New Twists...

What a year so far! We certainly have had to focus on the "creative" bit of the Questa Creative Council in reconfiguring our programming, since COVID-19 hit the world this past spring.
We sincerely hope you all healthy and staying safe! And we hope you are itching to reconnect with the art world of northern New Mexico.
We appreciate you taking the time to review our efforts and look forward to your continued participation and patronage.

S U M M E R   E V E N T S   U P D A T E

Questa Studio Art Tour
Transforms Into Online Auction

August 15 & 16


The QCC is pleased to announce a substitute for the annual Studio Tour, since we cannot gather in public for this fun event: an online art auction on the revamped Questa Studio Arts Tour website, now renamed Come view and bid on your favorite local art and craft item(s). A preview will take place the week before. The auction will be held on August 15-16, for 36 hours only! Please help our local economy by letting your friends and family know about this fun and exciting auction that will help support artists.
For more information, or if you are an artist and would like to join (you don't have to have been in the Studio Tour previously) please email us at

NeoRio 2020

September 18 - October 25: Virtual Events

Photo: Carrie Leven

Everyone and everything is shifting. Haltings we did not think possible have occurred. Countless closures and migrations to online platforms are taking place. We are all affected.

As the director of LEAP (Land, Experience and Art of Place) and curator of its NeoRio event, I am faced with the challenge of reinventing this multi-faceted, outdoor environmental art event and adapting it to present circumstances.  

NeoRio is a venue for innovative art, experimental thinking, education and exchange. For the past eleven years, artists, participants and collaborators have enjoyed thought-provoking art installations at Wild Rivers on the rim of the Rio Grande gorge, along with a farm-to-table feast, music, poetry, and artist talks at sunset. Each year, we’ve tried to create a kind of alchemy with this confluence of art, environment, community, and celebration of each year’s fascinating theme. Before the pandemic hit, I had decided upon the theme HOME. How prescient that was!

So, we're transforming and adapting NeoRio 2020 in response to heightened safety measures, while recognizing our need for personal connection and support. I'm asking everyone to consider their experience of "home" during the global pandemic for NeoRio 2020.

Participants (that means you!) will create artwork time capsules with an accompanying audio story to be shared and archived digitally in collaboration with Questa Stories ~ Community Memory Project.  These time capsules, created by you as well as local and regional artists, will be shown and shared via an online exhibition and digital archive, through a series of community roundtables on Zoom, and in local street-front windows. Additional collaborations are also in the works.

Let's reflect on this poignant time. You are invited to participate to create your own artwork time capsules with an accompanying audio story. Watch for details on how to participate during the September 18 - October 25 window: Go to or call me, Claire, at (575) 224-9066.

Questa Chamber Music
Virtual Concert – Late August

Rehearsing for a late August or early September concert are (from left) violinist Suzie Schwartz, violist Andrea Gore, and cellist Rebecca Caron. Not pictured: pianist Martha Shepp.
  • Our planned Salsa/Liszt Spring Thing dance lesson and concert by visiting musician Edwin Aybar scheduled for April 11 was canceled due to COVID-19, but we’ve been cooking up virtual and online ways to bring you new live music experiences. We hope to get Edwin to come back in non-pandemic times.
  • The Series usually kicks off with a late August concert with Andrea Gore, Rebecca Caron, Suzie Schwartz, and Martha Shepp, and we still hope to make that happen, though its live presentation format is in question. It may occur at La Sala with social distancing and masks... we shall see! We’re working on the post-romantic composer Gabriel Fauré's Piano Quartet #1, a very lush and symbolic work appropriate to the times we're living through now.
  • Contact Martha Shepp for more information at (575) 776-7579 or see our page on the QCC website.

New Face in the QCC

Meet graphic designer Emily Wilde, who you may know from Questa Del Rio News and Questa Farmers Market! She will be helping get this e-news to you, and maintaining our website. Many thanks to volunteers Claire Coté and Martha Shepp, who have contributed many hours and care over the years on QCC branding and communications. Thank you, Emily!


Website(s) Updates!

When we realized the Questa Studio Art Tour would need to be canceled as a physical event, we began retooling the event and its website. Thanks to Dan Kuehn, website wizard, for helping make this happen!

As you read above, an online auction will be held on the usual Studio Tour weekend in its stead.

What has also emerged online is a new way to showcase our artists. Its new name is (If you type in, it will redirect) It aims to represent not only past QSAT artists, but any local artists and craftspeople who are interested in promoting and marketing their work. So far, there are 50 artists represented, with 30 profile pages.

Why is it special? Each artist can have their own personal artist page which features a short bio, images of their work, images of their workshop, and even short videos. Most importantly, their page features their contact information and their selling platforms. We are hoping that this site will bring more buyers into the area (via internet shopping) to purchase a one-of-a-kind treasure from a local artist.

To join as an artist, contact us at Please share this site with your friends and family!

Another website updating is thanks to Emily Wilde's coming on board to help maintain the Questa Creative Council website (read more below).

Streetlight Banners Round Two: Now Installed!

Retablo images from St. Anthony’s Church graced Questa's downtown district since July of 2019. Did you know other designs have also been planned? Images of Questa history are now showing and you may recognize some of them as ancestors of local families: five of the 18 were donated by locals through the QuestaStories project, depciting their ancestors and loved ones; the rest are from our national archives, in the Library of Congress. Thanks to the Ortiz, Coggins, Ortega, Rael, Vigil, and Jaramillo families. The final set of banners for future use, Round Three, are of art by our local artists.

Art Kits for School Kids, Round Two!

In August and September we will be working to supply a second batch of art kits for area youth. The first distribution of 57 kits occurred last December, thanks to your help. We were able to raise over $800 in donations.

With parents, teachers, and schools trying to modify learning environments and cope with these uncertain times, the QCC is planning a fundraising event to help us buy art kit supplies for our projected 300 school-aged children. The kits will contain a sketchbook, pencils, colored pencils, a watercolor set, and an activity sheet that will integrate into art-oriented lessons at the schools.

If you are interested in helping with a monetary donation, please go to the QCC website and click the donation button. From there you can select from a dropdown menu: Art Kits. Thank you in advance for helping out our kids.

Questa History Trail Completion Celebration

We are looking at Labor Day, in the beginning of September, for our official ribbon-cutting celebration of the completed Questa History Trail route. This local, outdoor, socially-distanced celebration will include a guided walk, traditional treats, and card- and poster-sized reproductions of the current history-themed streetlight banners for sale. The history and culture of Questa is so unique and it will soon have this wonderful community asset to illuminate our past in all its guises. A wealth of information is available now on the project’s website; Stay tuned for more news!

Corner Signs

Notice something new at the Questa stoplight corner? Members of the QCC have volunteered to refurbish and repaint the large metal sign with its Zia-Questa design and the smaller wooden directional arrow signs. They were quite weathered and in need of some fresh paint.

Treasurer Position Still Open

We are still in need of a Treasurer. If you are comfortable with numbers and wish to support the arts, now’s your opportunity to fill a specific need! Our Treasurer is the go-between who presents the Bookkeeper’s budget, reports to our Board, and oversees the use of our bank accounts. Your smarts will add to the skills of our Executive Board. If you’re interested or have questions, please email us at

How can you support projects like these into the future?

Your help is most welcome as a volunteer. Each of our events are in need of volunteers. Positions ranges from an hour to three or four. Interested?
Email us at Your generosity has direct impact and is very much appreciated.
We are grateful to those who sponsor our projects:
Some of these projects are supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
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Questa Creative Council · PO Box 1025 · Questa, New Mexico 87556 · USA

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