Coming next month- Transformations

From September 14 through October 1, 2016, Tortuga will host the recycled art show, "Transformations". 

Art in this show must be created from recycled, repurposed, up-cycled or reused materials.  Here are the guidelines: 

If you are interested, please send 2 images via email ( by August 30th.  You will receive a confirmation email to proceed.  The fee structure has changed:

            $20 for one to three items. 

$40 for three or more items.  

The total sales amount will go to the artist.  Artists will handle all sales.

  Bring art and fee to Tortuga on Wednesday September 14 between noon and 6pm.   All pieces should be approximately 80% repurposed or recycled material. 

Show opens Saturday September 17 and closes Saturday October 1, 2016.

Musical happenings

Last night's show with Celia Farran and Nikelle Gessner was a blast! A surprise dance by Nori, Nikelles' daughter was surely a treat.  Celia was visited by a special but somewhat naughty faerie adding spark to the night.

Next week, August 19 is a double bill with Metafonix of Denver and local act Eileen and the In-Betweens.

Friday 7pm $10-15

Legends & Monsters up next

 Our first show as part of the Albuquerque ARTScrawl opens this Friday!

Artists Denise Weaver Ross and Eliza Schmid are showing their scary creative sides in a two-person art show, Legends and Monsters, which opens Aug. 5 and runs through Sept. 2.  The exhibit is featuring “monsters and legendary creatures from known and not so well known traditions and stories.”  It is part of the First Friday events hosted by the City of Albuquerque.

The following is the press release for this show: 

The show, Legends and Monsters, is a body of work that highlights the varied styles and distinct beauty that each artist offers. Their individual stories as artists are quite different, though their work presents nicely together.


Schmid, 80, is a retired surgeon and psychiatrist who became an artist in mid-life. She paints mostly in oil but also does mixed media abstracts and monoprints. One of her favorite mediums is egg tempera, a now rare method that she continues to preserve.


Born and raised in post-World War II Vienna, Austria, Schmid attended medical school in Vienna.


“I like to say that medical school was the second best art school I ever attended,” said Schmid. “Our professors made us copy human anatomy from huge blackboards throughout medical school. They drew out every aspect of the human anatomy. It was incredible.”


After graduation, she specialized in pathology and came to America on a fellowship to Stanford University. After a second residency training in psychiatry she worked as clinical professor of

psychiatry at UCLA. When she hit her late 50s, she started painting again while working in her profession in Los Angeles.


She has produced a large body of work and exhibited in numerous galleries in California; the Amsterdam Whitney and Jadite Galleries in New York City; in Germany; and throughout large cities in the U.S.


She said she moved to New Mexico in the 1990s so that she could ski in Santa Fe and enjoy wonderful weather most of the year. She continued to create, having her work exhibited and displayed in Las Cruces, Los Alamos, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.


“The themes of my paintings come out of my experience as a psychoanalytically trained psychiatrist and from my social and political worldviews,” Schmid said. “They also come from my Baroque Catholic childhood in Austria with its mystery and fairytales, and the cultural experience of being a European in America.


“I like to tell stories with my paintings, which are whimsical, tragic-comical, grotesque, and about abnormal, surrealist mental conditions. They celebrate metamorphoses and transcendence both in figurative and abstract form.”


That is a perfect match for Weaver Ross, an Albuquerque resident who has also received local and national acclaim as an artist.


Their show offers patrons a chance to look deep into the whimsical and darker paintings for interpretation, said Ross, who is coming off her recent solo show House of Cards: The Whole Deck exhibition reimagining a deck of playing cards using mythical and contemporary iconography to depict personal, yet universal, themes.


“I think Eliza and I have some similarities, though we are very different in our approach to our work,” she said. “Her prolific style is a tribute to artists of any age or gender.”


Weaver Ross, 57, is an artist, poet and graphic designer in Albuquerque. She said her personal life also has played a part in the inspiration for her art. Many of her images encompass her life with her husband, Colin, and their two sons. Colin died from Sickle Cell Disease in 2002.


She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Master of Fine Arts degree. She has exhibited in galleries and museums along the East Coast, Chicago, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. A published poet, she has produced four books of art and poetry. Three of them are connected to suits in the House of Cards, and she is currently working on the last in that series, on the Bones Suit.




Closing Celebration for 'Forms of Life' show

This Wednesday, the collection of pottery forms that have been collectively known as 'Forms of Life' will be available for one last look during the closing celebration.  Many artists will be on hand and there will be live music provided by flutist Johnny Alston.

This show was made possible because of Bill Freeman's prolific creativity and Jade Leyva's thoughtful generosity.  It has been a delight to live with this incredibly diverse responses to Bill's pottery forms.

"Forms of Life" featuring Bill Freeman's pottery forms

Pottery forms created by Bill Freeman used dimensions and shapes of ancient pottery.  When he died a few years ago, he left a legacy of art and collections and these amazing forms.  Jade Leyva, who was a long time student and friend of Bill's made it possible for a group of artists and poets to interpret the forms in their own creative way. 

This collection is on display at Tortuga Gallery 901 Edith Blvd SE Albuquerque, NM beginning Saturday July 16 at 6pm until Wednesday July 27. There are also three of Bill's works.  A timeline of his life and a video of his work will be on display as well.  Most artists will be on hand at the opening Saturday evening.

Queers Against Fear

Tonight is the second dance party/sharing/healing event featuring the music of Shea Freedom.  Come early at 6 to participate in the discussion to address racism with action.  7pm starts the dance party.

9pm starts Shea's set. It will be lively and loving and fun!

Open Hours

Tortuga is open before and during all events. (See the events tab to get the latest.)

Also, we have open hours on Wednesday and Friday from 1-5 during art shows.  The next show, "Forms of Life" will open on Saturday July 16 at 6pm.  The gallery will be open July 20 and 22 and 27.  This show closes on Wednesday July 27 with an evening celebration at 6pm.

July news

Words & Images

The Rainbow Artists Collective show, "Words & Images" will have a closing celebration day this Saturday July 9, 2016.  Here's the schedule:

  • 4pm Art demo with Suzanne Visor, creator of the exquisite painted silk panels.
  • 5pm Artist talks featuring Barbara Endicott, Nova Denise and Hilary Hyle.
  • 6pm Closing Celebration begins
  • 7pm Music of C'est Bon

Dance Party

"Queers Against Fear Dance Party is joining forces with visiting folk-hop musician and foster youth & trans advocate SHEA FREEDOM to create an evening of queer community magic!! Come dance dazzle and drip with divinity like you do. Dance 7-9, prelude to Shea's highly anticipated set...
All ages event, wheelchair accessible, no heavy scents please.
$5-10 sliding scale to support Shea, his projects, and Tortuga.
If you're feeling mellow come chill in the garden out back. Invite friends, this will be special ♥

Forms of Life

July 16 at 6pm opens a very unique show for Tortuga.  Approximately 50 artists have agreed to create art from pottery forms that were created by the late Bill Freeman.  Jade Leyva will be on hand for the opening to explain the process used to create pots from the forms.  Several of Bill's pottery will also be on display.  Check out the events page for some images.  Forms of Life will remain on display until July 27. 


Rainbow Artists - Word & Images

The artist collective, "Rainbow Artists" will begin a month long show at Tortuga starting Saturday June 11 at 6pm.  Twenty-four of the artists in this collective are participating in this show entitled "Words & Images".  This creative group has written poetry or included words that enhance their art. 

With such a vigorous group, they will be 'gallery-sitting' during the show.  Tortuga's hours have expanded to Tuesday through Friday from 1-5pm.  Opportunities abound to see this unique show!

Saturday's event is the last chance to see "Imaginary Friends and Fools"

Tonight- Saturday April 9th all supporters of the arts will want to find themselves at Tortuga to catch a last glimpse of the works of Laura Wacha, Ilene Weiss and Roe LiBretto.  Art snacks will be found in the kitchen area and later in the evening, Eileen and the In-Betweens will give cause for celebration.  More information in 'Events'.

Doors open at 5pm

Music starts around 6:30pm

Starting the Art Year

A successful opening to the 2016 art year at Tortuga.  Roe LiBretto, Ilene Weiss and Laura Wacha pooled their talents and resources to create a satisfying and joyful opening night.  Just feeling the community gather here is a most satisfying part of keeping Tortuga running.  Thank you all!

....and the Fundraiser come to a close

The "Giving Tortuga Love" fundraiser completed with a leap of joy to the sounds of "Eileen and the In-Betweens" on Sunday afternoon February 28, 2016. 

Today is Wednesday and as people come to claim the art won through the silent auction and raffle, I am overwhelmed by the sense of community and connection that continues to happen within the walls of Tortuga. 

Thank you to all who came to events and shared food and energy and games and drumming and henna and music and art and LIFE!  More than anything else this two week fundraiser has show us just how important community is to Tortuga.  We look forward to the next time that you enter our doors.


Jill & Pax

Last week to show Tortuga some LOVE!

This last week of the fundraiser has plenty of options for fun.

Thursday is what I am calling a DIY fun night.  There will be live music, a henna artist, Turkish coffee readings, Tarot readings and you can have a sketch done of your portrait by Leo Neufeld for a donation to Tortuga. 

Bring a snack to share if you want and come spend the evening with friends at Tortuga. 

Starts at 5:30pm and who knows when the music will end?


Giving Tortuga Love

The fundraiser is in full swing!  Thank you to Johnny Alston for your sweet flute playing.  Susan's harp in sound and view was breathtaking!

Next up- game night this Thursday February 18 starting at 5pm.  Bring a snack to share and your playful spirit.  We will have games and popcorn and a LEGO area. 

Really- does it get any better than this?

Art is arriving!

Tortuga is receiving art from artists participating in "Flip for Tortuga" as part of our February fundraiser, "Giving Tortuga Love".  Really excited to see what is coming in.  It will open to the public on Valentine's Day.  See you here!

More additions to the Fundraiser

It is so cool to see the support from our community come in.  Here are a few updates:

The kick off on February 14 will feature Susan Vigil on harp and Johnny Alston on flute.

Game Night- February will be joined by Chad Wilkins- to play games or ukulele or guitar- perhaps all three!

Live music on February 20 now includes C'est Bon and Sweet Spot. Doors at 7:30. $5

DIY fun night February 25 now has henna artist Aneshia S, Tarot reading with Star Light, Turkish coffee reading with Catt Allen.

Lonn Calanca's Band, Let it Grow on February 27 has an opener of singer songwriter Luke Gullickson.

Eileen & the In-Betweens will celebrate the closing on February 28.

Feeling the love!!