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“Bonita Barlow's Bank”

The Historic Percha Bank
Ranked #2 of 3 things to do in Hillsboro
Attraction details
Tucson
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Bonita Barlow's Bank”
Reviewed September 7, 2008

In the picturesque Black Range Mountains community of Kingston, the historic Percha Bank and Museum on Main Street stands as a monument to former rough and tough days in what was once the largest and rowdiest town in New Mexico. Next door to the ancient and majestic Black Range Lodge (now a charming historical B&B), the bank has had several ill-fated attempts at being a museum. But Kingston is a sleepy community of about 50 residents along a dead-end main street and almost too far off the beaten path (NM highway 152) to support any kind of visitor-dependent enterprise. The bank now has a new direction and proprietor, art and artist Bonita Barlow from Truth or Consequences and Hillsboro. Bonita has assembled an intriguing collection of her own paintings, photographs, and sculptures and other creations from local artisans. Some of her art shows a strong influence of the Southwest, where she has lived for about 30 years. She is known for her satirical human-centric, folk-art paintings in her Satan Series, Fairy Tale Series, and Fight Series. She employs the rare technique of using glass beads in paint to produce a sense of transition as the viewer moves across the front of a picture. She also paints old furniture and old doors, and some of the doors stand side by side with knobs intact as a fence on the property, inviting the visitor to guess which one is truly the functional door. Also for sale are jewelry, gemstones, folk-art furniture, and painted silk clothing. The Hearts of God metal sculptures and woven metal bracelets by Phil Ginolfi are particularly interesting, as are the natural parchment and tree-limb lampshades by Veronique de Jaegher. Bonita also plans to soon start offering large reproductions of the plethora of historic black and white photos of the Kingston and Hillsboro areas; given the mystique and intriguing history of the region, these will likely be very popular with anyone interested in southwest New Mexico history. Stop by the bank and say hello to Bonita and learn about the history of Kingston and the Percha Creek area while browsing among some of the quirkiest and most -whimsical sophisticated folk art in southwest New Mexico.

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