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Monday, Sept. 9: NeoRio Fundraiser Bake Sale

August 27, 2019

NeoRio 2018 Bake Sale: Claire (+ daughters) and volunteer Diane De Fremery

Monday, September 9, 11 am – until goodies are gone

Calling all bakers and delicious snack-makers! Make something delicious and donate it to support the NeoRio fundraiser bake sale! We also need folks to help us man the bake sale tables on Monday, September 9, from 11 am – until we sell all the goods. Proceeds from this effort will support NeoRio 2019: Universal Elements. And of course come by Cid’s that day and buy some goodies!

If you can donate something delicious or help us on September 9 at Cid’s, please contact NeoRio director, Claire: (575) 224-9066;

Thanks for supporting NeoRio and LEAP events!


Ride the NeoRio Shuttle: Pick-up locations in Taos, Hondo and Questa!

August 25, 2019

Take the NeoRio shuttle for a beautiful, care-free ride to NeoRio at Wild Rivers in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Shuttle service is chartered from Los Rios River Runners. We’ve added pick-up locations this year too! Choose the best location for you and yours: meet the bus in downtown Taos, at the Midtown Market in Hondo or at the Questa Visitor Center parking lot. Enjoy the afternoon and evening at NeoRio and then arrive by shuttle back to your pick-up location. 

NeoRio Shuttle Schedule and Pick-up Locations

3:00 pm: Depart from Guadalupe Public Parking Lot in Taos
3:20 pm: Depart from Midtown Market in Arroyo Hondo
3:40 pm: Depart from Questa Visitor Center Parking Lot in Questa
4:15 pm: Arrive at Wild Rivers for NeoRio Event
7:45/8 PM: Depart from NeoRio (at end of Featured Artist talks) to drop-off points in Questa, Hondo and arriving back in Taos by 9:15.

Shuttle Tickets are: $25-Taos, $20-Hondo, $15-Questa Round Trip/Per Person.
Buy Tickets online HERE
Or reserve tickets by calling Claire at 575-224-9066
(The event is free, but donations, especially for the feast and to support our guest artists are appreciated.)

NeoRio 2019: Universal Elements (Save the date – Sat. Sept. 21!)

June 2, 2019

Images from NeoRio 2018 – top by Loralee Mattison, bottom by Nicholette Codding

Saturday, 4 – 9 pm, September 21, 2019

Montoso Campground, Wild Rivers, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Preparations for NeoRio 2019 are in full swing! We are working with artists and collaborators to create new works and experiences exploring this year’s theme, “Universal Elements.” It coincides with the United Nations’ annual theme “International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements” and the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Periodic System. NeoRio artists will be announced soon! In the meantime, please consider becoming a NeoRio volunteer this year and spread the word about this unique event. Come discover unique art installations along the rim of the Rio Grande gorge, related hands-on activities, afternoon music and poetry salon, a delicious, farm-to-table feast and music, artist talks, an evening campfire and more. The event is free; donations, sponsorships and volunteers are what make NeoRio possible! Find out more about NeoRio HERE.

To volunteer or contribute in another way, please contact Claire: 575-224-9066 or

Put it on your calendar – see you on September 21 for another wonderful NeoRio event!

NeoRio 2018 Gratitude!

October 2, 2018

It was beautiful weather on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 at Montoso Campground at Wild Rivers as over 250 people arrived to explore the theme “Roots ~ Raices” at LEAP’s 10th anniversary outdoor contemporary art celebration.

A wonderful way to celebrate 10 years of experimental art on the rim of the gorge!

NeoRio from LEAP on Vimeo.

Art installations included a “wall” of rooted willows by Scott Sutton, innovative backpack kits for “short adventures in place” by Kacie Smith, interactive installations by UNM Land Arts of the American West artist group (a selection of which also comprised our poets this year), root words flapping in the breeze by Martha Shepp and earth-penetrating optical illusions by Nicholette Codding.

Hands-on activities were for all ages, notably a booth created by Olga Gresott and company in homage to the lowly beet as well as fun art activities provided by Joan Eilers.

Participants were captivated by impassioned young poets at the afternoon Poetry & Music Salon, a bountiful locally sourced (and served) feast, soulful tunes, and informative artist talks at dusk. Featured local musicians were Mad Cat Jack Lorang, Mark Dudrow and Kate Mann. The local feast featured Questa Farmers Market produce and cooks, plus many young volunteer UNM students who helped chop mountains of veggies.

Approximately one third of NeoRio visitors this year hailed from within a 20-mile radius, and the other two-thirds were from further afield New Mexico towns and cities and surrounding states. NeoRio draws a wide array of participants, diverse in age, interests and cultural backgrounds.

And perhaps most significantly, all 250 of us shared the majesty of the place together, through the changing light of the afternoon and evening, the explorations of the artworks and the ways that they enabled us to see the place a little differently or feel it a bit more deeply. Closing the evening with interesting artist talks, Gaea’s perfectly sweet Meixcan hot chocolate and Flavio Cisneros’s melt-in-your-mouth biscochitos by fire and star light was pretty special too.

Thank you to all who helped make NeoRio possible this year – artists, musicians, collaborators, volunteers, donors and sponsors. A deep thank you to the many dedicated individuals for their time and labor given to make the event a success!

Huge thanks go specifically to:
Featured artists Scott Sutton, Kacie Smith and UNM Land Arts Group for sharing their work at the event and for offering their artist talks. Although we offer NeoRio featured artists a small stipend to cover supplies and travel, much of their valuable time and expertise are donated. Also to contributing artist Geraint Smith, who donated to LEAP the beautiful “Milkweed Pods” that were on display and raffled off to three lucky winners.

Without this kind of generosity the past nine NeoRio events would not have been possible.

Huge thanks to the NeoRio Team:

  • Sarah Dzieweczynski for event logistics expertise and MCing!
  • Martha Shepp for much event logistics and graphic design support!
  • Chris Coté for endless moral and logistical support, set-up and take down and providing fire wood for the campfire and shlepping equipment to and from Wild Rivers.
  • Timothy and Connie Long for providing tents for the event, childcare and helping with set-up and clean-up, down to the last details and beyond!
  • Gaea McGahee, NeoRio Food Maven, for graceful and delicious food coordination and preparation.
  • Olga Gressot and crew for Beet Art tent and Joan Eilers for her “prehistoric painting” tent!
  • Sarah Parker for representing Questa Stories at the event!
  • Questa Farmers Market Cooks Wendy and Alex Medina as well as community cooks, Ethan Jackson, Jeannie Masters, Kate Cisneros, Flavio Cisneros, and Dawn Provencher for their delicious food!
  • UNM Land Arts and Art & Biodiversity classes for volunteering help with feast prep and lots of other support.
  • Joan Long for cooking delicious lunches for our NeoRio volunteers as well as logistical support.
  • Ed and Lynn Galusky for great help at the event.
  • Steve Bishop, Peggy Trigg, Joan Eilers and Aimee Deans for much help with tents!
  • Peggy Trigg for welcoming visitors and providing information and general event help.
  • Sherri and Daniel at Cerro Vista Farm for providing beautiful flowers and foliage to decorate the event!
  • All BLM staff and volunteers – most especially to Wild Rivers Manager, Teddy Lucero, and Ranger, Tim Long for many onsite details; John Bailey for coordination, administration and generous support.
  • PPC Solar for generously providing solar electricity to power the event.
  • Nicholette Codding and Loralee Mattison for photographing the event.
  • Musicians, Kate Mann, Mark Dudrow, and Mad Cat Jack Lorang for providing wonderful tunes for the evening.
  • Many thanks to the Sunday Morning clean-up crew including Joan Eilers, Aimee Deans, Chris Cote, Tim and Connie Long.

Special thanks to our funders: This project was supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks also to grants from MAE Foundation, Taos County, Questa Economic Development Fund, Chevron Questa Mine Grants for Good, and sponsorships from PPC Solar, Zia Event Design, North Star Toys, Taos News, Beyond Taos, Rio Grande Ace Hardware, Questa Farmers Market, Cid’s Market, Common Fire, Cerro Vista Farm, and others. It takes “a village” to make this annual event happen!

And last, but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who came to experience and participate in the the event! Your presence and participation provided the alchemy that made it a success. Let’s do it again next year!

We would love to hear what you thought of the event and we are always interested in suggestions, photos and feedback: or call Claire 575-224-9066.

Every NeoRio event is a unique collaboration of artists, collaborators, organizations, businesses and our host, the Bureau of Land Management Taos Field Office. This circle of collaboration, connections and relationships are an important part of NeoRio and LEAP’s work and we hope to continue to enrich and strengthen these relationships through each project and event! Thank you to all who attended or contributed in some way!

NeoRio is TODAY!

September 15, 2018

Our artists have been hard at work these past few days installing new works on site at Montoso campground.
Here is a sneak preview of some of the installations!

NeoRio 2018 Schedule, Montoso Campground, Wild Rivers:
4 pm: Roots-Inspired Art Installations and Activities (and throughout the event)
5 pm: Poetry and Music Salon
6 pm: Farm-to-Table Feast and Music by Kate Mann and Mark Dudrow
7 pm: Artist Talks by NeoRio Featured Artists
8 pm: Campfire and Music (bring an instrument!)

Directions: Google map to Montoso Campground HERE.
Follow the NeoRio Sandwich board signs to Montoso Campground from Hwy 522!

Parking: Parking for the even is onsite at Montoso Campground with overflow parking at Little Arsenic campground. Parking is limited, so please carpool if you can! If you’re coming from Taos, consider taking the shuttle – new this year!

Taos-NeoRio-PASEO Shuttle: Take the Taos-NeoRio-PASEO shuttle for a beautiful, care-free ride to NeoRio at Wild Rivers in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Enjoy the afternoon and early evening at NeoRio and then arrive by shuttle back in Taos, conveniently parked and ready to finish the evening exploring the PASEO!

NeoRio Shuttle Schedule
3:30 pm NeoRio Shuttle leaves from Guadalupe Parking Lot (public lot) in Taos
7:30 pm: NeoRio Shuttle leaves from Wild Rivers to arrive back in Taos at 8:30

Reserve tickets by calling Claire at (575) 224-9066.

Camping: You are welcome to camp at Wild Rivers as part of your NeoRio experience! Camping is $7 per vehicle per night. The BLM has kindly lifted the restriction on how many people/vehicles are allowed in campsites for this event, so we can fit more campers at Montoso campground and others nearby as well. Camping is first come first serve.

Attire: Dress in layers and be prepared for rain. NeoRio is a rain or shine event! Northern NM in the late summer and early fall tends to be warm in the day and quite chilly as soon as the sun goes down. (We’re talking 60’s – 80’s F in the day and 30’s and 40’s F at night.) So be ready with additional layers for warmth in the evening and plan accordingly for camping.

For Visitors New to the Area:
Check out info about Questa HERE. Also a handy Taos Guide has been put together by the PASEO organizers HERE.

See you there!

Meet the 2018 NeoRio Featured & Contributing Artists!

September 11, 2018

Featured artist Scott Sutton, ( originally from Oregon, moved to New Mexico where he received a Masters of Landscape Architecture at University of New Mexico. He teaches artists how to forage for mineral pigments to make paints; and his passion for creating extends beyond the walls of his art studio through a combination of interests – land art, public art, and ecological design.

He describes his NeoRio project, Weight of Water“It brings to light the importance of roots in the creation of place while questioning our impacts…on the watersheds we live within. The installation will display rooted cuttings of Salix amygdaloides (Peachleaf Willow) collected from the North Willamette Watershed in Oregon and will be transported to the Upper Rio Grande Watershed. The rooted cuttings help make visible the delicate relationship we have to the soil, water, air, and sun within the watersheds that sustain us.”

Featured artist and educator Kacie Smith ( is originally from California and now lives in Albuquerque. She completed her BFA in Printmaking at Washington University in St. Louis, programs in Waldorf education and biodynamic farming, and her MFA in Art & Ecology at the University of New Mexico. With an affinity for textiles, she engages with a wide variety of mediums to create sculptural installations and interactive projects that explore the personal, historical and natural elements of place and craft. For NeoRio, Smith will set up All That You Can Show Me, a temporary outfitters station inviting viewers to borrow from her collection of handmade backpack kits to use on-site. 

She describes: “Inspired by various outdoor adventures, each backpack is designed with a specific activity in mind, such as foraging, journaling, etc. With a background in outdoor education and early childhood education, I create objects that engage with place, play, ritual and the body. The kits can be used solo or in groups at Wild Rivers.”


Land Arts of the American West – LAAW ( is a semester long, full-time, studio art program at the University of New Mexico, committed to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students into the field of Art & Ecology. 2018 LAAW artists include Sarah Canelas, Brionna Garcia, Erin Gould, Xena Gurule, Jeanette Hart-Mann, Ryan Henel, Kyle Holub, Nicholas Jacobsen, Blaise Koller, Francisco Letelier, Rowan Roberts, and Jessica Zeglin. These individuals will convene at Wild Rivers before the event and camp on-site as they intimately explore the Rio Grande gorge.

“We will work both individually and collaboratively across creative disciplines of performance, time-based media, sculpture, and experimental art to explore a “rooted” sense of place to create finished works to share with the public,” describes Jeanette Hart-Mann, Director LAAW.


Contributing artist, LEAP’s own, Martha Shepp ( is fairly new to New Mexico; her studies ranged from graphic design and dance to filmmaking and music. Her works across a range of media reveal her abiding interest in the intersection of community development, self-concept, and aesthetics.

About her NeoRio project The DNA of Root Words, she states, “Roots, root words, and human-created sounds fascinate me. My project is an interactive typography installation, using natural, materials, print, and sound.”


Contributing artist Nicholette Codding has a multidisciplinary practice based in Portland, Oregon. In addition to fine art photography, Nicholette practices and teaches sustainable agriculture and living.

She describes her NeoRio installation Shifting Paradigm as “an illumination of that which is seen and unseen…utilizing reflective surfaces, I expose what is above and below the surface….”




More info on each artist and their projects as well as other elements of the event HERE.

Support NeoRio and bring artists like this to participate the event HERE!


Ride the Taos-NeoRio-PASEO Shuttle!

September 10, 2018

Take the Taos-NeoRio-PASEO shuttle for a beautiful, care-free ride to NeoRio at Wild Rivers in the Rio Grande del Norten National Monument. Enjoy the afternoon and early evening at NeoRio and then arrive by shuttle back in Taos, conveniently parked and ready to finish the evening exploring the PASEO!

NeoRio Shuttle Schedule

3:30 pm NeoRio Shuttle Leaves from Guadalupe Parking Lot (public lot) in Taos

7:30 pm: NeoRio Shuttle Leaves from Wild Rivers to arrive back in Taos at 8:30

Tickets are $25 per person, round trip.

Buy Tickets online

Or reserve tickets by calling Claire at 575-224-9066

Shuttle service is chartered from Taos Ski Valley Transportation.