¡COLORES! October 17, 2015

One of New Mexico’s finest landscape photographers, Kirk Gittings finds the greatest sense of presence in abandoned and unpopulated places. Zoot Theatre Company uses puppetry to spark the creative spirit and show that this ancient form of theatre is still “alive.” And interior designer Rebecca Vizard creates ornate pillows from recycled material.

AIRED: October 17, 2015 | 0:27:09

Funding for COLORES was

provided in part by Frederick

Hammersley Foundation.

The Nellita E. Walker Fund


KNME-TV Endowment Fund

KNME New Mexico PBS Great

Southwestern Arts

and Education Endowment


...and Viewers Like You








>>You don't always know what

you are looking for but when

it happens you know that it

just happened.






>>Puppets are almost like

a kind of magic. You're taking

something that's inanimate

and bringing life to it.






>>Nothing makes me happier

than feeling like I saved some

beautiful piece that was

about to go to the trash.





>>They were screen printing

shirts and posters.

And I loved the immediacy

of that - that style. I just

loved everything that was

going on with it. I decided

that's what I wanted to do.





>>Gittings: My biggest

struggle, when I go out

to photograph, is to become

in the moment, so that I can

see and feel what's happening

around me. You don't always

know what you're looking for,

but when it happens you know

that it just happened. It's

less intellectual than it is

physical. There's

a relationships of landforms,

and light, and shadow,

and rivers and things. And,

when you see them, you can

feel it in your body. It kind

of makes some kind of sense

in a rectangle, a rectangle

of a photograph. And then

I set up a camera, and then

I try to focus in on that.

And thenI wait, and

I contemplate, and I think

about the history that emits

through this landscape,

or the mythology that's

attached to that landform.

(music plays)

>>I care hugely about

a composition. I often times

photograph on the edges

of storms, where there is

rapidly changing light.

And within the difference

of a minute or two the whole

composition can change

because the light and shadows

of the clouds and stuff can

change. So sometimes I am

making a series of images. One

of those will always be

the one that has the magic

in it.

(music plays)

>>One of the things I find

most intriguing about

the landscape is that it seems

to be alive. Even things that

are not life forms, like,

a landform can be alive. It

kind of, has a personality

to it. A good example is

Jacona Cliffs. 25, 30 years

ago, driving by there, it kind

of spoke to me in a way. It

had, it's like this backbone

of some ancient dinosaur. And,

I just, it has this kind

of energy to it.

And I thought, "I'd reallylove

to get a great photograph

of that and show how it really

comes alive. So, I spent

nearly 25 years pursuing that

photograph. It took me

a decade to figure out what

the point of view was that

I wanted. And, then another 15

years of bad transitional

light, or whatever. It just

didn't work. Until one time

I went there, powerful clouds,

blowing through, on the edge

of a storm, nothing was

happening, I started to take

the camera down, I turned

around to the car, I turned

back and it was illuminated,

this shaft of light had just

come through and just

illuminated that backbone

of the Jacona Cliffs. And it

just came alive. And, it came

alive visually, the same way

I had been feeling about it,

for all these decades.

(music plays)

>>I grew up on the far west

side of Albuquerque. Around us

were all these massive,

desolate spaces. The Sandias

on one side and Mt. Taylor

on the other side. That

enormity of space kind

of informed how I view

the world. It was like being

alone in this landscape, this

huge, massive landscape, that

I did not find intimidating,

but I made friends with it.

And, my friends and my brother

and I, we would explore these

landscapes and find things

of interest, things to do.

So now, when I'm in these

landscapes, I still carry that

interest with me, I carry that

affection for these broad

spaces I'm comfortable in.

But now what I'm looking

for is imagery, imagery that

reflects this relationship

I have with these big wide

>>There's a lot that I've

learned that I've experienced

that I feel that I have

a responsibility to share.

At my heart, I'm probably

asmuch an educator

and a preservationist as I am

an artist. I have seen

in my lifetime, truly

beautiful, extraordinary

landscapes in New Mexico get

ruined by a power line running

through it, or a new highway

running through it. And,

I would hope that

my photography would help

to educate people aboutthe

preservation of some of these

beautiful, historic





>>Well, my name is the amazing

Amos and for my first trick

I'm going to hit my hand

with a hammer. Ok, here it

goes. Uh, uh, er -SCREAMS-

Puppets are really

interesting, they definitely

have their own personalities

already, so I really like

the ability to fit myself

to the energy they already

possess. Some of these guys it

wouldn't surprise me

if they move about

in the night when no one is


Puppets are almost like a kind

of magic. You're taking

something that's inanimate

and bringing lifeto it.

And if you can fool somebody

else and make them believe

that it's alive....I just

think that's amazing.

>>Narrator: Zoot Theatre

Company formed back in 2006

with a mission to revive

the perhaps forgotten art

of masks and puppetry. Each

puppet is uniquely handcrafted

in downtown Dayton at Zoot

Studios and seven years

and hundreds of puppets later,

Co-Founder and Artistic

Director Tristan Cupp is

stillenamored with building


>>When I started in Fine Arts,

uh, at Sinclair I started

to really enjoy sculpting,

painting, drawing, and while

I was in the middle of that

I needed a job and they were

hiring in the theatre there,

as a carpenter. One

of the first shows that

I worked on was Into

the Woods, and the director

at thattime asked me

if I would design and build

some puppets for the show.

I just dove right into it,

andwhen I got to see all that

happening onstage and coming

to life I said, I love this

art form. Before that I was

a diesel mechanic for fourteen

years, so, I mean I liked

the gears; I like the movement

of something, and, I just,

I can't stop making them.

They're made of a lot of wood,

PVC pipe, there's some Paper

Mache, paint, cloth,

cardboard...basically anything

we can get our hands on that

is appropriate for that

character is what's thrown

onto thepuppet. It's amazing

what they can do

with materials I've seen all

my life and would never have

thought that it could be

something artistic.

Some of them could take like

maybe three or four days

to build, or it could take

like two-weeks, depending

on if it works like you want

it to. Sleepy Hollow they ride

horses, you know, so I got

to make this function properly

where they can straddle

the horse and ride.

Tristan's style is kind

of creepy. He likes to,

describe it as steam-punk

so there are a lot of gears,

and buttons, and knobs,

and levers, and it's almost

like the, uh, puppet is

a machine instead ofan

inanimate object, and so it,

it requires somebody to walk

up and start operating it

and that kind of translates

through the visual style

to the audience that it is

a machine. Tristan likes

to describe them

as kinetic-sculptures. It's

not a stationary piece of art,

it's something that can be

brought to life and moves,

and when it does, that's when

the art is created.

I've learned quite a bit

about the, the art form

itself. It's really inspired

me, to do more and to keep

doing it. It is, a great way

to communicate and it is

a universal language

through movement it's how

they told stories back

in the day, tribes, ceremonial

storytelling, ah,

through puppets and masks.

So I think learning more

and more about that, has

inspired me to, to keep going

and creating new things.

To tell the story

with a puppet, you really have

to get into their character.

I get to use more cartoony

and creative voices with them

and rarely would I ever get

to be a rabbit or a dragon

myself, but through a puppet

I'm able to, you know, become

that kind of character,

whichis really cool.

Seeing a mechanism that

doesn't move on its own

becoming animated by people

to look and feel real with,

um, true emotions that are

coming out of that object, um,

it's really fascinating

I think, um, and they hold

my attention and

they captivate me. Personally

as a performer, I sort

of disappear whenI puppet.

I forget I'm on stage and um,

all of my energy is, is

engaged in that inanimate

object that I'm making

animate. Um, I really like it

a lot.

Not every actor wants to works

puppets, or when they do,

they don't like it.

And there's some that want

to do it all the time....that

really love it.

You just focus your energy

totally into the puppet,

whereas traditional acting,

it's all about you,

but you almost want the actor

to be hidden and for all

of the focus of the audience

and everybody onstage to be

on your puppet. It's such

a rewarding experience

for somebody to say

they didn't even notice me.

It's a lot of work, um, and it

requires a lot of dedication

and a big commitment, which,

is hard forsome that have

full-time jobs and doesn't pay

well, you know, or if it does.

Each new show requires

mastering a new style

of puppet, countless hours

of rehearsal-learning lines

and last minute puppet

repairs. The magic between

the puppeteer and the puppet

tends to chip away slowly

at the uncertainty

and angst-giving way

to creative inspiration.

This is sort of my artistic

home. We're definitely

a family here, um, we take

care of each other andwe're

always volunteering our time

as much as we can, ah,

for the benefit of

the company. So it's really

important to the people that

are involved in it. It allows

us to express ourselves

in a way that doesn't exist

outside of Zoot.




>>Narrator: In the studios

of B. Viz Design you'll find

a collection of antique

textiles, salvaged gold

embroidery work, and some

of the finest fabric made

today. In this rural setting

on Lake Bruin, designer

pillows are made

with the precision, patience

and loving care of the old

world. Designer Rebecca Vizard

grew up in the small town

of St. Joseph before setting

out for Newcomb College in New

Orleans, and setting

her sights for the world


Her signature pillows, now

featured in national

magazines, came about when

she was working as an interior

designer for a client in New

York and having difficulty

finding the pillows she had

in mind. That's when

her creativity took over,

sending her career

on an adventurous path.

>>Rebecca Vizard: I decided

to finally make, try to make

something for my client

myself, so I went down

to the flea market at 26the

Street and I found a beautiful

curtain panel that had some

gold filigree on it,

and behind it in another booth

was an antique vestment

and the color of the metallic

trim on it was the same patina

as the curtain and that's what

gave me the idea to take apart

old thingsand use similar

patinas, that's kind of what

my pillows are known for,

antique elements but very

nice, clean lines.

>>Narrator: The pillows began

to sell in New Orleans shops,

and Vizard saw an opportunity

to expand her business.

>>RV: So I went to market

in Dallas, I think they set me

up next to some snow globes

or something and so people

were coming by kind

of thinking these pillows are

kind of expensive and I would

go 'Well, you know it takes

a lot of work and the elements

are so expensive, and the next

thing you know Neiman Marcus

walked by and they bought

for 22 of their stores

and so I had to immediately

hop on a plane and go

to France and find a lot

of antique textiles. The New

York Flea market was not big

enoughfor me anymore.

I started out, of course,

in Paris, because I think

so many things filter

through Paris from all

over the world and that's

where I first saw Turkish

pieces that I liked. It really

made me want to go

to Istanbul... the most

amazing place I've ever been,

I felt like all my senses were

on fire, it was just

the colors you see,

the design, the history,

and the people were

so wonderful in Istanbul.

I would find old vestments

that were in terrible shape,

but the gold work was still

somewhat good. And I have

to say one of my best

purchases at a flea market one

time was a whole big box

of antique metallic threads,

so now we have all these

different patinas of thread

that we can use to repair all

this old gold work,

and nothing makes me happier

than feeling like I saved some

beautiful piece thatwas

about to go to the trash.

A lot of these pieces were

made by nuns or there were

special guilds that made them.

We repair them in the same

manner, where, the gold thread

is so valuable we bring

the thread over, usually

a littlepadded piece,

sometimes it's a cardboard,

sometimes it's on wood,

but anyway, we bring

the thread over, take another

needle and catch it then bring

it back over so it, you don't

waste any of the goldthread

going around the back side.

And as you can imagine, it's

very labor intensive.

>>Narrator: Eventually Vizard

returned to her home town,

where her husband now helps

run a family business.

She recruited labor

from the local community

for her studio, and found

a staff of individuals willing

to take the time and care

to produce fine, hand-made

products. In addition

to the antique elements,

she began using exceptionally

fine fabrics made today.

>>Because, probably

of the ornateness of a lot

of these pillows, I had a lot

of requests for Fortuny.

>>Mariano Fortuny was

an Italian designer

from Venice, and he was just

a remarkable creative

genius.The company is still

going today, which is just

wonderful. The fabric is just

some of the best in the world.

I would have little strips

that were maybe an inch wide

or so and I never could throw

themaway because the fabric's

very expensive so I've never

wanted to waste it.

And I didn't know what to do

with all of these little one,

two and three inch scraps.

Well, my daughter was

in the studio one day

and she said 'Mom, why don't

you make dog collars?' So now

we make dog collars out

of Fortuny fabric for the most

posh pet you can imagine.

So I think we're ultimate

recyclers in St. Joseph,

Louisiana. We don't let

anything beautiful go

to waste."

>>Narrator: Vizard is

following the recycling path

to create new products

for her design business.

>>Actually, years ago I was

in a shop in Paris

and they had - the whole shop

was made out of recycled

things from Africa. And it

gave me the idea, there was

so many beautiful things

in there, that were made

from trash. And I kept

thinking, 'Gosh, this is a way

to make money out of nothing.'

Somehow I thought of the idea

of bottle caps, and I figured

out the process of making

a chandelier out of bottle

caps, and so we have coined it

the Beer de lier. Anyway it

was such a big hit that

I realized this is a perfect

opportunity to help kids

to make extra money, so I had

a team of kids working for me

hammering out bottle caps

and stringing them together

and I would pay them

by the bottle cap and I would

make them get the math right

before they got paid, so it

became kind of an incentive

to make money and to realize

math is important, and these

kids just loved it.

The people in this little

town, I mean the job

opportunities are very slim

and I just love the fact that

I've ended up being able

to employ so many people

and improve people's lives.

So that's ended up being

the most fulfilling part

of this. I feel like

the luckiest person

in the world. I get to live

on a lake, and make beautiful

things every day, and see

people prosper, and it just,

it's wonderful.




>>Carlos Hernandez: I've

always been interested in art.

I was always drawing as a kid,

doodling... taking as many art

classes as I could. I bought

a kiss album one time

and I saw the album cover

for destroyer, and I thought

"Man, wow, that's really cool.

That's a band?" My mom told me

that someone got paid

for doing that. Right then

and there I knew that's what

I wanted to do. I wanted to be

an illustrator or an artist

of some sort that did

commercial work that could get

paid for that and you make

that a career.

We used to have all these punk

bands that would come by who

would come through our college

town, Lubbock, Texas. A friend

of mine said, "hey this band

is playing, You know, They're

gonna be out duringthe day

at this guy's house. We should

go hang out there." They were

screen printing shirts

and posters. And I loved

the immediacy of that - that

style. I just loved everything

that was going on withit.

I decided that's what I wanted

to do.

We used to go to Sante Fe, New

Mexico. Got really introduced

to a lot of the day of dead

things thatwere happening

there. And I wanted to add

some of that weirdness

and playfulness into

my artwork. But also,

skeletons and day of the dead

things were made by folk

artists and they had sort

of an aesthetic that I really

loved. So it made me think

of a different way of not

being so controlled.

First I'll either draw

something, or I'll do

something on the computer.

I might take a picture

on myiphone and use that.

I like to scour old books...

and throw all of that

into the project that I'm

working on. And I'll take that

and scan it in and produce

film. I take that film

and shoot that on acamera

and burn it onto a screen,

burn the image onto a screen.

And the screen becomes

a stencil. And stencil is what

I use to draw ink

through and onto paper.

Yea, music always been that

springboard for me. I just

contacted live nation. I kept

asking, can I do a poster

for you guys? Can I do

a poster for you guys? Live

Nation is the biggest promoter

of music in the world and why

not start there? Through Live

Nation I've able to do work

for the venues that host

and promote bands like

The Kills, Red Hot Chili

Peppers, Arcade Fire, Los

Lobos, so many bands like


Brock Wagner, he bought one

of my pieces actually ...

he was looking at it

in his office and he said...

I would like to put one

of your pieces on a beer

bottle one day. And I didn't

really think anything of it.

And that one day came.

He called me up and said,

"let's do this.

Ever since then, I've done

more retail work and that's

what I've gotten into lately.

So it's progressed from just

printing posters to doing

interior work for restaurants

and businesses.

When I think about those days

when I was working out

of my garage or working out

of my kitchen to doscreen

prints and burning images

in the sun, uh, yea... I've

come a long way to have this

studio and to have all

of the work that I have now.

I'm grateful for that,

but you know, it just goes

to show: hey kids, work

hard... stay at it. It pays






A NEW DIALOGUE. >>He comes

completely into his own

in the crucible of

the landscape and people

of Northern New Mexico.



WILLIAMS. >>I am an ambassador

for dance, because I truly

believe in it and it's never

let me down. >>JIMI HENDRIX IS







he once said, "Hear my music,"

and that's all he wanted

people to do. SCULPTOR, GREG



SCOOTER. >>It's actually

a carbon capture and recovery

vehicle. It's called a "zero

scooter". And it's a machine

that is carbon neutral.

So the amount of carbon

dioxide that it intakes is

equal to the amount it

exports. >>UNTIL NEXT TIME,


Funding for COLORES was

provided in part by Frederick

Hammersley Foundation.

The Nellita E. Walker Fund

for KNME-TV KNME-TV Endowment

Fund KNME New Mexico PBS Great

Southwestern Arts

and Education Endowment

Fund... ...and Viewers Like


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