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Mastering a change: 93 New Mexico artists represented in online art exhibit

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Barbara Lohbeck had a vision of bringing the New Mexico master artists together.

That was 23 years ago as she began MasterWorks of New Mexico.

“Light Sailing,” Ruth Vreeland, watercolor.

Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic, but the artists are back for a virtual event.

“It began with a unique vision, that of combining the talents and experiences of existing fine arts organizations, each representing artists throughout New Mexico, to sponsor a show of New Mexico’s finest art,” Lohbeck says of the event’s history.

The charter board of representatives consisted of the Pastel Society of New Mexico, the New Mexico Watercolor Society, and “Miniature Arts Bardean.” It founded, then included in its second year, a new organization for oils, acrylics and mixed media not framed under glass, the Rio Grande Art Association.

“Pathfinder,” Michael Myer, oil.

“It’s exciting that we’re still going and finding a new avenue to have the show go on is amazing,” she says. “It’s important to showcase the artists who have kept working on their craft.”

This year’s event will run the entire month of April at masterworksnm.org.

Lohbeck says the spring show is comprised of four separately juried shows.

“Judges and jurors have been extremely qualified these past 21 years and have willingly given time and expertise to an exemplary show of New Mexico’s best,” Lohbeck says.

“Trains and Plains,” Paul Murray, oil/acrylic.

Lohbeck says about 180 artists submitted for the show with a total of 424 works.

It was whittled down to 141 pieces that represents 93 different artists.

The artists represent the Pastel Society of New Mexico, New Mexico Watercolor Society and Rio Grande Art Association.

Donny Weber was judge for the virtual 2021 show. The three jurors for 2021 were Barbara Coleman, Grant Macdonald, and Alvin Gill-Tapia.

Lohbeck hopes to have next year’s event in person.

“It’s been a learning experience the last two years,” she says. “Last year’s show was canceled quickly and we’ve had to find a way to get the virtual show together.”

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