By Ryan Lengerich
Bernice Cosner’s passion for arts developed as much from necessity as it did from recreation.
“When you have a rancher for a hubby, you need a hobby,” she said.
Cosner was the featured artist for the Tucumcari Historical Museum’s presentation of Artist in the Annex for November. She displayed more than 20 paintings as well as bronze moldings, knittings, pottery and sewings at a banquet Thursday.
Cosner has had an interest in art all her life and honed her ability at various workshops throughout. She was the first art teacher at Tucumcari Area Vocational School, now Mesaland’s Community College, where she taught oil painting.
“That is where you really learn, when you try to teach and solve other people’s problems,” Cosner said.
Cosner won several awards for her work. Most recently her quilt won first place and a new sewing machine at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque. She also won an award at this year’s Quay County Fair. Her work has made the cover of the New Mexico Stockman Magazine and she has won “best of show” twice at the Creations Art Show.
Her painting of cactus called “Prickly Pair,” hangs at the national Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas. Cosner has no favorite work, but as she pointed to a recently painted picture of a horse laying down, said her sons Kent and Craig favor the painting.
“My boys love the little horse, if I can please them I’ve done something right,” she said.
Cosner’s and husband Brent have been married for 63 years. Brent said Cosner’s work fills their home so even with the art on display at the museum it is difficult to tell what’s missing.
“She has more china in our house than most stores have,” Brent said.
Brent’s favorite painting is “Good Morning,” which portrays nearly dead grass in the foreground with a dark and mysterious sky in the background.
Cosner, who said her style is “realism,” gets inspiration from all things in nature.
“You can’t force yourself to do good artwork.”