Birthing of a Snow Maiden" click here to view work by Larry Vasquez credits: video by Blue Rain Design Group music by Michael Shorr (Chocolate Strawberry Studios)

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We invite you inside the studio of Larry Vasquez as he creates "Birthing of a Snow Maiden"

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painting demonstration by tony abeyta | 11.28.2008

Watch Tony Abeyta create one of his famous landscape paintings right before you eyes. click here to view work by Tony Abeyta music and videography by Gabriel Mozart Steven Abeyta

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Watch Tony Abeyta create one of his famous landscape paintings right before you eyes.

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back from chicago! | 11.11.2008

Thanks to all who made SOFA Chicago a success! The Blue Rain Gallery staff is heading back to Santa Fe after participating in the nations premier fair for contemporary decorative arts. The crowds were great and the enthusiasm high from both loyal collectors and new collectors alike. Blue Rain Gallery experienced record sales at this SOFA, further affirming the significance of its contemporary stable of artists. If you were unable to make it to Chicago, there is always SOFA New York in April, 2009See you next year!

The Blue Rain Gallery staff is heading back to Santa Fe . . .

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a time honored tradition: tammy garcia fires a black pot | 11.03.2008

Watch as well known potter Tammy Garcia fires a hand-coiled and carved natural clay pot in the time honored traditional method with the help of the Blue Rain Gallery team. click here to view work by tammy garcia credits: video by Blue Rain Design Group photograph of Tammy Garcia by Dorie Hagler

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benjamin mcpherson takes a leap of faith | 09.24.2008

Watch Benjamin in the studio as he focuses on classical and religious themes expressed passionately and methodically. His paintings display a true mastery of detail which have garnered him national attention. Blue Rain Gallery is proud to showcase the work of the exceptionally talented Benjamin McPherson October 3 - 17.

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Blue Rain Gallery is proud to showcase the work of the exceptionally talented Benjamin McPherson October 3 - 17.

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in the studio with glass artist shelley muzylowski allen | 09.08.2008

Watch glass artist Shelley Muzylowski Allen create a blown-glass sculpture in her studio. click here to view work by shelley muzylowski allen credits: video by Blue Rain Design Group

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Watch glass artist Shelley Muzylowski Allen at work in her studio.

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les namingha in the studio | 08.15.2008

click here to see work by Les Namingha credits: video by Blue Rain Design Group

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in the studio with Les Namingha

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new works by jim vogel | 07.17.2008

click here to view work byjim vogel credits: video by Blue Rain Design Group

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blue rain glass artists shine in july | 07.08.2008

Blue Rains artists are known for pushing the boundaries of their medium, and the newest additions to the gallerys roster of stars more than live up to that reputation. Take Sean ONeills simple but dramatic vessels in shades of gray, black, and whitethese minimalist renderings of patterns and objects found in nature are created by engraving the images into blown- and slumped-glass forms, using cold-working techniques that produce an effect reminiscent of natural erosion. Dante Marioni, a Seattle-based artist, applies the reticello technique to give his classically inspired glassworks a textured complexity, using unexpected colors and shapes that hint at surrealism despite their clear links to ancient pottery formskind of like Salvador Dali-meets-the-Etruscans. The Southwest-inspired landscapes of William Davis showcase the painterly qualities that give his glass sculptures depth and vibrancy. Formerly a ceramic artist as well as a glass sculptor, Davis now works exclusively with the seductive, addictive, female quality of glass to realize his vision in deeply saturated colors from natures palette. Portland, Oregonbased Jeremy Lepisto looks for what he calls the complex in the common in his respectful depictions of common scenes featuring people, architecture, and landscapes. By juxtaposing buildings and human activity with their surroundings, he offers subtle social commentary in the form of beautiful sculpture. Who knew skyscrapers and farm work could be so evocative? Check out their work throughout July at the gallery.

Blue Rains artists are known for pushing the boundaries of their medium, and the newest additions to the gallerys roster of stars more than live up to that reputation.


tammy garcia creates | 06.27.2008

Featuring artist Tammy Garcia Video and Music by Gabriel Mozart Steven Abeyta 2008

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buffalo maiden goes to the capitol | 06.10.2008

Visitors to the State Capitol are now greeted upon entering by Tammy Garcias monumental bronze sculpture, Buffalo Maiden, a gift from Blue Rain Gallery to the Capitol Art Collection. "Were thrilled to have this piece," says Cynthia Snchez, curator and executive director of the Capitol Art Foundation, the nonprofit organization in charge of the collection. "Its a wonderful work, a piece of pottery, sculpture, and painting all in one, and its subject matter is particularly appropriate for this buildingthe symbolism of rain, fertility, abundance, and rain. It combines her visionary style with traditional motifs and the storytelling tradition, and is a terrific representation of New Mexico culture and history as well as being fine contemporary art." The foundation, whose collection is separate from the Governors Gallery, consists of a 25-member volunteer board of directors from around the state that meets regularly to review potential donations and acquisitions; not all submissions make the cut. In this case, says Snchez, they had long hoped to acquire a Tammy Garcia work but assumed theyd only be able to afford a small piece, particularly with her work so much in demand. The board was so excited to receive such a generous and meaningful gift," she says. "Our budget is limited and we rely a lot on donations, but we never expected anything so monumental. The collection consists entirely of New Mexico artists past and present, from the Taos Moderns to contemporary Native American sculptors and painters. Its there specifically to engage the public, so feel free to stop by for a tour.

Visitors to the State Capitol are now greeted upon entering by Tammy Garcias monumental bronze sculpture, Buffalo Maiden, a gift from Blue Rain Gallery to the Capitol Art Collection...



blue rain features new works by randall lagro | 05.29.2008

Join us at Blue Rain Gallery on Friday, June 6 at 5:00 pm to celebrate Randall LaGro's new works!

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brg goes to sofa | 05.27.2008

One of the coolest shows in the world to celebrate contemporary art and design is SOFA (the International Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art), and this years 11th annual expo in New York, held May 29June 1, is one of the coolest yet. A select group of Blue Rains ownTammy Garcia, Preston Singletary, Les Namingha, Richard Zane Smith, and Tony Abeytaare joining the ranks of recognized masters like George Nakashima, Peter Voulkos, and Dale Chihuly, among others, whose works in ceramics, glass, metal, wood, and fiber are celebrated worldwide. SOFA showcases only the finest and most cutting-edge works, so its an honor to have so many of our artists participating in this prestigious international assemblage. Contemporary Native American art has long since shed the labels of folk art and handicrafts, taking its rightful place in the world of fine art as an innovative force that transcends traditional categories. A look at SOFAs roster of talent confirms this factcheck it out at www.sofaexpo.com.

One of the coolest shows in the world to celebrate contemporary art and design is SOFA (the International Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art), and this years 11th annual expo in New York, held May 29June 1, is one of the coolest yet...

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governor's award goes to tammy garcia | 05.15.2008

Speaking of lifetime achievement awards, its rare for someone as young as Tammy Garcia to be honored alongside artists whose body of work spans an entire lifetime. But the 2008 Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts, typically granted to mature artists with several decades of accomplishments to point to, includes 39-year-old Tammy among its recipients. This puts her in the company of such illustrious former awardees as Georgia OKeeffe, Bill Mauldin, Joy Harjo, Pablita Velarde, and Cipriano Vigil. Nominations for the honor are gathered each year from arts groups and interested local parties, then are reviewed by a committee of the New Mexico Arts Commission, which in turn sends it recommendations to the full Commission and the Governor for a final culling. Tammy is the youngest artist ever to receive the award, but the committee found that her accomplishments in introducing contemporary design to ceramics, jewelry, pottery, and sculpture were unparalleled, bringing wide recognition to the state of New Mexicoshe creates pottery and sculpture that are simply breathtaking, and her talent seems to have no limit.

Speaking of lifetime achievement awards, its rare for someone as young as Tammy Garcia to be honored alongside artists whose body of work spans an entire lifetime...

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indian market news | 05.10.2008

After a number years of displaying innovative work at Indian Market and winning many of its top awards, its only fitting that Blue Rain Gallery has become an official sponsor of this years event, the first time a gallery has done so. Bruce Bernstein, executive director of SWAIA, the events creator, points out that BRG owner Leroy Garcia brings a special energy to the sponsorship thats crucial for the Markets continued success. Were thrilled to have Leroy as a sponsor, he says. He understands the symbiotic relationship between the galleries and the Market. Without gallery participation, which brings high-quality art to the forefront, it might be just another market for curios. And Leroys contribution goes beyond mere marketing savvy, although hes a genius at that as well. But you cant sell art unless youre passionate about it, and he brings that passion to his work to encourage the health and vibrancy of Native arts both locally and abroad. Its an essential ingredient. This years Market is special in another way for the gallery: Mary Cain, grandmother of renowned Santa Clara Pueblo artist Tammy Garcia, will be awarded one of SWAIAs highest honors, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Weve been making this award for the past 12 years, says Bernstein, and it goes to people who have made significant contributions over a long period of time, those who live a full life in which art is integrated into their way of being. Cain, whose Indian name, Blue Rain, is honored by its namesake gallery, is a matriarch of the Tafoya clan of Santa Clara, where dedication to quality and innovation in the ancient art form of pottery has exerted a profound influence on generations of potters. Cain was Tammys first teacher, and her gentle guidance and wisdom continue to inform the work of Tammy and countless others. Its an award thats well deserved, and one that touches our hearts. And, as we reported last week, BRG artist Mateo Romero was selected this years poster artist, so the 2008 Indian Market is becoming something of a family affair. It promises to be an especially exciting time this year, so be sure to check us out during the festivities August 2324.

After a number years of displaying innovative work at Indian Market and winning many of its top awards, its only fitting that Blue Rain Gallery has become an official sponsor of this years event....

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mateo romero and hyrum joe | 05.01.2008

Fridays opening for painters Hyrum Joe and Mateo Romero promises some exciting new twists from these acclaimed artists. Hyrum Joe is expanding his repertoire of sharply detailed, figurative portraits in oil and charcoal to include watercolors, which lend the work more transparency. It signals a new approach to his traditional subject matter, which explores Native American life in the mid 1800s through the mid 1900s, a time of cultural upheaval and an evolving redefinition of Native identity. Whatever his medium, he brings forth a strong sense of place and an immediacy that transcends history. Mateo Romero, for his part, is also defying linear time by returning to his earlier exploration of social and political challenges faced by both native and non-native Americans. Using oils instead of his usual mixed media, hes creating new narratives for familiar story lines. The resulting social critiques are trenchant and sharply observed, but compassionate. As Mateo says, Im trying to shake things up a bit and create something thats new and old at the same time. He seems to be striking a receptive chordhe was named this years poster artist for Indian Market by SWAIA, a much-coveted honor.

Fridays opening for painters Hyrum Joe and Mateo Romero promises some exciting new twists from these acclaimed artists...


visions in glass ii a gala event | 04.30.2008

Most art openings these days are all about the social side of art, with the work itself often relegated to the role of supporting player rather than main event. Not so at the unveiling of Tammy Garcia and Preston Singletarys latest collaboration that took place earlier this month at Blue Rain Gallery. Attendees huddled three-deep at the display cases, emitting appreciate gasps and exclaiming over the innovative, intricate, groundbreaking work on view. Tammys design prowess coupled Prestons glass-blowing and sculpting skills made for another exciting pairing of talent and visionthese two just keep getting better! We look forward to more from them, both individually and in collaboration.

Most art openings these days are all about the social side of art, with the work itself often relegated to the role of supporting player rather than main event...



blue rain features new artist david bradley | 02.01.2008

February 1, 2008 Blue Rain Gallery is excited and honored to represent the uniquely wonderful paintings of award winning Chippewa artist David Bradley. David Bradleys paintings are beautifully composed pictorial compositions with a narrative, folk approach often containing whimsical, humorous and/or social commentary themes. Two masterfully composed paintings received at the gallery are examples of Bradleys fun and humorous side. Sleeping Indian is a take off from Henri Rousseaus 1897 modern masterpiece titled Sleeping Gypsy. While his other painting- Georgia OKeeffe/Whistlers Mother is a paradoxical interpretation of James Whistlers famous painting Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artists Mother (colloquial name: Whistlers Mother). You can view both of these fantastic paintings currently shown on our website. Blue Rain Gallery will feature major new works by Mr. Bradley during our 2008 Indian Market event. David Bradley is also this years poster artist for the upcoming 50th Annual Heard Museum Fair and Market. An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe, Bradley received an Associate of Fine Arts degree from the Institute of American Indian Art as well a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the College of Santa Fe in 1980. Peter Stoessel Executive Director, Blue Rain Gallery View works by David Bradley by clicking here.

Sleeping Indians and Georgia O'Keeffe...

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11th annual artfeast edible art tour | 01.30.2008

What are you craving? The 11th annual ARTfeast Edible Art Tour is bringing together two of Santa Fes most revered treasures, great food and fine art. Blue Rain Gallery and the Pion Grill are one of 30 possible Santa Fe gallery and restaurant combinations to take part in this delicious event sure to ravish the senses. Walk or come by shuttle to eat, drink, and see Blue Rain Gallerys revered stable of artists and innovative artwork including, but not limited to: Tammy Garcias unique glass and bronze sculptures; Tony Abeytas eye-catching paintings; Preston Singletarys Tlingit-inspired glass forms; and Les Naminghas modern, mosaic-style vessels. Mark your day planners for Friday February 22nda date you do not want to miss! THREE hours of sumptuous treats and extraordinary artworkWhat more could you ask for? For additional information regarding ticket purchase for the Edible Art Tour, visit Artfeasts website at www.artfeast.com

What are you craving? The 11th annual ARTfeast Edible Art Tour is bringing together two of Santa Fes most revered treasures, great food and fine art....


tony abeyta video blog | 01.14.2008

Music by Andy Pink Video by Gabriel Mozart Steven Abeyta

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Music by Andy Pink
Video by Gabriel Mozart Steven Abeyta

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blue rain gallery exhibits at the marin show | 01.10.2008

24th Annual Marin Show Art of the Americas is on the horizon and the staff at Blue Rain Gallery is raring to go! We bring to you our top artists including, but not limited to, Tammy Garcia, Tony Abeyta, Preston Singletary, Les Namingha and Russell Sanchez.These award-winning artists have a few surprises up their sleeve and we are pleased to bring lots of new and exciting work your way. Tammy Garcias signature deigns and motifs in glass are a true sight to see. Her newest bronze and glassworks are truly innovative and stand to prove Tammys ability to excel in a multitude of media. While ingenuity and fearlessness in trying new things are just a few of Tonys characteristics, his distinct style is recognizable in all his work whether it be an abstracted black and white drawing, a vivid New Mexico landscape, or a mixed media piece with materials one could only begin to distinguish from one another. In his one-of-a-kind pots, complex designs and unique shapes demonstrate Les ability to successfully execute whatever he envisions. His fluid and seamless designs attest to his popularity with collectors far and wide. Prestons hand-blown and sand-carved glass sculptures are beautiful interpretations of his Tlingit heritage. These sculptures of traditional objects realized in glass changes your experience of them as light interacts individually with each piece. Russells distinct style in his pottery has awarded him much deserved recognition. He has gone beyond traditional techniques passed onto him and created a form of expression all his own incorporating new and innovative designs and materials. The above artists all have in one very precise thing in common; that commonality being that they never fail to exceed your expectations. 24th Annual Marin Show Art of the Americas Saturday, February 23, 10am 6pm and Sunday, February 24, 11am 5pm Marin Center and Embassy Suites San Rafael, California See you in the Bay Area!

24th Annual Marin Show Art of the Americas is on the horizon and the staff at Blue Rain Gallery is raring to go...


tammy garcia transition to glass | 11.12.2007

Known for taking traditional pottery to entire new levels, Tammy Garcia continues to set a standard for Native American Art. Having become proficient- and prolific-in both pottery and bronze sculpture, Garcia soon began to yearn for additional challenges and new forms of expression. "I'm always looking for new ways to create," says Garcia, "even on vacation I'm looking around to see what inspires me." Working in glass has allowed Garcia to embark on an entirely new playing field, taking her work to a level that no pueblo potter has been before. Listen to Tammy speak about her transition from clay to glass and her thoughts on with experimenting with new mediums and forms of expression. Jenny Bird & Michael Mandrell Song: Emerging World CD: Sanctuary

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Known for taking traditional pottery to entire new levels, Tammy Garcia continues to set a standard for Native American Art. Having become proficient- and prolific-in both pottery and bronze sculpture, Garcia soon began to yearn for additional challenges and new forms of expression.

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sofa chicago | 09.03.2007

Blue Rain Gallery will be exhibiting at the Fourteenth Annual Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) at Chicago's Navy Pier in November of 2007. SOFA is a contemporary--and increasingly international--art expo which focuses on a variety of media ranging from metal, ceramics and wood to fiber and glass. Five of Blue Rain Gallery's most innovative contemporary Native American artists will be exhibiting the following new artwork: glass and bronze sculpture by Tammy Garcia; bold painted, 3-dimensional assemblage works by Tony Abeyta; inspiring new forms in glass highlighting Tlingit designs by Seattle-based glass artist, Preston Singletary; textural ceramic vessels and forms by Wyandott, Richard Zane Smith; and intricately-painted hand-coiled pottery by Les Namingha. Exposition dates for SOFA CHICAGO 2007 are Friday, November 2nd - Sunday, November 4th with an opening night preview Thursday, November 1st. This will be the first SOFA exposition that Blue Rain Gallery has taken part in, and it would be great to see some familiar faces in the "Windy City"!

Blue Rain Gallery will be exhibiting at the Fourteenth Annual Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) at Chicago's Navy Pier in November of 2007.

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gallery expansion | 08.29.2007

Blue Rain Gallery expands its Santa Fe location by adding an additional 4,800 square feet of display space. The new addition features 12 foot high ceilings, track lighting and a beautiful Brazilian slate tile floor. The new area allows ample room for viewing large sculptures which creates a museum like quality to the space.

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Blue Rain Gallery expands its Santa Fe location by adding an additional 4,800 square feet of display space. The new addition features 12 foot high ceilings, track lighting and a beautiful Brazilian slate tile floor. The new area allows ample room for viewing large sculptures which creates a museum like quality to the space.

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tony abeyta: in my studio: video | 07.30.2007

"I never want to be labeled predictable, said Abeyta. I want to challenge myself and surprise the viewer, deviating from previous years works. I thrive on the unexpected and believe people will find some of that in this show. --Tony Abeyta The Drawing Show: August 3 - 11 Artist Reception: Friday, August 3, 5:30 pm black and white drawings The Painting Show: August 17 - 19, Blue Rain Indian Market Artist Reception: Friday, August 17, 5:00 pm paintings and assemblages

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"I never want to be labeled predictable, said Abeyta. I want to challenge myself and surprise the viewer, deviating from previous years works. I thrive on the unexpected and believe people will find some of that in this show. --Tony Abeyta

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spanish market video | 06.22.2007

Spanish Market is upon us! Witness one of the fastest growing stars among New Mexico painters, Jim Vogel as he explains his creative process. Then, mark your calendars for a visit to Blue Rain Gallery, July 20 at 5:30 pm, Santa Fe. Take this opportunity to ask Jim detailed questions about the piece you want to add to your art collection.

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Spanish Market is upon us! Witness one of the fastest growing stars among New Mexico painters, Jim Vogel as he explains his creative process. Then, mark your calendars for a visit to Blue Rain Gallery, July 20 at 5:30 pm, Santa Fe. Take this opportunity to ask Jim detailed questions about the piece you want to add to your art collection.

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deborah rael-buckley video blog | 06.04.2007

Deborah Rael-Buckley creates life-size chair and figure ceramic sculptures layered with meaning and rich symbolism. Each stoneware piece is coil built without the benefit of forms or armature. The sculptures feature branches, bones, ropes, writing, and symbols intertwined to create negative spaces and a play of light and shadow. The elements coalesce into commentary about culture, religion, and family.

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Deborah Rael-Buckley creates life-size chair and figure ceramic sculptures layered with meaning and rich symbolism. Each stoneware piece is coil built without the benefit of forms or armature. The sculptures feature branches, bones, ropes, writing, and symbols intertwined to create negative spaces and a play of light and shadow. The elements coalesce into commentary about culture, religion, and family.

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star liana york - video blog part 2 | 05.23.2007

In part two, Star Liana York, in her studio, visits with Tammy Garcia. Behold the dynamics of these two artists as they unveil their new bronze collaboration piece Chaco. Listen while Tammy Garcia explains how this unique sculpture is a true collaboration.

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In part two, Star Liana York, in her studio, visits with Tammy Garcia. Behold the dynamics of these two artists as they unveil their new bronze collaboration piece Chaco. Listen while Tammy Garcia explains how this unique sculpture is a true collaboration.

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star liana york - video blog part 1 | 05.03.2007

In our most recent Video Blog, Star Liana York speaks about her artistic vision and inspiration. This exquisite sculptor describes her creative endeavors to a handful of guests. Spend a few moments and take a peak at the artistic world of Star Liana York. Enjoy!

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In our most recent Video Blog, Star Liana York speaks about her artistic vision and inspiration. This exquisite sculptor describes her creative endeavors to a handful of guests. Spend a few moments and take a peak at the artistic world of Star Liana York.
Enjoy!

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randall lagro video | 04.20.2007

Watch and listen to this new video as Randall LaGro discusses his methods, techniques, and materials in creating his intuitive paintings and monotypes. Discover Randalls personal thoughts regarding a shift in mindset toward his new paintings. Randall LaGro will exhibit a new body of his unique and masterful artworks on June 1st through the 15th in our Santa Fe gallery location.

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Watch and listen to this new video as Randall LaGro discusses his methods, techniques, and materials in creating his intuitive paintings and monotypes. Discover Randalls personal thoughts regarding a shift in mindset toward his new paintings.
Randall LaGro will exhibit a new body of his unique and masterful artworks on June 1st through the 15th in our Santa Fe gallery location.

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video blog 2 | 04.09.2007

Thank you for celebrating 15 years of Innovative Art with Blue Rain Gallery! We would like to thank our clients for taking the time to visit us in Taos and for making Blue Rain Gallery your first stop to purchase art. View the Vlog to witness the wonderful artists and their studios we visited during our celebration. Heres to the next 15 years of BRG! Jenny Bird & Michael Mandrell Song: Emerging World CD: Sanctuary

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Thank you for celebrating 15 years of Innovative Art with Blue Rain Gallery! We would like to thank our clients for taking the time to visit us in Taos and for making Blue Rain Gallery your first stop to purchase art. View the Vlog to witness the wonderful artists and their studios we visited during our celebration. Heres to the next 15 years of BRG!

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video blog 1 | 03.12.2007

The greatly anticipated 15th Anniversary Celebration of Blue Rain Gallery is almost upon us. Take a moment to listen to Leroy describe this exciting event. Make your reservation for the studio tours today! This is a wonderful chance to witness the inspiring environments which wonderful works of art are born. Meet and visit with your favorite artist at our reception Friday evening, March 23.

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The greatly anticipated 15th Anniversary Celebration of Blue Rain Gallery is almost upon us. Take a moment to listen to Leroy describe this exciting event. Make your reservation for the studio tours today! This is a wonderful chance to witness the inspiring environments which wonderful works of art are born. Meet and visit with your favorite artist at our reception Friday evening, March 23.

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holiday excitement | 12.08.2006

About this time every year, anticipation has become the tradition at Blue Rain Gallery. All of the staff, including myself, awaits the announcement that new work has arrived. Someone yells from downstairs Jim just brought in his new pieces! Then there is a shuffle of chairs and the sound of wood creaking as we all congregate to behold the marvelous creations. For Randall LaGro and Victor Golers work it is the same. It is like Christmas at the gallery the whole month as the work pours in for our winter show. We all sit around choosing our favorites, pointing out the subtleties and hidden figures in Randys work, or the facial expression on one of Jims figures that seems so familiar. We all have a spot picked out in our home for a piece by Victor on our mantel. We all enjoy our little fantasy for a few minutes until reality slowly creeps back in, and all we are left to imagine is the new home to which those pieces will go. What matters to us is that for those few moments the works feel like they are ours. It never ceases to amaze any of us how involved we all feel; how attached we are to both the artist and their artwork. Like a family- we are all personally invested in this business. That is what makes working at Blue Rain Gallery so special; sharing that excitement and our traditions with you. This holiday season let us remember those feelings of excitement, those feelings of joy and happiness. It is those feelings that make this time of year special for all of us. From our family to yours; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

About this time every year, anticipation has become the tradition at Blue Rain Gallery.


kevin a. short: setting the scene | 09.29.2006

Its that time again for another blog and this week Id like to introduce you to an artist you may or may not know. Kevin A. Short resides in sunny California, but spent the majority of his younger life in New Mexico. Through his work he shares his interpretation of the land and the space that the Southwest embodies. He creates landscape art that is complex yet seemingly simple. When up close to one of his paintings the multifaceted composition of thick paint across the canvas becomes blurred into a sea of color. However, once you take a few steps back, the beauty of the light, color, and immense scene take shape. The colors are of rich reds and browns and the images are of the vast setting of New Mexico and the Southwest. On October 6th, 2006 we will be receiving 20 pieces of Shorts prolific work. Using oil on canvas to create his textured scenes, Short is one of the few landscape artists we feature at Blue Rain Gallery and we are excited to display his new work. Leroy Brown

Its that time again for another blog and this week Id like to introduce you to an artist you may or may not know. Kevin A. Short resides in sunny California, but spent the majority...

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a collectibility comparison on randall lagro | 09.14.2006

As I touched on in an earlier blog, collectibility of an artist is based on a few factors. I gave some suggestions to collecting and would like to relate a couple of these suggestions to a relevant artist as an example. Last week I wrote of Randall LaGro and his work. In comparison to my suggestions he is a perfect fit. This of course is subject to ones personal opinion. I will base my comparisons on the knowledge I have of Randall LaGro and of those I know who collect his work. One of my suggestions was to find a work that was innovative. Innovative implies something unique and different. Randall LaGro creates just that. He creates works that are not abstract or based in realism, but are a hybrid of both. He creates a mixture of landscape and portrait art while adding outside elements such as lace in collage form. Another suggestion of mine was to look for work that is well executed and refined. Throughout LaGros career as an artist he has become more aware of his art and has fine-tuned his work. His pieces are well thought out and a piece is not considered finished until it contains all the elements he expects it to. His pieces contain figures and images that are meant to be there. Each piece looks and feels complete. We will be showing the work that Randall LaGro has completed over the last 6 months in Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, NM from September 15th thru October 1st. Come meet the artist and get a glimpse of who he is and what he feels about the work. Leroy Brown

As I touched on in an earlier blog, collectibility of an artist is based on a few factors.


randall lagro: the poetic realist | 09.07.2006

To effectively combine the abstract with realism one may look to artist Randall LaGro. LaGro, who has resided in Taos for the last sixteen years, creates a hybrid of the two, allowing his art to reach a broader audience. His unique mix of landscape and portrait art in one adds diversity to the art world and in turn makes his work highly desirable. His paintings come to life whether his focal image is in the forefront or camouflaged by his creative use of color or collage. He asks the viewer to interpret the painting him/herself, while decisively placing allegorical, mythological, and archetypal figures throughout his works. He allows each piece to speak for itself. Collectors of Randall LaGro pieces will be brought into a world where paintings become poetic works and not just brush strokes on a canvas. Coincidentally, it was poetry that confirmed his desire to pursue art. "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke has inspired him predominantly. Although LaGro is never quite sure what will happen next when he is painting, he is aware of the creative process and lets it take him where it wants to. The works are unique to him and therefore each is one of a kind. Early in his career he resisted the printmaking process, but soon taught himself printmaking and the monotype method for which he is well known. The paintings, themselves, are meant to invite the viewer to wonder and with each addition to a LaGro Collection one may create a series of stories so that the journey may never end. Whether your home has a contemporary dcor or a more rustic tone, Randall LaGro's oil and mixed media paintings, and monotypes are innovative and intimate additions to your already personal dcor. The look and feel of such works transcends time allowing the viewer to question if the painting is set in the past, present, or future. When viewing piece after piece of his artwork I am pleased to know that there is a wall somewhere that will see the privilege of wearing a LaGro. For further information on the collectibility of his work be sure to come back next week and read the newest blog. We are delighted to present these inspirational and highly collectible works in an opening for Randall LaGro September 15th thru October 1st at Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. Hope to see you there! Leroy Brown

To effectively combine the abstract with realism one may look to artist Randall LaGro.


indian market 2006 | 08.24.2006

All I can say about our 2006 Indian Market is- WOW! For six days, I experienced an energy flow of enthusiasm, anticipation and imaginative ideas from our clients, artists and collectors. A rainy week in Santa Fe did not stop thousands of contemporary native art collectors from visiting. Thanks to all of our wonderful collectors- old and new alike- for stopping in at Blue Rain Gallery. Blue Rain Gallery was packed with art aficionados from mid-day Wednesday all the way through 5:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Artist receptions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights saw the gallery crowded with collectors anxious to see new works by the artists. Im always impressed with the collectors patiently hanging around the gallery awaiting the arrival of an artist and their new works. Many of Al Qoyawaymas new and innovative polychrome ceramic creations sold before we even had tags on them. This was also true with the arrival of Tony Abeytas paintings on Friday afternoon. And all week, collectors were drawn to all of the four newly unveiled and uniquely different bronze sculptures by Tammy Garcia; two of these new pieces are nearly sold out! The Friday and Saturday bronze patina demonstrations by the Bronzesmith Foundry of Prescott Valley, Arizona were well attended and enlightening for hundreds of people fascinated with bronze sculpture. I think these demonstrations really helped collectors understand and appreciate the artistic patina process involved in creating color on bronze sculpture. A special thanks to Ed Reilly and his awesome team of bronze craftspeople. The highlight for me was Friday morning August 18th. Our preview was to open at 8:00 a.m. with a lottery sale at 10:00 a.m. And by 7:45 a.m., there were over 50 collectors patiently waiting to come in and see the new pottery by Tammy Garcia, Richard Zane Smith and Les Namingha, along with the magnificent hand-made dolls of Jamie Okuma. By 9:30 a.m., there were over 300 people in the gallery, and I was hoping the city Fire Marshall did not stroll by on his daily morning stroll to Starbucks. The lottery began just after 10:00 a.m., and I have never seen so many anxious collectors hoping to have their name drawn. I did have to raise my voice a bit, and want to thank everyone for their patience in working with us; that was a lot of fun. Most of all, I would like to thank all of the artists for their hard work and dedication to their various mediums. These artists work incredibly hard and continue to amaze me with their efforts in combing innovative ideas with meticulous execution. Without them, Blue Rain Gallery would not be what it is today. I always look forward to seeing our clients in the future, so until then- thank you and we hope to see you soon. -Peter Stoessel

All I can say about our 2006 Indian Market is- WOW! For six days, I experienced an energy flow of enthusiasm, anticipation and imaginative ideas from our clients, artists and collectors.

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advice for collecting artwork | 08.09.2006

Over the years, many art collectors have come to me looking for advice for whom or what to collect. I have always cautiously recommend that collectors first and foremost, collect what inspires them or what will bring joy to their lives. Unfortunately, there are many who assemble work based on the hope that monetary values will increase over time like a good stock or mutual fund. Sometimes collecting artwork is a matter of supply and demand economics or a matter of pure innovation. It may also be a matter of pure refinement and execution. So here are some general suggestions to collecting: 1. Find work that is innovative. 2. Look for work that is well executed or refined. 3. Ascertain how many pieces the artist produces a year. 4. Is there integrity in the pricing structure? Many times we are in a position of wondering if what we paid for is really worth it. In collecting art, these four suggestions will help you along the way and will hopefully guide you to a positive experience. Ideally, if you find all of these suggestions in an artists work and career, you can usually find a relatively safe acquisition. Happy hunting! Leroy Brown

Over the years, many art collectors have come to me looking for advice for whom or what to collect.

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what's new for indian market | 08.07.2006

In our latest wonderful Indian Market brochure we recently launched a Did You Know? campaign delivering little known trivia facts that hopefully, made every one thirst for more information on their favorite artists. If you did not receive a brochure, please let us know and we will be more than happy to send you one. Over the next few days, I will try and share a few insightful perspectives and information based on what I feel is exciting and important with regard to our Indian Market shows here at BRG. So whats new for Indian Market this year? As usual, we have added a few new vibrant faces to the perennial mix. This year, we are pleased to announce the welcomed arrival of one the biggest names in native sculpture, Orland Joe to BRGs Indian Market lineup. This extremely talented artist recently won the Prix de West Purchase Award at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. Another new face is Larry Vasquez, who is regarded as one of the most exciting and gifted jewelers in the region. He produces some of the most beautifully ornate necklaces and rings to ever grace an individual. Larry is a charismatic individual of Mescalero descent, who uses storytelling to inspire all or most of his works. Make some time to stop by and visit with him. You will find that he is a real pleasure to be around. As for more news, I will post another update by Wednesday Aug. 9th as to what I hear a few of the artists are working on. Leroy Brown

Over the next few days, I will try and share a few insightful perspectives and information based on what I feel is exciting and important with regard to our Indian Market shows here at BRG.


excitement builds for jim vogel | 06.10.2006

At this wonderful time of the year, we often get an extensive number of people coming to the gallery asking for Jim Vogel's colorful and expressive paintings of rural New Mexico folklore, culture and scenery. We are often asked why his paintings sell so quickly, how they can get a hold of one and why he uses the "big hands." Over the last two years, Jim's popularity has increased significantly and he has taken his work to a whole new level of excitement and energy. Last summer, we sent out a brochure with all the vibrant and lively pieces involved in the show, and the response was not only tremendous, it quickly vaulted him to sellout status. Although Jim uses a wonderful variation of vibrant colors, charismatic subject matter, and odd shaped frames, the most common element one will see in Jim's dynamic portrayals is the inclusion of "big hands" on the lively people figures that he envelopes in his paintings. While his depictions are often compared to Thomas Hart Benton, he really wasn't familiar with the Missouri artist's work when he first started with the "big hands" many years ago. He only noticed a slight similarity in the brushstroke technique and folkloric content when it was pointed out to him later on in his career. Jim uses these "big hands" to portray the common everyday working person and the idea that great things in this life come through diligent and hard work. As a youngster growing up in Roswell, Jim fondly remembered the big and worn hands of family members and friends, and their endless pursuit of hard labor. He graciously applies these large hands in his dynamic paintings as a tribute to those wonderful and industrious people. We now get hundreds of inquiries a year for Jim's paintings, each one asking for information and questions on how to obtain a painting from this outstanding "big hands" artist. I am really excited for Jim's new show that starts on July 1 here in Santa Fe. I have seen the plethora of colorful and diverse paintings and they are absolutely fabulous! I know that many of you will fall in love with this unique and incredibly brilliant body of work. Abel Garcia Director Blue Rain Gallery Santa Fe

At this wonderful time of the year, we often get an extensive number of people coming to the gallery asking for Jim Vogel's colorful and expressive paintings of rural New Mexico folklore, culture and scenery. We are often asked why his paintings sell so quickly, how they can get a hold of one and why he uses the "big hands."

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blue rain gallery "expansion beyond indian art" | 04.26.2006

Question: Why has Blue Rain Gallery expanded beyond Indian Art? A question I often get asked is "I thought Blue Rain Gallery was a gallery featuring only Native American art; why did the gallery start carrying non-Native American Art?" This is an honest-to-good observational question that I love to engage in. There are many answers to this question. First of all, Blue Rain Gallery was indeed founded as a contemporary Native American art gallery with the intention of offering the finest in contemporary Native American art available on the market today. We honor and affirm our roots by striving to maintain the gallerys early concept of who we are and what kind of gallery we want to be. I always look forward to visiting a collectors home whether on invitation or making a delivery or installation of a fine art piece. During these visits I often notice a diverse selection of fine art in these magnificent homes all around our country. I began to observe wonderful connections between these different art objects. We also ask a lot of questions in the gallery and we developed the knowledge that many of our Native American art collectors also collect from other genres as well. A goal of the gallery is to provide new and exciting work to our collectors on a consistent basis. During the year 2000 we decided to pursue artists from different backgrounds. We knew that we wanted to focus on local artists from the Southwest; not necessarily with a southwestern style, but more on a fine art level. Our first major, non-Native American artist was Randall LaGro. Not only was Randall non-Native American, but his artwork was not typical of art from the southwest. Why did we take on Randalls different work? Simple... we loved it and felt many of our collectors would too. His paintings and techniques are superb and unique. Shortly thereafter we proudly represented Jim Vogel and his wonderful paintings of people and life in Northern New Mexico. From these intial distinctions, we quickly acquired more non-Native American artists: Star Liana York and her beautiful sculptures in a variety of realist forms depicting animals and people; John Berger and his one-of-a-kind beautiful segmented hand turned wood vessels with detailed organic carvings; Kevin Short and his bold impressionistic landscapes and modern Americana subject matter; Rio Grande weaver, Donna Lopez and her modern wool weavings containing color saturations of graphic geometric designs. A year and a half ago we started working with one of Northern New Mexicos most well known and respected devotional artists named Gustavo Victor Goler and his magnificent wood carved santos, bultos, and retablos. This year BRG will introduce two new painters; Sean Diediker and Scott Matlin. I have seen works by Tammy Garcia, Tony Abeyta, Jim Vogel, Victor Goler and Preston Singletary all displayed elegantly in one home. A simple cliché states "Art is art", but art is difficult to define. We all like different things; we all see different things in art. The bottom line is, we all relate to a piece of fine art differently and Blue Rain Gallery offers a diverse and unique selection of fine art to collectors from all over the country. Whether created by a Native American artist or non-Native American artist, these art pieces can and do live harmoniously together anywhere. Peter Stoessel Director, Blue Rain Gallery

Question: Why has Blue Rain Gallery expanded beyond Indian Art?

A question I often get asked is "I thought Blue Rain Gallery was a gallery featuring only Native American art; why did the gallery start carrying non-Native American Art?" This is an honest-to-good observational question that I love to engage in. There are many answers to this question.


welcome to brg's web blog. | 04.20.2006

Welcome to BRG's web blog. What is a blog, one might ask? It is defined as a public web site where users post informal journals of their thoughts, comments, and philosophies, which are updated frequently and normally reflecting the views of the blog's creator. This blog will obviously represent the thoughts and views of Blue Rain Gallery, and at the same time provide a forum for people to respond and share their thoughts or opinions as to the commentary on the blog. We encourage everyone to take a look, and if you would like, feel free to chime in. We are now entering our 14th year as a gallery, and we have seen many changes in how art is marketed and sold. Obviously, the invent and use of the Internet has sped things up and has helped us reach many more people in a rapid way. In the beginning, when a piece of art would come in, we would have to photograph the piece, wait for the development of the film, mail the image and then wait for a response. The entire process took well over a week. Today, once we receive the artwork, we can digitally photograph and e-mail the piece as well as receive a response within minutes. Looking back, I remember having a conversation with a gallery owner and asking him if he had any plans on incorporating the Internet into his business. He quickly dismissed the idea as a passing fad and said, "The Internet will never be able to represent the beauty and quality in art." It wasn't more than a couple of months after this conversation that Tammy and I introduced Blue Rain Gallery as a new business, and within a few months of that opening we launched blueraingallery.com The first site was a shell of what we have today, listing our hours, a mission statement and a few pictures. Though simple and non-interactive, it did set a standard and a new direction for the sale and marketing of contemporary Native American art. As the years passed, and with many constructive criticisms from our clients, our website has what seems to be an always-evolving life of its own. The creation of this blog is certainly adding to the ever evolving and morphic nature of blueraingallery.com As usual, we would encourage your critiques or ideas on how to make this site better. Leroy Brown

What is a blog, one might ask? It is defined as a public web site where users post informal journals of their thoughts, comments, and philosophies, which are updated frequently and normally reflecting the views of the blog's creator. This blog will obviously represent the thoughts and views of Blue Rain Gallery, and at the same time provide a forum for people to respond and share their thoughts or opinions as to the commentary on the blog. We encourage everyone to take a look, and if you would like, feel free to chime in.

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