Zendo Coffee to Host Luna Project’s Final Art Exhibit “Between Worlds”

From left to right, the Luna Project is comprised of, front row: Nance Elsinger, Alice Webb, Phyllis Benia Salazar, Ruth Cohen, Pat Cohen (Member Emeritus). Back row: Nancy Rutland, Lauri Dickinson, Cate Eaves, Mary Dornacker, Kris Thacher, Margy O’Brien, Joani Murphy. (Courtesy of The Luna Project)

If the moon waxes and wanes, so do the artists.

Especially during Covid uncertainty.

Now in its 20th year, the Luna Project, a group of a dozen female artists, has produced an exhibition tracing this ambiguity with “Between Worlds”. The show kicks off at Zendo Coffee on Friday, March 4.

“Hummingbird Dance”, Nancy Rutland, linocut. (Courtesy of The Luna Project)

The collective grew out of a group of artists who came together in 2003. They all work in a variety of materials from pottery to printmaking, and meet monthly to encourage and critique one another.

Corrales resident Nancy Rutland produced dance-centric prints.

“I thought about dancing between worlds in this kind of world that we find ourselves in,” she said.

Rutland’s pieces include ‘The Dance’, a Chine-collé print (a technique resulting in a two-layer paper backing) and ‘Hummingbird Dance’, a linocut print.

“It feels like a step back, a dance; the world before Covid and now,” she continued. “We do all kinds of dances in our lives. The hummingbird dances between air and clouds and solid ground and hovers over plant life between worlds.

Rutland is the founding former owner of Bookworks in the North Valley of the city. Her work has been featured in juried and invitational exhibitions.

When painter Cate Eaves learned of the exhibit’s theme, she turned to her sketchbook and captured the spiral shape of nautilus shells and ammonite fossils.

“Full Fathom Five”, Cate Eaves, watercolor and ballpoint pen. (Courtesy of The Luna Project)

Ammonites lived 30 million years ago as sea creatures, but they survived as fossils, transforming from an animal form, then crystallized and frozen in geological strata, she wrote in an email.

“So I decided to do little mandala designs as a sort of meditation on this creature that lived in an ancient world and now exists as a beautiful and strange mineral in my modern world,” she said. .

For Eaves, ancient forms bridge the gap between worlds, always evoking the mystery of nature, “ancient and present, living versus static, under the sea or frozen in stone. Transformed between worlds.

“Green Trust”, Nance Elsinger, acrylic. (Courtesy of the Luna Project).

For oil and acrylic artist Nance Elsinger, “Between Worlds” evoked infinite space in his acrylic painting “Green Trust”.

“No matter how bad, there is the possibility of a spark of life,” she said. “The plant is a symbol of life.”

Multimedia artist Ruth Cohen found inspiration for her “River Boat and Umbrellas” in two very different cities in Southeast Asia.

“In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, I often ride a river boat, like the one seen in this piece,” she wrote in an email. “River activity includes tugboats, barges, hotel boats, racing boats, tourist boats and public transport boats.

“River Boat and Umbrellas”, Ruth Cohen, mixed media on panel. (Courtesy of The Luna Project)

“From Thailand, I fly to Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Laos, where the pace is slower and the river activity is serene,” Cohen continued. “I saw the umbrellas in Luang Prabang at the night market.”

The Luna project was born out of a commitment to produce a small autobiographical work every week for a year, hence its original name Semanas (weeks). But many artists have been turned away from the project by their busy lives. Some only made a few pieces. Their first group show was at the Harwood Art Center in Taos in 2005. They quickly changed the productivity requirement to monthly artwork. Since then, the collective has exhibited their work at the Open Space Visitor Center, Albuquerque Library, Weyrich Gallery, Oasis, Mariposa Gallery, and Tortuga Gallery.


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Reggie S. Williams