Heritage Hotels & Resorts Winter 19 Spring 20

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El Monte Sagrado Resort & Spa 855.846.8267 ElMonteSagrado.com Palacio de Marquesa 855.997.8230 MarquesaTaos.com

Pictured is Inn and Spa at Loretto in Santa Fe.


Hotel Chaco 855.997.8208 HotelChaco.com Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town 866.505.7829 HotelAbq.com

Eldorado Hotel & Spa 800.955.4455 EldoradoHotel.com Inn and Spa at Loretto 866.582.1646 HotelLoretto.com Hotel St. Francis 800.529.5700 HotelStFrancis.com Chimayo de2020 Santa Fe 855.752.9273 HotelChimayo.com 2 Hotel WINTER/SPRING



Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces 866.383.0443 HotelEncanto.com


WINTER/SPRING 2020 Published by Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc. 201 Third St. NW, Ste. 1140 Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102 Phone: 505-836-6700 contactus@hhandr.com hhandr.com


JIM LONG Heritage Hotels Publication Editor

MOLLY RYCKMAN Heritage Hotels Publication Art Director


Editorial, Production & Design by: e-squarededit.com Project Editor


Dear Guest: Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc., is continually looking for ways to make your visit to New Mexico more enjoyable. Currently, Heritage is overseeing the redevelopment of the Sawmill District in Albuquerque. Once home to a massive lumber business that operated in the early 1900s, the area holds great promise as one of the most unique urban districts in New Mexico. It’s rapidly becoming one of Albuquerque’s most vibrant, eclectic neighborhoods, featuring artist studios and mixed-use buildings that are home to burgeoning businesses, entrepreneurial thinking, and new attractions in Albuquerque. The newest addition is Sawmill Market, New Mexico’s first artisanal food hall. The 34,000-square-foot space will be filled with local, small eateries, farm-driven cafes, sit-down restaurants, and a taproom, to name a few of the many interesting tenants. It opens in February across the street from Hotel Chaco. Heritage Hotels & Resorts supports artists and musicians that underscore New Mexico’s unmatched culture. The New Mexico Artisan Market, held in Albuquerque in November and in Santa Fe in February, features the wares of the best local artisans crafting contemporary works. And this winter, Native American rock violinist Sage Cornelius brings his unique sounds to the San Ysidro de Capilla at Hotel Albuquerque. His vibrant music is unlike anything you have heard before. You can enjoy his performances every Friday and Sunday. On the culinary front, you’ll meet four of Heritage Hotels & Resorts groundbreaking chefs and mixologists. In Santa Fe under the direction of ex-

ecutive chef Gilbert Aragon, two young culinary masters are redefining AGAVE (Eldorado Hotel & Spa) and Luminaria’s (Inn and Spa at Loretto) approach to fresh, local, and tasty menus that will make your visit to these restaurants memorable. Meanwhile at Secreto, Evan Schultz creates magic mixes reflecting seasonal changes, current trends, and Schultz’s own artistry. Our teams are busy creating and supporting many cultural endeavors throughout New Mexico as well as working on exciting new offerings that will delight you in the future. None of this work would be possible without your visit to a Heritage Hotel. Thank you for your continued support of Heritage Hotels.

Bienvenidos/Welcome Jim Long Founder/CEO Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc. HHANDR.COM



Features 18

REAL WEDDING AT LORETTO A picture-perfect wedding comes to the


WEAVING HISTORY by Susannah Abbey


by Kelly Koepke of New Mexico’s Hispano folk music.

HOMEGROWN GIFTS by Ashley M. Biggers Artisan Market showcases New Mexico’s finest arts and crafts.

SINGING STRINGS by Megan Kamerick Sage Cornelius’ musical influences come from many corners.


MÚSICA BUENA Museum provides immersive celebration

present and future of an ancient art.


by Kelly Sanchez into Spanish Colonial devotional art.

One Navajo trading post honors the past,


THE SAINT MAKERS Contemporary santeros breathe new meaning

Inn and Spa at Loretto.





THE HEAT IS ON by Lynn Cline A trio of chefs spice up Santa Fe’s food scene.

6 Also in This Issue


4 HERITAGE CHAPELS Weddings in New Mexico get a beautiful backdrop in one of these venues.


8 MAKING MAGIC by Gayle Vance Mixologist Evan Schultz conjures standout drinks for Secreto Lounge at Hotel St. Francis.

12 STEP BY STEP by Ashley M. Biggers Heritage Inspirations walking tours take you off the beaten path.


by Ashley M. Biggers

Roxanne Swentzell captures human emotion in clay.

64 GATHERING PLACE Albuquerque’s Sawmill District becomes the city’s newest culinary destination.


71 ROMANCE IN NEW MEXICO by Kelly Koepke Discover great New Mexico dates.

76 CULTURALLY DISTINCT RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS Plan your next New Mexico trip—explore Heritage restaurants and hotels.





Heritage Chapels Stunning locations, meticulous planning, flawless execution


ERITAGE HOTELS & RESORTS, INC., has made it a point to be the standout company for New Mexico weddings. With each property representing the culture, heritage, and beauty of the state, it is no wonder that so many couples dream of getting married at a Heritage hotel. Highly experienced staff and dedicated event management ensure that any vision or request is met. Heritage Hotels and Resorts built a Southwestern-style chapel, San Isidro de Capilla, at Hotel Albuquerque. With three-foot-thick adobe walls, antique wooden chandeliers, hand-carved pews, and 19th century furnishings, it feels original to the area. With year-round sunshine, an outdoor ceremony and reception space seemed a natural addition to this property. Among the trumpet vine and fragrant wisteria, up to 300 guests can be seated under the outdoor pavilion. Additionally, this property offers an array of reception options—an outdoor garden for up to 350 guests, the grand ballroom with capacity for 800 guests, a smaller ballroom for 180 guests,

the Fireplace Room for up to 60 guests, and a detached 18th century adobe home for non-traditionalstyle receptions. The Eldorado Hotel & Spa has a stunning wedding chapel, La Capilla de Oro. A simplistic and modern space, it is ideal for ceremonies in Santa Fe. Impressive design elements include white tile flooring, modern white Kartell chairs, and a contrasting, hand-carved, gilded altar. The chapel seats up to 150 guests. Recessed candelabra shapes offer customizable LED lighting, while asymmetrical, deep-set windows allow natural light to illuminate the space. It is the first ceremony space in the state to offer live streaming for guests who are unable to attend. Reception spaces include the grand ballroom for up to 500 guests, the Presidential Suite and Patio for up to 200 guests, and two smaller, intimate ballrooms. Already a Santa Fe establishment, this hotel is known for its well-planned, expertly managed weddings. Located in Taos at the base of the Sangre de Cristo




THE PERFECT EVENT BEGINS WITH THE PERFECT LOCATION and Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc., has made sure there are plenty from which to choose.

Mountains, El Monte Sagrado blends rustic and sophisticated design. Located in the center of the property, the Sacred Circle hosts guests under a canopy of cottonwood trees. With a picturesque view of the mountains, the Taos Mountain Lawn is another exquisite place to exchange vows or host a reception. The Rio Grande Ballroom can accommodate up to 180 guests and has stunning crystal chandeliers, imported doors, and hand-carved columns. Adjacent is a sprawling terrace where guests can enjoy lush scenery by day and stars at night. A smaller ballroom can be set for up to 75 guests. The Gallery, overlooking the Sacred Circle, can hold up to 50 guests while the library and wine rooms offer intimate spaces to host gatherings. In Las Cruces, Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces oozes old-world charm and modern amenities. Ceremony space includes a fountain terrace overlooking the sparkling pool and a flower-filled garden. Two ballrooms and an outdoor garden setting can accommo-

date guest lists of varying sizes. With its soaring palm trees, resort-style pool, and manicured grounds, it is truly a desert oasis. The Heritage portfolio can cater to any size wedding and vision. In addition to the aforementioned properties, there are several boutique properties perfect for smaller ceremonies and receptions. Hotel St. Francis and Hotel ChimayĂł, both located in Santa Fe, are perfectly situated just off the plaza. Palacio de Marquesa, an eight-bedroom bed and breakfast in Taos, features beautiful dĂŠcor and curated artwork as an homage to great women artists of northern New Mexico. Hotel Chaco offers yet another spectacular wedding location. The grand patio and VIP Suite overlook Old Town and will allow guests to experience an unforgettable evening as the sun sets. The perfect event begins with the perfect location, and Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc., has made sure there are plenty from which to choose. HHANDR.COM


Making Magic Mixologist Evan Schultz conjures standout drinks at Secreto, Santa Fe’s renowned purveyor of garden-to-glass cocktails. By Gayle Vance | PHotography by Doug Merriam


DAZZLING DRINK LIST AND THE SCENT OF SAGE greet you at Secreto, the destination lounge inside Santa Fe’s Hotel St. Francis. No longer a secret if it ever was one, Secreto is where tourists and locals alike come to enjoy exciting craft cocktails. Their tastes vary widely—and that’s just fine with Evan Schultz, the innovator behind the bar.



Conceiving new twists on the classics comes naturally to Schultz. The seasoned mixologist has created more than 100 cocktail lists from scratch over the course of his career. Schultz’s creative itch drives him to find new ways to add flavor, texture, and depth to his cocktails. He loves tinkering with unusual ingredients to come up with pleasing new combinations. And as a devotee of Secreto’s garden-to-glass

tradition, he’s a stickler for using locally grown ingredients whenever possible. On the shelf behind the bar, you’ll find 25 different kinds of bitters, many prepared using local herbs and spices. They’re perfect for experimentation, says Schultz. He uses local lavender, sage, basil, piñon, mint, and other ingredients in season. There’s also olive oil infused with local products, such as red chile from nearby Chimayó.

Evan Schultz is a born innovator. He pairs homegrown ingredients with spirits from around the world.

The expert mixologist pairs these homegrown ingredients with exceptional spirits from around the world. He stocks the classics, of course—but also some lesser-known liqueurs and liquors. Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur is one of his favorites. Invented by 18th century German hunters to tempt bears out of their dens, Bärenjäger (“bear hunter” in German) quickly caught on with humans. The sweet, aromatic liqueur carries a mild kick and adds a lovely note to any cocktail, says Schultz. Amaro Nonino, an herbaceous Italian liqueur, is one of Schultz’s “secret killer ingredients.” It’s the bottle he reaches for when he wants to add layers of citrus and spice to a new creation. The grappa-based

Barrel-Aged Boulevardier: thyme infused bourbon, Amarino Nonino Carpano Antica, Campari, wood and thyme smoked glass.



Behind the bar at Secreto, you’ll find 25 different bitters, among many other unique ingredients.

liqueur adds a touch of bitterness, too, perfect for taking his cocktails to delicious new depths. “You’re seeing this wave of bigger, bolder, more complex drinks with several different layers of taste and texture,” he says. While it’s easy to get carried away with obscure ingredients and uncommon combinations, Schultz keeps his drinks approachable. His goal is to make sure you find something to enjoy on every visit. And if you’re unsure of what to try, help is always at hand. “People are curious about the craft process, so a lot of dialogue takes place,” he says. “We encourage questions because it brings our customers into the experience.” During cool weather, Schultz uses more 10


savory herbs to make his drinks extra-lush and full-bodied. Rosemary, parsley, thyme, and even green chile find their way into these deeply satisfying cocktails, creating the tastes we crave as the temperature dips. The mixologist is at work creating new drinks to debut in the spring. In fact, designing a craft cocktail menu is a three-month undertaking at Secreto. Each menu is carefully conceived to reflect not just seasonal changes, but also current trends and Schultz’s own artistry. “It’s an exacting process that can’t be rushed,” he says. The mixologist spends a week or more on garnishes alone, as they add to the allure of his thoughtfully composed cocktails. “A killer flavor profile isn’t enough,” he says. “The drinks also need to be beautiful.”

Not to mention Instagrammable: Schultz loves it when guests whip out their phones to share his creations on social media. When asked which of his cocktails gets photographed the most, he doesn’t hesitate: It’s the Smoked Sage Margarita, the drink that tourists tell other tourists about. A true Santa Fe staple, it’s listed on the city’s Margarita Trail map. And as the only drink that gets carried forward from menu to menu, you’ll find it at Secreto every time you visit. Schultz didn’t invent the Smoked Sage Margarita. It debuted more than a decade ago and has acquired a near-cult-like following since then. The super-aromatic drink starts with Espolòn Tequila Reposado, an award-winner known for its rich, roasted agave flavor and spicy finish. Patron Citronge, an orange liqueur, and fresh-pressed lime juice are added to give the drink its refreshing, citrusy notes. Culinary sage is the star of the show, however, and Schultz buys it locally whenever possible. Dried in-house, it gets ignited in a custom-made burner that sends the billowing smoke straight into a cocktail shaker. That shaker gets placed rim-to-rim with a second shaker containing the cocktail’s liquid ingredients. Then the shaking commences, fusing the smoke’s weighty, pleasant characteristics with the rest of the ingredients. The resulting smoky sensation adds depth and personality to this must-try margarita, says Schultz. At this point, the alchemy is nearly complete. The cocktail gets rimmed with smoked sea salt, then garnished with fresh sage and lime. At last, the drink you’ve been hearing about is ready. Sit back and relax—then sip, savor, and enjoy.




Art and History. Jewelry to sculpture. Folk art to fine craft. Paintings, prints, and photography. Experience the unique artistic juncture of cultures on exhibit at Albuquerque Museum.

The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited

November 23, 2019 – April 19, 2020 AN EXHIBITION ORGANIZED BY

Dreams Unreal: The Genesis of the Psychedelic Rock Poster January 11 – April 12, 2020

Trinity: Reflections on the Bomb May 23 – September 6, 2020

Albuquerque Museum 2000 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104 Located in the heart of Old Town • 505-243-7255 cabq.gov/museum

Art. History. People.

BELOW: Davison Packard Koenig introduces visitors to the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. BOTTOM: Painter Robert Alan Nichols in his studio



Visitors explore Santa Fe’s famous old streets.


Step by Step Heritage Inspirations walking tours By Ashley M. Biggers


INETEENTH CENTURY AMERICAN NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT Paul Scott Mowrer wrote, “There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.” Guests of Heritage Inspirations walking tours get an authentic feel of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos as they stroll historic and up-and-coming neighborhoods. On these tours, “historic and contemporary threads are creatively woven together to allow our guests an opportunity to familiarize themselves with each city,” says Angelisa Murray, co-owner of Heritage Inspirations. The tours journey beyond the typical visitor



attractions to discover each area’s soul. Because residents of each city are hired to guide the outings, guests also get a local’s perspective on history and current happenings. Taos Artisan Walking Tour + Chocolate highlights the town’s artist-colony beginnings and shows how that tradition lives on. Lesley Morgan leads the tours, which depart El Monte Sagrado Resort and weave in and out of narrow alleys between original adobe buildings. The tour passes the Couse-Sharp Historic Site, the former studio of Taos Society of Artists founding members E.I. Couse and Joseph H. Sharp, and ducks into the Old Taos County Court-

house to see WPA-era murals painted by Victor Higgins. Morgan says her personal favorite stops are those that introduce visitors to Taos’ contemporary artists, including Tres Estrellas Gallery, and the studio of landscape painter Richard Alan Nichols. The tour concludes with an artisanal finish: a visit to Chokola Bean to Bar, which makes organic, small-batch chocolates—as the name implies—from bean to final creation. Albuquerque’s art is a personal highlight for guide Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales, who leads Mezcla de Culturas, A walking tour of Albuquerque’s Sawmill District and Historic Old Town. “I love

RIGHT: Photographing historic architecture in Santa Fe. BELOW: Tasting samples at Chokola Bean to Bar



BOTTOM: The San Miguel Chapel, built in 1610, is the Unites States’ oldest church.

Heritage Inspirations Walking Tours Santa Fe Historic Architectural & Interiors Walking + Wine Tasting Tour is offered Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Mezcla de Culturas: A walking tour of Albuquerque’s Sawmill District & Historic Old Town is offered Fridays and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m.

Taos Artisan Walking Tour + Chocolate is offered Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Fridays from 2 to 5 p.m.

For more details and pricing, visit heritageinspirations.com AMANDA POWELL FOR HERITAGE INSPIRATIONS

walking through the sculpture garden at Albuquerque Museum,” Gonzales says. This tour celebrates the Duke City’s mix of cultures and its evolution. “This tour is a shared journey where guests get a glimpse into Albuquerque’s past and still living history,” Gonzales says. “Our guests begin the tour on what was once the farmland that supported the Villa de Alburquerque, and, as we move about, we explore hidden haci-

endas, [Old Town] plaza, two chapels, and move through more modern places such as the Albuquerque Museum, Spur Line Supply Co., and Hotel Chaco from which our guests get a bird’s-eye view of the neighborhoods we just explored.” The Sawmill District is one of the city’s historic, and now up-and-coming neighborhoods that travelers may miss if exploring on their own. In Santa Fe visitors leave the beaten path. “With this tour, we pride ourselves on showing our guests another side of Santa Fe,” says guide Noah Blessey. “We already know that people will be drawn to visit The Plaza, Palace of the Governors, Cathedral Basilica of

Saint Francis, and the staircase of Loretto Chapel. We’ve designed the tour to take our guests away from these areas.” The tour departs Hotel St. Francis to explore the Barrio de Analco District and San Miguel Chapel. It ventures over to Canyon Road to visit El Zaguán, the historic home and garden of merchant James L. Johnson. Blessey delves into Santa Fe’s signature architectural styles. The tour concludes with a glass of wine from New Mexico’s own Gruet winery. Overall, Blessey says tour guests “love the fact that they’ve been taken away from the plaza. It adds authenticity to their experience of the tour and their visit to Santa Fe and New Mexico.” HHANDR.COM



Roxanne Swentzell’s piece The Guardian sits above the reception desk in Hotel Chaco.

Human Expression Roxanne Swentzell captures emotion in clay. By Ashley M. Biggers



LEFT: Roxanne working on a piece called Full Plate, 2010



RIGHT: Sister Love, 2018, open edition


OXANNE SWENTZELL’S SCULPTURE The Guardian sits above the lobby reception desk at Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque. The wizened Native American figure is “about my ancestors. I’m the tool they’re using to bring forth a being to hopefully tell a message. … It’s asking us to be more conscious in our movements and take care of each other. It’s all infused in every pinch of that clay,” Swentzell says. These days the renowned Santa Clara Pueblo potter is an expert at capturing the spectrum of human emotion, but Swentzell started her journey trying to express her own. She grew up in a family of potters. When a childhood speech impediment made it difficult to communicate, Swentzell’s mother handed her a mound of clay. She formed her first figurines at age four which she used to talk with her mother. “Clay was my first language,” Swentzell says. “I learned at a young age how to manipulate clay so it would show exactly what I was feeling.

Technically, I know how to sculpt a face. But it’s more the intent you put into it that makes it feel the way it does.” Teachers recognized her talents early. Swentzell apprenticed with famous sculptor Michael Naranjo, also of Santa Clara Pueblo heritage, and even before graduating high school she spent two years studying at the prestigious Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She studied at the Portland Museum of Art school and made a name for herself creating figures that represent the full range of emotions and moods. Markets and museums have lauded her work. Swentzell earned the 2016 Spirit of the Heard Award, from the Phoenix’s Heard Museum, and the 2011 Native Treasures Living Treasure Award from Santa Fe’s Native Treasures show. The sculptor has won numerous category awards from Santa Fe Indian Market. In 2004, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian commissioned her


On My Mothers Shoulders, 2014, clay original

work. Swentzell’s sculptures telling the stories of the Tewa people are on exhibit at the Poeh Cultural Center and the center’s Tower Gallery, both outside Santa Fe. And at Hotel Chaco, several of her Chaco-style cylinders and a pot are also on display, Recently, she’s been working in both miniature and monumental scale. This year, Swentzell mounted a miniatures show to explore scenes with multiple figures in each. “Sculpture is a lot like jewelry. There’s some preciousness there. A lot of times people want bigger, brighter, and louder. But I wanted to show the exquisiteness of the small, quiet, and beautiful,” she says. Additionally, Swentzell’s been asked to work on larger pieces. The Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, whose reservation is near San Diego, California, commissioned her to create a piece honoring their tribal traditions and foods. She sculpted a larger-

than-life-size woman grinding acorns with her child next to her. “I wanted to show the relationship between her and the child to show how the knowledge we hand down is important,” she says. The woman, like many of her sculptures, has a natural figure. Swentzell calls attention to those “who aren’t the stereotypical beauty queens.” Swentzell carries researches, grows, and writes about traditional Native American foods. She’s the author of The Pueblo Food Experience Cookbook, which features recipes by and for the indigenous peoples of New Mexico. For this artist, food is just another medium and cooking just another part of her creative process. “I look at whatever I’m doing as art,” she says. “Whether I’m making a sculpture or I’m making dinner, there’s an art to it. There’s a creative force. You can do whatever you’re doing without care or [you can do it] with thought.”

Walk the Paths of Spanish Colonial Artisans & Craftsmen

Visit the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art today.

The Museum’s collection holds an impressive 3,700 objects that represent the artistic history and ongoing evolution of Hispano culture in New Mexico. Come experience a global destination and insightful exhibitions.

Winter Hours: Tuesday - Sunday (Closed Mondays) 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM 750 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 982-2226 www.spanishcolonial.org




Allison + Brian S A N TA FE Six months before Allie met Brian, he matched with Allie’s sister on a dating app. They exchanged numbers, but, as busy life goes, they never got together. Shortly after, Allie’s sister swiped right on her now husband. Happily taken but still on a hunt for Allie, she messaged Brian informing him that she had met a guy, but has a sister that she thinks is totally his type. That day Allie received a text from a strange number she didn’t recognize. A week later she was sitting across from Brian at a local cafe! The two quickly became inseparable and fell in love. In Fall of 2016, Allie, Brian, and their darling pup, Rhodes, packed up and left the city to explore Lake Minnewaska, one of their favorite getaways. Upon their arrival the couple found the most perfect spot on the lake for a family picture. After setting up the tripod and camera, Brian ran back to join Allie and Rhodes. Before the trip of the shutter, Brian told Allie to check out whatever was on Rhodes. Fidgeting with his collar she came across a new dog tag that read, “Will you marry my dad?” Completely shocked, she stood up to find Brian on one knee. Of course, she said, “Yes!”

Provided by Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine Photos by Tony Gambino



let’s be adventurous, darling Family ties brought Allie and Brian to Santa Fe, but it wasn’t long before they, too, fell in love with the capital’s historic architecture, unique culture, and desert mountain landscapes. Coming from their home in New York, the couple wanted to embark on an adventure with their loved ones to celebrate their new chapter as husband and wife.





a ceremony in the chapel “There are so many memories from our wedding day that I will cherish. However, our ceremony will always be the most special. My Poppy performed the ceremony in the Loretto Chapel. The overwhelming sense of love and belonging we felt was magical.�





to have & to hold As a wedding favor, each of Allie and Brian’s guests were gifted a handcrafted, Texas mesquite wood pen to write marriage advice on the inside of their place cards and, of course, to take home. Instead of having family and friends sign a traditional guest book, the newlyweds instructed people to take selfies while entering cocktail hour and place them in the place cards along with their personal advice. Allie and Brian saved each card from their day and put them in an album to treasure for years to come!







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WEAVING HISTORY A legendary trading post honors the past, present, and future of an ancient art. By Susannah Abbey


OADLENA SITS AT THE FAR WESTERN EDGE OF NEW MEXICO, on the Navajo Reservation border with Arizona. To get there from Interstate 40 you cross a sequence of landscapes: from the red sandstone bluffs of Gallup, through dry scrubland along New Mexico State Road 666/491. Turn off the highway and ascend through open range where horses nibble sparse grass, past the Mormon church, the Navajo Fish Hatchery (public welcome) to the lush shade of a cottonwood grove. A spring trickles from the base of the Chuska Mountains and flows through the Tó’Háálí Community School grounds. Here the historic Toadlena Trading Post and Weaving Museum, one of the last remaining posts on the reservation, sells handmade textiles to dealers and individual buyers from all over the world. Fifteen miles northeast, Bennet Peak and Ford Butte rise from the valley floor. These are the two grey hills for which the regional weaving style was named, in a region with a tradition of producing the highest quality Navajo textiles in the land. The trading post guards that tradition. In 1909, the same year that the Bureau of Indian Affairs opened a boarding school at Toadlena, brothers Merit and Bob Smith built a one-room adobe trading post across the road. A few years later the brothers sold the lease to George Bloomfield, who

more than doubled the size of the building and clad the adobe walls in quarry stone. It changed hands a few more times before finally ending up, in the late 1950s, under the management of R.B. Foutz, who also ran a store in Shiprock. In 1997, Foutz talked Mark Winter into taking over the business, which was not a hard sell. Foutz had given up on Toadlena—it had been closed almost a year when Winter fell in love with the place and took over the lease (the post itself is owned by the Navajo Nation—the traders are simply leaseholders). Winter subsidizes post operations through antique rug sales. “We never intended to make money...[but] to support the weaving tradition,” says Winter. “We support between 150 and 175 weavers within 12 miles. ... Our local region [is] still the most active weaving community left on the reservation and a lot of that is because of our efforts.” Mark Winter has always been a collector. Growing up in San Bernardino, California, he collected bugs, stamps, comic books, slot cars. Later it was Native American jewelry, bought at pawn shops and shows across the southwest and sold to wealthy musicians and actors in Los Angeles. One day a stranger offered him seven antique blankets. One, Winter recalls, was “a beautiful storm pattern.” The encounter, like any fairytale meeting with a magical stranger, changed his life. He began buying and selling

OPPOSITE: A rug by master weaver Daisy Taugelchee, ca. 1948, 43”x70”



SHEEP AND COLOR Navajo country is sheep country, and about 6000 roam the desert plains north of Gallup today. It hasn’t always been this way. The Spanish conquistadors introduced the Churro, famed for its hardiness, long fibers, and soft fleece, to the Southwest some 400 years ago. But in the 1930s sheep all but disappeared from this area during a government mandated slaughter to reduce overgrazing in the arid desert landscape. Today, there has been a concerted effort by the Navajo and others to bring sheep, and the sustenance they provide, back to Navajo land. On the large flagstone patio behind the trading post, where Winter and his wife, Linda, hold demonstrations and museum openings, weavers Irene Bennalley and Victoria John are busy restoring and mounting antique rugs for an upcoming show in Santa Fe. Bennalley is the Regional Shepherd Coordinator and Navajo Churro Sheep Association board member. She keeps a large flock which she selectively breeds for the colors of their wool. Indeed, one of the main distinctions between the Two Grey 30


Hills weavings and others is the use of undyed wool. “Right now, I’m focused on nonfading black and brown,” Bennalley says. She explains that sheep’s wool lightens over time. “You’ve got to go to different breeders but you can’t really know until they age for two years. If they stay the same as their birth color you keep that ram. ... I keep the best ewes and get rid of the rest.” Bennally is skeptical of the legendary Churro sheep. “What I was told when I first got into the Churro sheep—‘oh they’ve got a lot of sheen, they’ve got softness and luster.’ After working with them for a few seasons, I went ‘where the hell is the luster?’ When I was shearing my hands got cracked and dry.” Bennally prefers Navajo sheep, a hybrid of Merino, Churro, and Rambouillet. Recently some sheep breeders have attempted to bring back the Churros, but Winter maintains that the breeding program hasn’t resulted in the soft wool of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which he attributes to “a magical moment in time.” The Two Grey Hills style developed in the early twentieth century when traders convinced weavers to adopt Persian-type designs in keeping with Victorian tastes. The style features a central diamond pattern on a Grey background with a black border. Unlike those in other regions, weavers here eschew reds, preferring the natural black, white, grey, and brown hues of the sheep themselves. They card shades together to create sub-tones and because they spin the wool as fine as thread, their work tends to be tight and crisp. The number of wefts, or horizontal threads, is another distinguishing feature of Two Grey Hills. Where typical rugs average 30 wefts per inch, Two Grey Hills average 45. During her life the celebrated twentieth century weaver Daisy Taugelchee made tapestries of 115 wefts per inch. TOADLENA TRADING POST

blankets and rugs and continues to do so today. Winter soon developed an interest in the people behind the art. The traders of the ninteenth and early twentieth centuries didn’t see the need to give the weavers credit for their weavings; it simply wasn’t important for marketing purposes. Winter was curious about the artists: He began taking antique rugs to the reservation in the hopes of collecting background information about them. He brought one rug to renowned weaver Clara Sherman who was able to produce a photo of herself standing next to that very rug. Winter knew this was an important revelation; it would establish clear connections between the weavers and their work and help him identify the early and mid-century rugs he had. He began asking for and taking photographs. It was “a way for the weavers to reflect on their works,” he recalls. “They would scan a rug with their eyes and sometimes remember doing a specific thing in the weaving Toadlena Trading Post in winter and associate it with a time in their lives.” Many of the weavers of those antiques were gone, but Winter interviewed everyone he could, finding out who was related to whom, who wove and who didn’t, and how the clans and families fit together. The result was a massive genealogy project that went into his 2011 book “The Master Weavers.”

MAINTAINING TRADITION In the museum, Winter points out different rugs: “That’s Mrs. Police Boy,” he says. “She was born in Bosque Redondo in 1865 and lived 100 years.” We move to the next one. “And this is her daughter, Police Girl.” He points to a large, old rug. Propped at its base is a faded photograph of a young woman standing by her hogan with that same rug hanging behind her. “This was the very first rug whose weaver I was able to identify,” he says.


Helena Taugelchee Nez Begay (half sister of Daisy Taugelchee) at the loom.

The museum’s exhibitions rotate every two years. This current show focuses on the storm pattern design (which is associated with the western part of the Navajo reservation). It features antique rugs from the 1910s to the 1940s complemented by explanatory texts, photographs, pottery, and farming and ranching equipment of that era. The show will remain up until May 2020. Linda Larouche was working in New York City’s garment industry and had started to collect East Coast Native American arts.

She had heard about the art shows in New Mexico and in 2003 decided to see one for herself. She never went back to New York. At first, she helped Winter with antique sales in Santa Fe. Then she began accompanying him to Toadlena to help in the store. “When I came out, I said ‘oh my God, I love this place and I want to be here.’” In 2011 Linda and Mark married at the trading post, attended by “a thousand” friends, family, and members of the Two Grey Hills community. HHANDR.COM


“People ask me if I’m bored out here. I’m never bored because it’s so busy.” Linda describes a typical day—some people coming in to sell rugs, others to buy groceries (the store offers a selection of nonperishable foods, soft drinks, and cigarettes), sightseers and, of course, rug buyers. “If a couple walks through the door thinking they’re going to look at a few blankets and leave, three hours later their plans have changed.” They receive visitors from the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, other weaving groups, and once—possibly because collectors like collections—a Model A car club. People come to admire the rugs, farming equipment, and other antiques that fill the store. Toadlena used to be on the mystery writer Tony Hillerman tourist map; two of Hillerman’s fictional characters, detectives Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, live 32


in Toadlena and Two Grey Hills. Although the map is no longer published, Hillerman fans still drop by to look around. Thelma Brown wasn’t raised on the reservation—her family had relocated from the Two Grey Hills area to Uravan, Colorado, a now-abandoned uranium mining town where her father worked and where children would get a good education. But in 1984, after the uranium industry failed, the family returned to Toadlena. Brown says that was when she wove her first rug. “My mom said, ‘you’re gonna weave’ and set up a rug for me. Most people start out with small rugs. My mom set up one that was 44x66 inches. It was a big rug. “I used to think it was corny when the weavers would say [of their designs] ‘oh, it’s all in my head.’ I used to draw them out, I admit it.” She’s since learned to do the same. “I would walk back


The Weaving Museum’s current exhibition, Eye on the Storm, presents Storm Pattern rugs from 1910 and 1940, accompanied by photos, ranching equipment, and arts and crafts of that era. The show will remain up until May 2020.

and forth in front of [the loom] and pretty soon I started saying ‘I know what I’m going to do’ ... things started falling into place.” “Thelma comes from a great weaving family. Her great aunt was Clara Sherman, and her grandmother was Clara Sherman’s older sister,” says Winter. “It’s really magical that what Thelma’s great-great-grandmother did I’ll sell and it’ll help support Thelma and her daughter.” “And her daughter Jamie, who’s seven, is starting to weave. She can card wool,” Linda says. “It’s pretty typical if they’re going to learn they start around seven or eight,” says Brown. “My daughter keeps seeing spiders— when she says ‘mommy, there’s a spider’ I say ‘they’re trying to tell you to weave.’” She’s referring to the Navajo deity, Spider Woman, who, in mythical stories, teaches weaving and agricultural practices to the people. Jamie now does carding demonstrations at the store like her mother and grandmother. Brown enjoys working at the trading post, learning more about rug designs and being at the center of what has become a de facto community center. Locals come in to buy a soda or a bag of chips, stay to chat and pretty soon Brown knows who is looking for whom and where they can be found, about who has seen a bear and where (black bears are active in the Chuskas), and other important news, including reports of “bigfoot sightings.”

GIVING BACK In 22 years, the Winters have bought and sold about 7800 rugs. Recently Jim Long, CEO of Heritage Hotels and Resorts, commissioned 130 of them for Hotel Chaco guestrooms. In addition to supporting the artists, Winter found he had more to offer. It began during the recent drought when a master weaver in her 90s brought in a rug. Winter describes her standing silently in a corner, waiting for him to finish what he was doing. “She finally asked me ‘are you going to buy my rug?’ and I said ‘yes, I just need to finish up here’ and she looked relieved and said ‘oh good, now we can eat.’” She explained that all their money was going to feed the sheep. The family hadn’t been able to afford food for a couple of days. That was the start of Blessingway, a nonprofit organization that helps the community of Two Grey Hills. Blessingway takes donations from people all over the country to pay for necessities from sheep feed to school supplies. It might be one of the Winters’ enduring legacies. “When this post closes this whole era is gone,” Mark says. From hundreds of trading posts in the early twentieth century, only a dozen or so remain. “We have no plans to retire,” Linda says. “We’re here as long as they’ll have us.”


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HOMEGROWN GIFTS Artisan Market showcases New Mexico’s finest arts and crafts. By Ashley M. Biggers

Jessi Lloyd’s Grey Collective hats are handcrafted using traditional techniques.


HEN IT COMES TO MARKETS, New Mexico has an embarrassment of riches. The Santa Fe Indian Market, the Traditional Spanish Market, and the International Folk Art Market earn international headlines—and attract artisans from far-flung locales. One market, however, is achieving acclaim with homegrown talent. The New Mexico Artisan



Market exclusively features fine artists and artisans from the Land of Enchantment. This market also takes buying local one step further; it aims to bolster New Mexico’s creative economy. In 2018—its inaugural year—the market featured 115 artists of every style. Across the Hotel Albuquerque Ballroom, booths displayed clothing by Native American designers, hand-woven rugs, craft chocolate, fine-art paintings, and other creations. For the 2019/2020 season, market organizers are mounting two

Fire and Ice is one of many collaborative creations by Nyeari Jewelry.


events: a Thanksgiving weekend market (November 29–December 1) at Hotel Albuquerque, in Albuquerque; and a Valentine’s Day weekend market (February 15–17, 2020) at the Santa Fe Convention Center. The New Mexico Multi-Cultural Foundation, a nonprofit that supports art and cultural projects across the state, launched the market in collaboration with Heritage Hotels & Resorts. Chris O’Donnell serves as creative director. Before the 2018 event, O’Donnell market-hopped across the state from March to August, inviting top artists to apply. Jurors selected around half of the 250 applicants on the quality, authenticity, mastery of trade skills, originality, design, marketability, and planned booth display. “Ultimately, if you shine really well, the market makes you shine brighter,” O’Donnell says. The initial market was a resounding success in its first year. More than 7,000 turned up to shop and the market artisans sold some $700,000 in merchandise. From the start, the foundation and O’Donnell envisioned partnerships that would last far beyond a single weekend. “If artists are willing to invest in a booth, our promise is to be a more conscious and engaged partner,” O’Donnell says. In this case, that meant highlighting the artisans in marketing efforts, including everything from social media posts to appearances on local TV morning shows. Making the artists local celebrities helps them extend their product reach throughout the year.

BELOW: an illustration on wood by Jeffrey Schweitzer of Bindlestick Studio.

O’Donnell also invited buyers from galleries and boutiques from across the state to preview the works ahead of the public to foster ongoing working relationships. Word got out. This year, representatives from New York and California merchants have expressed interest in attending the buyer’s event. The market has also developed a partnership with local jewelry store Lilly Barrack, which will host the top ten jewelry designers from the market for pop up shops throughout the year. Dakkya Gallery purchases regularly from market artists. O’Donnell is also at work on similar partnerships with Santa Fe boutiques. HHANDR.COM


ALSO NOTED BINDLESTICK STUDIO Santa Fe artist Jeffrey Schweitzer is a graduate of both Columbia College Chicago and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been exhibited across the country and in China. He creates fantastical scenes in sculpture and shadow boxes using paper, wood, ink, and ballpoint pen. He also writes limited edition, hardcover picture books, including “Home,” “Countless Hours,” “The Mundane Ghost,” “The Eccentric Gentlemen,” “Into the Moonlight,” and “Tales of Wizardly Whimsy.”

NYEARI BY SHEKO & SARKIS Jewelers Sheko and Sarkis were drawn together through a mutual admiration of timeless artifacts and a passion for the unconventional. Their work is born from a collective endeavor where each unique piece is designed and handcrafted by both artists.

CHELSY SPICER Based in Las Cruces, Chelsy Spicer uses an unusual canvas for her art: the cow skull. “I truly believe in celebrating the strength and beauty of these bones, giving them a new light to shine in, in an artistic tribute to their life after death,” she says. She also paints her geometric designs on other types of skulls, including impala and buffalo.

MICHAEL TOYA A self-taught fine artist, Michael Toya works in a variety of mediums, including acrylic on canvas and freehand mat cut designs. Regardless of the medium, he infuses each piece with culturally interpreted designs and spiritual symbolism from his Jemez Pueblo background.


To meet other artists and artisans, visit nmartisanmarket.com.


This year, jurors welcomed 155 artists to the New Mexico Artisan Market. The twelve top scorers were selected as featured artists for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 events. Milliner Jessi Lloyd, with her business Grey Collective hats, is among the featured artists this year. Lloyd fashions one-of-a-kind, heirloom quality hats. She has ready-to-wear ranchers and bowlers, some outfitted with hand-beaded bands or turkey feathers, and she takes custom orders. Lloyd’s business also has a personal mission. She felted her first hat to solve a very real problem: to cover her husband Tristan’s scar after surgery to remove a brain tumor. Although her first hat “looked like a five-year-old made it,” it inspired the longtime seamstress to keep creating. Making hats has become both an escape—Tristan has since undergone treatment for a second tumor—and a calling. The business name reflects her own (Lloyd is a Welsh word meaning “grey”) as well as the color for brain cancer awareness. She devotes twenty percent of her revenues to the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, in Seattle, Washington, where her husband received surgery. The market has positively impacted her business. “Since participating in last year’s market, my out-of-state sales have doubled. I can’t even count the number of out-of-staters who have told me they found my business through the NMAM’s website,” she says. “The promotional opportunities have been game changing for a small business like mine.” Kei & Molly Textiles is also another featured artist. “The New Mexico Artisan Market showcases a large group of carefully selected, purely New Mexico artists. It gave us a sense of pride to be included in this group and to be representing New Mexico in this way,” say founders Kei Tsuzuki and Molly Luethi. Kei & Molly screen print dish towels, napkins, tote bags, and greeting cards with bright, wood-block prints inspired by New Mexico scenes. Tsuzuki and Luethi are also social entrepreneurs. They combined their thirty years of working in women’s economic development and education to create a business that “could be sustainable while doing good.” Kei & Molly Textiles trains and employs immigrants and refugees from around the world. At Kei & Molly Textiles, these women find secure, well-paying jobs, as well as support for education and personal development endeavors. “You can feel good about buying their products not just because the business was founded by two, amazingly talented local women, but also because the products give back,” O’Donnell says. Kei & Molly Textiles is also environmentally conscious in its use of dyes and fabrics. Michael Toya’s ink-and-watercolor paintings are inspired by the natural beauty of New Mexico.


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Wild Warrior, painted cow skull by Chelsy Spicer

Tucker Woodshop, a wooden children’s toy company, is also environmentally aware. The company uses mostly recycled or reclaimed scrap wood. Its motto is “no paint, no plastic, no batteries.” It uses only natural beeswax or mineral oil to seal the products, making them safe for their clientele (aka kids). Edmund Tucker is the founder and chief maker of Tucker Woodshop. Although he discovered his passion for woodworking at age ten, he spent much of his career in state government in Illinois. When he and his wife moved to New Mexico three years ago, he took the opportunity to pursue his dream of woodworking for a living. He creates wooden building-block sets, double-sided puzzles, magic wands, wooden dolls, teether toys, and dragon mobiles. With three kids in the family, the Tucker Workshop toys are well tested before they’re sold to customers. “The quality of the vendors was top notch,” Tucker says of the New Mexico Artisan Market. “People came expecting to buy high end art products, and that’s what they did.” Tucker hopes the markets become so successful that he’s able to do the New Mexico Artisan Market exclusively and spend the rest of the year building stock and playing with his kids. With the addition of the Santa Fe market, he’s on his way to doing that.

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit nmartisanmarket.com For inquiries on how to apply or sponsor contact: Chris O’Donnell at info@nmartisanmarket.com Santa Fe Market February 15–17, 2020 38


To add the Santa Fe event, O’Donnell applied for and received a grant from Tourism Santa Fe, which is funded by Lodgers’ Taxes. The grant program aims to add new, multi-year events to downtown Santa Fe to provide attractions outside the typical tourist season. Although it will be in a new city, the market has the same mission. O’Donnell says, “People understand the importance of shopping local, and the value of that. Seeing market goers celebrate that has been great.”

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS The New Mexico Artisan Market also helps grow the state’s creative economy beyond its booths. Ticket holders receive discounts up to twenty percent at businesses near Hotel Albuquerque, including Ponderosa Brewing, Garduño’s Restaurant, and Spur Line Supply Co.





Sage Cornelius’ musical influences come from many corners. By Megan Kamerick


WHEN SAGE HASKELCHI’I CORNELIUS HEARD “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” it changed his life. He was eight years old, riding in his grandfather’s 1987 Chevy El Camino near Topeka, Kansas, where he grew up. “I really liked it because it has one aspect of the very dark side of this instrument,” Cornelius told local radio station KUNM in an October interview. “And then Johnny comes along and plays his solo and it’s like this righteous life, this gargantuan positive energy to counter that. And ever since then it was just like ‘Wow this is a very dynamic instrument.’ So that’s ultimately what drew me to it and made me want to learn it.” He convinced his parents to let him play violin and he joined the school orchestra. He spent hours sitting on the floor in his grandfather’s kitchen practicing that Charlie Daniels Band tune. Music already felt familiar, Cornelius says, especially because his great-grandfather was a self-taught fiddle player. He felt that knowledge reached him somehow, even though his greatgrandfather died before he was born. “When it came to music, I already knew how it worked. There was already some knowledge there,” he says. “That was weird for me because it’s never really been like that for anything else so maybe some of those genes passed down.”





Being in orchestra also gave him structure and discipline.“That was very crucial to my growth as a musician,” he says. Watching Cornelius perform it is clear he has absorbed all kinds of influences and techniques. He loves blending the aggressive side of metal with soulfulness, and it shows when he’s onstage. Cornelius tugs the rubber band out of his pony tail and whips his long black hair around as he throws his head and arches his back or stomps forward, sometimes with a recording of a driving metal beat underneath. His face contorts, evoking guitarists jamming in rock bands with gigantic speakers in a stadium with 50,000 people. “I’m a fiddle player trying to be a lead guitar player. That’s what I’ve always loved—the sound of that wailing guitar,” he says.

him how to wear his Native American pride carefully. “It wasn’t so much outward because if it was outward I’d get made fun of relentlessly,” he said. “But deep inside, I knew who I was and how proud I was.” He and his family went to powwows and ceremonies regularly where he danced and sang around the drum. “That was the time to be Native,” he says. “Like many Natives today, it’s keeping the integrity of the old while adapting to the new world. That’s been the Native culture since settlers came, just trying to adapt.” That background also gave him a sense of spirituality in his music, Cornelius says. “When I play my music I try to reflect a celebratory feel,” he says. “When someone hears me play I hope they hear gratitude: gratitude I can play today, gratiI’m a fiddle player trying to be a lead tude I can pull my violin out.” guitar player. That’s what I’ve always That goes for all his loved—the sound of that wailing guitar. performances, whether he’s street busking, which he still does SAGE CORNELIUS regularly, or playing at a giant metal fest in Germany, which he has As Cornelius, 28, grew up he became enamored of Irish also done several times. fiddle music and the feel of scenes such as the band playing “I want that energy to fuel what I’m doing because then “Drowsy Maggie,” a classic Irish reel, down in steerage in the it’s the most authentic and most honest. It’s not like a rockstar movie “Titanic.” He also listened to Reverend Horton Heat energy,” he says. “It’s mostly just like ‘I’m here and this is me.’” and 80s rockers like Van Halen. Then along came metal When he started college, Cornelius moved away from around age 14. music for a while. When he started at the University of Kan“My dad got the ‘Ride the Lightning’ album by Metallica and sas, he considered getting a performance degree, but his faI heard ‘Fight Fire with Fire’ for the first time and it unlocked ther pushed him to do something more practical. All study the next era of my life,” he says. and no music did not sit well, however. “There was a point He grew his hair out, wore black, and went to metal shows in college where I was drinking hardcore, smoking a lot of throughout high school. He’s still a big fan of Pantera and honky weed, and I was trying to find a girl at a party that I would tonk band Hank 3. His uncle introduced him to so called “celt- never meet—that whole story—and I had this dream,” he ic punk”-—bands like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys says. He dreamt he met himself at age eight in an orchard who have a tinge of Irish behind their punk lyrics and riffs. where he and his grandfather used to pick apples. He re“I saw Flogging Molly when I was 17 years old and I was members euphoria and being engulfed in warmth. A voice like ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,’” he says. he credits as his muse spoke. Cornelius was born in Hawaii where his parents met, but “He basically just said ‘You know you doubt yourself a when he was six months old they moved back to his father’s lot, but you shouldn’t be sorry for that. Your dreams can still home state of Kansas. His father is Oneida, Potawatomi and happen, but you have to start right now.’” Then he saw his Kickapoo. His mother is Navajo from Shiprock, New Mexi- drinking buddies in a dark alley in the future, much older. co. Growing up in a predominantly white community taught “And they were still drinking and that was all they had





to show for their lives,” he says. “I woke up and it was like a switch.” He focused on finishing college and graduating with a business degree from Washburn University, where he had transferred, but he also started practicing his violin for four hours each day. After college he threw himself into different bands, playing bluegrass, mariachi music, country, and metal and playing with MCs. “My goal was to be well-rounded enough to jump onstage with anyone and be ready,” he says. Six years ago he was in a music store in Topeka when a woman brought in a violin her father had brought with him years ago from Europe, but no one in the family was playing anymore so she wanted to sell it. “So I strung it up and it was kind of beaten up and a little bit broken,” he says. “But I pulled a bow across the strings and it sang. There was a spark, it was like it was still alive.” He didn’t buy it on the spot, but dreamed about it. In one dream, he was playing it on stage at a big coliseum. He went back to the store and bought it. Shortly after he also began apprenticing with J.J. Hanson at Beautiful Music, a violin sales and repair shop in Lawrence, Kansas, learning how to repair instruments. Hanson helped him repair the violin. He almost lost it once when he was robbed at gunpoint by six kids in Kansas City. They took everything else. “Probably because they heard how desperate I was in my voice when I said ‘No, man, you’re not taking that,’” he recalls. “It could have been way worse. I think I chilled out after that too. I was like ‘Oh wow, everything’s not in my control. I’ve gotta accept this.’” Cornelius has gone on to play a range of venues, from street corners to bars to huge music festivals in Europe. He toured for more than two years with blues, folk, and soul musician Shawn James and recorded the album Live from the Heartbreak House with him. But he wanted to be more connected to the Native music scene, so he came to New Mexico, where he also has family members. “Albuquerque is like a diamond in the rough that’s very undiscovered,” he says. “There’s so much diverse talent within the Native scene.” He says that includes painters, sculptors, muralists, and musicians. He has spent the past year going to various shows and playing with musicians to make more connections. He also did a set at the Gathering of Nations, the



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largest powwow in North America, which takes place in Albuquerque annually the fourth weekend of April. The Gathering brought him much wider attention among Native audiences. He plans to release an EP soon called “The Chaos” and says it will lean toward cinematic and electronic music. He’s a huge fan of film composers Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”) and Tyler Bates (“Atomic Blond,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”). Cornelius plans to keep busy in addition to his regular shows at Hotel Albuquerque. Music has given him a strong identity, Cornelius writes on his Facebook page, and he loves sharing that with his audiences. “Ultimately I want to give someone that soul power so they can have a little bit more hope in themselves, you know? So it’s like maybe one of those things that they take for granted they’ll have real appreciation and say ‘Oh wow I have this and isn’t going to last forever,’” he says. His personal motto is “Nothing lasts forever.” “It’s kind of depressing but we have a choice to look at life as half-empty or half-full,” he says. “I take comfort in knowing when there are hard times, it’s just the rule of the universe. You won’t be stuck forever and therefore it helps you see light at the end of the tunnel and you can take more steps toward that.”


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San Ysidro by Gustavo Victor Goler

The Saint Makers Contemporary santeros breathe new meaning into Spanish Colonial devotional art.


EFORE WINTER ARRIVES, Vincent Campos sets out in search of minerals and plants to create pigments for his painted retablo panels. Traversing central and northern New Mexico, he gathers yellow ochre from Los Lunas, red rock from Abiquiú, tierra verde from Santa Ana Pueblo. Back in his studio, he crushes each material with a mortar and pestle before passing it through a silk screen to ensure that the color will spread evenly. He’ll mix gesso from rabbit skin glue and gypsum to prime his pine boards before painting them, and he finishes them with varnish made with piñon sap pearls gathered in Tres Piedras, near Taos.



Campos may give his religious images a contemporary twist—rendering San Juan Nepomuceno, the patron saint of confessors, with a bandana around his mouth and a stocking cap, or reimagining the Santo Niño de Atocha, the Christ Child, as a sneaker-clad youth holding a loaf of Wonder Bread and a Starbucks cup—but using the methods and materials of the saint makers of the past grounds the pieces in tradition. The practice of creating santos—depictions of Catholic saints and religious figures that include two-dimensional panels called retablos and three-dimensional sculptures called bultos—has been handed down through the generations in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. In the beginning, the piec-


By Kelly Vencill Sanchez

Vincent Campos holding La Llorona






Hotel Chimayó’s lobby altar is dedicated to Santiago— St. James —the patron saint of Chimayó.


Nuestra Senora del los Delores by Nicholás Otero

Virgin Maria by Nicholás Otero

es were tangible expressions of faith that adorned churches and chapels and made their way into the homes of believers. The past several decades have seen the rise of contemporary santeros and santeras whose devotional objects have become highly sought-after—purchased at the annual Traditional Spanish Market in Santa Fe and the Winter Spanish Market in Albuquerque; prized by private collectors; and part of the permanent collections of institutions like the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos and the Albuquerque Museum. Taos-based santero and restorer Gustavo Victor Goler says these pieces represent a unique art form. “Prior to the coming of the railroad, they were made out of necessity and because there was a personal connection to the saints. They weren’t considered art. They were part of daily life, veneration, and worship. It’s something you don’t find anywhere else in the United States. In California you have the missions, but you don’t find a cohesive group that continues to maintain the tradition for as long as it’s been going on in New Mexico.”

can friars. The first Spanish missions followed, adorned with religious artworks brought from Spain and Mexico City. After the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, the Spanish were driven back to Mexico and most Catholic religious artifacts were destroyed, along with 25 churches in New Mexico alone. When the Spanish returned in 1692, new churches were built, and Franciscan missionaries and an increasing number of artisans began creating devotional images using native woods like Ponderosa pine and cottonwood. As a result, the region’s sacred art took on a distinctly New Mexican flavor. “The people who left Spain brought whatever they knew to be art with them,” says Alicia Romero, curator of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and Chicano/a History at the New Mexico History Museum and the Palace of the Governors. “As they came into contact with indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, that shaped how they viewed or wanted to express their spiritual imagery. We shared some things with Mexico but developed other things that were different. We had to rely on our own ingenuity because we were a Colonial outpost for such a long time.” By the time Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1821, a steady stream of santos were being produced for the meeting houses, or moradas, of the Hermanos Penitentes, a Catholic lay brotherhood that kept faith alive in isolated villages rarely visited by parish priests. A number of these santos remain today.

BIRTH OF AN ART FORM When Juan de Oñate made his way north from Mexico to establish a colonial settlement north of Santa Fe in 1598, he was joined by several hundred settlers and nearly a dozen Francis-



Santa Barbara by Gustavo Victor Goler



The period from about 1750 to 1850 is considered the Golden Age of saint-making. From 1795 until 1809, altar screens, retablos, hide paintings, and bultos by a sculptor dubbed “the Laguna Santero” began appearing in New Mexican missions. It’s believed that these works were produced by a taller, or workshop, of painters, artisans, and woodworkers. Others followed, such as Pedro Antonio Fresquís (active from 1780 to about 1831), who is believed to be the first New Mexico-born santero, and a sculptor known only as Molleno (active from 1800 to about 1830). Santa Fe-born José Rafael Aragón (active from about 1820 to 1862) has been described as the most skilled santero of his time. He too was believed to have been part of an atelier of artisans and craftsmen. “We used to think one individual did all the work, but that would have been impossible,” says Goler, who specializes in restoring santos dating from the late 1700s to the 1920s. “You’d need a blacksmith to make the tools, someone to cut the wood by hand, someone who could distill grain alcohol so you could turn tree sap into varnish, someone to collect minerals and flowers to make colors.” When the Santa Fe Trail opened in 1821, tin became readily available along with inexpensive glass, woodcuts, and lithographs. The arrival of the first passenger train in New Mexico in 1879 presaged the coming of the tourist boom—and in turn, the marketing of New Mexico as an attractive destination for travelers. But while the railway introduced innovations like house paint, it also ushered in mass-produced religious goods, which led to a decreased demand for handicrafts. The santero tradition nearly died out. In the early 20th century, proponents of traditional Spanish Colonial art founded the Society for the Revival of Spanish Art in 1913, and later the Society for the Restoration and Preservation of Spanish Mission Churches of New Mexico. The first Spanish Market—today the oldest and largest juried Spanish market in the U.S.—was held in 1926. The santero tradition declined during the Depression, though the government-funded WPA Artists’ Project put a number of artists to work. After another low point, a “second revival” occurred, and the Spanish Market was reestablished as an annual event in 1965.

of American art. “A lot of my colleagues dismiss Nuévomexicano Hispano art because it’s not overtly Chicano, or Mexican-American, or Puerto Rican or Nuyorican or Tejano and because of the traditional materials used,” she says. “An artist from an artistic family who works in the tradition for generations is just as valid as somebody who went to fine-arts school. There are different ways of learning, but we should have some parity in how we look at them.” Campos was eight when a cousin, noted santero Nicolás Herrera, held a children’s workshop on retablo-making. Campos was hooked. He began helping out in Herrera’s El Rito, New Mexico, studio, sweeping floors, cutting wood, and experimenting with natural pigments. Now 31, he spends his days working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, but he devotes his free time to creating his panels. “To be a santero, you have to have a connection to what you’re painting. My work has a deep spiritual component. I don’t mass-produce my retablos. They get the time they need for me to tell the story of that saint.” Nicolás Otero, a recipient of the 2019 Annual Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, was in high school when he took a santo-making workshop and later apprenticed with santera Rhonda Crespin. Though he also creates contemporary art, Otero describes making santos as a spiritual process. “The images really speak to people; they bring out a sense of what it is to be human. Some people see this as a crude tradition that’s not academic enough, but that gets at the essence of what


Tey Marianna Nunn, the director and chief curator of the Art Museum and Visual Arts Program at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, says she believes that New Mexico’s Hispano artists play an important role in the history

Gustavo Victor Goler



NEW INTERPRETATIONS FOR THE FUTURE Jana Gottshalk, a former curator at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, says the work of today’s santeros is expressed in diverse ways. “A lot of artists work in a very traditional style and carry on that tradition letter for letter. Others look for new ways to approach those same ideas.” Luis Tapia was among the first to break from tradition and depict saints through a contemporary lens. He and Nicholás Herrera have gone on to comment on social, cultural, and political issues of the day, from drugs and gangs to poverty and immigration through their art. Other artists continue to stretch the boundaries, such as Arthur López, whose bultos have taken on current controversies within the Catholic church; Vicente Telles, who has portrayed the Holy Family as comic-book superheroes; and Thomas Vigil, who uses spray paint to stencil religious icons atop recycled street signs and license plates. Though he also does more traditional pieces, Goler has won awards for bultos like San Cristóbal Riding a Surfboad, in which a surfing St. Christopher (patron saint of travelers as well as surfers) holds the Baby Jesus atop his shoulder, and Cruising Heaven, which depicts the Holy Family in a 1958 Cadillac. At the 2019 market, a companion piece, Heavenly Drive, featuring Jesus, Mary, and Joseph driving a 1968 Chevy Impala convertible past Saint Francis and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (the first Native American 52



makes these objects so beautiful. Early santeros didn’t intend to be Renaissance artists; they made their santos because they needed to put their devotions into the work.” More than 40 years after she first began making santos, Marie Romero Cash is as active and busy as ever. The daughter of Santa Fe tinsmiths Emilio and Senaida Romero, she tried her hand at retablos and first showed at the Spanish Market in 1975. Soon she was making bultos and experimenting with traditional materials and techniques. In 1997 she created 14 stations of the cross paintings for Saint Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe. A few years later she published “Santos,” a comprehensive exploration of Northern New Mexican religious art. For years she specialized in “traditional” works, until she decided to “push the envelope,” as she puts it. “There wasn’t enough of a challenge in the repetition of these images,” she explains. Mining Biblical stories for inspiration, she began creating pieces such as her large-scale bulto Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring The Beatles, Andy Warhol, even the assassination of John F. Kennedy. “In order to survive a burgeoning market, I had to constantly reinvent myself. Innovation surfaced from the need to be creative.”

Marie Romero Cash experiments with a variety of materials and techniques.

saint), won the “Innovations Within Tradition” category. For Goler, it’s all part of the “progression” of the saints. “The community and the changing times can change a saint,” he says. “I don’t try to do anything that’s sacrilegious but rather to incorporate the correct iconography and add dynamic carving to it. The designs have action, movement, and negative space. And they speak to a broader audience.” Campos believes there’s a place for innovation and a place for tradition in santo-making. “I believe they can coexist. It’s important that they coexist.” Goler agrees. “Some artists worry that we’re diluting the art form. But moving forward is really the only direction to take. We don’t want to lose the tradition—there’s a fear that it will diminish with time because we don’t see as many young people getting involved. But a lot of the New Mexico santeros and santeras are mentoring, teaching, putting together workshops. And people these days seem to be more interested in doing things by hand.” “I think there’s always concern about losing these kinds of historical ideas,” says Gottshalk. “That’s not unique to New Mexico. But art is a living, breathing thing, and it needs to grow to survive. These traditions also need to grow so they can continue.”

A Center of Hispanic Culture and Learning

YEARSschedule IN THE RAILYARD Visit elmuseocultural.org for 21 a current of events!


e c n e i r e p Ex l Museo! E


Every weekend – October 1, 2016 to May 28, 2017; Saturday 8-3PM; Sunday 9-4PM; Art, Antiques, Jewelry, Books, Textiles, Furniture – More than 50 vendors



• The Tempest – Upstart Crows of Santa Fe January 20-22, 27-29

ART EVENTS &–EXPOSITIONS: • Almost Maine Red Thread Santa Fe

February 10-12, 17-19, El Museo produces and24-26 hosts exhibits, activities, & events that celebrate and promote arts, ARTS EVENTS & EXPOSITIONS culture & local traditions. • Anri Tsutsumi, Wasabi Salsa Rhapsody art installation – June 2 – July 30


• Currents 2017 – June - 25 community events El Museo presents and9 hosts and traditions: • Miranda & Lois Viscoli, Cuban collection exhibit – July/August

EL MERCADO • Objects of Art/Antique American Indian ARTS & CULTURE MARKET” Art – Expositions – August 10-13, 15-18 Santa Fe’s premier market! Sat. 8am-4pm; Sun. 10am-4pm CELEBRATING CULTURE Every weekend through May 2020


• Santa Fe Fiber Crawl – Fiber arts festival May 12-14

El Museo produces/hosts exhibits, activities, and events that celebrate and promote local culture and traditions. We are creating a library, present Spanish language learning, and host community events, such as building Zozobra, & youth classes with Pandemonium Productions.


A Center of Hispanic Culture and Learning



Every weekend – October 1, 2016 to the MayNorthern Rio Grande National Heritage Area Gateway Partner with 28, 2017; Saturday 8-3PM; Sunday 9-4PM; 555 Camino 555 de la Familia, Santa Fe 505.992.0591 elmuseocultural.org Camino Art, Antiques, Jewelry, Books, Textiles, de la Familia, Santa Fe | 505.992.0591 Furniture – More than 50 vendors


Guest Curator Cipriano Vigil performs traditional music.


BELOW: Los Matachines (Alcalde) by Bernadette Vigil, Algodones, New Mexico 1987.

Música Buena! Museum provides immersive celebration of New Mexico’s Hispano folk music. By Kelly Koepke


N NEW MEXICO, the confluence of Spanish, Native American, and Mexican musical styles forms a unique blend. Many of these songs celebrate rites of passage such as births, weddings, and deaths, and are still heard today in the plazuelas and bandstands of New Mexican towns. The exhibition Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico, at the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, celebrates this musical history. The exhibition is curated by Nicolasa Chavez, senior curator of Spanish Colonial and Contemporary Hispano/Latino Collections and by master musician Cipriano Vigil, who



literally wrote the book on folk music in the Land of Enchantment, “New Mexican Folk Music: Treasures of a People.” Recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution, and now a 2019 New Mexico Platinum Music Award winner, Vigil is a performer, an instrument maker, oral historian, and collector. He and Chavez have brought together video, sound recordings, instruments, and live performances for the show, which runs through March 7, 2021. The exhibition explores nearly four centuries of the regionally specific music. Songs called entregas marked baptisms, weddings, and deaths, and were led by

an entregador, or singer. The entire community participated, with parts for grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and neighbors. Archivists and videographers digitized rare existing audio tape and film footage of these occurrences for the exhibition. Much of this material is now available online through the museum’s archives for listening and downloading. The exhibition also includes new video recordings of New Mexican customs passed down from generation to generation that are still performed each year. Like the New Year traditions Dar los Días and Los Comanches. For Dar los Días, groups of musicians travel from house to

Electric Guitar by Eugene Santillanes, Carlsbad, New Mexico, 2018. BELOW RIGHT: Tiburcio Ulibarri on violin and his brother Dionisio Ulibarri on guitar, New Mexico, early 20th century. BELOW LEFT: Antionia at Spanish Market.

MÚSICA BUENA: HISPANO FOLK MUSIC OF NEW MEXICO runs through March 7, 2021. For information on exhibition events, visit moifa.org

house singing blessings to homeowners who then let the group inside for merriment and feasting. Los Comanches, also performed on New Year’s Day, celebrates times when Spanish settlers and the Pueblo people came together to protect New Mexican land from invading Comanches. Traditional music is also an important part of seasonal celebrations such as the annual cleaning of the acequias (irrigation ditches that crisscross the state), fiestas, Las Posadas (the entry of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem) and Los Pastores (the tale of the shepherds visiting the Christ child). El Baile de los Matachines is a popular dance-drama performed by Hispano and Native populations for several centuries; a selection of palmas or dance wands, rattles, and other objects related to Los Matachines are featured in the show. Video and

sound, as well as costumes, instruments, artifacts and photographs representative of these events are also showcased, such as a nineteenth-century homemade violin, and flutes made of bone and PVC pipe. The living history museum El Rancho de las Golondrinas, south of Santa Fe, will present Moros y Cristianos, the oldest and longest running play in the continental United States. The dramatization, performed entirely on horseback, depicts the many battles that took place as power changed hands between Christian and Muslim rule in Medieval Spain. The play acknowledges and celebrates Spain’s multicultural heritage during the time of the Reconquista, when the Christians drove the Moors out of Spain. This will be the first re-enactment in New Mexico in nearly twenty years, with original costumes used

by the Josie and Percy Lujan family of Chimayó. The museum’s exhibition features video footage of the reenactment from their family archives. With the influx of immigrants from Mexico and other Hispanic countries in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, New Mexico’s folk music heritage came to embrace imports like mariachi, cumbia and flamenco, now heard at many fiestas around the state. Naturally, the exhibition brings in elements of those genres, such as fiesta dresses, as well as contemporary instruments like electric guitars—several of which were made by Vigil. There will be plenty of programs during the exhibition’s run, from live “music in the gallery” performances, to lectures, to community events, which will continue throughout the exhibition’s run. “Music brings people together, and the unique instruments, songs and videos and performances in this exhibition demonstrate how rich the musical traditions of New Mexico are,” says Chavez. “The mix of settings in the exhibition—galleries, live performances, video, sound clips and the Museum’s website—also shows the many facets of New Mexico folk music.” HHANDR.COM


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THE HEAT IS ON A Trio of Chefs Spice up Santa Fe’s Food Scene By Lynn Cline Photography by Douglas Merriam

Luminaria’s tortilla soup is made with fresh, seasonal ingredients.




HREE TALENTED new chefs are elevating Santa Fe’s culinary landscape with fresh, innovative cuisine showcasing locally sourced ingredients. They may be young, but they’re seasoned and eager to enhance the city’s international culinary reputation with food that’s delectable and designed to make diners happy. With Jason Stewart helming the kitchen at the Inn and Spa at Loretto’s Luminaria, and Colten Johnson in charge of AGAVE Restaurant & Lounge at Eldorado Hotel & Spa, a transformation is taking place, led by acclaimed chef Gilbert Aragon. “We’re going to change many items at these restaurants, and change is for the better,” says Aragon, who’s recently been appointed Heritage Hotel & Resorts’ regional executive chef for the northern region. Stewart and Johnson share a similar enthusiasm about the transformation. The two chefs met while working in Vail—Stewart at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill, famous for its wood-fired grill, and Johnson at the renowned Sweet Basil—and subsequently got married. The two then went to Chicago, where Stewart, who’s 32 and a graduate of Chicago’s renowned culinary school Kendall College, worked at Hyatt McCormick Regency Place, while Johnson was a chef at the city’s Blackbird restaurant. “Chicago was a big food city but there was a lot of competition,” says Stewart. “Santa Fe has the laid-back atmosphere of the West along with a food community, which I’ve noticed is very friendly. All the chefs seem to be tight with each other. It feels like a [place] that we wanted to be a part of ... I want to build Luminaria into something that both guests and other chefs and cooks are excited about.” “What appealed to us was that this is a very food-driven city,” says Johnson, who’s 26 and a graduate of Arizona Culinary Institute. “We loved Chicago, but it was difficult to live and work there,” he says. “I liked the culture of Santa Fe. Everybody’s really nice and it seems very genuine and a lot of it reminds me of my hometown of Springerville, Arizona, right on the border of New Mexico and Arizona.” It didn’t hurt that Santa Fe is a hot spot for outdoor enthusiasts, and the chefs are avid snowboarders, mountain bikers, and hikers. Aragon also relocated to be part of this transformation



team, leaving his job as a Heritage chef in his Albuquerque hometown for the Eldorado Hotel & Spa. (His new position also includes overseeing the revamping of Taos’ El Monte Sagrado’s De la Tierra with Executive Chef Cristina Martinez.) “These are hard-working chefs and I think they’re smart and have the talent and it’s time for a little bit of change in Santa Fe,” he says. “I’m helping the chefs not only with the cuisine but also with their professional development. The biggest thing I can do for any chef is to inspire and give them support, education, and experience.” Aragon well knows the value of mentorship. He made his mark in developing the menus for Hotel Albuquerque’s Tablao Flamenco and Hotel Chaco’s Lvl 5 under the guidance of These are James Beard award-winning chef Mark Miller, hard-working a founder of Modern chefs and I Southwestern cuisine. Seeking inspiration for think they’re Tablao Flamenco, Millsmart and have er and Aragon traveled the talent to Seville to immerse themselves in Spanish and it’s time cuisine, culture, and the for a little bit duende of flamenco. For Lvl 5, they spent a week of change at Miller’s Santa Fe home in Santa Fe. creating recipes that reflect the region’s indigGILBERT ARAGON enous heritage. With both restaurants flourishing, Aragon felt ready to turn his chef’s toque toward elevating the cuisine at AGAVE, Luminaria, and El Monte Sagrado and he’s relying on the lessons Miller taught him. “Everything I learned from him is fundamental to how I now run my kitchens,” Aragon says. “He taught me a lot, not only about food but how to use your mind, to strategize and build concepts. We not only traveled to Spain but last year, I was able to go with him to Mexico and Colombia and work with families and chefs. What I learned from him is everything I am able to do now. He steered me in the right direction and allowed me to use my talents and to take other factors into consideration that, as a young chef, you might not even think about. If we’re learning about Spanish cuisine, for instance, we

Executive Chef Gilbert Aragon is leading a transformation at Heritage’s northern New Mexico hotels.



should be building flavor and memory and knowing these flavors from the stories and allowing concepts to be fully accepted. For example, here at AGAVE, we want to hone in on modern Mexican cuisine and one of the goals is to get Colten and me to go to Mexico and experience it firsthand so we can put a concept together.” Johnson’s been working on that concept since he arrived last April, intent on putting AGAVE on Santa Fe’s culinary map for modern Mexican cuisine. “I think that Santa Fe does a very good job of representing New Mexican food and New Mexican culture and they have so many influences, including Spanish and Pueblo,” he says. “There’s a lot of Mexican food here but not many restaurants are doing modern Mexican. We’ll certainly have tacos and ceviche but I’d like to take it all around Mexico, from Oaxaca to Vera Cruz and even Tijuana.” At the same time Johnson’s dedicated to sourcing local ingredients. “The thing that I’ve picked up at each of the restaurants I’ve worked at is the importance of using local ingredients as well as the freshest ingredients possible,” he says, “and trying to create dishes from those ingredients that hopefully remind people of what they’ve had before but also reinventing it in a new, modern way.” AGAVE’s menus will change with the seasons, but diners got a taste of Johnson’s creativity with his debut menu, which included Aguachiles de Camaron, Mexican-style spicy shrimp ceviche that he embellished with hibiscus, avocado, mint, and Fresno chili. Creating such inspired dishes gives Johnson as much happiness as it does the diners who eat his food. “Cooking for somebody is such a seemingly simple act but it does so much more,” Johnson says. “It’s about bringing joy to people and seeing the reaction on guests’ faces when they tell you how good something is or that they’ve never had this before.” Johnson’s aware that his role at AGAVE requires much more than creating menus and running the kitchen. “I was brought in to re-invent AGAVE,” he says. “I’m young, I have new perspectives on food.” From the moment he first saw the space, he began that task. “I walked in here the first time and I kind of got it. Ideas flooded my brain about the kind of food to be presented in this dining room. I was excited.” In a similar way, a visit to Luminaria inspired exciting ideas for Aragon about taking the long-established restaurant to new heights. “I sat on the Luminaria patio and ate breakfast and lunch there,” he says. “It feels like classic Santa Fe and I feel like we need to get back to the Mark Miller days of Coyote Cafe, of fine dining cuisine with New Mexican 60


flavor. We need to get back to classic Santa Fe cuisine done really well, using local ingredients from ranchers and farmers, and get back to the classic Loretto that’s been around for years and years. Luminaria should be one of those fabled restaurants in Santa Fe where, when you come to visit, you should go to Luminaria.” Stewart’s response to seeing Luminaria for the first time echoed Aragon’s vision. “It told its own story,” he says. “It has a sense of warmth and it’s inviting and makes you want to come together with friends and family. It doesn’t feel pretentious. It’s comfortable and it’s so of the area. It just makes me think ‘yes, you’re in Santa Fe.’ All the beautiful wood, the colors, the kiva Cooking for fireplace in the corner. And I just love our patio. somebody is It has beautiful lighting, such a seemingly you’re in the shadow of the Lorettto Chapel and simple act but it’s covered with the porit does so much tal, which is important in the sun. You walk in and more. it’s about you’re struck by the ambringing joy to biance, the feel, the terpeople and seeroir, and I want the food to be there as well.” ing the reaction Stewart’s menus for on guests’ faces Luminaria also are seasonal, featuring as many when they tell ingredients as possible you how good from local farmers, ranchers, dairies, and co-ops something is in dishes that bring joy or that they’ve to diners. “I’m not New never had this Mexican and I’m not from the Southwest, so I take before. a much more global approach to food and don’t COLTEN JOHNSON try to overcomplicate dishes,” he says. “I think the number of amazing ingredients you can get from New Mexico itself deserves to be showcased, so I’m putting together unique and thoughtful combinations that make them shine. I like to appeal to everyone, too. I want everyone to come in and find something that they will enjoy, so I’m always making sure we have something that appeals to dietary considerations.”

Colten Johnson is bringing modern Mexican made with locally sourced ingredients to AGAVE.



Based on the popularity of the green chile cheeseburger Stewart created for the 2019 Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, an annual New Mexico contest, this chef clearly delights diners. His half-pound Green Chile Juicy Lucy was one of only seven finalists chosen by judges who roamed the state in search of contenders. Drawing from his roots in the Chicago area, Stewart came up with a Midwestern burger patty stuffed with Hatch green chile and local jack cheese, then griddled and topped with more chile and cheese, crispy onions, Chimayó red chile-rubbed bacon, and spicy aioli. Another popular item on Stewart’s debut menu was the I think the short ribs with blacknumber of amazing berry au poivre. The ribs may be offered ingredients you year-round, in differcan get from ent variations. “I like New Mexico itself to change it up a lot,” he says. “We’re always deserves to be learning—learning showcased, so I’m new techniques and pushing ourselves putting together creatively.” Stewart unique and also anticipates hosting culinary events thoughtful at Luminaria, pairing combinations that with local brewermake them shine ies for beer dinners, for instance, and JASON STEWART working with local wineries and wine reps on wine dinners. Ultimately, these three dedicated chefs share a palpable excitement about working in one of the country’s most renowned culinary destinations. Their goal is to not only serve diners superb cuisine in entrancing settings, but to provide an experience that’s filled with joy and rooted in history. “In every dish we’re always telling a story, and we want the guests to leave knowing about not only the hard work that goes into each dish—the flavor profile, the care, and knowledge for food—but also the ideas behind each dish,” Aragon says. “And that comes out through the concept, the menu writing, and training the staff about how we found those ideas. I find inspiration in a lot of things and I try to do my best to let the guest understand it and experience it with each dish.”

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At Luminaria, Jason Stewart takes a global approach to Southwestern cuisine.



Sawmill Market, Albuquerque’s newest culinary destination, is taking shape.




Coming Soon Albuquerque’s newest culinary destination By Ashley M. Biggers HHANDR.COM


With 33,000 square feet of food kiosks, sit-down restaurants and cafes, Sawmill Market will be part of a neighborhood transformation.


LBUQUERQUE JOINS cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta in February 2020 with the debut of the Sawmill Market. New Mexico’s first food hall will cover over 33,000 square feet with anchor restaurants, artisanal food kiosks, and lounge areas. “We truly think it’s going to raise the bar of the food scene in Albuquerque,” says Lauren Greene, who, along with husband and business partner Jason, are the project’s concept developers. Jim Long, CEO and founder of Heritage Hotels & Resorts, tapped the Greenes to curate the hall. They own and operate The Grove Café & Market, a popular Albuquerque restaurant that has celebrat-



ed and expanded the local foods movement over its 13-year history. The Greenes visited 15 food halls across the country to refine their vision for the market, and consulted Steve Carlin, the mastermind behind the celebrated San Francisco Ferry Building and Napa, California’s Oxbow Public Market. Carlin imparted on the Greenes the importance of tenant harmony, with vendors complementing, rather than competing with each other. The growing roster focuses on local, small-business eateries, many of whom are relatively new on the scene. Several new restaurants will provide full-service, sit-down meals, including Flora, a farm-driven Mexican restaurant; Mercantile Café and Wine Bar;


and Paxton’s, a tap room named for the Paxton Lumber Co., which originally occupied the Sawmill Market building. “It’s a very crowd-pleasing bar,” Lauren says. “Everything’s on tap, from craft beer, to house sodas and kombucha.” The Greenes have spent the past two years searching for the best of the best in food and beverage operators in New Mexico. Each applicant completed a rigorous process that included a taste test and interview. Jason says they were searching for timeless concepts. Some longtime local favorites, such as Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque, have already proved themselves and will open new locations in the market. Newer additions to the Albuquerque food scene, like Plata

Coffee shop, bean-to-bar craft chocolate maker Eldora Chocolate, and Hakata-style ramen bar Naruto Ramen will all have second locations in the market. Santa Fe eatery Dr. Field Goods Kitchen will open its first Albuquerque location there. Other eateries are slated to open their first brickand-mortar locations. HAWT Pizza Co, an Albuquerque-based mobile wood-fired pizza kitchen, will put down roots in the market. The menu features specialty made-to-order pizzas, salads, starters like bruschetta, antipasto skewers and cheese boards, and classic Italian desserts. Emerging business Cacho’s Bistro has operated out of a popular weekly market at the AlbuquerHHANDR.COM


que Rail Yards. Owner Ronsuelvic Cavalieri got her start with WESST, a statewide small business development and training organization, in the spring of 2017 before launching the business at the Albuquerque Rail Yards. Cacho’s at Sawmill Market will offer Venezuelan pastries such as cachitos, a wheat-dough pastry stuffed ingredients such as sweet ham, cheese, Nutella, and guava with cream cheese. Tulipani Pasta, an Albuquerque-based small-batch pasta maker, is another farmers market and pop-up shop graduate. At its first permanent location, it will sell its line of artisanal, fresh pastas—including daily doughs rolled and cut before the guests’ eyes—as well as ready-toeat dishes. The Sawmill Market is set in the heart of the Sawmill District, once home to a massive lumber production business that served the whole Southwest. Some 800 employees came to work there every day at the turn of the nineteenth century. The district remained an industrial area until 2007, when the long-vacated Ponderosa Products Plant was torn down to make way for mixed-use development. It’s now on its way to becoming one of Albuquerque’s most happening neighborhoods, with the addition of affordable housing, the opening of Heritage Ho68



Out of the ashes of an industrial lumber mill, the market will become a place to celebrate food and community.

tels & Resorts’ Hotel Chaco, entertainment venues such as Tablao Flamenco Albuquerque and QBar at Hotel Albuquerque, and shopping destinations such as Spur Line Supply Co. The district reflects the values of New Urbanism, a design philosophy which advocates places where people can live, work, and play within a walkable area. “We felt a lot of excitement about the revitalization of the Sawmill District as a whole,” Lauren says. “We appreciated that we were preserving and bringing back to life this former epicenter of the city.” The Sawmill Market’s industrial modern design acknowledges the area’s history with exposed metal and wood décor, floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with natural light, and garage doors opening onto patio seating, where guests can enjoy the New Mexico weather in warmer months. Fire pits outside will create a comforting atmosphere in the cool season—and create places for people to gather. The Greenes say the market will be more than a first-class food hub—though it will be that, too. “There will be so many different things here other than food—live music, games for kids,” Jason says. “It will be more of a third space, a place away from home and work where people can gather all day.”

Discover a world of possibilities

EXPERIENCE THE ARTS, CULTURE, AND HISTORY OF NEW MEXICO on the New Mexico PBS Arts & Culture Channel Now available on the Heritage Hotels & Resorts TV Channel

The Springtime Rainbow, 1923 - Jozef Bakos Courtesy the NM Museum of Art

Refer to your hotel channel guide for the channel number. Visit nmpbs.org/heritage for more information on NMPBS arts and culture programs.

Adventures in Romance Discover great New Mexico dates.

By Kelly Koepke


EW MEXICO’S HISTORY, CULTURE, AND GORGEOUS OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT make this the perfect place to kindle or rekindle a romance. Here are our suggestions for nine romantic New Mexico adventures at any time of year.

Albuquerque EXPLORE OLD TOWN The heart of Albuquerque since 1706, Historic Old Town is the perfect spot for a hand-holding stroll, exploring local shops, galleries, and restaurants together. During the holidays, luminarias light up walkways and adobe walls. Meander through the historic streets of the architecturally distinct neighborhood in search of the perfect photograph or souvenir. You can even pop the question at The Plaza gazebo (it’s been known to happen). Find the

Madonna embedded into a cottonwood trunk near the San Felipe de Neri Church, a quirky piece of folk art with unknown origins. From there you’re a short walk to several excellent date attractions: the Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Botanic Garden, and the BioPark Zoo. “My husband and I always enjoyed strolling Old Town hand-in-hand. It reminded us of the early days of our romance in Albuquerque—and how much we loved the city, as well as each other,” says Elizabeth Hanes. albuquerqueoldtown.com


Couples can enjoy a glorious sunset from the crest of the Sandia Mountains

TAKE A FOOTHILLS HIKE Albuquerque’s weather is perfect for fall and winter hikes, especially along the base of the Sandia (watermelon in Spanish) Mountains, named for their pink and scarlet colors at sunset. The Elena Gallegos Open Space is one of the Duke City’s top hiking and picnicking areas, with well-marked trails and easy access from several parking areas. Reserve one of two covered pavilions for a romantic tryst among the abundant wildlife. Take the self-guided Cottonwood Springs Trail that leads to a pond and wildlife blind, and shaded HHANDR.COM


rest stops featuring original artwork by ceramic tile artist Margy O’Brien. cabq.gov/parksandrecreation/ open-space/lands/elena-gallegosopen-space


Santa Fe FIND YOUR (HE)ART ON CANYON ROAD Amble your way along a half mile of galleries, restaurants, and boutiques at any time of year, stopping for sustenance along the way at one of several perfect patio cafes, and returning along the tree-lined Santa Fe River parkway. On Christmas Eve, join thousands of holiday revelers as they enjoy hot chocolate and cider, carols, and luminaria-lined adobe shops that stay open into the evening. The street is blocked to motor vehicle traffic that night, and bonfires add pleasant warmth and glow to the festive atmosphere. visitcanyonroad.com 72


Santa Fe Plaza at Christmastime provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll.

SWING THROUGH THE RAILYARD TO RIDE THE RAIL RUNNER EXPRESS Santa Fe’s award-winning, 13-acre Railyard Park welcomes visitors to the center of Santa Fe all year with art fairs, concerts, movies, and more, amid paths through beautiful cultivated landscaping. The swings in the rose garden delight lovers of all ages, and the mood lighting at dusk is especially romantic. “The Santa Fe Railyard is my favorite spot for a date night. I love that it combines the history of the railroad, craft beer, a movie theater, art galleries, and shops to stroll through, not to mention the gorgeous park itself,” says Vicki Pozzebon of Santa Fe. “It’s really the perfect date night where you can follow your heart through the paths and sit on old railroad wheels and watch the amazing sunset paint the Railyard


Taking in the sunset from the longest aerial tramway in the United States is certainly one way to ensure your lover will cling to your arm—for 15 minutes or so each way. The Sandia Peak Tramway travels from a base elevation of 6,559 feet to a dizzying 10,378 feet with spectacular views along the trip. While you’re atop Sandia Peak, head to the Ten 3 restaurant for drinks with the lights of the city and an 11,000-square-mile panoramic view to set your heart aflutter. sandiapeak.com

shades of pink and purple. Who can resist the ‘romance of the rails?’” From the Railyards, catch the New Mexico Rail Runner Express train that travels the backcountry between Santa Fe and Belen, a small city south of Albuquerque. railyardpark.org riometro.org

PONDER THE MYSTERY OF THE MIRACLE STAIRCASE Everyone loves a good puzzle. That’s why one of the most popular tourist destinations in Santa Fe is the Loretto Chapel and its “miracle” stairs. The chapel was completed in 1878 without access to the choir loft. The Sisters of Loretto prayed for help and one day an enigmatic stranger arrived. Working in private, he built the spiral staircase and left without giving his name. Three


El Monte Sagrado Resort & Spa 855.846.8267 ElMonteSagrado.com Palacio de Marquesa 855.997.8230 MarquesaTaos.com

Pictured is Hotel Chaco


Hotel Chaco 855.997.8208 HotelChaco.com Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town 866.505.7829 HotelAbq.com

Eldorado Hotel & Spa 800.955.4455 EldoradoHotel.com Inn and Spa at Loretto 866.582.1646 HotelLoretto.com Hotel St. Francis 800.529.5700 HotelStFrancis.com Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe 855.752.9273 HotelChimayo.com



Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces 866.383.0443 HotelEncanto.com

mysteries surround these steps: Who was the stranger? What type of wood did he use? And with no visible support structures, how does the staircase remain standing? Whatever your take on the mysteries of the Loretto staircase, the chapel, now a museum and popular wedding venue, is an elegant and intriguing part of the City Different. Lorettochapel.com


PEER OVER THE SIDE OF THE RIO GRANDE GORGE BRIDGE Even in winter, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge affords a spectacular view, 650 feet about the Rio Grande. One of the highest bridges in the United States, this three-span steel structure has appeared in several films. Walk across and stop at an overlook for a dizzying sight of the river below. roadsideamerica.com/story/30189




Nambe Falls is a half-mile, moderate difficulty, out-and-back trail near the quaint village of Tesuque. The trail is lightly trafficked, especially in winter and on weekdays. Stick to the upper trail and bring a picnic for a snack overlooking the waterfall and lake. Or bring waterproof footwear to ford the river along the lower trail that ends at a beach area. nambepueblo.org/nambe-falls-lake

EXPLORE TAOS MUSEUMS Start a day of museum-hopping with the Kit Carson house, where Christopher “Kit” Carson, fur trapper, frontiersman and explorer lived with his bride Josefa. Their museum showcases pioneer-era artifacts, Carson memorabilia, and books about New Mexico. Then tour the Millicent Rogers Museum, housing the fashionista and socialite’s extensive collection of Native pottery, rugs, and jewelry. Broken-hearted after an affair with movie star Clark Gable, she came to Taos in

the late 1940s, and is credited with popularizing the Southwestern style of broomstick skirts, silver-buttoned blouses, and concha belts. Finish the day at the 160-acre D. H. Lawrence Ranch, where the writer and his wife Frieda lived in the 1920s. The author of literary classics such as Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Lawrence once described Taos as “one of the chosen spots on Earth.” kitcarsonmuseum.org millicentrogers.org dhlawrenceranch.unm.edu

317 Kit Carson Rd., Taos | 575.758.3502 | ElMonteSagrado.com


CULTURALLY DISTINCT RESTAURANTS New Mexico is world renowned for exquisite culinary offerings.

at Hotel Chaco 2000 Bellamah Ave. NW Albuquerque, NM 505.247.0708 • HotelChaco.com Enjoy beautifully layered flavors and outstanding panoramic mountain views at Level 5, the rooftop restaurant and lounge at Hotel Chaco. Savor craft cocktails and an unforgettable culinary journey.

agave at Eldorado Hotel & Spa 309 W. San Francisco St. Santa Fe, NM 505.988.4455 • EldoradoHotel.com Enter a world of celebrated culinary delight and libations at the Agave Restaurant & Lounge. Agave is a chic, casual dining experience with bold, clean flavors and fresh, local ingredients.

de la Tierra



at El Monte Sagrado 317 Kit Carson Rd. Taos, NM 575.758.3502 • ElMonteSagrado.com

at Inn and Spa at Loretto 211 Old Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe, NM 505.988.5531 • HotelLoretto.com

at Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe 125 Washington Ave. Santa Fe, NM 505.930.5363 • EstevanRestaurante.com

Enjoy a taste of the local, seasonal flavors

Luminaria Restaurant and Patio is

Estevan Restaurante is elevated New Mexican

that make the region unique. De la Tierra’s

recognized by locals and visitors alike

fare where Chef Estevan Garcia has created a

menu features healthier options including

for its tranquil, inviting setting and inventive,

menu using favorite traditional northern

vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

globally inspired menu. We invite you to dine

New Mexico dishes including Chimayó red chile,

and discover the flavors of Santa Fe.

chicos, posole, and calabacitas. All items are organic and locally purchased.

Market Steer Steakhouse at Hotel St Francis 210 Don Gaspar Ave. Santa Fe, NM 505.992.6354 • MarketSteerSteakhouse.com

Garduños at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town 800 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 505.843.6300 • HotelABQ.com

Tablao Flamenco Albuquerque at Hotel Albuquerque 800 Rio Grande Blvd. NW 505.222.8797 • tablaoflamenco.org

Enjoy authentic regional New Mexican

Modern meets traditional in this intimate venue.

Chef Kathleen Crook’s creative approach to classic

and Mexican cuisine in the inviting

Enjoy dynamic world-class Flamenco performances,

American food, Market Steer Steakhouse offers a

hacienda-style interior or the lush outdoor garden

exquisite Sevillan tapas, and custom cocktails,

refreshing take on fine dining in a charming atmo-

patio. Garduño's offers an extensive selection of

including house-made sangria. Visit website

sphere. Enjoy a bowl of steaming mussels on the

tequila, wine, liqueurs, and world-class margaritas.

for performance times & tickets.

patio or an elegant cut of prime beef inside. HHANDR.COM


Hotel Chaco


2000 Bellamah Ave. NW Albuquerque, NM 505.247.0708 • HotelChaco.com This new hotel is a contrast of ancient

Each of our hotels and resorts in New Mexico celebrates the rich, multicultural heritage of the Southwest, drawing from its unique blend of Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and Western cultural and historical influences. Through architecture, interior design, original artwork, landscaping, entertainment, and cuisine, Heritage Hotels & Resorts provides guests with an authentic cultural experience in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, and Las Cruces.

and modern elements. Hotel Chaco is the first New Mexico property designed by legendary global design firm Gensler, which drew inspiration from the Ancestral Puebloan people and the ruins of Chaco Canyon.

CONNECT WITH US @HeritageHotelsandResorts @HeritageHtls HeritageHtlsandRsts @heritagehtls @heritagehtls newmexicotravelblog.com

Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc. 201 Third St. NW, Suite 1140 Albuquerque, NM 87102 HHandR.com Email: contactus@hhandr.com


El Monte Sagrado

Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Inn and Spa at Loretto

317 Kit Carson Rd. Taos, NM 575.758.3502 • ElMonteSagrado.com

309 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 505.988.4455 • EldoradoHotel.com

211 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 505.988.5531 • HotelLoretto.com

Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 readers’ choice

Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 readers’ choice

Immerse yourself in a world of serenity and

winner for Southwest and West, Eldorado Hotel &

winner for Southwest and West, this iconic hotel

wellness at El Monte Sagrado, the premier luxury

Spa is conveniently located near the historic Plaza.

is just steps away from the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

resort in Taos. The hotel features the award-

Guests experience luxury amenities including an

The architecture is modeled after Taos Pueblo

winning Living Spa, De la Tierra restaurant,

on-site restaurant and bars, rooftop pool, world-

and the property features an award-winning spa,

Anaconda Bar, and exquisite indoor and

class Nidah Spa, and more than 22,000 square

outdoor pool, and Santa Fe’s only penthouse suite.

outdoor event and meeting space.

feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

The hotel has 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

Hotel St. Francis 210 Don Gaspar Ave. Santa Fe, NM 505.983.5700 • HotelStFrancis.com

Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town

125 Washington Ave. Santa Fe, NM 505.988.4900 • HotelChimayo.com

800 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 505.843.6300 • HotelABQ.com

Hotel St. Francis is on the National Register of

A boutique hotel in the heart of downtown,

Offering historic grandeur and comfort,

Historic Places and sits just one block from the

Hotel Chimayo is conveniently located steps

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town exemplifies

Santa Fe Plaza. This historic hotel embodies

away from the historic Santa Fe Plaza and

Albuquerque style and features an on-site

Santa Fe and is named for the city’s patron saint.

celebrates the culture of Chimayó, a distinctive

restaurant and bars, outdoor swimming pool,

The décor features authentic wood furniture

northern New Mexico community. The hotel

romantic wedding chapel, and more than

hand-crafted by local artisans. It also features Se-

features the Low ’n Slow Lowrider Bar

62,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor

creto Lounge, a Gruet tasting room, and Market

and Estevan Restaurant.

meeting and event space.

Steer Steakhouse.



Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces 705 S. Telshor Blvd. Las Cruces, NM 575.522.4300 • HotelEncanto.com A unique hotel that reflects New Mexico’s Spanish and Colonial traditions, Hotel Encanto has a beautiful resort pool lined with palm trees and 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Hotel Encanto features Garduños Mexican


Restaurant & Cantina and Azul Ultralounge.

Palacio de Marquesa 405 Cordoba Rd. Taos, NM 575.758.4777 • MarquesaTaos.com Palacio de Marquesa is conveniently located near the historic Taos Plaza.The design pays tribute to the remarkable women artists of Taos. This inn offers custom made-to-order daily breakfast.



Nativo Lodge

Lodge at Santa Fe

6000 Pan American Fwy. NE Albuquerque, NM 505.798.4300 • NativoLodge.com

750 N. St. Francis Dr. Santa Fe, NM 505.992.5800 • LodgeAtSantaFe.com

Nativo Lodge is inspired by the vibrancy

On a hilltop overlooking downtown, the Lodge at

of Native American culture and traditions.

Santa Fe is just five minutes from the Santa Fe

The hotel features artist rooms designed

Plaza and minutes from Ski Santa Fe and the

by contemporary Native American artists.

Santa Fe Opera. Experience rooms furnished in

It was named “Artiest Hotel in America”

custom Southwest décor, with an outdoor pool

by World Property Journal.

on site and beautiful mountain views.

This photo and bottom left by Emily Joanne Wedding Films & Photography

Weddings by Heritage Hotels & Resorts

Blue Rose Photography Studios

Shutterfreek Photography

TAOS El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa, Palacio de Marquesa SANTA FE Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Inn and Spa at Loretto ALBUQUERQUE Hotel Chaco, Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town LAS CRUCES Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces HHandR.com/Weddings


El Monte Sagrado Resort & Spa 855.846.8267 ElMonteSagrado.com Palacio de Marquesa 855.997.8230 MarquesaTaos.com

Pictured is Eldorado Hotel & Spa in Santa Fe.


Hotel Chaco 855.997.8208 HotelChaco.com Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town 866.505.7829 HotelAbq.com

Eldorado Hotel & Spa 800.955.4455 EldoradoHotel.com Inn and Spa at Loretto 866.582.1646 HotelLoretto.com Hotel St. Francis 800.529.5700 HotelStFrancis.com Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe 855.752.9273 HotelChimayo.com



Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces 866.383.0443 HotelEncanto.com

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