It is well-documented that the visual, musical and performing arts are essential elements of any vibrant community. The arts contribute to the enrichment of our individual and communal lives in so many ways. In fact, a city without the arts is literally a city without a heart. Every city needs an identity or “brand” to distinguish itself while attracting new families and businesses. The City of Vision has recognized the role of the arts in its long-term strategic planning. This is why Rio Rancho created a special commission to oversee and lead the city toward that goal.
The members of the City of Rio Rancho Arts Commission are united by this goal. They each desire to contribute in a meaningful way to the quality of life for all residents of Rio Rancho. In coordination with the schools and colleges, local businesses and arts organizations, the commissioners are actively bringing high quality arts to our city.
Here are the members of the commission:
District 1 — Jaymes Dudding
Dudding is a retired art professor and life-long educator. He is a producing ceramic artist and sculptor. His sculpture, “Chaco Rising,” was the first public sculpture to be commissioned for the City of Rio Rancho’s new City Hall.
Dudding became a Rio Rancho arts commissioner because he believes a great city needs great public art. Art enriches, inspires, and educates; and it also is vital to the new “Creative Economy.” He is serving his second appointment as arts commissioner and is past co-chairperson of the arts commission.
District 2 — Darryle Bass
Bass’s background is in interior design and visual merchandising. She is a producing gourd and fiber artist. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, American Academy of Art and The Art Instruction School.
She is president of the New Mexico Polymer Clay Guild. Bass believes that art is the “essence of our being.” She believes that through public art, we can share our works, thoughts and inspiration with the public and contribute to an enrichment of our lives.
District 3 — Daniel Chamberlain
Chamberlain’s background and experience is in architectural design and general construction, art as it relates to architecture, collections, urban research and education. He is chairman of the arts commission.
Chamberlain believes that Rio Rancho must develop and invest in its cultural institutions. In turn, this investment in cultural equity will support the strength and range of the city’s development. The interaction of art, architecture, cities, parks, places and people will contribute to the foundation of a good quality of life in Rio Rancho.
District 4 — Paula Scott
Scott is a producing artist and an active member of the arts association, and has served on its board as the communications chair since 2009. She also is on the Rio Grande Youth Art Show Planning Committee and has served on the President’s Council of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum for Women in the Arts, 2011-12, and the Creative Albuquerque Culture Count Committee.
Scott believes that as the city continues to grow, one thing that Rio Rancho has been missing is a presence of art within the community. She believes that a city hasn’t truly arrived until it has a vibrant presence of art in the community. She is serving her second appointment to the arts commission and is past co-chairperson.
District 5 — Theresa Surette-Fowinkle
Surette-Fowinkle is native-born to New Mexico. She is passionate about New Mexico and being part of a growing community.
Her background and education in music and the fine arts gives her vision and a desire to see the two come together. She believes they “intertwine” and compliment one another.
“The arts always seems to bring a type of unity … It affects so many aspects of our everyday lives. It is a privilege being part of a group of like-minded professionals. As commissioner of District 5, I look forward to working with other commissioners in bringing the two together and continuing to give our great city an exciting and successful program in the arts,” she said.
District 6 — Edward McDonnell
McDonnell graduated from Paris American High School, Paris, France. He also studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris (fine arts). He has taught drawing and design at New Mexico State University and also at Atlanta Area Technical School in Georgia.
Currently, there is one vacant position on the all-volunteer Rio Rancho Arts Commission. The position is considered “at large,” meaning that the seventh member does not represent any particular district.
If you love the arts, please consider joining the arts commission and helping them in their endeavor to enrich the arts in all its forms for our community.