Artists

2022 Artists will be in the gardens from 9:00 – 4:00 PM on September 11, 2022.  (Scroll down to the Artist Bios to find out their gardens shifts.)

Gardens and artwork are similar in that they are composed in harmony with a series of shapes, forms, colors, and textures. We invite you to watch the artists as they express their artwork in the gardens. The Placitas Garden Tour has invited a select group of local artists to “create” their magic in each of the gardens. In 2022, the following artists will join us:  Colleen Z. Gregoire, Karen Jacobs, Alfons Schuster, John DeSpain, Pea S. Garr, Corky Baron, Bunny & Leland Bowen

Click here to download the 2022 Artists’ Schedules at the Gardens.

All of the artists’ personal works will be on display for sale at the Placitas Community Library on the day of the tour.

photo: Todd & Rozanne Hakala

This is a very special opportunity for you to own an original work of art at the 2022 Placitas Garden Tour. The artists are working in collaboration with the Sandoval County Master Gardeners & the Placitas Community Library to raise funds for future landscape projects & educational programs in Placitas.

Information about each artist is listed below. If the artist has a website, you can click on the artist’s name below to visit it.


Colleen Z. Gregoire

Colleen will be at the garden The High Desert Oasis (#1)

Her work will be at the Placitas Library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

Colleen grew up in the Midwest and studied drawing and painting privately before receiving her MFA in painting from the University of Kansas, where she began a life-long love for the local landscape. Painting plein air, she studied the change of seasons around the Flint Hills of Kansas and the surrounding farmland. Her work also focused on architectural settings that reflect the intimacies of daily life. Porches and verandas of the 19th and 20th century, and the way in which people incorporate them as a welcoming space to their homes continue to be featured in her work. She relocated to Placitas in the fall of 2020, and has enjoyed new-found inspiration for her oils and watercolor paintings.

Artist Statement – My paintings are inspired by a spiritual sense of ‘home’, a quiet respite defined by the house we live in or the land around us and illuminated by the changing light and colors of the seasons. Experiencing the New Mexico landscape with a newcomer’s eyes has provided new energy to my paintings, especially when I’m painting plein air. I continue to seek out architectural subjects of front porches, patios and verandas as a subject to paint, for reasons archaeological as well as artistic. These snapshots of daily life suggest a stage-like setting, cast with the changing light from season to season and the rich play of colors that harmonize to define a personal and very intimate space.”


Karen Jacobs

Karen will be at the garden Planting for a Post-Wild New Mexico  (#2)

Her work will be at the library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

Karen Jacobs first took a brush to hand as a means to occupy her time while caring for her disabled mother in her home starting in 2003. She studied with watercolor artists in Petaluma, California and Sun Lakes, Arizona.

She currently exhibits in Galleria Tamaya at the Hyatt Regency, Yucca Art Gallery in Old Town Albuquerque, Weems’s Art Gallery and the Gift Shop at The Range Cafe. She also participated in the Placitas Studio Tour in 2019 and 2021.

Now living in Placitas, she has a small studio dedicated to her art. Retired from the workforce, she is able to devote more time to her art. Her recent passion is ink poured in a loose, freestyle form. Her scenes of the New Mexico area are noteworthy for their vivid colors and imaginative portrayals of the landscape, florals, and whimsical animals.


Alfons Schuster

Alfons will be at the garden The “Infinity” Garden (#3).

His work will be at the library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

Originally from Germany, Alfons Schuster now enjoys his passion for sculpture and painting in the high desert of Placitas. He finds joy in uncovering nature’s beauty in decaying and reclaimed wood.

When painting, Alfons uses reclaimed construction wood and tree bark as his canvas, the natural lines and shapes serving as guides. Mainly working with acrylic, and occasionally incorporating metal, he also builds, carves, paints and stains frames singular to the pieces. Inspired by Australian Aboriginal art technique, its influence can be found in his work.

Alfons collects nature’s leftovers and works to preserve the natural lines, grain and shape of the wood in his unique sculptures, often incorporating found stones and other organic material.

A passion for art that has spanned thirty years – in the US since 2007 and Placitas since 2018, Alfons uses “SAM” as his artist signature and “root” to his past.

schusterfonse@gmail.com


John DeSpain

John will be at The Overlook Garden (#4).

His work will be at the library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

John DeSpain grew up in Montana, and started drawing at an early age, focusing primarily on wildlife (and of course, comic book and fantasy art). He was fortunate to be able to spend so much time in the outdoors while growing up on the prairies of eastern Montana and in the Rockies of the west. After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in film and making a life-altering move to Los Angeles, John embarked on a career that included animation (Count Chocula and Frankenberry, anyone?), technical illustration, and managing graphics departments for several companies. After retiring from the rapid-paced life of Los Angeles and moving with his wife Barbara to a small cabin in the Mojave Desert for three years, he relocated to New Mexico.

Drawn by the beauty of the area, he and Barbara started the next phase of their lives in Placitas. There, he rekindled his love of creating artwork and discovered and became involved in the rich artistic community in the area. Today, he works primarily in pastels, capturing landscapes and scenes from throughout New Mexico and the West.

John is a member of the Pastel Society of New Mexico and the New Mexico Art League. His work has been juried into a number of shows, including his first entry into the 2022 Masterworks show. He and his wife also participated in the Placitas Studio Tour, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in May. His work is in private collections in the U.S. and Canada. John continues to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities to grow and learn more from the wealth of art and artists that surround us here in New Mexico.

Jdespain034@gmail.com


Pea S. Garr

Pea will be at the garden The Forest Sanctuary (#5).

His work will be at the library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

Creativity and imagination defined Pea S. Garr’s childhood, from self-made dollhouses, collage, drawing, and sewing, to wishful glances at her brother’s Erector® set. For almost two decades, she taught Jazzercise® and watered plants in office buildings. Shifting gears, Pea completed a mechanical engineering degree at UNM and worked in industry. Leaving Intel, she returned to a primary focus of creativity.

As well as making art by repurposing materials, Pea is a Master Gardener, bird watcher, and dedicated Servant of Dogs (her own).

Pea’s creativity unabashedly operates within the permission extended by Linus Pauling: “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”


Corky Baron

Corky will be at The Garden of Knowledge (#6)

His work will be at the library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

Born in Michigan City, Indiana in 1949, Corky Baron embarked on a hitchhiking and bicycling adventure through Europe after graduating high school. Soon after returning to Indiana, he left for Denver, CO and started a job with Mountain Bell in 1972. This is where he met his wonderful, artistic wife, Patty. Although they both had no formal training in the arts, she encouraged him to be more creative, so they took some art classes together. Through different mediums, such as welding, glass beading, fiber, and wood, he started to develop his own style.

Corky has shown in a few galleries, including Hoot in Placitas, San Pasqual’s in Old Town, and the Corrales Fine Art Gallery. He has also participated in the Placitas Studio Tour and the last two Corrales Studio Tours. “Although it is hard to do sometimes, I try to be creative every day.”



Bunny & Leland Bowen

Bunny & Leland will be at The Raven Hollow Garden (#7).

Their work will be at the library from Aug 27 through Sept 29.

Dorothy Bunny Bowen (MA, Art History; BA, Art Studio) has been a fiber artist since 1980. She studied with major world batik artists, teaching at Ghost Ranch for fourteen years. Registrar for the 2005 WORLD BATIK CONFERENCE in Boston, she maintains connections with international batik artists, making six study trips to Asia. In 2005 and 2007 she spoke at the Kuala Lumpur International Batik Convention. Bowen is a founding member of Wild Hearts Gallery in the Placitas Homestead Village, where her silk scarves, wood sculptures, and paintings are shown.

Artist Statement – A New Mexican since 1967, I find inspiration in the high desert landscape, flora, and fauna and am saddened that this is rapidly being altered by climate change. Working on silk with dyes resisted by molten wax, I continue a 2500-year-old global tradition. Since 1998 I have studied the Japanese form of wax resist: Rozome. Many recent pieces are presented unframed, displayed on hand-carved juniper from the land around my studio. A few sculptures have evolved from unusual pieces of juniper marked with beetle galleries. Lately I have reconnected with my roots as an oil painter and am exploring cold wax and oil.

A retired engineer, Leland Bowen has worked with metal since 1970. His experience as a jeweler and supervisor in a casting shop translated into antenna fabrication and a hobby creating welded sculpture. He collaborates with wife Bunny in both woodwork and metal.