Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photos

Los Lunas artist Viola Luna won best of show at the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts’ ninth annual juried art show “Miracles and Remedies.”

LOS LUNAS — Art of various New Mexico artists again graced the walls of the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts’ ninth annual Juried Art Show after going virtual last year.

The artists created pieces related to “Miracles and Remedies,” the show’s 2021 theme.

Los Lunas artist Viola Luna said she had been fascinated with old buildings for years, and enjoys creating miniatures of the structures, ranging from saloons to churches.

“I just started making them a few years back and I don’t know how many I’ve made,” Luna said. “I’ve made 40 or more and I’ve given a lot away, and I’ve sold a lot in Old Town (in Albuquerque).They are just fun; I just like old buildings, especially old churches.”

“Milagros,” a miniature of a wooden church she created for the exhibit, was named Best of Show, winning Luna her own show during next year’s exhibit rotation.

Luna creates the 3D structures, moves them around as she goes until the structure feels right. She joked how her husband will see one wall up one day and the next day the wall will be taken down.

“I just build them as I go,” Luna said. “When we go places, I take pictures of old churches that are falling down, but I just (build) them as I go — no real pattern.”

Luna entered into last year’s show, earning her third place.

Laura Sanchez earned second place for her watercolor “For Fevers and Headaches.” She was inspired by a story her husband told her about a home remedy his mother used soaking potatoes in vinegar and tied them to her children’s heads using bandage gauze.

“So I thought, this year I’ll enter a different one, and yeah,” she said. “(Getting Best of Show) was nice. I didn’t expect anything because I had been in such a hurry, but I was happy.”

Valencia County artist Laura Sanchez came in second place with her watercolor, “For Fevers and Headaches.”

Sanchez, who tries to create a piece for the show every year, said she was stumped on what to paint that fit in with this year’s theme.

“I knew zero about that, and then I remembered my husband told me when he was a child, if they had a headache or a fever, their mother would soak potato slices in vinegar and then put it inside a gauze bandage and tie it around their heads,” Sanchez said.

She painted a little boy partaking in the home remedy, with a potato and a bottle of vinegar on the table in front of him, a look of disappointment on his face, and sunlight with a light breeze coming through the window.

“I guess that (the home remedy) would work because they hated it so much,” Sanchez said with a laugh.

While Sanchez said her art is still at the hobby level, she wants to possibly explore the idea of a gallery but, until then, she will continue to enter her work into the annual Juried Art Show at the museum.

“It’s just a neat show. I liked a lot of the stuff in here,” she said. “I want to come over here again and look at it at length because at the opening, you can’t really sit and stare at something that long.”

Nicole Dauk, a gel pen artist, said her wood burning, “Healing Within,” represents our interconnection to the natural world.

Another Valencia County artist, Nicole Dauk, took third place at the show with her piece “Healing Within,” created by burning her design into wood with a soldering iron.

“(The piece) represents our interconnection to the natural world that can provide miracles and remedies for our healing within,” Dauk said.

Dauk, a published gel pen artist, said she picked up wood burning in 2014 when she purchased a soldering iron and found herself unable to put it down.

While changing mediums can be a tough shift for some artists, Dauk said it came naturally to her.

“It was more about enjoyment that took over that allowed me to move forward with it,” Dauk said. “But, usually a different art form is kind of intimidating. For some reason, something that can burn you, I didn’t really care about it.”

Dauk said she heard about the art show through the NextDoor app and is extremely thankful to have placed.

“I’m just honored that I can share my work with my neighbors and I’m just really grateful for the opportunity,” she said.

“Miracles and Remedies,” the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts’ ninth annual Juried Art Show will be on display at the museum until Jan. 9, 2022. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photos  “Milagros” artist, Viola Luna, said she has been creating miniatures for a few years back, both giving away and selling her creations in Old Town Albuquerque.


Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photos Taos photographer, Steve Bundy, garnered the first-place prize at the juried art show with his photograph titled, “Jose’s Remedios and Yerbas.”

Makayla Grijalva | News-Bulletin photos Valencia County Laura Sanchez earned second place for her watercolor “For Fevers and Headaches

Marilyn Smiel was one of several artists to receive an honorable mention at the show for her artwork, an oil painting entitled “Medieval Apothecary.”

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Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history.