ViVO Contemporary’s new show “State of Play” features works created from the practice and enjoyment of play.
For participating artist Norma Alonzo, painting is not only playful but purposeful.
It’s an exploration and expression of feeling and understanding the human state of being.
“Each and every time the work takes me on an inner journey of play, perhaps frustration, perhaps joy and ultimately an exploration of emotion and feeling,” she says.
A California native who moved to Santa Fe 12 years ago, Alonzo studied interior design at San Jose State University and entered the world of residential and commercial design after college.
“I often purchased art for a client and felt I could paint what was needed better,” Alonzo explains. “I started painting and fell in love with the power of paint, canvas and brush.”
Alonzo began taking classes in abstraction and landscape painting at the University of California, Berkeley and continued to study art after she and her husband moved to Pasadena. When she discovered classes taught by painter Richard Lees, she realized she had found her mentor. Lees encouraged her to paint from her gut.
“I’ve always been good with color and patterns, which are part of interior design,” she says. “With abstraction, composition is crucial. A successful abstract painting has to have space, depth of color and movement.”
Alonzo sees many of her abstract works as abstract landscapes. “I can’t help but bring landscape elements from New Mexico into my work,” she adds. “I am a thinking, feeling human being that absorbs and processes what is happening around me.”
Also showing work in the exhibit are Santa Fe artists including Warren Keating, Nina Glaser, William Sayler and Ann Laser.