October 8th thru November 27th:

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They started out in Santa Fe, Denver, and Dallas. Who knew they would come together years later at the Taos Ceramics Center Gallery for one of the gallery's most interesting exhibits of the year. Luisa Baldinger and Judy Nelson-Moore are anything but unknowns in the ceramics world, especially in northern New Mexico. The two artists have been working in clay for nearly 50 years and have been friends for the past twelve. Richard Lee Smith, Jr. only moved to Taos about a year ago having left LA. We are delighted to be giving him his debut gallery exhibit in NM.

All three artists share a common desire to create work that it is daring, organic, and tactile. Luisa Baldinger is predominantly concerned with the articulation of vessels and utilizes an aluminum, saggar-fire technique to render her exquisite earthen finishes. 

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At Colorado College she majored in art and graduated with not a single clue about how to make a living so Luisa joined the Peace Corps where she lived in Peru for 3 years. There, high up in the Andes, she became involved with the world of handcrafts. Her introduction to pottery making was on a home-made kick wheel in the Altiplano village of Pucará between Cuzco and Puno.

Upon returning to the US, Luisa began taking ceramics classes at Ohio University. She has been pursuing pottery making since 1968, first in upstate New York and then in Santa Fe since 1980. During her time in New York, she participated in a number of juried shows and craft fairs and served as a juror for the 1980 American Crafts Enterprises Wholesale Market at Springfield, Massachusetts.

In the early eighties, Luisa married well-known Santa Fe potter, Frank Willett, and collaborated to produce a full line of beautifully designed and superbly crafted pottery. For thirty years, they produced a line of functional work, "Sunridge Pottery", combining their skills in wheel thrown pottery and slab-made work decorated with a landscape motif; designed and produced "Santa Fe Lights", a line of clay architectural lighting fixtures; and owned and managed Santa Fe Pottery, a fine craft shop on historic Guadalupe Street carrying the work of over eighty local and regional craftspeople. Selling Santa Fe Pottery in 2003 gave Luisa the freedom to pursue a career-long desire to develop her own personal ceramic work as that shown in the Organic and Free-Ranging  exhibit.

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Judy Nelson-Moore has worked with clay in all forms of expression for over 45 years. She current concentrates on sculpture using paper clay, a clay to which paper pulp is added that consequently increases the dry strength of clay. This makes it possible to make forms that are not possible otherwise. Because the dry strength of paper clay is so hard, work may be fired or unfired. Once fired, the work retains the qualities of other fired ceramics.

Judy enjoys exploring mixed media additions during the ceramic construction process or after the firing. These additions might be fabric, paper collage, paint, or other mixed media.

Judy grew up in Denver, a city girl. "I had a great childhood, wonderful parents, an older brother. Mother was a painter and also made ceramics. My character was forged in Camp Fire Girls and 4-H." She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Humanities.

Over the years, she has studied with many wonderful clay artists, including James and Nan McKinnell. Judy realized that what she admired about many artists’ work was not the technical expertise, "but the spirit and soul in their work." So she started to pursue a study of Jungian Psychology, studied creative imagery work with Edith Wallace and Steve Gallegos. At the same time, she was working with many different companies around the country as a database software developer and implementation specialist. She credits the combination of these experiences, plus a strong interest and affinity for primitive and indigenous art of many cultures, for helping to form the imagery and motivation of her sculpture.

"My images are metaphors of inner self discovered through life events, visual illustrations of personal tales... My art is an expression of my dreams and visions as I attempt to balance and integrate these separate frames of reference."


Richard Lee Smith, Jr. is a painter of expressionist shapes with “an undercurrent of spiritual commentary and personal growth.” He was born in 1975 in Dallas, Texas, and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, in California, receiving his BFA degree in 1997. “My work is about spiritual growth and healing.” Smith continues, “…it wasn’t until recently that I really understood all this. Although I am trained in western art methods and history, my work is unmistakably informed by my time spent in nature.” Smith was born and raised in Texas where he was exposed to nature, observing birds, animals, and the weather. He credits this time for learning about energy and how everything is connected. “The application of paint with an energetic intention, layering shapes and marks creating an energetic beacon... An expression of the way I sense my reality.”

In Organic and Free-Ranging,  Richard's paintings create an energized atmosphere that lend a magical quality to Luisa and Judy's ceramics. We welcome you to experience this exhibit first-hand and enjoy the work of these three most talented artists.


Organic and Free-Ranging runs from October 8th thru November 27th at the TCC Gallery. 

 TCC Gallery Hours 

Wednesday: Noon to 5PM

Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10AM to 5PM

Sunday: Noon to 4pm

CLOSED Monday & Tuesday

114 Este Es Road, Taos, New Mexico