Partial View of Wall, WNMU Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art, John Stermer-Retrospective 2021

Closing Thoughts: Team Stermer Retrospective

Greetings!  And, how are you?  We, Team Stermer Retrospective, are still “glowing” from our successful exhibition at Western New Mexico University’s Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art this past November and December.  The number of old friends and new friends who joined us for the reception was just amazing.  It truly felt like a celebration.

Lines of Force Exhibition Postcard


Afterward, the team, and this writer in particular, needed time to work on projects that were put aside during retrospective preparation time.  Now, with a little bit of time since the closing of the show, rested and refreshed, I am ready to start writing again.

Short Preparation Time.

You see, the Team Stermer Retrospective had a relatively short period of time to prepare for the exhibition.  We had less than a year.  So, huge kudos for the team.  Dorothy Stermer (Albuquerque NM) was our leader and visionary.  She assembled the team, allowed us to grow, and when needed, helped us focus our efforts.  

John Stermer Retrospective: WNMU Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art

Introducing Team Stermer Retrospective.

To explain, Dorothy manages the John Stermer Estate.  She was the spark and catalyst for this project.   Together with the team and family members, she was launched the project and saw it through to completion.

And now, I would like to say more about the individual team members.


Ms. Paula Geisler, (Silver City NM), was our c0-curator along with Dorothy and she did amazing work.  Paula has been a friend of the family, including John and Lucy Stermer, for quite some time.  Plus, she has curated at least two other John Stermer shows.  Her knowledge of art, marketing and the people of Silver City (and Grant County, NM) was invaluable. We were fortunate and pleased to be able to have her on our team.  

Writer & Researcher.

Maria Jensen of Albuquerque NM served as our writer and researcher.  Wow!  What a wonderful idea to have these skills added to the team.  She helped the team document some of the stories and history of John Stermer’s life.  And, it was wonderful having a professional on-board to work the press releases and other myriad of writing requirements.  

Gallery Wall, John Stermer Retrospective, WNMU Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art, Silver City NM 2021Go-To Crew.  

Rounding out the team were Katy Ritchie and Madrone Matishak (both of Albuquerque NM).  Katy and Madrone helped with preparing inventory, photographing artwork, designing story boards, creating postcards, screening mailing lists, and et cetera.  They willingly and cheerfully lent a hand where needed.

WNMU Cultural Affairs & Francis McCray Gallery.

As you can see, the tasks involved with preparing for the retrospective were extensive.  And, then, there was the entire interface with Western New Mexico University’s Cultural Affairs Department and the Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art.  Did I say how wonderful they were to work with?  It was a pleasure.

Stermer Family Members.

Yours truly, here, lent morale support.  OK, and I did some things like work social media and whatever I could from afar.  I live in Oregon.  Other members of the extended John Stermer family helped with contributing paintings, transporting paintings, hanging artwork, preparing for guests and the post-opening reception.

John Stermer Retrospective: WNMU Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art

It is no wonder that these kind of exhibitions can take a year or more to plan and prepare.  It is truly labor of love.

Friends & Supporters.

And, to all of you who have participated in our retrospective, our deepest gratitude!  By following our progress, attending the exhibition, and lending your support, you enabled us to achieve Dorothy’s vision.  

Thank you!

Margaret Stermer-Cox, Blog Writer.

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