September 20, 2019

Archives for September 2018

Bill Burgess “Celebration Of Life”

We will be gathering to celebrate the life of “Mr. Angel Fire” Bill Burgess! There will be burgers, dogs and beer. Please bring your best Burgess stories and jokes!

When: October 6, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Where: Village Haus @ Angel Fire Resort

Bill devoted 52 years of his life to northern New Mexico including skiing, tourism and teaching.

26th Annual Worm Eating Contest

The Live Night Crawler Eating Contest

Contestants are judged on entertainment, costume, props and creativity (not on how many worms are eaten).

When: Saturday, September 29, 2018

Where: Laguna Vista Lodge

The Monte Alban Mexcal Grub Eating Contest

What Is Whatville?

By Megan Bennett / Journal North Reporter

Ray Renfroe wanted to create a place that can elicit happiness for whoever drops by. But how the little village he’s put together does that, exactly, is difficult for him to put into words.

Still, surrounded by his jumbled 10-acre art installation in Angel Fire, he said there’s something that’s calming in the way it provides contrast between simplicity and “craziness.” “There’s just something there,” he said. “It just speaks … it does what it does.” Renfroe, 63-year-old artist and tiny home builder, has been working on Whatville for the past year and a half. He purchased the plot of land two years ago. When finished – what “finished” means in this case may be hard to define – he hopes to turn his vision into an economic driver for Angel Fire as a venue for commerce and entertainment. “I just want to see people have fun … . That’s my feeling,” said the Texas native and former home builder who moved to Angel Fire in 1990. “I want to see families. That’s what I want. That smile is worth more than a million bucks. It just is.”

Whatville, made up largely of colorful wooden structures, collected objects and art pieces made by Renfroe, is set in the imaginary “Shadow National Forest.” That names refers to his heavy use of dead aspen sticks with the roots and pitchwood that was burned in forest fires. “… Stuff like that only creates a shadow, anyway,” he said. “Not shade, a shadow.”

The work-in-progress doesn’t adhere to one artistic story line. But some parts of it were designed with vague religious themes. As Renfroe put it, it’s his own version of “His story.” “Without getting into the whole B.S. of that,” he clarified. A vintage typewriter has found a new purpose as part of Ray Renfroe’s Whatville.

He pointed out a wooden teepee at Whatville’s entrance that has an old typewriter (where a story might be created, get it?) at the bottom. Eventually, there will be a finger coming out of the ground pointing toward the typewriter. On a nearby wall, there’s his take on the Cain and Abel story using two ceramic chickens. To depict Cain as self-righteous, one of Renfroe’s chickens is surrounded by a large white frame. Several feet above that abstract scene is an allusion to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”: a white staircase leading to the sky with two different high heel shoes positioned as if they are stepping upward. On another large wall, he’s constructed the word “love” in white letters. Next to “love,” he’s attached a fire extinguisher that symbolically points down to the word “hate.”

“Just kind of little thoughts,” he said. “Stuff that ties in how He talks to us now, and how He may talk to us then.” Ray Renfroe’s Whatville is a jumble of color and junk.

But other parts of his creation, Renfroe says, are simply pieces that he either made or found and put together. He gathered his thousands of sticks from the nearby Valley of the Utes to make teepee structures and other design elements. His “electric teepees” are the ones made from sticks that he’s painted bright shades of orange, purple, lime green, teal and other colors. Some of those teepees also light up at night, making his creation even more noticeable to those driving into Angel Fire on Mountain View Boulevard. He used plywood to make most of his design accents, including black-and-white striped or multicolored beams, large arrows and other small, vibrant cutouts made to look like cars, horses and stars. Dozens of collected deer antlers protrude from walls and come out of old cars.

These are some of the items that Ray Renfroe has collected to make Whatville near Angel Fire.

Random items – a bathtub, several old bicycles, a stuffed animal mouse and an antique lawnmower, to name a few – are placed throughout the installation. Renfroe either had or found these things at thrift shops or they were on their way to the local trash dump. But he invested in some large pieces, including several old trucks that he purchased in Española. A personal haven The installation is something of a personal haven for Renfroe. Part of his inspiration for creating it, he said, was the death of his son, Cody Blue, in 2001. “When you got a boy here, a son here buried, you’re not going to leave,” the father of four explained. “I was almost going to leave two or three years ago. So, I guess the way things work (is) this came about and, oh man, this could make me not want to leave.” He said it was important to make a place that is visually exciting and can constantly change. “When you’re gone, you don’t see any more, do you?” he added. As a nod to the area’s history, Renfroe pointed out the shell of a 1940s-era Dodge logging truck, mounted several feet off the ground near Whatville’s entrance, that he bought from a man in Guadalupita, to the south in rural Mora County. The Whatville site used to belong to a family of loggers and possible farmers believed to have settled in the valley in the late 19th century around the time of the Homestead Act, according to Judy Piper, a fourth-generation Angel Fire resident and an unofficial town historian. She added that the acreage had long sat abandoned before Renfroe came along. Decadesold structures still standing on the property, a small home and worn-down barn, became part of the installation. Renfroe is also building a new barn, which he hopes to complete by winter, envisioning it as a “cool, open-air” place for retail vendors.

“We’re losing that really early hippie kind of the deal that New Mexico was known (for), with all this modern (B.S.), I feel,” said Renfroe. He used to visit the Angel Fire area often because his father owned a cabin here, he said, as he spoke near the side of the barn where he’s made large letters that spell out “Stay Lost.” “When we came out in the ’70s, you’d see (expletive) like this all over,” he said.

Business hub? An old Chevrolet stands out as one of the bigger items collected to make Whatville.

When he looks out at Whatville, Renfroe sees a potential hub for local commerce and entertainment that could attract tourism to Angel Fire, beyond the appeal of its popular ski resort, and give a younger locals an opportunity to stay and work in town. He thinks a business stationed in a funky spot like his would help attract customers. Admission will be free, but he has dreams of building a concert stage, bringing in food trucks, allowing space for tiny home owners and opening up rentable spaces for vendors. On his own, he plans to create stations where families can participate in the installation by paying a few dollars to paint sticks or buy Whatville T-shirts. “I see myself (as) a palm,” he said. “And if we can get some good damn fingers, we’re going to have a good place that is going to bring good.”

Now, he says he’s focused on finding a partner to invest and help him complete the project. Renfroe hopes to get most of the work done by the time snow falls this year. Whatville could be a positive addition to the local art scene and overall community, said Jo Mixon, president of Angel Fire’s Chamber of Commerce and of Art Up Northern New Mexico. Whatville will be part of her arts organization’s annual studio tour later this month and the group has spoken with Renfroe about the possibility of applying for grants. “It’s a great little place,” she said. “And he’s so (a) New Mexico artist. Everything he does is with vision and creativity. He believes in wanting to bring economic value to this area, and I think he can do it.” In an email statement, mayor Barbara Cottam also praised the project.

“Our goal is to let people know about the beauty, and all there is to do and see here in the beautiful Village of Angel Fire,” the statement reads. “New Mexico offers some of the most memorable and eclectic art in the county, and we believe Whatville is now something that folks will want to drive up and check out for themselves.” Renfro acknowledged that his installation is large and the vision is a bit out there. He hopes any local skeptics will be able to see its benefit when its up and running.

Asked if he had a favorite part of Whatville, Renfroe could not choose. To him, it still all feels so unfinished. “It’ll come,” he said. “Is it as quick as I want? I don’t know. So I’ll keep chugging.”

Antlers and an old push lawnmower are among the found items that Ray Renfroe used to make Whatville.

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Market Holiday Vendor Call

Join us for a festive fun filled atmosphere to sell your wares. Items do not have to be hand made. We are looking for arts and crafters, artists, Christmas gift items, antiques, local businesses, food vendors, bake sales, churches and school groups and entertainers.

Please note: We only have 5 booth spaces unspoken for as of today for vendors, plus 4 non-profit table spaces and 2 food vendors spots. If you or someone you know, would like to be a part of this amazing Holiday Market, please go to one of the above websites, download the application, rules and maps,
then reserve your spot today!

We are also now scheduling entertainment. We welcome choirs, school groups, individuals, dancers, etc. Any kind of entertainment keeping in the Holiday Spirit!

Applications may be picked up at the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce or download at these websites:

You will also find a map of space sizes and fees.

For more information call Jo at 575-377-6353.

Coming Soon – Autumn Colors In Angel Fire

September 13th by: Collin Wheeler

The leaves are starting to change in the mountains and we’re ready for some autumn color here at Angel Fire. The best way to see these beautiful fall colors? A quick ride up the Chile Express will bring you 2000 ft above the Moreno Valley where you will see panoramic views of the Southern Rockies and gorgeous fall colors. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Enlightenment Trail is an advanced hiking trail that spans over 2000 vertical feet, from the summit of Angel Fire Resort to the base accessed by the Chile Express.

Thanks to an amazing summer season, we have decided to keep the Chile Express running until October 21st. Angel Fire will be one of the only bike parks in the country opened this late into the autumn, so don’t miss out! The temperatures have been dipping below 40° at night and fall sweaters have been making their return. Hopefully that means winter is right around the corner!

Photo courtesy of Michael & Johnese Turri 09/16/2018

Added Note: Disc golf and the zipline will be open weekends thru Oct. 14, 2018 and the Golf Course will be open until Oct. 28, 2018. (weather permitting)

Angel Fire Studio Tour

When: September 29 & 30, 2018 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Where: Various Moreno Valley Locations

For more information please visit

Presented by Art Up Northern New Mexico

List of artists on the Studio Tour

#1 Julia Margaret Brigham; Art Quilts, Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor packed with dynamic images that will make you happy! Gallery 41, #41 Hwy 120, Black Lake

#1 Lone Krarup & Johnese Turri; Everything Pinecone: Large assortment of painted pinecone art. Gallery 41, #41 Hwy 120, Black Lake

#2 Susan Peabody; Sterling Silver & Swarovski earrings, Beaded necklaces & bracelets. 19 Upper Ridge Rd. Loggers Ridge, Black Lake

#2 Shirley Riley; 19 Upper Ridge Rd. Loggers Ridge, Black Lake

#3 Jacqui Binford-Bell Studio; Photography, Mixed media painting, Watercolor, Beaded jewelry.11 Llano Vista Rd., Black Lake

#3 Carol Rupp; Realistic watercolor and acrylic paintings. 11 Llano Vista Rd., Black Lake

#3 Judy Kosanovich; Fine silver clay jewelry with creative beads in various fun styles. 11 Llano Vista Rd., Black Lake

#4 Page Steed; Outdoor, wildlife & landscape photographic art on canvas. 19 Acoma Circle, Angel Fire, NM

#5 Jo Mixon; Acrylic and oil painting on canvas, acrylic paintings on furniture, recycled happy yard art. 80 Calle de Los Indios, Angel Fire

#5 Connie Hill; Acrylic and oil painting on canvas realistically capturing the essence of nature and animals. 80 Calle de Los Indios, Angel Fire

#6 Brice Adams; Surreal colorful fun art. Showing @ Angel Fired Pizza, 3375 Mountain View Blvd. (upstairs) Angel Fire, NM

#7 Angel Fire Quilters Guild; All items are handmade. Wall hangings, greeting cards, wool hat and more. Showing @ Shuter Library 11 S. Angel Fire Rd., Angel Fire

#7 Yvonne O’Brien; Photography. Showing @ Shuter Library, 11 S. Angel Fire Rd., Angel Fire

#8 Kathleen Dello-Stritto; Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel Realistic paintings. Showing @ McKuna Grill, 48 N. Angel Fire Rd.(downstairs in the back), Angel Fire

#8 Suzy Mortiz; Landscapes that capture spiritual intensity by focusing on wide open spaces & clear skies. Showing @ McKuna Grill, 48 N. Angel Fire Rd.( downstairs in the back), Angel Fire

#9 Loretta LaMothe; Landscape artist primarily in oil. Paintings strive to capture the unique essence & architecture of northern New Mexico. Showing @ Shall We Dance Studio, 3382 Mountain View Blvd., Angel Fire

#9 Robert Burke Burns; Paintings that reflect his love of God’s creations. Showing @ Shall We Dance Studio, 3382 Mountain View Blvd., Angel Fire

#10 Jessica Duke; Landscape and wildlife Photography on canvas & metals, Sterling Silver Jewelry, Vintage style Edison Bulb Lighting. Showing in Centro Plaza, 3407 Mountain View Blvd. Angel Fire

#10 Chris Love; Modern figurative oil on canvas. Originals & giclees available. Showing in Centro Plaza, 3407 Mountain View Blvd. Angel Fire

#11 Ray Renfroe; Freeform pitch wood sculptures, wood wall art horses & antler heads. Tiny houses. Whatville, 30 Trujillo Lane, Angel Fire

#12 Melody Costa; Bead weaving, jewelry, origami flowers. Showing at Monte Verde RV Park, 3521 Mountain View Blvd. Angel Fire

#12 Anna Roth; Jewelry, knitted wear, pottery. Showing at Monte Verde RV Park, 3521 Mountain View Blvd. Angel Fire

#13 Ramona Bagley; Ramona paints the peace and spectacular serenity of New Mexico in landscapes on large and small canvases. 28 Fria Court, Angel Fire, NM

#14 Markus Podell; Photo arts with a creative twist. He calls it Phart. Showing at the National Veterans Wellness & Healing Center, 58 Ash Mountain Loop, Angel Fire (next to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial)

#15 Kevin DeKeuster -Wood fired functional pottery and sculpture. Enchanted Circle Pottery, 26871 E. US Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

#15 Jo Anne DeKeuster; Wood fired pottery & sculpture and children’s books. Enchanted Circle Pottery, 26871 E. US Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

#16 Clara Foshee; Stained Glass Sun Catchers. 23 Circle Dr., Valle Escondido

#16 Gail Tate & Nadine Williams; Unique one-of-a-kind hand crafted/ turned functional wood products. 23 Circle Dr., Valle Escondido

#16 Marian Jackson; Expressive & abstract Florals with traditional Taos floral colcha (embroidery) 23 Circle Dr., Valle Escondidio

#17 Bob McIntyre; Fiberglass & bamboo fly rods for fly fishing. Handmade fly rods: graphite, bamboo, glass. 26317 E. Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

#17 Melissa McIntyre; Miniature paintings/ block paintings. 26317 E. Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

#17 Sarah McIntyre; Photography. 26317 E. Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

#18 Linda Rauch Gallery; Watercolor, Acrylic on canvas. My work is somewhere between fantasy & reality, florals & landscapes. 26070 E. Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

#19 Laurie Phelps; colorful & lighthearted watercolor and oil paintings, southwest imagery. 26047 E. Hwy 64, Taos Canyon

This is a self guided tour. There are 19 locations and 36+ artists. The weekend of the tour, there will be arrows on all of the roads to direct you to the studios, homes, and businesses, as well as numbered signs in front of each place.

Spend the weekend in Angel Fire enjoying two days of art, art, art!

To download a brochure/Map visit

Firefighter / EMT-I or P Job Opportunity

Position Available: Firefighter / EMT-I or P
Department: Fire & EMS Department

PRN Position with no benefits

The Village of Angel Fire Fire Department / Emergency Medical Services is accepting applications for a PRN Firefighter / EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic.

Requirements of the positions: Position entails all aspects of firefighting and emergency medical technician duties to include extinguishing fires, operating firefighting apparatus and equipment, responding to medical emergency calls, and providing patient care commensurate to level of licensure. Applicant must possess a valid Class E New Mexico driver’s license, acceptable driving record, high school diploma / GED, New Mexico EMT License, and applicable certifications.

Any individual offered employment will be required to pass a pre-employment DOT medical exam, drug test, and background check.

This is a PRN position without benefits. Must be able to work weekends.

Qualified applicants apply:

Village of Angel Fire
Terry Cordova
3388 Mountain View Blvd. (Human Resources)
575-377-3232 x122

The Village of Angel Fire is an Equal Opportunity Employer

New Mexico Chamber of Commerce Executive Association

By Jo Mixon, President & CEO Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce

Group photo taken at the Freeport-McMoRan Copper Mine in Silver City, NM

I spent all last week in Silver City, New Mexico at the Summer Conference of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce Executives Association to which I serve as 2018 President. Attended by Chamber leaders from all over the state of New Mexico, the agenda included leadership training with Cathi Hight, a special session with New Mexico State Secretary of Public Education, Christopher Ruszkowski, discussion about New Mexico State Liquor Licensing with State Representative Rebecca Dow, Community-Business Partnerships for Workforce Development by Curtis Clough and a tour of the Freeport-McMoRan Copper Mine. On Thursday night we were hosted to a dinner at the Buckhorn Saloon & Opera House in Pinos Alto by Western New Mexico University President Dr. Joseph Shepard. We learned how to host customer service training in our own areas by Glen Shepard Seminars and on Weds. we were treated to an old fashioned root beer float break! I find in any and all professions, it is good to be continually learning and training. It is also good to spend time with others in your field of expertise as a means of networking and mentoring.

The purpose of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce Association is to improve members of the organizations management techniques, to promote professionalism of the executives (utilizing scholarships for continuing education), to promote fellowship among the New Mexico chambers, facilitating and encouraging the exchange of information relating to organization management methods, data collected with activities and projects and to inform, stimulate. and encourage our members to study and take positions on problems affecting the State of New Mexico, both as an organization and as individual chambers.

As a small rural chamber, this organization has provided a lifeline for us to be involved with the other chambers of New Mexico and it benefits us in legislative issues. Just as our chamber is an organization to promote the community and unity of the businesses in Angel Fire, the state chamber NMCEA association gives us an even greater voice. Our memberships represent over 10,000 businesses in New Mexico. Together as one voice, we are a strong voice for commerce.

Chambers of Commerce Offer More than Networking

The Angel Fire Chamber Traveling Chair obtained state recognition this month by Finance New Mexico and made it into their monthly newsletter, complete with photo and directions to the chair’s Facebook page!

Finance New Mexico on August 15, 2018 at 4:31 PM wrote:

This is one of the most creative member benefits we’ve seen in a long time. Well done Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce You (and your chair) were mentioned in our recent article

Chambers of Commerce Offer More than Networking

Chambers of commerce are trade associations charged with creating a business-friendly environment for their members in the communities where they’re based. They do this by advocating, educating and providing a variety of publicity tools.

While most chambers have a singular mission to support commercial activity, others advocate on behalf of businesses…

To encourage commerce among members, most New Mexico chambers provide printed or online membership directories and offer networking, advertising and referrals. But because chambers of commerce reflect their communities, other member benefits can vary widely among the state’s towns and cities.

Most chambers let members advertise on their official website, the membership directory or newsletters. The ads let members know the sponsoring businesses support the local business community. Chambers also increase member visibility through occasional contests and awards.

The chamber in Angel Fire, for example, sponsors a contest to build publicity for member businesses as it encourages hometown shopping. Every Monday throughout the summer, the chamber’s brightly painted rocking chair is delivered to a different unidentified member business, where customers, staff and visitors can take “selfie” photographs in the chair and hint at its location.

These photos are posted on it’s own Facebook page, along with a positive sentence about the mystery business, and are entered in an August 31 drawing. The winner gets a cash prize, but all participating businesses win through publicity. Visit the chair’s page to see where it has visited:

More than anything, chambers encourage relationships that are built on trust and shared interests that make our communities better places for everyone.
To find chambers of commerce in New Mexico, use the search engine at or search by location using the Municipal Index tab