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For more on Yvonne Cacy’s art, go to cacysfineart.com.

Aztec — Yvonne Cacy and Ambrose Teasyatwho hope their gallery in Aztec will be a new start.

The two artists celebrated the reopening of their gallery in downtown Aztec on Thursday. While the gallery has yet to be named, Cacy said the artists are considering the name Gallery of the Finest.

The two artists met about 15 years ago when Teasyatwho walked into Cacy's former gallery, Desperados, located at what is now Three Rivers Brewery in downtown Farmington.

Artist Yvonne Cacy stands by her sculpture titled "Moon River Maiden" during a gallery opening on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Aztec.
Artist Yvonne Cacy stands by her sculpture titled "Moon River Maiden" during a gallery opening on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Aztec. (Augusta Liddic The Daily Times)

But the idea of displaying their art together in a single gallery didn't surface until a few months ago, when the artists reconnected. Cacy said she was on the verge of giving up on art, but Teasyatwho, as well as Cacy's children, convinced her not to.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," Cacy said of Teasyatwho.

Teasyatwho has run a gallery in Aztec for about 15 years, though the space has become less popular over the years. As Teasyatwho spent more time caring for his ailing parents -- his father died in January at age 101, and his mother, 93, has deteriorating health -- the gallery, called A. Teasyatwho Gallery, took a backseat.

Teasyatwho said that art is a third world he lives in, in addition to the Native American and modern worlds. That third world gives him freedom, he explained. While the other two worlds have laws and rules, music and art are open and free, he said.

When he and Cacy reconnected, Teasyatwho offered to share his gallery space and reinvigorate it.

To get it ready for shows, the two artists worked on several repairs -- mostly lighting -- before Thursday's reopening.

"V-Rock Midnight Run" a painting by Yvonne Cacy is seen during a gallery opening on Thursday in Aztec.
"V-Rock Midnight Run" a painting by Yvonne Cacy is seen during a gallery opening on Thursday in Aztec. (Daily Times photo)

For Cacy, it was a kind of milestone. She said she has been on the verge giving up on her art several times.

One of the most difficult times, she said, came after her house burned down in 2006. The day of the fire, she was preparing for an art show and had taken her best pieces from the studio to her home.

After dropping her art off at home, Cacy said she left her house to pay bills, including her fire insurance payment.

By the time she returned home, her house was completely engulfed in flames.

While the house was insured, her art wasn't.

At the time, Cacy was a single mother of two teenagers, and the bills started to pile up.

"I'm still fighting my fire financially," Cacy said.

One of the pieces she lost in the fire was a painting she created as a child. One of her earliest pieces of art, it depicted the land around her grandfather's Colorado ranch on a paper towel.

Nature, she said, still inspires her work.

"The beauty of the land inspired me to paint and recreate what I see," she said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.