Millicent Unplugged: A Virtual Panel Discussion Series

Millicent Unplugged will feature panel discussions on topics of cultural and art interest. Modeled after the “salons” of the past, artists and community members will join in lively, informed, honest, and homespun conversations. These live discussions will be on the Zoom platform with audience engagement through the chat feature.

The series is planned and facilitated through the MRM Education department with volunteer artist, photographer, and publisher, Sara Frances For information or to suggest a discussion topic, contact Karen Chertok, Director of Education, at

2022 Millicent Unplugged schedule:

The series is planned and facilitated through the MRM Education department with volunteer artist, photographer, and publisher, Sara Frances For information or to suggest a discussion topic, contact Karen Chertok, Director of Education, at

2022 Millicent Unplugged schedule:

Millicent Unplugged: Taos Pueblo: International Ambassadors of Dance + Drum

October 6, 2022 6PM
Taking the beauty and spirit of dance and drum abroad is an act of courage, skill, and deep friendship.  Join us for an informal conversation featuring three Taos Pueblo members who will share their experiences of international travel from Italy to Japan and places in between. 
Below is the registration link:
Sonny Spruce is renowned for his beautifully crafted jewelry. His signature style of heirloom quality bracelets are treasured artworks for the wearer, steeped in Sonny's knowledge and skill as a silversmith. Sonny is the owner and operator of Sonny Spruce Indian Shop at Taos Pueblo. His work can also be found at 
CornBringer Kathleen Michaels has worked in the artworld as both beadwork / jewelry artist and gallerist. She has traveled worldwide with her family of dancers. The Millicent Rogers Museum is honored to have CornBringer on staff  in her role as business manager. 
Benito Concha has been sharing the lessons of singing, drum, and dance for nearly his whole life. As one of Taos News' Unsung Heroes in 2021, Benito shared his philosophy of peaceful intentions in every endeavor. His video can be viewed here.

Painters with Grit: The Art of Soft Pastels


If you would like to view the recorded discussion, please check it out here.

This month Millicent Unplugged connects with three prolific and honored artists from the current MRM exhibition of New Mexico Pastel Society artists participating in the Society's 30th National Pastel Painting Exhibition. Join Millicent Unplugged for a vibrant conversation featuring artists in dialogue about the art, the materials, the challenges, the inspiration, and the timeless appeal of pastel painting.


Marilyn Drake "Among the many reasons I moved from New York City to New Mexico was the dramatic landscape --- the vistas, the light, the unusual geologic formations and native plants. That fascination awakened my desire to be a fine artist, after years spent operating my own graphic design business. Eventually my earlier figurative training prompted me to begin painting figures and portraits. Now, concentrating on painting people and places, I strive to capture a likeness, evoke a mood, and create visual harmony." --Marilyn Drake

Nicholas Tesluk Having been involved in some art form his entire life, including music, drawing, and performance arts, Nicholas began fine art painting in the late 1970's, and was active in exhibitions for the next several years. He moved from oils to pastels exclusively in the 1990's. Nicholas is in his ninth year serving as the Pastel Society of New Mexico's National Show Chair. His body of work includes botanical, still-life, and sunset paintings. He has recently been inspired to include figure painting as part of his oeuvre of pastel artworks. --Nicholas Tesluk 

Paul Murray "I’ve been making my living as an artist since I was 19 years old. First as a commercial artist and illustrator and then owning Murray’s Design, my graphic design business in Albuquerque for over 35 years. I transitioned into fine art in the mid-90s. In that time I’ve won several international awards including two Best-of-Show awards. I currently live in La Cienega, NM, with my wife and our cats.

If I could say one thing about being an artist, it would be that I’m most interested in learning how to become better at what I do. Since the creative process is infinite in nature, I’ll be able to work at improving my skills for the rest of my career." –Paul Murray

Millicent Unplugged: New Mexico’s Starry Nights: Science, Spirit, & Space Flight

August 4, 2022

New Mexico is a hub of interest and intersecting perspectives on the beauty of the universe as seen through many lenses. Join us in conversation as we embark on a journey of inspiration and aesthetics, science, and wonder. Note: The Millicent Unplugged photo features artist Wilson Crawford’s Regulus metal sculpture designed by Millicent as part of her Running Star series. (Photo by Sara Frances).

Joyce Guzik has been a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 35 years. She earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Iowa State University in 1988. In addition to research in support of Los Alamos’s national security mission, she has continued astrophysics research, modeling the interior and oscillations of the Sun and many other types of pulsating variable stars. Since 2009 Joyce has focused on analysis of photometric data from the NASA Kepler and TESS spacecraft. She occasionally gives lectures about her research for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Los Alamos, and currently is vice-president of the Pajarito Astronomers amateur club.

Michael Alberts is a passionate explorer and researcher contemplating human spirituality and its relation to the Cosmos. He is a long-time student of Vedic and Western astrology, Vibrational Radiesthesia,, and BioGeometry [forms of energy medicine], with a focus on the ancient mysteries of Egypt.  Michael is president of the Sangre de Cristo Anthroposophical Group, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the path of knowledge guiding the spiritual in the Human Being to the spiritual in the Universe. Residing in Albuquerque since 2001, he works in the health care information technology field.

Loretta Hall is the author of six nonfiction books about human space exploration. She especially enjoys highlighting New Mexico’s valuable contributions to getting astronauts to the moon and supporting the development of the commercial space industry. She also has a particular interest in the history of women in aeronautics. Loretta’s most recent books are adult and children’s versions of the life story of Wally Funk, a Taos native who holds the record as the oldest woman to travel to space. Loretta is a Space Ambassador for the National Space Society, a board member of New Mexico Press Women, and recipient of the National Federation of Press Women’s Communicator of Achievement Award. Having lived in Albuquerque for forty-five years, she considers herself an “honorary native New Mexican.”

Rings on Your Fingers: Jewelry Rare and Regional


July 7, 2022

Joe and LeJeune Chavez are award-winning jewelers who blend traditional Pueblo practices with inspiration from their Indigenous connections into their contemporary designs. The couple have a deep commitment to visual impact, design, and structure, carefully designing and creating wearable pieces of art that are described by customers as truly one-of-a-kind. Joe and LeJeune Chavez attend several juried art markets like the Santa Fe Indian Market, Heard Museum, Santo Domingo Pueblo art show and also sell their jewelry at the Palace of Governors Museum in Santa Fe.

Lyle and Islin Wright are father and son silversmiths from Taos Pueblo. Lyle’s art practices are passed from father to son through apprenticeship and a shared passion for the materials and the land unique to Southwest jewelry design. In addition to apprenticing with his father, Islin is also an accomplished sales associate at the MRM store where he shares his knowledge of the stones, the structures, and the designs of Indigenous artists, past and present. View Lyle’s video profile here:

David Anderson has deep connections to the Taos community and the Millicent Rogers Museum. David is the grandson of the Anderson’s who donated their house to the MRM in 1968. In his own words, David shares that, “the traditions and history of Taos and other cultures are expressed in my designs. Many of my fabrication techniques are based on Old World traditions, yet I also embrace modern technology. I make many of my own tools and alter existing tools to make them work better. I am fascinated by the vast array of techniques involved in making art jewelry.”


Millicent Unplugged: From the Ground up: Seeds to Solar Ovens

June 2, 2022, 6-7PM 

What better time than early June to have a discussion on southwestern, high desert, organic gardening and cooking. Each of our guests brings a perspective of earth stewardship grounded in the common desire to seek sustainable practices and share them. Master gardening, cookbooks, seeds, succulents and more! Join us for what is sure to be an informative and expansive conversation.

Panelist Bios

Linda Engel’s first cookbook, Garden to Table Cooking, won first place in the Colorado Independent Publisher’s 2021 EVVY™ Award in the entertaining/cookbook category. She lives and gardens in the front range of Colorado where her love for organic gardening inspires her recipes and cooking. Before retiring, Linda enjoyed a successful career in international sales and then technical and marketing writing. Visit her website to learn more and to sign up for her newsletter.

Rose Marie Kern is known around the world as a Solar Chef, an organic Master Gardener, and an expert on garden microclimatology. Recently she was interviewed by Luther Kreuger, head of the Big Blue Museum of Solar Cooking and her classes on creating microclimates for high desert gardening are an educational staple for the Master Gardener Programs in New Mexico. The International Sun Oven Corporation has sent copies of her cookbook "The Solar Chef" along with their sun ovens to 4 continents.

Rose is on the board of directors for SouthWest Writers and a lifetime member of the New Mexico Solar Energy Association. She has given classes on solar cooking for the University of New Mexico, the Bernalillo County Extension offices and dozens of local groups focused on sustainable living.

You can learn more about Rose Marie on her website:

These books by Rose Marie Kern are available on Amazon:

The Solar Chef
Creating Microclimates for High Desert Gardening
Stress is Relative: Memoir of an Air Traffic Controller
Air to Ground: A Guide to the World of Air Traffic Control

Bob Pennington and his wife, Jen, are owners of Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This organic nursery and garden center came to fruition in 1975, and has been a thriving part of the Santa Fe landscape ever since. With a growing understanding that the nursery and garden industry was laden with toxic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, Bob and Jen set out with a mission to “Save Planet Earth, one organic garden at a time.” From aphids to zinnias, Bob’s 40+ years of organic gardening experience is a treasure to encounter. More information can be found at



Millicent Unplugged: Passion for Fashion: Diné Couture Design

Join Karen and Sara for a conversation with Navajo (Diné) fashion designers Penny Singer, and Felix Earle, owner and creative director of Earle Couture. This conversation will explore inspiration and process as we look at the world of fashion through a lens of land and identity expression. Designs, materials and practices found in the wearable works of these artists bring alive the voice of the Southwest, Diné style.

Enjoy the recorded virtual discussion here!


Millicent Unplugged: Stewardship of the Land: Preserve, Protect, and Enjoy

Join Karen and Sara in welcoming guest panelists Erik Stensland, nature photographer and CEO of Nature First: The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography; Glory Penington, artist and activist; and Karl Sommers, Santa Fe based land and real estate attorney for an informal conversation on land stewardship. A big topic to be sure, and one which merits creating spaces and opportunities, such as this, for unlikely voices to join together in consideration of nature. The environmental issues we face as a planet today, require a multitude of perspectives to engender responsibility and caring for the land we call home. Unfolding, unofficial, unafraid conversations…a trifecta of community building. We hope you’ll join us!

Enjoy the recorded discussion here!

Angelisa Murray is the Founder and CEO of Heritage Inspirations. She spent over twenty years of her life as an active travel guide for a variety of premiere adventure companies exploring and wandering all over the world, and yet no matter where she went, New Mexico always called to her. She explains, “This is my home and after spending years excavating and learning from this wild place of heritage, culture and natural wonder, there is no greater inspiration to me than to share it.” Angelisa focused on developing tours that are about unveiling the other truths that are often not known or seen. Heritage Inspirations is a culmination of my travel exploration while working as a guide in different environments and elements. It is also a celebration of my connection to New Mexico through my heritage, just north of Taos the surname Espinoza, my maiden name’s lineage, can be tracked from southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley and extends throughout northern New Mexico. In Taos, there is an intersection with the cross streets, Espinoza and Maestas, which are my grandparents surnames. This is a constant reminder how blessed I am to share in this culturally rich land through part of my family’s ancestry.

Ilona Spruce is the Director of Tourism for Taos Pueblo. Being in this position brings much responsibility as a representative of the community to the external world. A member of the Taos Pueblo tribe and community, the world of tourism is a fine balance between educating visitors and protecting her home. She has been with Taos Pueblo Tourism for 10 years and holds her BA in Indigenous Liberal studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Carolyn Schneider grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from New York University. After working in art galleries for some time, she fell in love with hospitality and started at the ground level in restaurant and event management at Ace Hotel in New York.  From there, she joined the team at Vikram Chatwal Collection (management company of Dream Hotels), leading Sales and Marketing for their properties in Times Square. When Ace Hotel Group opened in Downtown Los Angeles, they recruited Carolyn to move back to the West Coast to join the pre-opening team, where she built accounts from the ground up in a culturally emerging area of Los Angeles. Proper Hospitality, created by the owners of the Viceroy brand, then recruited her as Director of Sales and Marketing for their luxury high rise, designed by Kelly Wearstler in the heart of Hollywood. Next, excited to work with a historic building again, Carolyn jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Sydell Group to open The NoMad Hotel Los Angeles, formerly the bank of Italy built in the 1920’s, where she served as Director of Guest Experience. In addition, Carolyn co-founded a consulting company, where she helped emerging hospitality companies build their brand, and developed comprehensive service training programs for employees. Carolyn co-founded Casetta Group with a passion for hospitality, management and service, and a specific interest in revitalizing small boutique properties. In addition, she serves as a Board Member of the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association.  

Enjoy the conversation here.



The West is Our Muse: A Literary Conversation


This live panel discussion features a literary conversation with MRM guest panelists and award winning authors J Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief mysteries ; Corinne Joy Brown, Hidden Star, Come and Get It!; and Randy McNair, #BarPoets series. Join Karen and Sara as they welcome MRM guests in a conversation about regional inspiration in the writing of the West.

Please enjoy the recorded discussion here.



Millicent Unplugged: HANDLE with CARE: Stewardship of Indigenous Art in Your Home

Please view the recorded discussion here.




Indigenous Foodways

Friend and caterer to the museum, Chef Karin Snowflower, of Taos Pueblo, and Jicarilla Apache potter, Shelden Nuñez-Velarde will join Karen and Sara to embark on a discussion of the fusion of art, earth, food, and culture. Chef Karin specializes in a fusion of French pastries with traditional native ingredients and prepares such stellar offerings as bison empañadas and squash cheesecake with chokecherry sauce. Shelden draws on the legacy of his ancestors to bring forth a merging of function and beauty in creating traditional micaceous bean pots and other vessels intended to infuse the culinary experience with a deep sense of Southwest history.

Check out the recorded discussion here.


Dias de Los Muertos " Day of the Dead"

Sugar Saints, Sweets and Marigolds

October 7, 2021


 Homage to Jim Wagner: Hippie Cool to Hip Waders

Friends of the late Jim Wagner, beloved and legendary Taos artist (1940-2021), will join in this discussion to share memories, reminiscences, laughter and a fishing story or two. Join Karen and Sara as the MRM welcomes acclaimed adventure writer, Peter Heller, and gallery owners Max Jones and Tony Walker. Recorded link below.

View the Unplugged  Homage to Jim Wagner here.