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artist-in-residence program
99-00 resident artists: from left to right,
Maria Rucker; Mary Josephson with her husband the painter Greg Gannon behind;
Jerry Bleem; co-director Nancy Fleming; Eric Snell; Director Stephen Fleming; Eric's wife Joanna, the painter John Sparagana and his wife Katie Kahn.
The children in the foreground are from l to r, Sienna Fleming, Ella Snell, Marina Sparagana and her sister Hanna.

  1999 through the year 2000 was marked by the beautiful autumn and mild winter we enjoyed in southeastern New Mexico. Coupled with a diverse group of RAIR artists from the west, the mid-west and western Europe, it made the turn of the millennium memorable in many ways.


Maria Rucker was born in Munich, Germany and works primarily in stone.  Working away from her earlier non-objective interest, Maria has produced a large body of work derived for various parts of animal anatomy.  Rendered primarily in native Pecos Valley alabaster, she has created a series of sculptures that refer to snouts and paws while retaining a stunning abstract quality.

 Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany, Erasmus-Scholarship for  Greece at the School of Fine Arts, Athens.
 Marschalk-von-Ostheim Travel Award for Ireland & Brittany
 DAAD-grant for Carrara/Italy
 International Wood-Carving Symposium San Giuliano Terme/Italy
 Hualien International Stone Sculpture Symposium/Taiwan


Mary Josephson:
 BFA,  Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, Ecole National Supior des Beaux Arts, Paris, France, Parsons School of Design, Paris France, Artist's Fellowship in the Visual Arts, Painting, Oregon Arts Commission, Monomania Printmaking Fellowship, PNCA, Portland, OR, Capital Press Award, Oregon State University.

Jerry Bleem

Fr. Jerry Bleem is a Franciscan Friar whose friary is in Cicero, Illinois.
Jerry holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
His work occupies the territory between sculpture and what is now known
as fiber arts.  Father Bleem works with a variety of unusual materials
that involve painstakingly repetitious processes. Jerry became familiar with
the local community in an unusual way - by filling in periodically
for the parish priests at St. Peter's and Assumption Catholic Churches.

Eric Snell:

Education: Hornsey College of Art, London, BA Fine Art, 1st Class Honors. Foundation Course,  Birmingham Polytechnic,
Head of Art and Design, Guernsey College.
Awards: DAAD International Artist-in-Residence Programme, Berlin; Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France; numerous British Council Grants for exhibitions/projects in Canada, Spain, Venezuela, Sweden, Germany, France and Japan.
Selected Solo Exhibitions: Galleries in London; Toronto, Canada; Germany; New York; Switzerland; Sweden; Spain; Belgium; France; Japan.  San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA; Museum Moderne Kunst Landkreis Cuxhaven, Germany.
"Intrigued with out understanding of reality, I have been concerned not only with the idea of what we can see - but also with the idea of what we cannot see...I see myself as a catalyst.  I am trying to capture the essence, the very spirit of the object leaving behind a memory of its former self - a trade.  I wish to suggest that the object still exists, that it has just been transformed into another energy, another state - from reality to abstraction."

BFA College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA
 MFA Yale University; NEA Visual Artists Fellowship
 Ragdale Foundation Fellowship
 NEA Visual Artist Fellowship
 Scholarship, Yale University; Fellowship
 Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, CT.
 Currently Assistant Professor Northern Illinois University.