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Duke City’s seven local treasures

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Seven Albuquerque area artists have been crowned local treasures by the Albuquerque Art Business Association.

“Untitled” by Rod Groves.

These artists not only excel in their fields; they have given back to the community, said Roy Sumner Johnson of Sumner & Dene Gallery.

“Their galleries have nominated them as local treasures and will have a show for each of them,” he said.

This marks the 11th year the association has given awards to artists. This year’s roll call includes Mary Moore Bailey (Sumner & Dene), Rex Barron (Warren Fine Art & Collectibles Gallery), Ming Franz (The Gallery ABQ), Roe LiBretto (Ghostwolf Gallery), Trish Meyer (Weyrich Gallery), Denise Weaver Ross (Ghostwolf Gallery, Tortuga Gallery) and the late Rod Groves.

An abstract painter, Groves died in February, Johnson said. He served on the board of the Albuquerque Art Business Association and First Unitarian Church. Before he retired here in 1995, he was the chancellor of administration at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University.

“The people from the Yucca Gallery nominated him,” Johnson said.

Like many young Albuquerque painters, Bailey studied art with Frank McCulloch – known as “the Granddaddy of Albuquerque art” – before spending 40 years in the marketing industry, Johnson said. She has served on the board of the Humane Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Civitan and Rotary groups.

“She came back a couple of years ago,” Johnson said. Her artwork resembles contemporary petroglyphs.

“She creates a world of her own and each painting tells a story.”

The Albuquerque Art Museum, 2000 Mountain NW, will host a reception for the winners at 1 p.m. today.