In case you missed the jovial guy on a bike zipping around Alamogordo yesterday, you missed a man of commitment and compassion.
Meet Mike Swartz. While some people have sat back and complained during this dark period of Covid-19 and the new awakening as we come out of it, there are some individuals that didn’t just sit back in self pity but some individuals set a goal and a path forward to help the greater good of their community and followed through on that path forward in enlightenment and action.A view of Bill Swartz journey
Mike Swartz is one of those individuals. He is bicycling across America from Harbor New Jersey to San Diego to raise awareness and funds for charity. His solo ride of about 4000 miles in total down the east coast and across the country is to raise money for Bell Socialization Services which began in 1966 as “The Bell Club,” a social gathering for people being discharged from local psychiatric hospitals into the greater York, PA community. Created with support of the York chapter of Mental Health America and a financial donation from the York Jaycees, early Bell programs included meals and activities hosted by churches and organizations such as the Catholic Women’s Club, the Jewish War Veteran’s Auxilliary, the Jaycees Wives, etc., as well as dances, presentations, and outings.
Over the years Bell services continued to evolve and expand and, today, about 2,500 people are served each year through dozens of programs offering an array of housing and basic living supports, guided by our Vision, Mission, & Values. Many Bell programs are licensed and/or accredited to meet strict standards of quality care. With more than 50 properties throughout York and Adams counties, people using Bell services are an integral part of the greater community.
You can follow along the remaining parts of Mr. Swartz journey and read his commentary and blog over his encounters along the way ata variety of social media pages which are devoted to this bicycle ride. You’ll see photos, video clips and stories about my experiences and the interesting folks I meet as I bicycle across America. * FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/coasttocoastbicycleride/ * INSTAGRAM: @billswartz3 * WEBSITE for this COASTtoCOASTbicycleride: www.thisclearbluesky.com
We were fortunate to meet this jovial man at Roadrunner Emporium on New York Avenue yesterday. He explained his journey and his passion and moved us with his experiences.
Mr Swartz said he was attracted to the street and to come into Roadrunner Emporium as he heard John a Lennon’s famous “Imagine” being coming from the Emporium and he knew from that inspiring sound he had to check out the Emporium and the historic New York Avenue. Proving once again “music unites us.”Artist Dalia Lopez Halloway and Author Chris Edwards Photographed by Bill Swartz on His Journey
His journey reminds us all that there are good people out there, not just sitting back but taking action from the darkness to bring light to causes and issues that are important to the community and the nation at large.
Humanity is out there if we just keep our eyes open and look for it. Good luck Mr. Swartz.
And to make a donation to the charity follow the link attached:
Rene Sepulveda former NCAA Award winning Track and Field Coach, Rehabilitative Coachturned artist creates sculptured works. One art critic recently said of his works that they are “incisive meditations of colorishis designs, shapes and composition complimenting natures wonders using lava rocks, tree roots, tree trunks, bark, cholla desert cactus as components of his canvas.”
Artist Rene Sepulveda’s carefully constructed sculptures and art installations are abstract interpretative works that rely heavily on the influence of nature for texture and symmetry, for rural to urban spaces.
We sat down with the man who wears many hats; Former Award Winning NCAA Coach, Rehabilitative Fitness Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda, to find out more about his processes, inspiration, and his unique artistic journey with the release of his most recent exhibition the “Valley of The Fire Collection” With this interview he is also releasing two sculptured works, a tree trunk abstract sculptured piece called “Baily Canyon” which is a stunning blend of a hallowed out tree trunk textured, preserved and intriguingly colored then placed on a bed of lava rock and combined with local treated and colored natural cactus to make a stunning visual display.
The second piece to be released today he calls “Stark NM” it is a combination natural wood, recycled metals and woods crafted into a one of a kind abstract piece sitting on a Zia stone with lava. This intricate piece is a dazzling array of colors that inspires awe in its bold colors and unusual textures.
How would you describe the sculptures and artwork you create?
“My goal is to create compelling works that draw the viewer in to explore the underlying structure of color, texture and the natural elements created by mother nature. My hope is that the initial reaction is an emotional response to the color relationships, the contrasting textures between the flat and fluid paint and the hard edges and gestural marks that are embedded in the pieces as marks of nature. I want the person to enjoy my sculptured pieces and to be rewarded as they soak into the piece so that the placing of each element, the precise color balance, the textures, and carefully calibrated proportions of my sculptures are revealed to our inner senses. The inspiration comes from both natural and man-made elements and share my preoccupation with patterns, colors, textures, and the natural elements of nature.”
What message do you want to get across with your artistic works?
“I tap into my Native American roots. I believe I’m empowered by my grandfather’s ancestors in how I commune with nature to bring harmony and balance to my art pieces. I believe nature is complex in texture color. I know that harmony can be achieved to create an appealing and interesting work of art when we reconcile vastly different and contrasting colors and textures using techniques and processes that I’ve created to enhance natures work to be placed into an urban or rural household, office, or place of business.
I believe that the artistry of Cholla Art, Tree Trunk Art, Root Art or Lava Rock and Metal works are unique and not well understood, in that most homeowners or business owners don’t have the knowledge of the beauty these pieces can bring to their environment.
Most people have not been exposed to these kinds of sculptured works, very few artists create art with these mediums as a canvas.
Most people don’t know the sense of Zen or harmony that is created by including these pieces into the home, office, or business environment.
I’ve created works where chance takes over as the prominent sense and caused me to be fluid with colors and textures. The colors and textures then take over my mind and through my hands flows the wonder of color and texture. Sometimes it flows through me like a force of gravity down the surface of the art piece showing a series textures and colors from my mind that are then frozen in time to create a timeless piece of art.
Several of my creations become art dense in color and texture with very defined creations begun my nature that eventually show a high degree of control but are complex in their inspiration of color. I see this as the human impact on the natural world that is expressed with the culmination of taking objects from nature such as complex root art systems, tree trunks, unique fallen forest wood pieces, 5000 year old lava rock, unique cholla desert cactus skeletons and using them as the canvas for human expression of color and texture.
Patterns of all kinds fascinate me, including the hidden structures of living things. Tinting, repeat sequences, geometric shapes and grids, pre-historic symbols and pottery designs and the underlying laws that dictate how the natural world evolves influences my craft. The influence of all of that finds a way into my work, which I don’t really consider to be pure color or texture abstraction. Maybe interpretative abstract sculpturing is a better term for my works. I use very defined textures but counterbalance with color and the canvas of nature in my sculptured works. My work is all inspired by something I have seen or felt which has sparked my imagination. Nature is the foundation of hope for the world we live. That hope comes with a responsibility to acknowledge natures role in our daily lives, to embrace it and to appreciate its influence, by its placement, through art into our homes, offices, or businesses.”
How did you come to mixing texturing and color design in your natural art sculptures?
“Textures and colors of all kinds have always intrigued me, most especially the colors and textures of nature. When I was young and an Olympic Trials Athlete, I would run 100s of miles weekly in the mountains, the desert floor and in the woods and always along those runs, I could almost feel the colors and the textures of the natural elements around me.
So when I began exploring my artistic side, the ideas of color and texture were a natural expression of what I had absorbed from my time outdoors. On my travels around the world, I’m always attracted to the colors and textures of our ancient ancestors. The geometric abstraction in colors and shapes of the Inca’s in Peru, the geometry of the Pyramids in Egypt, my travels to my mother’s homeland of Ireland, the imaging of my grandfather’s ancestral tribes of the Tarahumara; each imprinted on my mind. Those influences’ flow through me into each art piece I create with color, textures, and design.”
Do specific colors and forms hold definite meanings in your work?
“For me color complemented with texturing is the most important part of creating art to be enjoyed. The relationship between the size, shape, texture, and color of each art form to ensure it compliments natures handiwork is of highest priority to me. The dominance of each color, the warmth or coolness, flatness, or texture, as well as denseness and fluidity, are hopefully resolved so that there is a restless balance that is appealing to the eyes and inspires the heart of those who are viewing my creations. My appreciation for color and texture began with me, in appreciate of Georgia Totto O’Keeffe’s paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes. O’Keeffe recognized as the Mother of American modernism certainly had an influence on me. Similarly Antoni Gaudi of Barcelona remarkable for his range of forms, textures, and for the free, expressive way in which these elements of his art seem to be composed have always inspired my own appreciation for colors and textures.
The colors and textured in each piece have symbolic meaning for me. The earth colors are often mixed directly with the piece to form the landscaped base and then the real creativity begins. I see color and texture as an evolutionary process, building up layers and design elements to reflect light and darkness differently with each vantage point. In some designs the colors of the urban world show though as they are attached to a piece created in the natural environment of forest or deserts. What is crafted is a contrast that is appealing and inspiring to the observer. Colors of reds and yellows remind me of the sunsets within nature and the natural elements of sunflowers which bring joy. The various grays, blacks and coppers define a more commercial manufactured world but when combined with the textures of nature they then bring meaning of wholeness with nature to me and hopefully the observer.”
Have the goals of your work changed during the Covid-19 lockdown and do you have advice for an aspiring artist?
“I have a hard time viewing myself as an artist. My business partner jokes with me and tells me once I began selling my works, I became a professional artist. I don’t know if I’d ever view myself as an artist, certainly not a professional artist, as I have a Masters in Epidemiology and a Master’s in Public Health. I Coached for over 20 years at the university level and competed professionally. I continue to coach as a rehabilitative coach today. However, the Covid lockdown did provide me an opportunity for reflection and a period of isolation without distractions to explore and expand on the artist within. With the support of family and my business partner, I’ve created some fun pieces that I am immensely proud to have been able to craft. Some people seem to enjoy my work. Some pieces are a bit eccentric, abstract, and sometimes confusing but overall the reaction has been incredibly positive, and we have sold several hundred pieces even with a pandemic going on. For that I am humbled and surprised. Each art piece I create is almost like a child to me. I nurture it and collaborate with it and want to ensure each piece goes to a good home or business where it will be cared for and cherished for years to come.
I can see preoccupations, moods and themes running throughout my artistic journey. My aim is to create a balanced work that is balanced between color, and texture and complimented by the canvas of nature. Those are competing forces which are the canvas that work as the inspiration in my work.
My advice for an artist starting out would be, just do it. It doesn’t matter if you are an art major or an art novice, it doesn’t matter if you are 12, 18, 25, 55 or 70 everyone has art within themselves, but few will ever express the art they have the potential to create. The world needs art, color, complex designs, and simple beauty. If its within you, do it, put it out there and just do it. Everyone of us wants to express ourselves from within, in some way; some write, some create art, some craft music, or performance arts. Whatever is within you, just believe in yourself and just do it.”
Learn More About Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda. Several of his pieces are showcased online via the 2nd Life Boutique and an Etsy Store. Rene Sepulveda’s more exclusive pieces are showcased on the artist website ArtistReneSepulveda.com. Many of his pieces are showcased and can be seen in person at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few of his largest installation pieces are showcased on exhibition in the yards and homes in and around Northern California and Southern New Mexico. His recently released 9 foot by 8 foot complex root art piece he calls “Ventricle” and his extraordinary 9 Foot Tall sculptured abstract tree trunk artistry sculpture called, “Bailey Canyon” and his other awesome piece called “Stark NM” can be found on exhibition at 2 private residences on McKinley Street in Alamogordo, New Mexico and are available for viewing. All are sold via his website ArtistReneSepulveda.com or at a discounted price when purchased in person and for pickup via the 2nd Life Boutique at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico.
To schedule a viewing in person and a discussion with the artist or for more information contact Mr. Sepulveda’s publicist email@example.com or call 707.880.6238
Turn up the sound, watch and enjoy something joyful and full of love. Thank you Alamogordo Artist, Delia Lopez for creating the beautiful window display at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Participating Artist Delia and the 40 partner artist, remind us, “this is where love is” for “Valentines Day” and every day!
Come join Roadrunner Emporium owner Debra Reyes and the 40 local artist. Shop early and shop local for this upcoming Valentines Day – February 14th, 2021.
Again, thank everyone, for your support in shopping local and support of the arts community during these difficult times.
Please support small business, stop by with a mask, and see Debra and the team of over 40 artist at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, 9 to 5 Monday thru Saturday.
“Love Lives Here” Valentines Window Display created by Artist Delia Lopez for Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo, New Mexico – Video production by 2nd Life Media Author/Executive Coach Chris Edwards & Artist/Author/Fitness Coach Rene Sepulveda
This Christmas Eve 2020 we wish all of our family, friends, business partners, associates and followers a Very Merry Christmas. Tonight we showcase the luminaria or “farolito” of Tularosa New Mexico and end our Christmas Greeting with our window display at our location of 2nd Life Boutique at the Roadrunner Emporium in the historic Main Street Area of 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo. The Village of Tularosa sets out thousands of small paper lanterns (a candle set in some sand inside a paper bag) which is of significance to the state of New Mexico at Christmas time, especially on Christmas Eve. Typically used in Hispanic culture, the paper lanterns have to some extent replaced the older tradition of the vigil fire luminaria with which they became confused. There are sometimes conflicting opinions about the correct use of the term “luminaria.”
Most of us refer to the paper bag lantern in this way, but some traditionalists insist the correct term is “farolitos.” Historically, a true luminaria is a series of small bonfires lining the road. Originally, small bonfires were used to guide people to Christmas mass. Often, they are associated with the final night of Las Posadas, which is the symbolic representation of when Mary and Joseph were seeking shelter in Bethlehem, walking from home to home for a place to rest.
In that honor every Christmas Eve thousands of luminarias are displayed throughout the Village of Tularosa. This tradition is decades old. We then end our video Christmas Greeting with a view of a Christmas in Lights Winter Wonderland Window Display at Roadrunner Emporium and a wish from our 18 year old 4 legged friend Sammy. To each of you we wish a safe, healthy and peaceful holiday!