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FARMINGTON — The work of seven accomplished Bloomfield artists will find a home in an unlikely place over the next month — in a pair of galleries in neighboring Aztec.

The Feat of Clay Co-op Gallery and the Teasyatwho Gallery will hold an opening reception this weekend for the joint show, which features the work of Bloomfield residents Paul Armenta, Tabitha Rhodes, Wanda Coffey, Peggy Loyd, Stacy Harris, Miranda Salazar and Fidel Gallegos.

San Juan College and College of Santa Fe graduate Armenta has lived in Bloomfield for most of his life, though he also served for a time as the associate art director for the New Mexico Film Office. He is a landscape painter who works mostly in acrylics on paper and favors the plein-air style.

Rhodes is an Alabama native who has lived in Bloomfield since 2001. She said she looks to everyday life for her artistic inspiration, though she often incorporates fish and sea life into her work.

Coffey has been painting professionally for 35 years and favors scenes that are typical of the wide-open spaces of the Southwest, depicting such figures as cowboys, horses and cattle. She said she is still excited by the challenge of painting and enjoys the process of turning a blank canvas or sheet of paper into a work of art that might draw the admiration of an observer.

Loyd is a Rhode Island native who moved to South Carolina when she got married, eventually relocating to New Mexico because of its remoteness. While she has a speech pathology degree from the University of Rhode Island and has worked as a meditation teacher, she has spent most of her career in library work and now serves as the director of the Bloomfield Public Library. She and her husband Doyne produce large, striking images of regional Anasazi ruins sites that begin as photographs before the Loyds layer them with a variety of varnishes and glazes. Their work was recently featured in the exhibition "Windows, Doors and Walls" at San Juan College.

Longtime Bloomfield resident Harris grew up in Minnesota and Colorado and acknowledges that life in the high desert was an acquired taste for her. It wasn't until she began to photograph and paint the scenes around her that she developed an appreciation for the local landscape, she said, and now she spends her days looking for beautiful scenes to portray in her work.

Salazar has been drawing since she was 4, a habit that has become so ingrained that the Bloomfield artist said she "thinks in pictures" now. She said she finds art the best way for her to communicate, express herself and relax.

The final artist in the joint show, Gallegos, grew up in the small village of La Fragua along the upper Pecos River between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, N.M., but he came to the Four Corners area in 1974 and has lived in Bloomfield since 1980, where he is free to explore the local wilderness. Gallegos said he is particularly fond of what he calls "treasure hunting" — identifying and carting home rocks that he converts into images or figures by using acrylic paint to outline and distinguish what his imagination has seen in them. He has created 300 such pieces over the years.

The joint show remains on display at the two galleries through Sept. 19.

IF YOU GO


What: Opening reception for an exhibition of works by Bloomfield artists Paul Armenta, Tabitha Rhodes, Wanda Coffey, Peggy Loyd, Stacy Harris, Miranda Salazar and Fidel Gallegos

When: 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28

Where: Feat of Clay Co-op Gallery, 107 S. Main St. in Aztec, and the Teasyatwho Gallery, 119 S. Main Ave. in Aztec

For more information: Call 505-334-4335
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