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monte cristo 01-03-2010 10:49 PM

Monte Cristo's Artists of the Month
January Artists of the Month

The Monte Cristo Gift Shop & Gallery features the works of more than two dozen local artists. Each Month the Monte Cristo features two or three artists and their work. The January Artists of the Month is a real family affair. Three sisters, Tommie Aber, Cherry Aber, and Sue Hawkins are all artistic in very different ways and all help with the family ranch, near Dusty, in their own way.

Tommie is an animal lover and with a menagerie of dogs, cats, and horses, has the pets to prove it! When she’s not tending to her pets or the ranch animals she creates beautiful counted cross-stitch scenes of horses and cattle. Tommie has created wonderful scenes of cattle drives, ropings and other depictions of ranch life. Many of her pieces have been stitched on black fabric which makes the subject seem to pop right off the background. Her newest passion is creating likenesses of animals she knows, working from a pattern which was made from a photo of the animal.

Cherry calls herself ‘The Bag Lady’ and is a woman of many talents. She does not like to see waste and recycles materials to create beautiful and unusual items like mink neck pillows with a southwestern flair. Cherry makes gift bags from fabric remnants, old jewelry and found materials. These bags are not just the gift wrapping but are part of the gift as they can be reused by the recipient as tote bags or to store and protect jewelry in style. Cherry has branched into making jewelry, creating new pieces by mixing and matching parts of old, broken jewelry giving them a new life.

Sue, like her sisters, grew up in New Mexico ranch country. She studied art at the University of Texas and began creating batiks after moving to Virginia. An award winning artist, her work, which generally depicts Indians or western landscapes, has been exhibited in galleries in Virginia, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. With wax, natural dyes, the drawing pencil and pure cotton fabric or with watercolors, acrylics and paper, Sue beckons to viewers of her work, "Welcome to New Mexico." Sue has also taught painting classes for students of all levels. Watch for future classes at the Monte Cristo.

Works by Tommie, Cherry and Sue are available at the Monte Cristo Gift Shop & Gallery located in historic Chloride, NM, just 35 miles west of Truth or Consequences via Hwy 52. The Monte Cristo is open daily from 10AM to 4PM. For more information contact the Gallery at 575-743-0493 or

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