The Winkler Compound and Studios

Continuing my posting from last Friday’s visit to the Winklers in Hillsboro.  I lost track of how many buildings they have on “their property” (and I use this term loosely thanks to the ever-shifting boundaries and titles in this part of the world….long story for Nolan to tell someday).  So Nolan, please chime in if I get any of this wrong.

There is a main house (in an upscale mobile home) that sits closest to the cliff.  It is connected and integrated with a multi-room, long gallery, through which you enter from the parking area under the shady elm.  (I’ll show gallery and art pictures in a separate post.)



To the left (west) are the other outbuildings.  There is an old adobe home that faces the street with a portico.  The landscape is full of found objects and Winkler’s creations.  You pass a wonderful, huge, round iron gong, that has a date of 1777 on it, but that seems suspiciously old.  under the portico are various sculpts and funky furniture, including a great commentary by Winkler’s son Todd, “Mandatory Heart Transplants for Racists.”





The adobe has been converted into studio space, guest quarters, and storage rooms.  Forgive the mess, as the Winklers are doing some renovations and painting.







Heading further west are more buildings, sheds, and sculpts.  There is a great tower, expanded and converted by the Winklers with decorative peak into a dove/bird/bat cote.  Winkler’s antenna commentary on the media often fools visitors into thinking it gets good cable in the wilderness.



Nearby is the Airstream trailer, mobile art/architecture, as another example of the Winklers giving New Mexico “trailer trash” a good name.



And yet more studios in another building, at a diagonal.  This is where Nolan has been doing her WBHD works of late.







Nolan is a great documentary subject….always animated, always natural, always lovely! (or is that her sister? mom?)

To the west of the property are their neighbors in a cluttered old adobe, that at various times in their crazy title chaos belonged to the Winklers, or not, or just partially?  You should see some of these old, handwritten title documents.  Classic Wild West!  Rules, what rules?



To the right (east) of the main house are the gardens, more old stone foundations of past inhabitants, and a wonderful, historic corral.  Nolan will have to tell that story again sometime, but the Winklers were able to acquire it from a ranch (station, to you Aussies) in the region and resurrect it on their property (most likely their property).  The signs, bocce balls, and horseshoe pits were from the creative Winkler minds.  Across the street are several crumbling old adobe homes, which could have been saved with minimal effort, alas.  


More Winkler sculpts complete the decorations, like the quartered-horse “Pedigree” for the pet food trade, and the peace symbol on the cliff-top.  Typical neo-conservative artist types!  Ha!





That must signal my sign off…. I’ll leave you in peace for a few days, then bore you with the artwork collection inside….such an uninteresting couple, I know.


9 thoughts on “The Winkler Compound and Studios

  1. Great insight…thanks Dave. Thanks Nolan and Winkler too!

  2. Wow, Dave…you’ve outdone yourself. And, at this time, it all belongs to us….but not the old adobe next door….we gave that back to the neighbors since it had been in their family for over 100 years (county assessor says it was ours….too long a story….we lost a bunch but paid to rebuy it, sigh. Got to love Sierra County assessor’s records, surveys that mean zip, title insurance that means zip….). The neighbors live in a mobile home and use the semi falling down adobe as storage, sigh. The old locals don’t much value the 1880s adobes. We love our old one.

    We put up our peace sign a month before the 2nd Iraq war began as a protest….and got 7 other Hillsboroites to do the same. Ours, was, of course, the largest and lit up. We’ve been meaning to take it down since the lights failed about 3 years ago….and there seems to be no thought of peace anywhere in the world these days. Sigh again.

    And I ask myself….why cannot you just keep your face in normal mode, Nolan?

  3. I think the peace sign belongs up there permanently :-]
    What a fantastic place you two are inhabiting, and adding to. Hopefully any Australian artists bumbling past in late October could drop in for a lemonade? Hint hint.

  4. More studio! Crowded but sweet. Like what I can make out on the wall.

  5. It’s looking pretty likely… would love to see the show while it’s still hanging, breathe the high desert air, do some sketching, see a bit of New Mexico, learn some things first hand from you guys, eat some chilli. All realistic goals hey :-]
    Nolan did you see the circular patterns I posted for you the other day (goanas)?

  6. That peace sign high up on the ridge, defiant, against the odds, good on it ! can still hear the chant .. ‘make love not war’ .. sue

  7. Susan, would you believe that years ago when we erected it, one neighbor complained that it was an inverted cross? Sigh. I explained, that though her son had been in the Viet Nam War, that this was only about PEACE for all and wouldn’t it have been better if her son had never had to go to war????? Sometimes, ya just cannot win. In the end, I looked up in a symbol book and found that, indeed, the peace sign as we know it, was once used as an inverted cross. See? Cannot win. haha. Taking down the sign means climbing up that hill with possible rattlers around. Probably won’t happen till next winter. =]

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