This story was featured in the December 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
This month, Abend Gallery presents its 23rd annual Holiday Miniatures Show. While the individual artworks are small in size, the show itself is far from miniature. “We annually feature over 500 pieces by over 100 juried and invited artists in this show,” says gallery owner Christine Serr. In addition to the volume of works, the show is always big in terms of value, variety, and quality. Works on display feature an array of mediums, subjects, and styles by artists like Jim Beckner, Tim Deibler, Kim English, Lindsey Bittner Graham, Elizabeth Sandia, Robert Spooner, Victoria Castillo, Debra Joy Groesser, Michael Ome Untiedt, and Kevin Weckbach—just to name a few.
Deibler started showing his work with the gallery during the first Holiday Miniatures Show in 1991, and he’s participated every year since. “The show has always been a special time for me as an artist and kind of officially starts the Christmas season,” he says. While Deib-
ler is best known for his paintings of the Colorado landscape, he is introducing some new subject matter this year. “My oldest daughter has been performing in The Nutcracker ballet in Pueblo, CO, for several years, so I decided to release a series of ballet images in this show,” he says. “Of course, a few traditional winter landscapes will also be included.”
Sandia is branching out in both subject matter and medium for this show. “I always paint animals, usually lambs,” she says. This year, however, she’s including cows, churches, and night scenes—all painted in oil rather than pastel, her usual medium of choice. One of her favorite pieces is a night scene titled MOONLIT WAY, which depicts the village of Pilar, NM, just south of Taos. “I’ve been painting night scenes for 13 years. I love the change of dominant color—blue-green and yellow-green,” she says. “These colors would be so unusual in the Southwest during the day.”
Groesser was invited to participate in the show for the first time last year, and she’s thrilled to be back. She displays eight pieces, including several plein-air landscapes and a few seascapes. “Painting is such a spiritual experience for me,” Groesser says. “Nothing inspires me more than being out on location, attempting to capture the subtle nuances of color, light, and atmosphere that can only be achieved by painting from nature.”
Beckner plans to include three to four pieces in the show, which were mostly inspired by a recent trip to New York. “The energy of the city is very exciting to me—there are so many shapes and value contrasts to paint,” he says. Beckner has been participating in the show for almost 10 years. “It’s a fun show, and the artwork is always great,” he says. Figurative painter Victoria Castillo agrees and is especially excited to attend the opening, which takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. “It’s a festive way to kick off the holiday season, and I always come home energized, full of new ideas, and ready to paint,” she says. —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in the December 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art December 2013 print issue or digital download
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