Written and Photography by Cheryl A. fallstead
The crowning touch to any welcoming yard may well be a piece of original art. As artist Suzanne Kane says, “Adding public art creates unique sense of place to any environment.”
And if you’re going to invest in art for your yard, why not support a local? These area artists are using metal, ceramic, glass, and other inventive materials to create pieces that will turn your ordinary garden into a sculpture garden.
Meet 7 Artists Who Are Taking Art Outdoors
- Greta Burger
Greta Burger began working with fused glass about five years ago and has now branched out to mixed media pieces incorporating glass, steel, copper, and natural elements, like agave stalks, or found items, such as small gas cylinders. Her art ranges in size from two feet to over six and includes depictions of shaman, seascapes with glass fish, and abstract pieces. Greta draws inspiration from the joy of playing and experimenting without being locked in to size or style. She says, “I have made several pieces on commission and really enjoy when the collector lets me do my thing. It’s hard to stay within boundaries, so if I am given ideas on size, format, and colors, then I can color outside the lines.” Greta’s art can be seen at Chiracahua Gallery in Rodeo or at Chumani Gallery in Madrid. Contact her through Facebook at her Cathouse Glass page or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brian Fallstead
Brian Fallstead has been an artist for as long as he can remember, working in glass, metal, ceramics, and more over the years. His outdoor art is primarily made of metal, but he is incorporating glass as well. He enjoys creating kinetic pieces that can be moved by the wind or viewers. Some of his pieces are made from bent metal and others from sheet metal cut with a plasma torch. Brian’s pieces range from two-foot-tall rocking rabbits to six-foot-high “crow-mobiles” that swing in the wind. He has created custom pieces for sculpture gardens such as his Chacoan Astrolabe and his Vitruvian Woman. His bent-metal ballerina graces the courtyard of the Black Box Theatre and his ballet folklorico dancers are in the garden at Justus Wright Galleria. Brian’s art can be seen on his Facebook page, Fallstead Arts, along with pieces created by ceramic sculpture and fused glass students. He can be reached at 575-644-6534.
- Larry Felhauer
Larry Felhauer has been creating art for his own satisfaction for about four years, and recently began offering it to buyers through Artists of Picacho Hills events. He says of his mixed-media sculptures, “Drawing inspiration from Native American cultures, my sculptures marry ceramic elements with steel in designs ranging from traditional to abstract. I find working with my hands and experimenting with new materials to be both challenging and relaxing—and it’s a radical departure from my earlier life as a business executive.”Larry decided to combine ceramics and steel because he wanted to create larger pieces than he could with ceramic alone. His art ranges in size from 18 inches all the way up to five feet tall. Larry says, “I think the combined medium is not particularly common, and I’ve been told I have a quirky sense of humor.”He can be reached at 575-526-2715 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
- John Harris
John Harris’s interest in metal sculpture began with creating farm signs and weather vanes in the late ‘90s. Now he makes one-of-a-kind sculptures from hand-cut metal in the form of everything from six-foot kachinas to life-sized roadrunners. He repurposes metals, including copper, stainless steel, brass, and bronze, to create his pieces and enjoys adding whimsy with incongruous items, like gears or bearings. His art is intended to weather naturally in the garden, with rust adding to the aged look of the work. John says, “I want people to enjoy my art work and, even if they do not purchase an item, I truly enjoy the smiles that it brings to observers.” His art can be seen at shows around the area, including the Las Cruces Arts Fair, Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts, and Las Artistas in El Paso. To make an appointment to see his art at his home studio call 575-526-1156.
- Suzanne Kane
Fantastic ceramic flowers are part of what award-winning artist Suzanne Kane creates for gardens and public spaces around the country. Suzanne’s pieces are in the permanent collections of many museums, and on display in numerous galleries and public spaces. “I have always dabbled in making larger work for outdoors, but in the last few years I have made it my emphasis,” she says. “I am now making work that ranges from ‘people size,’ four to six feet tall, which is great for gardens, to things that can be used in bigger, outdoor public spaces, 12 to 14 feet tall. I really love combining ceramic and welded steel. The metal work gives my forms structure and geometry, and the ceramic parts add texture and color.” Suzanne’s art can be seen locally at the newly reopened Rokoko Gallery in Mesilla and at the Cutter Gallery. Online, check her website at suzannekane.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- John Northcutt
If you enjoy playing with your art, you should explore John Northcutt’s interactive steel sculptures. He creates pieces that range in size from two to 24 feet, mostly in geometric designs that can be manipulated by the viewer. He says, “I like for people to have access to my art and share in the experience of creativity. There is a sense of play that is part of the work, something that children instinctively grasp.” John has been creating metal art for over 40 years and he will work with collectors to create custom pieces. “I like working with clients to create original works that reflect their interests and environment,” he adds. John’s art can be seen at Rokoko Gallery in Mesilla, Rio Bravo Gallery in Truth or Consequences, or at his home or studio by appointment. Contact him by phone at 410-925-9126 or e-mail at email@example.com. You can also see his art online at facebook.com/NDAWJBN.
- Lay Powell
Ruidoso artist Lay Powell works in numerous mediums, but his petroglyph-inspired metal and stone art are ideal for Southwest gardens. He says, “The product I am proudest to talk about are my Garden Glyphs, which are a direct artistic connection to my New Mexico roots. They are graphic petroglyph images cut out of steel with a cutting torch.” Lay enjoys doing commission work for collectors, including diverse items such as gates and furniture. Due to his love of exploring the designs carved into stone by those who came before us, he says, “A favorite of mine is stone modifications in which actual petroglyph images are chiseled onto the surface of dark surfaced stones in people’s yards, gardens, or homes.” His art can be seen at Main Street Gallery in Las Cruces, Fahrenheit Gallery in Taos, or by making an appointment to visit his studio in Ruidoso by calling 575-937-5934 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.