Ah, springtime! Lots of art to enjoy!

6th ANNUAL FOUR CORNERS INDIAN MARKET

Celebrate the artistic traditions of the native cultures of our area. Meet artists representing over a dozen Southwest tribes and Pueblo nations. Master weavers, potters, basket weavers, and flute and drum makers will demonstrate their crafts. The day's events include traditional and contemporary dance, music, food, a silent auction, and educational. This all happens on Tuesday, May 7th at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding, Utah. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. For more info, call (435) 68-2238.

MIXED-UP MANCOS

The yearly Mancos Mix is on at the Cortez Cultural Center. Go see some new work by your favorite local artists - Deb Doty, Ginny Getts, Janet Chanay, to name a few. The exhibit will be followed by avian-themed artwork in conjunction with the Birding Festival. Jan Wright put the whole thing together, with ample help, I am sure, from the participating artists. Support local art and on your way home from the grocery store, go take a look.

A MASK IS NOT A FACE

The Mask Show currently running at the Durango Arts Center on East Second Avenue is a great compendium of masks for cultures and traditions all over the globe - Benin, Gabon, Haiti, China, Mexico, plus more, more, more. Some of the "masks" are so huge that they are in essence "body masks" or costumes. Every imaginable material has been used - wood, straw, metal, fabric, beads, plastic paint, and the range of this show is really interesting. There are antique and traditional masks, and some very contemporary ones. As some of you may know, I am a mask-maker. I am always intrigued by the intent of the artist. Is creating a mask to change or hide your individuality? To create a fantasy or godlike creature? To play a role (without any credit) in a tribal or communal ceremony? This show represents a very wide range of work, and as many questions about how the masks were used and what they were created for, as there are numbers of masks. At any rate, this show is a real winner, and I advise you to pop in for a look if you are in Durango.

THE NEW MESA VERDE VISITOR CENTER

I know it's been open for a few months, but I hadn't had a chance to visit. So when out for a Sunday ride, my husband, Jim, and I popped in to see it. What a grand setting. Before you even enter the building complex, you are struck with how it was sited. As you approach, everything is clean and sensibly planned. The exterior is of native stone with dark anodized water spouts coming out at regular intervals. Even though the complex is brand new, it looks as if it had been there forever. As you enter the complex, look behind you. The site is exactly angled to take the whole of the La Platas, edge to edge. As you approach, you are drawn to a very tall, impressive sculpture of an Ancient One scaling the interior walls of a cliff dwelling with his basket of firewood strapped to his back.

Inside, as you walk straight back into the building, you come to a circular space, somewhat like a modern kiva, a large window at the rear perfectly frames Lookout Point. There are just enough displays and dioramas to whet any visitor's appetite for more. There is a wonderful tabletop contoured map of the whole park with buttons to push to see various landmarks, e.g., where are all the first pit houses? Next to it is a very precisely contoured map for the seeing impaired to touch and comprehend the scale of the park.

The design and planning of the building has included extensive consultation with and input from the 24 Native American Tribes affiliated with Mesa Verde. A sustainable design has been created, with anticipated Platinum LEEDS certification. (LEEDS is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standards, as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.)

The new Visitor and Research Center will create the opportunity for a Tribal Cultures Center - a creative renovation of historic Far View Visitor Center.

We have a jewel in our midst, and I urge everyone to go visit. The "official opening" is at the end of May, but go now, while it is still bare of most people, and it is still new and fresh!

CALLIGRAPHICALLY

SPEAKING

Our local master calligrapher, the multi-talented Beth Wheeler, will open her show, based on her recent studies abroad in England and Germany, on Friday, April 12 with an artist's reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit includes calligraphic pieces, watercolors and photographs of her journey and classes abroad. And when I say "multi-talented," who else do you know that can do calligraphy, watercolors, play both the flute and the conga drums, tap dance and, oh by the way, a master teacher? A master teacher reviews and teaches teachers about to go out into the classroom, Approval by Beth is their last step before becoming professionals. Please come and see Beth's show, have some nosh and a glass of wine, enjoy the art! It's at the Town Gallery at the Visitor Center on Bauer at Boyle Park. See you there!

Let me know what's happening in the arts community. I'd love to publish info about your event, show, concert, play, whatever! Call (970) 533-7536 or email dhlaw4367@gmail.com.