2 0 0 9 S WA I A L i f e t i m e A c h i e v e m e n t , F e l l o w s h i p, a n d P o v i k a R e c i p i e n t s
Indian Market Now
Tradition meets innovation as a new generation spreads its artistic wings
PLUS: 2009 Poster Artist Maria Samora
August / September 2009
TONY ABEYTA new paintings
reception Friday, august 21, 5 Pm
BLUE RAIN Gallery 130 lincoln ave, ste D. | santa Fe 505.954.9902 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.blueraingallery.com
Indian Market issue august /september 2009
features 96 tactile Maria Samora, this year’s official poster artist for SWAIA, fashions wearable, unforgettably artistic jewelry—pieces some people may not expect of a Native artist.
100 2009 SWAIA honors Meet this year’s winners of SWAIA’s Lifetime Achievement, Fellowship, and Povika awards
112 gala collaboration Sneak a peek at the collaborative piece for this year’s fundraiser, made by Marla Allison, Ryan Singer, and Mateo Romero.
114 appropriate, inappropriate, reappropriate Just when you thought Native art had gotten safe—six Native artists reclaim images of Native peoples from non-Native artists.
Them Two Lookin’, a print by Sam English, a SWAIA Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
120 I-market Taking a look at the latest innovations—and innovators— at this year’s Indian Market.
124 coming back for more Why do so many people keep coming back to Indian Market? How does it stay relevant? Collectors, curators, artists, and others weigh in.
Jeweler Maria Samora’s Cosmos Cuff with Choctaw Motif, 18k royal yellow-gold lattice with black diamonds set in 18k gold.
cover Kevin Red Star, Buffalo Ribs, archival giclee on canvas, 40 x 30" photo by Wendy McEahern, courtesy Legends Santa Fe
Santa Fean (ISSN 1094-1487) is published bimonthly by Bella Media, 215 W San Francisco Street, Suite 202A, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Periodicals postage paid at Santa Fe, NM, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Santa Fean, P.O. Box 469089, Escondido, CA 92046-9710.
Indian Market issue august /september 2009
America Meredith’s Machine Gun Nest, one of her many provocative works.
36 Publisher’s Note 40 SWAIA Director’s Note 48 Letters
83 Santa Fean Salutes Preserving Native languages at the Indigenous Language Institute
52 SWAIA Events Schedule 59 City Different The news around town
67 Q+A Artist America Meredith
Virgil Ortiz, Renaissance man
The unique qualities of adobe homes, and their owners
SWAIA’s tip sheet on how to appreciate Indian Market’s Native arts
135 Art The Naminghas—father and sons—exhibit together; Indian Market-related events indian market
157 Dining Red Sage abloom in the desert; chef-author Lois Ellen Frank
163 Hot Tickets August and September happenings
128 Buyer’s Guide
Opening up to it all at the recently reopened Puye Cliff Dwellings
The capacious open-air courtyard of an adobe home in Alamos, Mexico.
174 SWAIA Members, Supporters, and Volunteers
186 Scene Who’s been seen where
190 History The legacy of Billy Jack
192 Day Trip Taos Pueblo
P U B L I S H E R ’ S NOT E
the full circle have you ever noticed how ancient art by tribal peoples tends to have an amazingly contemporary quality? I have noticed this in both the antiquities section at the Louvre in Paris and at Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum. These resemblances extend beyond museums. There’s at least one art gallery in Santa Fe which beautifully displays ancient tribal art alongside very contemporary modern art. It’s as if no time has passed these past 3,000 years, or as if today’s contemporary art has come full circle, back to a style that’s as clean and uncluttered as that of the ancients. I bring this up because it appears as though Indian Market enthusiasts have been programmed over the years to envision what Native American art is “supposed” to look like. A number of years ago, however, a new generation of Native Americans started creating jewelry and art that once again spoke to the ancient art—and yet looked very contemporary. For traditionalists, I am sure this came as a shock and presented a challenge. Should it be accepted as Native American art? Regardless of what we expect, Native American art is now ancient, traditional, and in many ways, highly contemporary. Personally, I love it. I especially appreciate any artist who pushes the boundaries of what we were expecting, who offer us something beyond. In this issue you will see the faces and astounding art by many artists, both Native and not, who push our sensibilities (and yes, sometimes push our buttons, too). They ask us to look at things in ways we may not have looked before and possibly feel something we haven’t felt before. May the ancient traditions and contemporary visions in this issue stimulate you and help you find your
bruce adams Publisher
C ON T R I B U TOR S
Q: Who ranks among your favorite Native artists and why? Marin Sardy, Santa Fean’s editor until the June/July issue, chose three artists: Johnnie Winona Ross (whose abstract paintings “transport” her); sculptor Rose B. Simpson (“who doesn’t limit herself to any single type of artistic exploration”); and ceramic artist Diego Romero—”a master craftsman with an exceptional sense for the wit and poetry that’s possible through visual communication.” See “Tactile,” p. 96, her profile of SWAIA’s official poster artist, jeweler Maria Samora. 36
“Matthew Andrae, the singer-songwriter of Jicarilla-Apache heritage, is my favorite Native artist,” enthuses photograher Jamey Stillings, whose pictures of Maria Samora begin on p. 96 (“Tactile”). “A world-class talent, his wonderful combination of a big voice and a small instrument—a guitalele—always leaves one feeling inspired and optimistic!” Visit his website at jameystillings.com to view more of his work.
“Tough choice,” says Lesley S. King, author of King of the Road who wrote about the Fellowship and Povika award winners, starting on p. 100, and the Gala Auction collaborative piece (p. 112). “I have to name Darren Vigil Gray. His paintings, like Vigil himself, are completely dynamic, moving in great strides with his consciousness, juxtaposing the world’s beauty and bane, just as life tends to do for us all.” King also writes for La Vie Claire and New Mexico magazine.
Dianna Delling not only wrote stories about the allure of Indian Market (“Coming Back for More,” p. 126) and the Market’s innovators (“IMarket,” p. 120), she also penned numerous art reviews and helped edit much of this issue. “I love the ironic social commentary in pieces by Marcus Amerman and David Bradley,” says Delling. “And Maria Samora’s jewelry is exquisite (not a word I use very often). I tried on one of her gold-and-silver bracelets and never wanted to take it off.”
AN ORIGINAL WORK OF ART
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D I R E C TO R ’ S NOT E
welcome to indian market welcome to the 2009 Santa Fe Indian Market. This year marks our 88th annual exposition of the best of Native arts. Showcasing more than 1,100 artists, this weeklong celebration gathers Native artists of all types and in all media, in addition to the thousands of individuals who appreciate and collect Native art. Whether it’s your first time at Indian Market or your fiftieth, you can’t help but notice the congeniality and the family-reunion atmosphere of this unique event—it’s almost as pungent as the fry bread and tacos. Market remains a rich slice of Native life. To honor the importance of the event—as well as the contributions of Native artists to the State of New Mexico—this year, thanks in large part to efforts by State Senator John Pinto, the governor has proclaimed the third week of August as Indian Arts and Culture week. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to maintain the communal feel of Indian Market, and my thanks go out to the legions of supporters and volunteers, as well the City of Santa Fe, financial support from government and foundation grants, donations from the business community, and many generous friends of Indian Market. Indian Market’s continuing vibrancy is a result of its openness to, and acceptance of, new art forms, as witnessed by this year’s revamped photography awards, the extended film and video fest, a literary festival, and innovation, innovation, and more innovation. To continue to provide a singular venue for Native expression, SWAIA has received a prestigious Ford Foundation grant this year, which will allow us to explore the meanings of Indian Market and Native arts. Market continues to change in other ways. For example, Maria Samora, this year’s poster artist, is not only younger than past poster artists, but her jewelry may strike some as almost avant-garde: It’s innovative, but not so innovative that it can’t stand alongside the equally stellar, more traditional works found at Market. In fact, the works of Samora, and others like her, coexist peacefully, respectfully, and interactively with those thought of as more traditional. This year’s Market, because of the economy, brings to mind the first Indian Markets that were more than most, your support of the artists and the good work of SWAIA is needed to assist, where we are able, with cultural continuance and renewal. On behalf of the artists of Indian Market, and the staff and board of SWAIA, welcome to Indian Market. I know you will find many memories to treasure.
bruce bernstein, phd Executive Director, SWAIA
PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
created as a financial buffer against ill-conceived and unfair governmental policies. This year,
RUSSELL SANCHEZ King Galleries of Scottsdale Scottsdale, AZ 85251 www.kinggalleries.com 480.481.0187 Native American Collections Denver, CO 80220 www.nativepots.com 303-321-1071 Blue Rain Gallery Santa Fe, NM 87501 www.blueraingallery.com 505-954-9902
+ HAL LARSEN JULY 31— AUGUST 23, 2009
BOARD CHAIR VICE CHAIR
carole a. sandoval
jenny auger maw
stephanie pho-poe kiger
santa clara pueblo
steve wikviya larance george toya
jed foutz steve wall
white earth chippewa
charles king SWAIA STAFF
dr. bruce bernstein
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE SPECIAL EVENTS PLANNER PROGRAMS DIRECTOR
gomeo bobelu zuni
erin sibley doerwald
caren gala nambé pueblo
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS
Sculpture: TED GALL AQUA MAN (Escaping Mareonette), BRONZE, 13" × 8" × 8" Painting: HAL LARSEN MOMENTUM II (detail), ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 48" × 40"
ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCE DIRECTOR/VOLUNTEERS ARTIST SERVICES ASSISTANT FINANCE ASSOCIATE
INDIAN MARKET CREW LEADER PROGRAM ASSISTANT
vanessa lee seneca
DIRECTOR OF ARTIST SERVICES & MEDIA RELATIONS
Hunter Kirkland Contemporary
SOUTHWESTERN ASSOCIATION FOR INDIAN ARTS P.O. Box 969, Santa Fe, NM 87504
200 –B Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501 phone 505.984.2111 fax 505.984.8111 www.hunterkirklandcontemporary.com
Telephone 505-983-5220; Fax 505-983-7647 www.swaia.org
L E T TERS
ambassador for Santa Fean
A deep bow from the waist for the clear and joyful “evolution” of the publication as beautifully embodied in this current issue. There is a growing maturity in the subjects and text which delights this longtime subscriber-reader. This issue shows me how overdue I am to share with our nonresident friends the life purpose and character of the people who make Santa Fe Santa Fe. One of my sons and family live in the Malibu, CA area, and their 150-plus-page monthly publication is filled with vapid articles on the “right shoes for each occasion,” the need to be highly selective in choosing your cosmetic surgeon, etc. Now, look at where you and your staff have chosen to focus reader attention: the values, the whys of living here. I am proud to be a subscriber. Please send me six more copies of this issue that I might forward them to friends, including ambassadors in other countries who have expressed interest in visiting here with their families. In this instance, it pleases me greatly to be your ambassador. Ronald S. Ross, Lamy, NM curb appeal
I just received the June/July issue of the Santa Fean and the front cover is absolutely stunning! Those colors are so luscious I want to eat them with a spoon. Haven’t opened it up yet but wanted to tell you how much I like the “curb appeal.” You have outdone yourselves. Barbara Rosner, Placitas, NM smiling down
Years ago I worked at Joe Sommer’s law office and knew [Santa Fean founders] Betty [Bauer] and Marion [Love] quite well (Joe was their attorney). I remember their excitement when they came in with the idea of the Santa Fean. How wonderful that you have chosen to carry on. I’m sure the ladies are up there in “Santa Fe Heaven” and happily smiling. I wish you the very best. Donna Clair, Santa Fe Send comments to: editorial@ santafean.com, or “Letters,” Santa Fean, 215 W San Francisco, Suite 202A, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Correspondence must include full name, address, and daytime phone number. Published letters may be edited for length and clarity. 48
S C H E DU LE
official swaia indian market events PREVIEWS
August 21: Best of Show and Preview Events
Be there when the judges announce the nine classification winners, topped off by the 2009 Best of Show. Doors open at 4:30 PM. Tickets are $200 each for SWAIA members at Turquoise level or above. The event is followed by the Sneak Preview, from 5:30 to 7:30, and the General Preview, from 7:30 to 9:00. Open to SWAIA members only. Memberships are available at the door or in advance; held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W Marcy MARKET
August 22–23: Indian Market
The 88th Annual SWAIA Indian Market—the world’s most prestigious Native American arts show—opens with more than 1,100 artists, Native and Southwestern food, demonstration booths, entertainment, and more. Native artists from throughout North America will be displaying jewelry, pottery, photography, beadwork, paintings, weavings, basketry, sculpture, and more. Saturday 7 AM–5 PM, Sunday 8 AM–5 PM, free, on the Plaza and its surrounding streets BENEFITS
August 22: SWAIA Auction Gala
Market artists donate unique pieces—and one special collaborative piece—for this glamorous fund-raising auction and seated dinner. The evening opens at 5 PM. Tickets are sold in advance: $135/person, $1,250/table for ten, 505-983-5220. Held at the La Fonda Hotel, 100 E San Francisco August 20–23: Ninth Annual Native Cinema Showcase E N T E R TA I N M E N T
Films and videos, animation workshops, digital classrooms, shorts— and filmmaker Chris Eyre. Presented by SWAIA, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Center for Contemporary Arts. Festival passes $40–$50, general tickets $9 for films and events at CCA; screenings and programs free at Cathedral Park. Information: 505-982-1338, ccasantafe.org August 23: Native American Clothing Contest
Mosey on over to the Plaza stage, where from 9 AM to noon on Sunday families from across the country display some of the most spectacularly designed and constructed traditional and contemporary clothing. Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino’s Blue Tower Lounge (30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, 505-819-2245) brings in R&B group, The Downbeat Band, and New Mexican dance band Tequila Rain play at Cities of Gold (10-A Cities of Gold Road, 505-455-0515) For more information on these events, contact the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts: 505-983-5220, swaia.org 52
Top: looking up the southside of the Plaza during the height of Indian Market. Middle: a dancer adjusting his headband during the Native American Clothing Contest. Above, left: pots for sale; right: an assortment of turquoise jewelry.
August 21–22 The Downbeat Band and Tequila Rain
COURTESY THE ARTIST
the buzz around town
Roanhorse gives for the cure
C O M I C S If you don’t see the humor in Ricardo Caté’s cartoon series, “Without Reservations,” you’re probably not a member of his target audience. The Santo Domingo artist’s single-panel comics highlight the absurdities of life for contemporary Native Americans in a world filled with stereotypes. “My cartoons are simple observations,” says Caté, 45. “People who grew up on the rez, they get it. Non-Natives are appalled—they think I’m making fun of Natives at our expense.” But Caté, who teaches social studies on his Pueblo when he’s not drawing or spending time with his four children, isn’t worried about offending anyone. “I choose Hollywood stereotypes on purpose,” he says. “That’s what brings it out, puts whatever prejudices people have on the table.” You can find “Without Reservations” in the Santa Fe New Mexican’s comic pages, Monday through Saturday, or look for Caté’s booth at Indian Market, where he’ll exhibit framed cartoons along with other colored-pencil drawings.—Sean Brander
return of the sundance kid Northern New Mexicans are about to start seeing way more of actor-director Robert Redford— along with up-and-coming Native American filmmakers from across the country. Now building a home outside Santa Fe, where he’ll spend about six months out of the year, he’s also opening a branch of the Sundance Institute—the Utah-based nonprofit he founded in 1981 to promote independent filmmaking—on the historic Los Luceros property in Alcalde, just north of Española. Sundance in New Mexico, a collaboration with the New Mexico Film Office and the state’s Department of Cultural Affairs, will offer hands-on workshops for aspiring Native American and Hispanic producers, directors, and screenwriters. Said Redford at a May press conference, “My love of New Mexico goes back many, many years.”—Dianna Delling FILM
COURTESY THE ARTIST
COURTESY JAKE SCHOELKOPF, STATE OF NEW MEXICO
A U C T I O N Breast cancer doesn’t only affect women. When golfer Phil Mickelson’s wife discovered she had breast cancer, for instance, the professional linksman did the right thing and put his career on hiatus to be by her side (though he’s now back on tour). Just as honorably, esteemed Navajo jeweler Michael Roanhorse will once again be auctioning off an original piece—this one a pendant made of gold, diamonds, and grade-A coral, with matching earrings—to benefit breast-cancer research for the central New Mexico affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Roanhorse, whose aunt is a breast cancer survivor and who donated an original work last year, too, will feature the piece at his booth, along with five others set aside for a silent auction. The artist sees this as a lifelong relationship: The first piece he creates in each new medium he ventures into will then be dedicated and offered for sale for the benefit of Komen for the Cure. The auction for the main piece takes place at the Inn of the Anasazi on August 20, from 10 AM to 1 PM. “Even though Indian Market’s very busy, that’s why we chose it, because there’ll be so many people there,” says Susan Simons, the central New Mexico affiliate’s executive director, who hopes to use part of the money to translate its breastcancer-awareness information into Navajo. “Plus, we’ll be reaching an audience we might not reach otherwise.”—Devon Jackson
taking the initiative G R A N T S How does Indian Market advance society’s dialogue on Native American arts? The Southwestern Association for American Indian Arts (SWAIA) is looking into that question, thanks to a grant from Washington, D.C.’s Ford Foundation. It’s all part of the nonprofit’s initiative to learn more about how Americans talk about Native arts and culture in general. The grant comprises one of the two initiatives overseen by Foundation program officer and Cherokee Nation member Elizabeth Theobald Richards. Other grantees have included the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Vision Project and a Native Arts and Culture Foundation being established in Portland, Oregon. “I’m not expecting SWAIA to change the nature of Native arts and culture—not right away,” says Richards, a three-time Market visitor. “But I hope those organizations work together to make a change, and SWAIA is an important part of that.”—DJ
From far left: lapis pendant by Cody Sanderson; turquoise, peridot, and freshwater-pearl pendant by Fritz Casuse; and turquoise, coral, and sugilite ring by Veronica Benally, all from Relios
order Native now! TV-shopping addicts know there’s more for sale on the tube than just Chia Pets and Snuggies. But even channel-surfing regulars may be surprised to learn that QVC is now offering necklaces, bracelets, and earrings by Indian Market stars Cody Sanderson, Fritz Casuse, and Veronica Benally. Each has designed a line of sterling-silver pieces for Albuquerque’s Relios jewelry company, which manufactures and sells them at relios.com, in the Carolyn Pollack jewelry store in Albuquerque, and on QVC’s “Native American Designer Jewelry” program—the next episode of which airs Sunday, August 16 (check qvc.com for times). “Each of these artists has an approach to design that is distinctly different,” says Pollack, Relios’s lead designer and host of the QVC show. “It is our desire to delight our national audience with what Native American design is today—beyond the perception that so many people have, simply due to lack of access or exposure.”—DD JEWELRY
four summer titles to whet your Indian Market appetite Gene Kloss: An American Printmaker, compiled by A. Eugene Sanchez ($195, De Teves Publishing). A love affair with the Southwest is apparent on each page of the new hardcover, two-volume catalogue raisonné of printmaker Gene Kloss. A longtime resident of Taos, Kloss created more than 600 etchings that capture her enchantment with the landscape and Native American people of the Southwest. The full-color edition, available only at geneklossart.com, comprises 482 of her works and is the most comprehensive collection to date. An exhibition of Kloss’s work will be on view until August 8 at the Nedra Matteucci Gallery (1075 Paseo de Peralta, 505-982-4631). Dark Thirty, by Santee Frazier ($16, University of Arizona Press). Frazier’s first collection of poems concerns itself with Native American life on the margins of contemporary American society. Simon J. Ortiz: A Poetic Legacy of Indigenous Continuance, edited by Susan Berry Brill de Ramírez and Evelina Zuni Lucero ($28, University of New Mexico Press). This new collection of interviews and critical essays explores the prolific writer’s contribution to Native American literature. Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong, by Paul Chaat Smith ($22, University of Minnesota Press). In a book that is part memoir, part social commentary, the leading cultural critic uses wit and a dark honesty to talk about life as an American Indian.—Erin Brooks
COURTESY DE TEVES PUBLISHING
america meredith on painting and Cherokee pride
Last August, after two decades in San Francisco, Cherokee painter America Meredith returned to Santa Fe to teach art history at her alma mater, the Institute of American Indian Arts. The recipient of the 2007 Indian Market IAIA Distinguished Alumni award, Meredith strikes back at stereotypes with contemporary-realist portraits of today’s Native Americans. Here, the fast-thinking (and faster-talking) Oklahomaborn artist tells us about preserving Cherokee traditions, the importance of beauty, and why she goes home for the Stomp Dance.
How is it, coming back to IAIA as a professor and not a student?
I’ve learned so much about what I’m teaching—the early stuff, precontact through 1960. Early Cherokee painting—we did have a painting tradition; we just have completely lost it. I’ve found written descriptions and work from the 1700s. We wove mulberry bark into textiles and then painted those; you can see really faint painting on ceramics. What is your cultural heritage?
interview by Marin Sardy photograph by Norah Levine
Both my grandmothers are Swedish, and my grandfathers are Cherokee. It was Oklahoma, which is different from here because it’s more of a continuum than Indian/ non-Indian. Indians permeate everything. My dad is the most epic Indian nerd. He had a PhD, so we had no money, but we had books and art. He taught Native American studies for 20 years. Before that, in the ’70s, in the [American Indian Movement days], when I was born, august /september
When did you first show at Indian Market?
2003 was the big break. I was still in grad school. Indian Market is a really exciting coming together of so many different people. It’s an enormous shared experience. What does that mean for you, as a Native American living far from your tribe?
You have a homeland—and you always go back. It’s like a renewal. I think why I can say that I’m Cherokee, and be a Cherokee artist, is that I go back and participate in the Stomp Dance and other dances. If I didn’t constantly go back, I would lose all my bearings, my foundation. That’s what fuels me. Your name, America . . .
COURTESY THE ARTIST
It was my great-great-great-grandmother’s: Mary America Schrimsher Rogers. She was Will Rogers’s mom. He was my great-greatgreat-uncle. I’ve painted him a couple times. What he was doing was just typical Indian humor. U-Turn, acrylic, gel medium, and stickers on hardboard panel, 10 x 8"
he did a lot of the bailing-people-out-ofjail business. What do you draw from your Swedish roots?
There are a lot of similarities. Sweden is really proud of its traditional arts and love of nature—the forest, the outdoors. I also really love that they don’t have a dichotomy between fine art and craft. What brought you back to Santa Fe?
Santa Fe is the center of the Indian art world. There’s this constant level of dialogue that’s really not duplicated anywhere else. Tell me about the portrait that won you the IAIA Distinguished Alumni award.
Edmonia Lewis was a Native and African American sculptor with a studio in Rome in the 1870s, and she hired nine helpers. She was that big, and totally self-made—not the product of any Native American or AfricanAmerican art program. I think sometimes history books don’t give enough credit to the artists. So I keep adding on to this series of portraits of Native artists. Do any new Native art movements excite you?
This is an exciting time—there’s so much dialogue. Locally, I don’t think the galleries are reflecting this groundswell of new art. Two paintings I got this year—by Chris 68
Pappan (Kaw) and Daniel McCoy (Muscogee) —are prime examples of what I see happening in painting. They’re contemporary traditionalists. Are you a contemporary traditionalist?
Yeah. The tradition is to be part of your tribe, and its values, but the contemporary aspect is finding new ways to talk about where you’re coming from, what you’re putting out—they go hand in glove. Is that why you draw not just from Cherokee culture, but from many unrelated sources?
I think we have to reflect our time so we don’t lose our history. Indian people have a lot to offer in important discussions that are going on now—environmental issues, land issues, food issues. It’s funny how you think returning to your identity is kind of selfish but it’s very generous. What do you think about SWAIA opening Indian Market to more innovative work?
I’m happy there’s interest in changing the standards, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We had artists and art markets before Europeans came here. Navajo weavers would weave for Ute and Plains people. Artists were an integral part of the community. We should build on that tradition.
In a way, you’re kind of an all-American girl.
Yeah, I think that’s a strength of this country—this coming together and mixing. I wish I were full-blood, but I’m not, so that’s why we have all these new ideas and such. We draw from everywhere. What does your art do for you, personally?
Sometimes I’m a little Pollyannaish. I want to talk about the way things can be good. It’s so easy to be against things. But then it’s hard to be for something. So what are you for?
Plants and animals; connection with nature. And I think we really should embrace beauty. We put down beauty—like we don’t think it’s real, like it’s some kind of fantasy. And why is painting your medium?
I know it’s old-fashioned and the art world’s like, “Painting—gah!” But my heart is in painting. I think if you’re just true to yourself, and tell your own story, then your own experience of life is going to be so weird that the more honest you are, the more unique your art will be. Check out America Meredith’s artwork in her studio at 1422 Second Street, online at ahalenia.com, or in booth #229–PAL at SWAIA Indian Market, August 22–23.
upon this rock r e c o n n e c t i n g at t h e r e o p e n e d Pu y e C l i f f D w e l l i n g s
Above: Puye, formed out of volcanic ash and once home to more than 1,500 people. Right: Atop the mesa, “where rabbits gather.”
black volcanic glass, and tiny chunks of black rocks litter the ground and dot the dwellings’ tuff. Pottery shards are everywhere, in the dirt and placed neatly and conscientiously on the tops of rocks and wooden stumps. The guides impress upon visitors to be conscientious and respectful of what they find at Puye by leaving it, not taking it home as a memento. Sparsely settled in the 900s, it wasn’t until 1100 or so, with the arrival of the Tewa people from Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon to the north, that Puye really began to thrive. At its height, when Coronado passed through in the 1540s, close to 1,500 people occupied 200 rooms; but by end of that century, the cliffs and mesas were virtually empty. Residing on the eastside cliffs during winters and atop the mesas in
COURTESY PUYE CLIFF DWELLINGS
for the first time since the devastating Cerro Grande fire of 2000— which destroyed 11 square miles of tribal land but led to the creation of the Santa Clara Forestry Department, the construction of about 4,000 check dams, and the thinning and planting of almost 4,000 acres with more than 1.3 million trees—the Puye Cliff Dwellings offer up not so much an adventure or even a quest as a kind of reality check for one’s ethno-cultural place in the world. And they’re only a halfhour’s drive northwest of Santa Fe. The original settlers of these cliffside homes were often uprooted— by force, by circumstance, by nature, by choice. What sets their fate apart from that of so many other tribes— what makes this particular site so moving and beautiful and not at all sad—is that the Pu-Towa (Tewa for “rabbit people,” from puye, meaning “place where rabbits gather”), once they did leave, never had to venture all that far away. In fact, their migration turned out to be all of ten miles downhill. Even better, the Pu-Towa, most of whose 1,800 descendants now call Santa Clara Pueblo home (actually, they call it, in Tewa, Kha’po Owinge—Valley of the Wild Roses), have retained control over their ancestral digs. And digs they literally are. The cavelike openings in the cliff face— which curves north to south for about 300 yards—were formed by large air bubbles in the soft, tan volcanic tuff (the ash from the Mt. Everest-size volcano that erupted 1.5 million years ago in what is now the Valles Caldera in the Jemez Mountains). Pieces of obsidian,
COURTESY PUYE CLIFF DWELLINGS
once again open to the public,
summer, the Pu-Towa, who arranged their living quarters in rows according to their respective clans, were a matriarchal society. “The mother dictated which clan you came from,” explains tour guide Porter Swentzell, whose mother happens to be renowned sculptor Roxanne Swentzell and whose grandfather also tended the cliffs, “so you always, always knew who your mother was. And when you married, you moved into your mother-in-law’s house. Your wife owned you.” august /september
COURTESY PUYE CLIFF DWELLINGS
director of Santa Fe’s School of American Archaeology (now the School for Advanced Research on the Human Experience), dug away at the site from 1901 until 1926. In a hurry to grab whatever he could, he took precious few notes and discarded numerous objects deemed by him as unusable or worthless. “So we don’t know what, where, or how he found stuff,” laments Swentzell. “He wanted only the mostest, the fastest, and the firstest.”
When one of their clan lived somewhere, that land was theirs in perpetuity. An entryway into one of Puye’s cliff dwellings, which may have been rebuilt by the company started by early-20th-century entrepreneur Fred Harvey to look more authentically “ruinous.”
It’s this personal connection to the land, to the cliff dwellings, to these people, that separates a tour of Puye from the typical history tour. Swentzell and the other guides have a personal take on—and stake in— almost every nugget of information they pass along. The stones that the women used each year to polish the floors after plastering the walls inside and out by hand have been passed on to successive generations of Santa Clarans as heirlooms. Swentzell reels off 1,001 fascinating uses for jimson weed, for juniper, for the salt bush. Swentzell then adds a little aside about the popularity of the jimson weed (also known as datura) among college kids, who flock to it like cats to catnip. These wannabe vision questers, hearing of jimson’s psychotropic properties, eat the weed thinking it’ll get them high. “Which it does,” laughs Swentzell, who has known all about the plant’s deleterious effects since roaming the land as a boy. “But it’s also poisonous. So at least as you’re dying you’ll see some fascinating things.” The petroglyphs, too, etched high up into the cliffs, have personal significance that goes beyond mere archaeology. Swentzell points to one and interprets: “The spiral indicates where that clan went to or came from, the animal is their clan symbol, and the concentric circles meant that this place is the center of the universe.” Pointing out another, he brings it right up to date. “If 78
you go to a Feast Day you’ll see people doing the exact same thing as this figure on the petroglyph,” he says. “You can still see dancers with their arms going out, just like this, to mimic the lightning coming down. Everything,” he stresses, “has a meaning.” Even, it seems, the things that have no meaning. The buildings that now house the museum, gift shop, and future artist’s studio were originally built by one of the outfits founded by western-tours entrepreneur Fred Harvey, who’d made his fortune as a sort of rail-line remora. In 1926, though, Harvey’s sons broke away from the tourism relationship their dad had made with the railroads and set up a chain of off-thebeaten-railroad-track tours called Indian Detours. Harvey crews would pick up people stepping off the train at Lamy and schlep them up to the Puye Harvey House. Dismayed that the ruins were, in fact, too ruinous, the Harveys rebuilt some of the cliff dwellings according to what they thought ruins should look like. They put in doors where doors never were, and they added petroglyphs. Similarly, on the mesa above the cliff dwellings, in the underground circular space most everyone just refers to it as a kiva (though the Santa Clarans didn’t until recently), benches and ladders were added in the 1970s. It would all be much funnier if there hadn’t been a more exploitative precedent. Eager to make a name for himself, Edgar Hewett,
“Forever,” according to Puye guide Porter Swentzell. “A clan can always move back into that home whenever they want.”
Hewett also hired workers not just from Santa Clara but from San Ildefonso, which is how the cliffs got stuck with Puye— “a San I [San Ildefonso] pronunciation for ‘up high,’” explains Swentzell—instead of the Santa Claran one, which pronounces the y sound with a j. No matter. The Santa Clarans have their land back—as is their custom: When one of their clan lived somewhere, that land was theirs in perpetuity. “Forever,” says Swentzell. “A clan can always move back into that home whenever they want.” In all, a trip to Puye feels like one of those days spent with your granddad on a ripplefree pond, when neither of you got so much as a nibble and yet went home happy and fulfilled and connected—connected to each other, to the earth and everything around you, as if you knew what it was like, if only for a small part of one day, to be at the center of the universe.—Devon Jackson getting there From Santa Fe, drive north on NM 84/285 to Española. Turn west at the intersection of NM State Road 30 and Santa Clara Canyon Road, then drive seven miles. For more information, contact Lucretia Williams: 505-901-0681, email@example.com.
S A N TA F E A N S A L U T E S
speaking volumes saving Native tongue s at the Indigenous Language Institute
Of the world’s 6,800 spoken languages, linguists predict at least half will be extinct by the end of this century. That includes more than 100 in the U.S., where a mere 20 Native tongues are still spoken by all generations. Recognizing it for the crisis it is, the Indigenous Language Institute and its executive director, Inée Yang Slaughter, have transformed the 17-year-old organization into a national resource center for Native communities trying to reinject their native languages into daily life. Their latest tool? Digital media. Audiovisual technology, especially, serves as the perfect Trojan horse for youth and in cultures with strong oral traditions. Over the past six years, ILI workshops have trained some 400 people from 115 tribes across the continent, creating more than
300 short films, audio recordings, and booklets in 113 languages. “And we know they have created more since going back,” says Slaughter. Even in the Southwest, tribes are concerned they have too few elders as teachers. “A lot of my cousins understand the language very well, but aren’t fluent in speaking it,” worries Navajo workshop coordinator Rachael Nez. Not that that has discouraged Nez or anyone else at ILI. “We want to see language everywhere, all the time,” says Slaughter. “And for everybody.”—Marin Sardy Support ILI by donating to the Native Language Fund:1501 Cerrillos, 505-820-0311, ilinative.org august /september
For his Vagabond line, Ortiz and friend Jeff Knudsen first wrote a screenplay based on Popé’s Pueblo Revolt of 1680 (the uprising of the Pueblo peoples of New Spain, New Mexico, against their Spanish colonizers). They gave the script’s Indian characters the names of Ortiz’s family members, then enlisted friends and relatives to dress up in costumes of that time and act out their respective characters; Ortiz photographed them and devised his Vagabond line based on digitized renditions of those images. Similarly, for his line of interior designs, which are being manufactured by Las Vegas, Nevada’s Project Dynamics—”They’re the gods of hospitality design,” gushes Ortiz— Ortiz again drew upon his pottery, his fashion, and his film characters.
COURTESY SHIPROCK; FAR RIGHT, COURTESY THE ARTIST
cashmere sweaters, silk scarves, leatherwork, pottery. Carpets, bedding, tapestries, pottery. Jewelry, painting, film, pottery. Pottery, pottery, pottery. “Everything orbits around the pottery,” says Virgil Ortiz, the multi-talented 40-yearold Renaissance man from Cochiti Pueblo. “Everything,” in Ortiz’s case, being his fashion and hospitality designs, and various other examples of fine art. In addition to arriving at this year’s Indian Market with his most ambitious show to date (“I’ll have 15 pieces, whereas usually there are only about seven,” says Ortiz, “and all of them are really huge”), the 2006 Indian Market poster-award winner will be offering up a sneak peek at his VO Home Décor Collection of interior designs and home furnishings, as well as his 2010 Vagabond fashion line. People respond to Ortiz because he’s as bold and daring as Jean Paul Gaultier or Isaac Mizrahi, and his Vagabond creations, like his pottery, are as eye-popping as they are complementary. “What Vagabond represents to me,” explains Ortiz, who still lives and works in Cochiti, “is when Native Americans started slowly seeing non-Natives coming around, they looked like freaks. Actually, both sides looked at each other as freaks.” In fact, Ortiz’s fascination with all these freakish outsiders harkens back to a longstanding Cochiti artistic in-joke: In the late 1800s, the Cochiti depicted these non-Native oddballs in clay figurines called monos (Spanish for “monkeys”), then sold them to these unsuspecting odd-wads as collectibles—the non-Natives not
COURTESY THE ARTIST
Vi r g i l O r t i z — p o t t e r, d e s i g n e r, a n d a l l - a r o u n d R e n a i s s a n c e m a n
Clockwise from top: Sun, Water, and Moon silk dress and umbrella, from Ortiz’s 2010 collection; Sun and Water carpeting, from the VO Home Décor Collection; an untitled clay figure, from Vagabond.
realizing that the Cochiti were making fun of them while making money off of them as well. Ortiz, though, whose mother (the renowned potter Seferina Ortiz) died two years ago, isn’t so much making fun of anyone as blending the traditional with the contemporary—and executing both with precision and panache. And aiming at a higher
purpose—to use these images and designs as educational tools. “I’m completely blessed,” says Ortiz, who also founded a nonprofit that introduces kids from Cochiti to language, art, and fashion. “Everything I do is to help the kids. Everything comes full circle. Everything comes back to the pottery—and to language, to art, to kids.”—Devon Jackson august /september
HOME + GARDEN
got adobe? the elegance and eclecticism of house s made of mud
If you think you’re right for an adobe home or an adobe home’s right for you, here are some Santa Fe resources. Now, go get muddy! ARCHITECTS Boniface+Associates 505-983-5266 boniface.com Martinez Architecture Studio 505-989-4958
Studio Arquitectura 505-982-5338 ADOBEROS Adobe Man 505-986-3995 Pat Taylor (in Mesilla) 505-526-7995 HISTORIC ADOBE PRESERVATION Cornerstones Community Partnership 505-982-9521 cstones.org CONTRACTORS Wolf Corp 505-983-5511 OTHER CONSULTANTS HVL Interiors 505-983-3601 hvlinteriors.com Wiseman+Gale+ Duncan Interiors 505-984-8544
Steven Robinson Architects 505-989-8335 stevenrobinsonarchitects.net
Top, left to right: Roomy master bedroom in a New Mexico Territorial adobe; historic Mesilla, New Mexico, adobe, with an in-house orotorio (chapel); Arizona hacienda bathroom; modern-style adobe guest room in Sonora, Mexico. Bottom, left to right: Outdoor patio in a renovated Sonora, Mexico, adobe; family room in Tucson’s Erskine Caldwell adobe (once home to the famous writer); courtyard in a rustic-modern Tucson adobe.
people who live in adobe homes are a little different from those living in other types of structures—not as hard-edged, perhaps; a bit more free-form. Michael Byrne and Dottie Larson, authors of the new coffee-table-ish book The New Adobe Home (Gibbs Smith, $35), think so, anyway. “People who love adobe tend to have a very eclectic approach to life,” says Byrne, an Arizona-based architect who designed the adobe house he and Larson share in Tucson. “You have to like the imperfection of it and work with and around that.” To select the two dozen residences featured in their book— seven of them in or near Santa Fe—the authors looked at adobe
homes in a range of architectural styles (Spanish Colonial, pueblo, Sonoran) in the American Southwest and northern Mexico. The buildings that made the final cut are gifted with what Byrne and Larson term the “wow” factor: artistic, unique in concept and design, and elegant or glamorous. As the book’s lush photographs make clear, adobe works well with almost any furnishings and art—no matter the style, genre, or time period—because of its warmth, color, and subtle texture. “Santa Fe is probably on the cutting edge in the use of adobe,” says Byrne. “But adobe can absolutely transcend the Southwest and thrive anywhere.” In fact, it’s much more popular now than it was even ten years ago.
The fact that it’s made by hand and not mass-produced, and also a very eco-friendly building material, has only helped boost its appeal and potential. “It’s a living material,” says Byrne. “In an adobe home you feel a sense of permanence; you feel like you’re closer to the earth.” And again Larson comes back to the observation that those who’ve gone adobe share a certain sense of flair—at least in her experience. “Everywhere we went,” she says, “people with adobe homes seemed to have very special, very eclectic [art] collections.” Maybe that’s because they were already eclectic and special—or maybe the adobe helped mold them into that type of person. —Devon Jackson august /september
A P P R A I S A LS
ask the experts s o lv i n g t h e m y s t e r i e s o f y o u r S o u t h w e s t c o l l e c t i b l e s
I bought this heavy bracelet (about 5–6 ounces) at a Santa Fe flea market in 1994. It’s marked with “sterling” and the initials ‘WB’ on the back.—A.M., Santa Fe, NM
I received this rug as a gift about 20 years ago. It was purchased somewhere in Arizona and measures approximately 25 x 26".—E.G., Mountain Home, AR
I purchased this belt buckle in 1974 at Henderson’s General Store in Golden, New Mexico, for about $85. There are no markings as to a maker.—D.A., Santa Fe, NM
After careful study, I believe that your Southwest-style bracelet is not American Indian-made. Although the Southwest is famous for native jewelry, there’s a solid history here of jewelry that is not American Indian in origin. The shank is heavy and thick with a plain uniform shape, unadorned with stamping or filing. The three rectangular turquoise stones, set in plain commercial bezels, are separated by an inch or so of space– atypical for a Native American silversmith. From the photograph it’s difficult to identify the turquoise’s origin. You might take your bracelet to The Turquoise Museum in Albuquerque for expert identification. It could be from the 1980s or slightly before. I would estimate its current market value to be $250– $275.—Joan Caballero
You have an unusual version of a Navajo floor rug dating from the first quarter of the twentieth century. It was woven with handspun yarn and utilizes a central diamond motif, typical of Navajo rugs from this time period. However, the use of a red background and the narrow red outer border are not common. The red color was created using a commercial red dye, while the white, black, and brown details throughout the piece are natural wool colors. The center diamond is a combination of white and black wool carded together to create a mottled gray. It appears that there is some bleeding of the red dye into both the gray and white areas. Although this can be removed, it is not inexpensive. In this condition, I would value your weaving at $650. —Lane Coulter
This buckle is a “concha”-style piece like those used in Navajo concha belts. It appears to be hand-stamped and is an example of the traditional styles that were so popular during the Indian Arts and Crafts boom of the 1970s. The joined lines radiating outward from what appears to be a Royston turquoise stone are actually stylized eagle-feather designs. This is a great-looking concha that will only improve with wear. It will develop a wonderful patina (a layer of film produced by oxidation) as it ages. Don’t overpolish it, as conchas actually increase in value as they develop patinas, which give an air of antiquity to silver. Also, polishing can cause scratching, which is evident on the outer edges of this piece. The current value range of your concha is $125–$175.—Ira Clark august /september
Joan Caballero (Joan Caballero Appraisals, 505-9828148) is a member of the International Society of Appraisers. Ira Clark is co-owner and director of Traders’ Collection (219 Galisteo, 505-992-0441). Lane Coulter coowns Coulter-Brooks Art & Antiques (924 Paseo de Peralta #4, 505-983-3232). Send photos, information, name, and phone number to: “Appraisals,” Santa Fean, 215 W San Francisco, Suite 202A, Santa Fe, NM 87501, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All values are estimates and do not constitute a legal appraisal.
SWAIA INDIAN MARKET POSTER ARTIST MARIA SAMORA by Marin Sardy
Maria Samora has been idly fingering a metal tool for about five minutes. Sitting at her workbench in the San Cristobal studio she shares with her mentor, master goldsmith G. Phil Poirier, she looks at the tool, turning it around in her hand; drops it accidentally, reactively picks it up again. She is fidgeting. I’ve asked her what inspires her work: “You’ve named a lot of outside sources. What about the inside?” For a jeweler who has been named the poster artist for SWAIA Indian Market only four years after she first set up a booth at the event—at 34, one of the youngest, and one of only three women, to be honored as such in its 88-year history—-it’s an obvious question. Samora’s art was wildly popular from day one of her first Market, in 2005, and that was just the beginning. She went on to take home a first-place award in the “nontraditional bracelet with stones” category in 2007; last year, in addition to showing in fairs from California to Colorado, she was one of eight young Native American jewelers featured in an exhibit at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. Now, dressed in a simple, black knit shirt and faded but impeccably clean jeans, she scans partially formed gold and silver adornments from behind a sweep of dark, bobbed hair. “I don’t know,” she eventually admits. “It’s really hard to say, exactly.” Only minutes earlier, when I asked about the inner inspirations for her work, she talked about her life, her doubts, her expectations. She grew up as the daughter of a Taos Pueblo father and a white Midwestern mother, who also dabbled as a jewelry maker, although Samora herself never envisioned becoming a jeweler and never thought she’d not be working as a waitress. She shares a house in El Prado, at the northern edge of Taos, with her photographer husband
and their four-year-old son. She spends all of her free time outdoors, and she can ski anything at Taos Ski Valley but is too afraid to try the backcountry. “It comes from all my surroundings,” she said, trying to account for the sources of her inspiration. “From living in Taos, from being on a walk and seeing a leaf on a flower, or a petal, or a blade of grass. It’s constantly all around me. It could be a graphic on somebody’s T-shirt, or a piece of something I see in a magazine. Books from Cartier, Native American books, ancient Greek books, stuff from the Renaissance, Art Deco. It’s a little bit of everything.” Samora’s life, a complex and often contradictory array of experiences, is not unusual compared with that of other Native American artists of her generation. That she has turned the mishmash of these elements into a cohesive, refined, and singular body of work that continues to mature and expand—this is extraordinary. And it’s as true of her earliest collection, Summer Rain (which pairs strands of small gold beads with opaque stones, such as cat’s-eye moonstone), as it is of the popular and more recent Seashell collection— two examples of which grace the 2009 Indian Market poster. For the latter, Samora fashions small “seashell” shapes from gold discs with surfaces ridged by some 100 hammer blows apiece, and then arranges them (75 individual pieces, in some cases) in distinctive organic geometric designs. In her most recent explorations—some of which are still, as Samora says, “manifesting”—she has begun to rely heavily on Keum-boo, an ancient Korean technique of fusing 24-karat gold to silver, which creates surface patterns that
Tactile play off the contrast between the two metals.
JEWELRY PHOTOS BY KEVIN REBHOLTZ
“This may be overly simplistic,” says Poirier, a longtime supporter of her talent, “but when she first started out, the designs were just that. They were good, but they were simple and straightforward. Now, they’ve evolved into something much more expressive, more unique.” Aside from the awards she’s amassed from Indian Market and the Heard Indian Fair, the elegance and versatility of her designs have brought her a growing fan base, among them Cheri FalkensteinDoyle, curator of Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. “She seems to think a lot about how something is going to be worn,” says Falkenstein-Doyle, “and making it look good on a body.” In fact, she does. “I’ve owned quite a few bracelets I’m constantly fiddling with or I can’t wait to take off because I feel like it’s suffocating my body,” says Samora. This may come from engaging in all the sporting
Top: Seashell Pendant, 18k royal yellow gold with black diamond on a rhodium-plated rose-gold chain. Bottom, left: Keum-Boo Woven Cuff, 24k and oxidized sterling silver; right: Luminosity, 18k royal yellow gold seashells on oxidized sterling-silver cuff
activities common to so many Taoseños. In addition to skiing, Samora enjoys hiking and has tried her hand at snowboarding, surfing, kayaking, and kiteboarding—so she’s no stranger to the sensations of snow on her face or grass scraping her legs. “Jewelry is such a personal art form,” she points out, “in that it’s touching your skin.” And jewelry making can be especially physical, which is why Samora balances out the hours of careful sawing and pounding with yoga and cranialsacral treatments. The real key to what makes Samora’s pieces her own, however, is harder to pinpoint. In conversation as in her jewelry, she comes across as understated, thoughtful, and profoundly reverent of the beauty that is all around her, seemingly unconscious of the beauty she herself projects.
One might say she even looks like her designs. When she talks about her use of diamonds, she could be describing herself. “To me,” she says, “they’ve always been just kind of like a little snowflake. Very sparkly but subtle.” Poirier sees parallels between Samora’s personality and her work methods. “She’s very insightful in the sense that she stops and ponders and looks [at something] from a lot of different angles,” he says. “She’s not quick to decision or judgment. She tends to be more of a quiet person that way—not that she’s shy, but more that she holds a lot of perception internally.” Yet it’s also clear that she doesn’t hold back in her studio. Samora will spend dozens of hours on a piece, only to scrap it if, for instance, she solders a wire crooked. For one Seashell bracelet, she made at least 50 more discs than she used in the final piece, tossing out the imperfect ones. That same drive fuels her creativity, which at times takes great leaps into the unexpected. “The whole series she’s done using the grid with the tiny diamonds [the Cosmos collection],” marvels Poirier, “I’ve never seen anything like that.” Taos’s influence on Samora comes up again as she talks about her work. Her father, the late Doroteo “Frank” Samora, was an important figure at Taos Pueblo and one of its spiritual leaders until his death in 2007, at the age of 101. By the time Maria was born, he was 69 and known to the world as the man whose arrest and trial served as the basis for Frank Waters’s celebrated 1942 novel The Man Who Killed the Deer. Maria’s mother, Chien Motto, was a creative and spiritual Indiana transplant who moved to Taos in the early 1970s to live on a commune. “I had an unusual childhood—a Pueblo father and an Anglo mother with a 40-year age difference,” says Samora, who describes them both as “independent thinkers.” She and her brother, Yellowbird, were raised in town, but Samora remembers participating in tribal ceremonies on the Pueblo. “We were exposed to different perspectives of culture and religion,” she says. “I feel like I’ve had the best of both worlds. My heritage is rich.” And although she gives a nod to her mother’s taste and design sense as a jeweler (of “eclectic, whimsical stuff”), Samora had little interest in jewelry making while growing up. Instead, she focused on photography and Spanish during her three years at California’s Pitzer College, and spent another six months traveling throughout South America before returning to her hometown. Her path to renown began in 1998, when, after three semesters at UNM-Taos, she signed up for a workshop in advanced stone setting through the Taos Institute of Arts, taught by Poirier. “By the third day, I was like, I’ve got to mentor with this guy,” recalls Samora. During her four-
year apprenticeship with Poirier, Samora spent hundreds of hours buffing, soldering, and setting stones. In the meantime, she’d begun turning her own ideas into pieces she wore herself. To pay the bills, she waited tables at Lambert’s of Taos, sometimes selling customers her jewelry right off her body. By 2002, she’d landed representation at Blue Rain Gallery (owner Leroy Garcia noticed her designs while eating at Lambert’s). It was Garcia who suggested she apply for a booth at Indian Market.
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST Maria Samora, the first woman in years to represent Indian Market as its poster artist (as well as one of the youngest, at
Left: Mountain Range Cuff, oxidized sterling silver. Right: Keum-Boo Dot Bracelet, 24k gold and fine silver
34), makes jewelry that often pushes the boundaries of what’s
She also pushes herself—as a skier, a surfer, a kayaker,
typically considered Native art.
and an artist. Which is why she loves getting outdoors with her photographer husband, Kevin Rebholtz, and their son,
into the mountains and rivers around Taos, to the ocean.
Quentin, as much they can—
Anything and everything inspires Samora—from a T-shirt to the extensive array of books in the library of her studio mate and mentor, G. Phil Poirier. Whether she’s working in gold, silver, or diamonds, Samora’s pieces embody her personality and her personal approach to her jewelry as wearable art. A wearable art that accentuates the body and captures the movement of the human form.
“My first Market, honestly, I had a lot of anxiety about,” admits Samora. “I’ve always felt like a bit of an outcast at the Pueblo, so all these feelings came up. I remember sitting with a friend and—I was also nine months pregnant—I was crying and I was like, ‘My stuff’s not Native American looking. I don’t think I’m gonna fit in.’” Which is exactly what happened. Samora didn’t fit in. Samora stood out, garnering a phenomenal reception that jump-started her career. That year, she sold 50 percent of her inventory, and took home a second-place award for one of her bracelets. “So many people kept saying how refreshing it was to see something different and new,” remembers Samora, who soon after quit her waitressing job and whose son, Quentin, arrived three weeks after Market. “It made me realize, I can do this full-time.” Or as full-time as she can manage. She and her husband, Kevin Rebholtz, whom she met skiing seven years ago and who now helps out with the jewelry making, recently bought a piece of property adjacent to their Taos home. “The plan is to build a studio there,” enthuses Samora, “and have a space where we can have jewelry classes, and have other instructors come and teach, and also take on apprentices. I’d like to be able to expand. I have a million ideas.” She has been spending six hours a day, four days a week at her workbench, and acknowledges it doesn’t seem like enough. Two days before yet another expo, she’s pounding out a line of sterling silver earrings and playing with a few new ideas. “I’m just going with it, so we’ll see what happens,” she says with a hint of a raised eyebrow. “I’m taking it day by day. For now.”
the history makers LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT RECIPIENTS S A M ENGLISH, SOFIA MEDINA, AND OSCAR HOWE (not pictured)
by Staci Golar photographs by Douglas Merriam
En g lis T
he phrase “art heals” might sound cliché, but Ojibwe painter Sam English is living testament that it actually can. Long before overcoming his struggle with alcoholism, English—who’s as open about his personal life as he is about his art—experienced a spiritual awakening in Albuquerque’s Old Town, one that foretold his future as a painter. “I was standing on the south side of the plaza, looking at the church, when suddenly something told me that I would be here and have a gallery,” recalls English, 67. Indeed, in 1982 he opened his first gallery. Even better, by that time he’d not only realized his dream of becoming a professional artist; he’d achieved sobriety as well. Since then, English has made it his mission to give back to his community, donating both his time and his art to auctions, events, books, and posters—anything that supports American Indian advocacy work. Currently, with the help of the Kellogg Foundation, he is donating 300 copies of his new book, Sam English—The Life, Work, and Times of An Artist, to libraries serving Native peoples. Still sober and still painting, English continues to work out of his Albuquerque studio, creating his trademark elongated figures and scenes from contemporary Indian life. These days, though, he’s using oil and acrylic, having left behind the watercolors of his earlier works. He admits to being shocked—and honored—when told he’d been chosen for a Lifetime Achievement award. “My family and friends are extremely proud that I received this award,” says English. “And to be associated at the same time with one of my mentors, Oscar Howe . . . what more could one ask for?”
Upper, left: Them Two Huggin’, oil on canvas, 4 x 6' Lower,left: That Guy in his Striped Robe, oil on canvas, 4 x 6' Below: Them Guys Singin’ and Shakin’ Rattles, acrylic on canvas, 4 x 2'
ALL COURTESY THE ARTIST
Sofia Medina carries herself no differently than most of her fellow Zia Pueblo grandmothers: soft-spoken, humble, giving. Born on the pueblo in 1932, she learned how to make pottery from her husband’s grandmother, fellow pottery matriarch Trinidad Medina. Like Trinidad, Sofia has passed on her pottery-making knowledge to a younger generation, including all eight of her children. Infusing each of her hand-coiled pieces with song and prayer, Medina crafts ollas and bowls that come to life with earthy multicolored birds and geometric designs. “She is part of the continuum of Zia pottery,” says Bruce Bernstein, SWAIA’s executive director. “Carrying forward the beauty that exemplifies Zia pottery.” Collected at institutions such as Harvard University and the Peabody Essex Museum, and featured in the Albuquerque Museum’s 1979 One Space, Three Visions exhibit, Medina continues to carry Zia pottery forward. “She exemplifies the inseparability between life and pottery making,” adds Bernstein, “and has been able to share the values of her community to a world audience.”
Vase, traditional clay
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Overcoming obstacles in pursuit of his art was a constant for Yanktonai Sioux painter Oscar Howe (1915–1983). As a teenager, he suffered from tuberculosis before enrolling in an art program at Santa Fe’s Indian School. And in 1958, when judges from the National Indian Painting Competition at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma rejected his entry as not traditional enough, Howe responded, “Are we to be herded like a bunch of sheep,” he wrote, “with no right for individualism, dictated to as the Indian has always been, put on reservations and treated like a child?” Shortly thereafter, the museum changed its guidelines. “It is my greatest hope that my paintings may serve to bring the best thing of Indian culture into the modern way of life,” Howe once said. Having taught hundreds of University of South Dakota students over a 25-year period, taken part in more than 60 solo exhibitions, and tirelessly advocated for Native people via the arts, it is hard to argue that he did anything less.
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Oscar Howe with one his originals august /september
the new garde FELLOWSHIP RECIP IENTS PHILLIP CHARETTE, LIZ WALLACE, JARED CHAVEZ, SHELDON NUNEZ-VELARDE, AND DANIEL MOYA (not pictured) by Lesley S. King
ne day, when Liz Wallace was young, her father showed her a book titled The Master Jewelers. “Up until then I thought he was the best,” says Wallace. At that time, her father, Alan Wallace, was an acclaimed jewelry maker, and exhibited at Indian Market. The book, though, showcased designs and works by international stars such as René Lalique, Charles Lewis Tiffany, and Peter Carl Fabergé. After that, simply making good jewelry—in Wallace’s mind—would not suffice. “I always remembered how haunting it was,” recalls Wallace, now 33. “If I could make art like that . . .” she says, trailing off in wonder. Now a master jeweler herself, Wallace, of Navajo and Washoe/Maidu heritage, creates gracefully crafted bracelets, pendants, and tiaras. Still, “It’s so labor-intensive I can’t do it a lot,” admits Wallace. Which is why, in between such concentrated work, she switches gears: her butterfly pendants, and cicadas and starfish, are wildly popular. “I need to do these things that get my juices flowing and then the major projects go easier,” she says. Wallace credits Indian Market, and its roaming community, with contributing to her creative flow. “We all travel the same circuit,” she says. “We go to the Indian Market, to other shows, and to New York. We eat together, drink together, and exchange ideas and information.” As for the fellowship money, Wallace has already used some of it to set up her website, www.lizwallacerocks.com. Her original goal, however, remains the same: making great jewelry, and making it great by working with the materials. “They tell me what they need to be,” she says. “Especially the stones.”
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Top, left: Cripple Creek, turquoise-and-silver butterfly pin Bottom, left: Haiku pendant, silver Below: Suggestions of a Pond, Castle Dome turquoise, raised silver
hillip Charette, whose Alaskan Yup’ik name, Aarnaquq, means “the dangerous one,” integrates past and present into both his work and his life. Aarnaquq, for example, came down to him from his great-great grandfather, who in Yup’ik tradition now abides in and as—or as part of—Charette. And his masks, which range from the playfulness of a child’s awe-filled expression to a sage storyteller with a cheek wet with tears, betray a sense of the tension that lies between the now and a past one can only sense. “I’m not just making art,” he says. “I’m doing art and culture and all that’s tied with it—carrying our values forward. The masks make the intangible, tangible.” Charette, 47, has the talent for transforming many an intangible into the tangible—fast—and no matter what the medium—metal, feathers, glass. He remembers taking just one pottery class before being asked to teach the course himself. “It just happens naturally,” he says. “That’s part of who your spirit is—you’ve already done it in the past.” Despite that knowledge, however, Charette hasn’t had the right equipment, something the fellowship will allow him either to acquire or build himself, such as a small forge and a blast furnace. Charette, who also plays the flute and tells traditional Yup’ik stories, acts as the point man for other Alaskan artists, ushering their voices into the larger world. “I’m introducing a different style of art,” emphasizes Charette. And one of his greatest partners in this endeavor has been Indian Market. Of the experience, he says, “We hang out with each other and support each other.” www.yupikmask.com
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Top, right: Poisoned, mixed media, 6 x 6 x 24" Bottom, right: Qucillgaq, mixed media, 60 x 50 x 16" Below: Protector of the Fish, mixed media, 62 x 59 x 28"
aniel Moya, a Tewa, may hail from New Mexico’s Pojoaue Pueblo, but he creates from an international palette. Having traqveled extensively as a child, with grandparents who took him all over the U.S. and to Mexico, Moya deveopled an interest in cultures far outside his own. Nevertheless, there was a moment when his destiny appeared far more circumscribed—when he found a well-paying gig as a casino supervisor. Having worked with clay in his younger years, though, he soon felt a higher calling; and when his pueblo sent him off to college, he rediscovered his desire to see the world, learn other languages, and expand his artistic ambit.Various study programs took him to Italy, Russia, China, and Mexico, where he studied art and language and met other indigenous peoples. “Learning from them was a big influence on my art, the way I live and the things I believe,” says Moya, 42. Today all that exposure to other cultures and other arts enhances Moya’s already Tewa-rich wall sculptures, two of which won awards at Indian Market in 2007 and 2008.
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Summer Visitor, wood sculpture
lames. Flames are the key to Sheldon Nunez-Velarde’s pottery. Flames that dance across the surfaces of his golden micaceous pots, his water jars, his serving bowls. “The direct contact with the flames,” says Nunez-Velarde, 37, who grew up in Dulce, on northern New Mexico’s Jicarilla Apache reservation. “That’s what gives them the black spots.” Having left New Mexico in 1992 to see the world (Russia, Brazil, New York), Nunez-Velarde returned home in 1998 to take care of his grandmother. That’s when he rediscovered his artistic and cultural roots and took on the task of reviving the tribal art form. “I always looked at my great-great grandmother’s pots and wanted to make them,” says Nunez-Velarde, whose vessels utilize some of her design elements, including ropes and zig-zags. To enlighten others about the Jicarilla’s pottery traditions, Nunez-Velarde created www.jicarillaapachepottery.com, an online museum and gallery, which displays ancient pots. “Seeing them,” says Nunez-Velarde, “will help people understand our history.”
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Left: contemporary micaceous clay with Apache influence
ared Chavez’s silverwork often depicts a place with a flowing river, a starry sky, and stacked adobe homes. These images, among others, appear on his silver bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, and vessels, always united by highly polished, deeply textured tones. “I’m constantly drawing,” he says. “These go into the work and a personal narrative emerges—bits and pieces of my life.” Though he spent a number of years away from his San Felipe pueblo in New Mexico (most notably studying digital art at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.), Chavez has always maintained a connection to his home and family. “I have a very close relationship with my dad,” says Chavez, 26. “We share a career, a studio, and we travel together.” In fact, at age 12 Chavez shared his first Indian Market booth with his father, acclaimed jeweler Richard Chavez. Over time Jared Chavez developed his own following. “It wasn’t until my designs started to mature that I got recognized on my own,” says Chavez. “That really started at Indian Market.” Hardly content to rest on their laurels, father and son continue to push themselves, artistically and businesswise. Jared has put part of his Fellowship money toward upgrading his and his father’s marketing materials, including their already-dynamic websites. “We aim for a very specific feeling,” explains Chavez of his internet creations, using words that could just as easily describe his silverwork. “Very sleek, very stark, with little distraction.” www.jaredchavez.com
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Top, right: What We Carry, hand-textured silver Bottom, right: Twilight, double-sided, hand-textured silver with Peruvian crater agate Bottom, left: hand-textured dangle earrings with carnelian beads
champions for the creative POVIKA RECIPIENTS BARBARA REBER, CHARLES DAILEY, KENNETH CHAPMAN, AND THE MUSEUM OF NEW MEXICO by Lesley S. King
arbara Reber’s involvement in Native American culture began in 1944, when she witnessed an Indian parade while she and her family were driving through Flagstaff, Arizona. Since then, her devotion to all things Native has only intensified: She has traveled throughout the Southwest, she’s woven her own Navajo-style rugs, and, most importantly, the former laboratory scientist who lives in Newport Beach, California has volunteered at Indian Market now for over two decades, often doing whatever need be done (selling Coca-Colas, receiving work from artists, or returning art after the judging is done). “There are nearly 500 volunteers representing over 20,000 hours of work,” says SWAIA’s executive director, Bruce Bernstein. “To say that we couldn’t do it without them is an understatement. Barbara’s long, dedicated years of service, her exemplary work as a volunteer, and the fact that she represents this vital part of Indian Market is the reason we are honoring her this year.”
n unabashed culture junkie who has visited hundreds of museums throughout Europe and North America, Dailey, 74, taught for 36 years at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), then served as curator of the Museum of New Mexico for eight years. Now retired but still a volunteer docent once a week at the IAIA Museum, Dailey has had a lifelong interest in Native peoples. (He “lived on horseback” as a boy, made his own breechcloth, then got totally hooked on Indians after reading Mari Sandoz’s Crazy Horse.) As one who acted as a Indian Market juror for 20 years and helped bring many an IAIA student to Market (back when a Darren Vigil Gray painting or a Doug Hyde sculpture could be had for $60 to $80), Dailey espouses the same philosophy today he impressed upon his IAIA students: “Find something that expresses your heart the best way you can, then try to perfect it.” continued on page 189
appropriate inappropriate reappropriate these Native artists are taking back those Indian images of old and redefining what it looks like—and means—to be American and Indian by Devon Jackson
It is MIND-BOGGLING how much Indian IMAGERY out there is produced by non-Natives. Much of which is sappy, STEREOTYPICAL garbage. DAVID BRADLEY
An astoundingly vibrant, intricately beaded version of a “Greetings from the Indian Country” postcard decorated not with hoary old faces of Indian chiefs and braves but images of Leonard Peltier, an exploding atomic bomb, and jets in formation. A skateboard, painted to show a kneeling Apache warrior, rifle in hand. A canvas where robots commingle with Natives. All of these are works made by Native artists. Technically and artistically, they’re as solid as any of the pieces created by their elders. But their aim? Entirely different. The Natives bringing these images of other Natives to Market—and to galleries and museums—have tired of seeing themselves and their fellow Indians in that same-old light. Why? Intentionally or unintentionally, too many nonNative artists, they feel, have tended to depict Native peoples superficially, stereotypically, and often inappropriately. As much as it has been a taking back of all these images—good, bad, and ugly—Native and non-Native artists such as Marcus Amerman, Ryan Singer, Dwayne “Chucky” Wilcox, David Bradley, Kathleen Wall, and Douglas Miles have been busy making these images their own. And while they may not agree as to what exactly reappropriation is and what it involves, their art shares a certain sensibility and purpose. Their paintings, jewelry, ceramics, and other works are funny, eye-grabbing, well-crafted, sometimes defiant, and critical—critical of Establishments of all kinds, but perhaps most especially disapproving of the “Indians” the culture has showered onto them. “It is mind-boggling how much Indian imagery out there is produced by non-Natives,” says Bradley, the 55year-old Chippewa painter and 1984 Indian Market poster artist. “Much of which is sappy, stereotypical garbage.” The noble savage on horseback attacking buffalo, the Above: David Bradley, Sleeping Indian 2008 (Scottsdale), acrylic on canvas. Left: David Bradley, Pueblo Feast Day, acrylic on canvas.
silent Injun speaking in hand signals, the self-abnegating squaw and her papooses. All romanticized stereotypes. All insidiously implanted into America’s collective unconscious. All of which still sell and can still be found in banks, restaurants, and hotels. “When I was younger I didn’t even realize it, I identified with these images,” marvels Singer, a 36-year-old painter from the Diné nation. “But as I got older I saw them as depicting what they thought of Native Americans: as noble and in touch with the Earth. So a lot of people end up ignorant. They don’t see Native Americans going to school, getting an education, becoming lawyers. They see them as people who sell stuff to them in the plaza. They still want to see them as traditional, too; and they love Native Americans as this pop-culture image—Land O’Lakes [butter], Red Man [chewing tobacco]. They see all these images and expect them to be like that.” “What are they trying to say?” laughs Wilcox, the 52year-old Oglala Lakota ledger artist, deconstructing the ongoing appeal and production of these bygone images. “It’s just strange and bewildering. There’s the time they’re portraying and the time they’re living in. But they look at what they do as marketable. And it’s a safe zone. They don’t try to put something in of depth and value. Russell and Remington and those guys, there’s depth in what they did. But for these newer guys, it’s like selling Campbell’s soup.” Or—ultimately—selling themselves. As Amerman believes, every artwork is a self-portrait. “So what I see is a non-Indian portraying himself as an Indian,” says the 49-year-old Choctaw-Hopi artist. “Usually as the top chief emblazoned with war paint and charging into battle against insurmountable odds.” “These images are stereotypical because the artists making them don’t have that insight into who we are,” avers Jemez Pueblo sculptor Wall, 36. “They’re outside looking in. When you’re inside, though, you take the images and make them your own.” Miles, the 45-year-old San Carlos Apache/Akimel O’odham artist, certainly lays claim to these images, but sees a broader cause for their proliferation. For him, these stereotypes are part of the myth of the West, a myth Americans— though not Native Americans—used to justify the appropriation of Indian land; a myth that’s been used, too, to sell ideas and public policies; a myth whose images are now iconic, embedded. Part of every American’s psyche. “We’ve come to love those images—Natives as much as non-Natives,” cops Miles. “So when I put Marlon Brando into one of my works, it’s not so much a reappropriation as a reference, an homage. And when I paint Al Pacino or Italian-Americans, I’m saying I understand what it means to be part of a group, a tribe, a family, a community.
In our CULTURE, you look at humor as medicine. Most Native people do have SACRED CLOWNS and a tradition of mocking the way people behave. It tells us that we’re not that DAMN IMPORTANT, and that it’s OK to laugh at yourself or the next guy. DWAYNE “CHUCKIE” WILCOX
Top: Dwayne “Chuckie” Wilcox, Ride Sally Ride, colored pencils on antique ledger paper. Bottom: Dwayne “Chuckie” Wilcox, My Space, colored pencils on antique ledger paper. august /september
“So I’m really wrestling with the term ‘reappropriation,’ because, that’s not my premise,” he continues. “I’m not just taking images and, like, sticking a feather into Darth Vader or painting Columbus brown. That’s too easy. I’m infusing my work with pop culture because I’m American. I’m an American Indian, and as American as you.” Oddly enough, one might say these Native artists are owning up to and owning their identities, as Indians and Americans. Plenty of Native Americans may live and grow up on reservations but no reservation exists in a vacuum. Which is why these artists’ works combine the traditional and the contemporary, mixing high art with low art. They take as much from Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy Lichtenstein as they do from their elders, their customs, their ceremonies. They could even be seen as representatives of an evolving wave of Native Pop artists. Wilcox certainly thinks so. “We are in a Pop Art movement among Native peoples right now,” he declares. “The market’s finally becoming loose enough to allow us to be free.” “Andy Warhol was the master of appropriation/reappropriation,” remarks Bradley, who has long struggled against the doyennes of the art world and what he sees as a bias against Native artists embracing Native imagery. “He opened many doors. He influenced me a lot.” Warhol’s legacy inspired Amerman as well. Warhol’s Left: Doug Miles, Apache Replicants, seven-ply maple wood, five limitededition skateboard decks. Below: Doug Miles, Apache Nativity, original aerosol and hand-cut stencil.
I’m not just taking IMAGES and, like, sticking a feather into DARTH VADER or painting Columbus brown. That’s too easy. I’m infusing my work with POP CULTURE because I’m American. DOUG MILES
work, says the renowned beadworker, “gave an artist the right to take commercial items that are commonly accepted and put them under a microscope and allow them to tell their own story of racism, materialism, and exploitation.” “When I do a rendition of the Mona Lisa or American Gothic, it isn’t just a cute joke, it’s also a civil rights statement,” explains Bradley. “Sometimes I take stereotypical icons and use them as I see fit. By exercising my power over stereotypes, I show their fallacy and render them harmless.” “I’m giving empowerment to that idea of being a Native American artist,” adds Singer, who has a penchant for robots and Star Trek. “But it’s also a statement about who I am and where I come from. It’s a form of education.” And while these artists’ works often appear confrontational—and often are—that doesn’t mean they’re angry or disrespectful. Fresh, however...fresh works. For instance, when Miles discovered skateboard culture about ten years ago through his son, a brave new world suddenly appeared. “Painting on skateboards opened me up to new art and new ways: Anything goes,” he says. “I didn’t leave behind a Native aesthetic but I did leave behind that cut-and-dry standard of Native imagery.“ Often, one of the more effective and disarming means of getting their messages across is humor. Dark humor. “In our culture, you look at humor as medicine,” says
I’m giving EMPOWERMENT to that idea of being a Native American ARTIST. But it’s also a STATEMENT about who I am and where I come from. It’s a form of EDUCATION. RYAN SINGER
Below: Ryan Singer, Astrosheep: Tales from the Rez, acrylic on canvas. Right: Ryan Singer, Generations, acrylic on canvas.
Wilcox, who favors droll versions of George Custer and Uncle Sam in his work. “Most Native people do have sacred clowns and a tradition of mocking the way people behave. It tells us that we’re not that damn important, and that it’s OK to laugh at yourself or the next guy.” Humor, though, is not all. It’s important, but it’s only one of many elements utilized by these artists. “I try to express many facets of life in my work,” says Bradley. “From humor to anger, irony, beauty, etc.” Above: Marcus Amerman, Postcard, hand-stitched beadwork using size 13 beads. Left: Marcus Amerman, Stormbringer, hand-stitched beadwork using size 13 beads.
[Warhol’s work] gave an ARTIST the right to take COMMERCIAL items that are commonly accepted and put them under a MICROSCOPE and allow them to tell their own story of RACISM, MATERIALISM, and EXPLOITATION. MARCUS AMERMAN
These images [of WARRIORS charging into battle] are STEREOTYPICAL because the artists making them don’t have that INSIGHT into who we are. They’re outside looking in. When you’re inside, though, you take the images and MAKE THEM YOUR OWN. KATHLEEN WALL
Besides, not everyone gets the joke. Which begs the question: Just what is appropriate and inappropriate, anyway? Might one artist’s appropriate—or reappropriated— depiction be inappropriate to another? “I’ve been cussed out by some old timers, while others just laugh—but only as long as I’m making fun of white people, not if it’s Native people,” observes Wilcox. It’s a reaction he attributes not just to Native traditionalists but to non-Native arbiters of Good Taste and What Is Right. “I’m not trying to take a historical position. But a lot of times, at different events, you’ll get these judges, who have usually done all this historical research, and they come in thinking, This is what ledger art should look like. “But, in any art, and especially with ledger art,” continues Wilcox, “it’s not about how well you draw but your expression of a culture and how you feel. We need something other than just selling these romanticized versions of ourselves. These reappropriated types of works, they’re showing us that you can update your work. It doesn’t all have to be 1880s.” All photos coutesy the artists. Kathleen Wall photos, Nick Pecastaing. Above: Kathleen Wall, Taos Sisters, Jemez and Taos clay with phototransfer on pot. Right: Kathleen Wall, Crow Woman, Jemez clay and wood base. august /september
I-M A RKET ...Innovative, Intergenerational, Inspiring, Interactive... Native artists are constantly looking for ways to break new ground while preserving ties with ancient traditions. As a result, Indian Market gets more dynamic year after year. by Dianna Delling
o one, it’s safe to say, expects to receive the coveted Best of Show award at Indian Market. But artist Sheldon Harvey was so caught off guard when he won last year that he almost missed the festivities in his honor. The 29-year-old Navajo painter and sculptor was holed up in his Albuquerque studio on awards night, so intent on finishing up a few pieces for the next morning—Market’s opening day—that he asked his wife to hold all calls. When he finally emerged for a break and learned he had 28 messages from SWAIA’s executive director, Bruce Bernstein, he thought something was up. Yet even after talking with Bernstein, then jumping on his motorcycle and riding up to Santa Fe, he was still confused. “I was just floored,” he recalls. “It wasn’t until later, when I went back to my studio, that it sunk in. I was overwhelmed with joy, and started calling my family and closest friends.” Harvey relayed the good news: He’d won Best of Class in two categories, painting and sculpture, and his winning painting, a 45" x 45" oil on canvas titled Trickster Ways, had earned him the Best of Show award. The accolades also earned him unexpected attention. Museums, Harvey reports, are now showing interest in his work, which deals with traditional subjects like Navajo religion and spiri-
tuality but features the bold strokes and abstract style favored by modernists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning. And young people in Arizona and New Mexico are suddenly interested in what he has to say about painting and sculpture. “I just didn’t realize it would happen so soon,” says Harvey, a self-taught artist who grew up speaking Navajo and watching his grandfather, a medicine man, participate in traditional tribal ceremonies in Lukachukai, Arizona. “With the award, I feel like I have more responsibility to continue to grow as an artist. I also feel that I have a bit more freedom now. I can try something that may seem very strange, but that I believe people need to see.” Harvey’s desire to push both himself and his audience may surprise those who see Native American art as a very traditional, somewhat predictable field. But as anyone who’s recently been to Indian Market has witnessed, the quest to explore new frontiers while still honoring age-old techniques is an important and exciting part of the genre. “Native art has always been innovative,” says SWAIA’s Bernstein. “These art forms are thousands of years old; they wouldn’t have survived unless they had evolved along the way. So it’s only natural that many of today’s young artists are asking, ‘How do I work from tradition, yet give this my own spin?’ People need to settle in and
Above: Grisuelda Saufkie, 2008 Jean Seth Award for Basket Making. Opposite, clockwise from top left, SWAIA’s 2008 award winners: Adult Smile Award, Ryan Singer; Best of Classification, Diverse Arts, Jamie Okuma; Best of Classification, Youth, Trent Lee; Best of Show, Sheldon Harvey; Standards Award—Jean Seth Award for Painting, John I. King; Best of Classification, Wooden Pueblo Figurative Carvings and Sculpture, Robert Albert. Center: Innovation Award, Marla Allison august /september
This page, SWAIA 2008 award winners. Top, left: Standards Award—Miniatures, Rebecca Begay. Above, middle: Best of Classification, Textiles and Basketry, Mona Laughing. Above, right: Best of Classification, Sculpture, Sheldon Harvey. Middle, left: Division Award, Ages 12 and Younger, Joseph Lugo. Below, left: Best of Classification, Beadwork and Quillwork, Juanita and Jessica Growing Thunder
realize that Native-made art is everything and anything. Labeling it is self-defeating and unnecessary.” For Laguna Pueblo–based jewelry artist Pat Pruitt, 36, whose bold stainless steel jewelry and sculpture have been honored with several Indian Market awards over the past two years, the desire to blend ancient and modern influences comes naturally. “You now have a generation of artists who’ve grown up both on and off the reservation, so they’ve been exposed to new things that influence their work,” he says. “It’s not that they don’t look to their native heritage, but they’re coming up with different design styles based on whatever it is they find interesting.” But as bold as Pruitt’s designs may be, Pruitt himself considers Navajo jeweler Cody Sanderson, with whom he shared a Market award last year, as someone who’s really pushing boundaries in metalwork and jewelry. “Repoussé is Sanderson’s thing, but it’s repoussé on crack,” Pruitt says with obvious admiration. “He’s taking the same tools and techniques that have been used for generations and doing completely new things with them.” In order to keep attracting works of both the highest-quality, traditional craftsmanship and ones with more edge, Indian Market organizers made several changes in 2008. For one, they’ve significantly increased the prize money: Best of Class winners now receive $2,500 (up from $1,500) and the Best of Show winner receives $7,500 (up from $2,500). “We want to encourage artists to save their best work for Market,” explains Bernstein. “We’re also inviting more internationally known experts—gallery owners, curators, artists—to serve as judges,” he adds. Photography entries, for example, will be evaluated by a particularly impressive panel this year, with members like Lee Marmon and Dorothy Grandbois. It’s part of SWAIA’s effort—energetically (and financially) supported by Andrew Smith, of Santa Fe’s Andrew Smith Gallery—to bring more attention to the medium. The biggest draw for artists who think outside the box may be
Indian Market’s Innovation award. Introduced last year, it now comes with a $2,500 prize. “Innovation has been a theme since the first Indian Market—we’ve always celebrated the entire spectrum of art, from traditional to new,” says Bernstein. “But this award will recognize work that stands out for being particularly original.” The 2008 winner, Marla Allison, of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo, impressed the judges with an acrylic-on-masonite portrait of her mom, Sharon. Titled Mother, it incorporates a nine-minute documentary about Sharon’s life; the video plays on a screen that is embedded in the painting. “To win that award in my first year of participating in Indian Market was an honor—and validation for my years of hard work,” says Allison, 28. “I’ve wanted to show in Indian Market since I was a student at IAIA. I knew I needed to work really hard to get my work to the caliber and strength of what other artists were doing.” Until last summer, Allison earned her living as a construction worker; thanks to the attention that had been building before winning the Innovation award, and certainly afterward, she’s been able to focus on her art full-time. Last September, she was invited to join the Heard Museum’s Berlin Gallery; in May, she was awarded a fellowship from Santa Fe’s School for Advanced Research, where she’ll serve as an artist in residence for three months in 2010. Unlike some of her peers, Allison embraces the innovative tag. “I haven’t seen any other artists doing what I do, although Steven Yazzie does some multimedia work that includes some video,” she says. Still, like so many contemporary Native artists, she also doesn’t see her interest in innovation as unique. “At Market, you see sons and daughters working in the same medium that their mothers and fathers did, but they’re making breakthroughs, finding new inspirations and ways of thinking.” And that, she sums up, “is a wonderful thing.” All artwork courtesy SWAIA
This page, SWAIA 2008 award winners. Above: Youth Smile Award, Tulane John. Right: Best of Classification, Pottery, Linda Tafoya-Sanchez. Bottom, right: IAIA Distinguished Alumni Award, Peterson Yazzie
coming back for more Indian Market keeps evolvingâ€” and bringing artists, collectors, and curators together by Dianna Delling
BARBARA GONZALES—Potter The Draw: Indian Market has been the primary source of income for my family—I’ve been showing there since I was a little girl, in the 1950s. My great-grandmother, Maria Martinez; my grandparents, Adam and Santana; and my mother, Anita, all showed here, and now my children do, too. My son, Cavan, has his own booth. The Trends: The things shown at Indian Market are no longer just crafts, they are pieces of fine art. They’ve gotten more refined. The pots we make are no longer seen as just household items, they are decorative items; they sit on shelves in museums. The Bottom Line: Art’s like everything else; something dies, and something else takes over. It’s a give and take. But I think Native American art [will continue to be] very much in demand, whether it is clothing or jewelry or pottery or painting. And Indian Market is known throughout the world. GAYLORD TORRENCE—Senior Curator of American Art,
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Above: Interior of Santa Fe’s Armory, site of the first Indian Fair, 1922 Top, right: a Helen Cordero Storyteller sculpture, Adobe Gallery Right: Nocona Burgess in his studio
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#022592 COURTESY PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS
The Draw: As a curator I’m committed to the recognition of contemporary Native artists, and I’m actively seeking to acquire works for the permanent collection. Indian Market allows me to see some of the finest objects being produced and to gauge the currents of both traditional and innovative thinking. The Trends: With the art, I can’t say, but I sense there has been
COURTESY ADOBE GALLERY
For eighty-seven years, Indian Market (formerly known as Indian Fair) has been celebrating Native American arts and culture in Santa Fe’s historic plaza. What keeps people coming back, summer after summer? How has Indian Market evolved over the decades—and in recent years? We asked artists, collectors, gallery owners, and museum curators to share their thoughts about the biggest and best annual exhibition of indigenous art in the world.
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considerable effort on the part of SWAIA staff and volunteers to develop increasingly effective organizational structures for this enormous undertaking. The organization endeavors to respond to developments in the field of American Indian art, rather than maintaining a static organization and expecting the Indian Art world to conform to it. The Bottom Line: Throughout its long history, Indian Market has encouraged and supported the finest efforts of Native American artists and helped to create a vibrant market for their works. Indian Market will remain relevant because American Indian art in all its traditional and evolving forms remains relevant to us as a culture.
MAGGIE MUCHMORE—Collector The Draw: I’ve been coming to Indian Market since 1971. And part of the fun has been watching some of the artists take off. I remember seeing a Helen Cordero Storyteller figure for $75, and we didn’t buy it. The next year, it was $150; soon after, it was in the thousands. You don’t necessarily have to own everything . . . but in my mind, I would create a gallery of things I would buy if I had the money. The Trends: I didn’t really see a trend last year; it felt a little more cautious than in some other years. Things have gotten very finely done; everyone has gotten so good at what they do. Artists seem to get better and better over the generations, over the years. The Bottom Line: It’s the richest cultural experience. At Indian Market, you know you’re in Santa Fe, and not anyplace else.
CRAIG SMITH, COURTESY THE HEARD MUSEUM
COURTESY THE ARTIST
This page, from top: Rose Simpson and her mother, Roxanne Swentzell; All Directions, Roxanne Swentzell; Barbara Gonzales with her son, Cavan, unveiling some of their work. Opposite page, from top: Vendors under the portal of the Palace of the Governors, during Indian Market, 1952; Blue Corn with her MNMF Purchase Award at Indian market, 1976; Santa Fe Plaza during Indian Market, 1973; Kenneth Chapman, in dark suit (center), and to his right, Santiago Naranjo, of Santa Clara Pueblo, and Harry Mera, 1922
ROXANNE SWENTZELL—Sculptor The Draw: For 20 years, until I opened my own gallery, Indian Market helped me support myself and my family. So many people come to the event; it was a wonderful way to get my pieces seen. The Trends: There will always be new artists with new messages and new styles of art. I see all the changes as the obvious next chapters to the story of Indian Art. All of us artists are part of the story; we all have our moments in the chapters. The Bottom Line: I will be forever grateful for what Indian Market gave to me—it was such an important step in my art career. And the variety of artwork on display is spectacular. There is a sense of a Native Artist network coming together for this event that I have never felt anywhere else.
MARLA ALLISON—Multimedia Artist The Draw: I’m in my studio most of the time, working late hours. At Indian Market, I finally get to see the amazing work by other artists. It’s a chance to socialize, and we inspire each other. The Trends: I’ve noticed that artists are using mediums that have never been combined with fine art before. For example, I’ve seen works painted on suitcases and hoods of cars—mainly found objects—that are brilliant. Artists are thinking differently and using what’s at hand. The Bottom Line: There are so many great artists that have shown their work at Market. They’ve broken boundaries at significant levels, and paved the way for the emerging artists who participate now.
NANCY YOUNGBLOOD—Potter The Draw: Indian Market gives me a chance to meet the public one on one. I really enjoy that. There are people who’ve been coming and collecting my work for twenty-five or thirty years; now they’re collecting work by my three sons. The Trends: When I first went to Indian Market, in 1967 or 1968, it was much smaller. I remember seeing people like Maria Martinez, my grandmother (Margaret Tafoya), Rose Gonzales—the matriarchs. Now it’s a much bigger show, and less than 50 percent of the artists come from this area. That’s good in some ways, because you get a more diverse show. The Bottom Line: As artists build up their reputations, sometimes they start to show with galleries and
DIANA PARDUE—Curator of Collections, Heard Museum The Draw: I first came to Indian Market in 1984, and I’ve attended almost every year since. Because I work at a museum, the Heard Fair and the Santa Fe Indian Market are the places I go to see how a particular art form may be changing through artistic innovation. The Trends: There is always something new. Last year, for example, Marla Allison, who won the Innovation Award for her multimedia art; the year before, Dallin Maybee’s beaded and ledger-art illustrated children’s books. The Bottom Line: Innovation in American Indian Art isn’t new; we’ve been seeing it for decades. That’s what’s so exciting about Native Art: the individual creativity and expression. It makes Indian Market exciting.
#039516 COURTESY PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS
NOCONA BURGESS—Artist and Collector The Draw: For artists, it’s the biggest event of the year—it’s the place where people come to find you. Collectors come here because they know it’s the best market, and so they’ll get the best pieces. And because it’s a juried show, buyers know that if you’re there, you must be one of the better artists. The Trends: Contemporary Native jewelry is getting pretty out there. It’s one of the most popular things at market to buy, so there is room for artists to push the envelope. There’s room at Indian Market for everybody. The Bottom Line: You find different perspectives, from traditional to super contemporary, at Indian Market. But it’s more than just art, it’s our culture. That strikes a chord with people from around the world.
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drift away from it. But if some of us with years of experience, who have done well, don’t keep showing up, the market won’t have the same quality that it’s had in the past.
openings | events | reviews | people Craig Kosak likes to cite Russell Chatham and N.C. Wyeth among his influences—and they’re certainly there. But the bold trompe l’oeil–like realness of his animals so pops out of their admittedly abstract universe it’s not hard to imagine, say, these romanticized steeds as Soviet stevedores instead, or as Chinese Red Guards. The Seattle-based painter’s canvasses are so dazzlingly composed they might just as easily be seen as Westernized updates of Soviet-era poster art and Mao-inspired billboards. Hardly that devoid of feeling, though, Kosak’s gift lies in his ability to infuse into his creatures a depth and emotion beyond—and in addition to—their iconic status. Last year, his first one-man show sold out at Giacobbe-Fritz (702 Canyon, 505-986-1156, giacobbefritz.com). He returns to the gallery with another solo gig August 21 to September 2 (reception 5–7 PM).—Devon Jackson Craig Kosak, Three Winds and the Golden Cloud, oil on canvas, 46 x 46", courtesy Giacobbe-Fritz august /september
Rodney Hatfield, Reina, oil on wood panel, 31 x 23"
Rodney Hatfield: Child of Illusion Selby Fleetwood Gallery 600 Canyon, 505-992-8877 selbyfleetwoodgallery.com Aug 7–20, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM Marc Chagall meets Appalachian folk art in the whimsical oil paintings of Kentucky’s Rodney Hatfield. The mostly self-taught artist, who signs his works “Art Snake” (a play on the phrase “art for art’s sake”), creates quirky semiabstract animals, angels, and mosque-like palaces in vivid, moonlit colors that feel like scenes from a child’s sweet—and exceptionally imaginative—dream.—Dianna Delling
Dennis Wojtkiewicz, Kiwi Series #4, oil on canvas, 48 x 44"
Dennis Wojtkiewicz: Slice of Light Peterson Cody Gallery, 130 W Palace 505-820-0010, petersoncodygallery.com Aug 7–21, reception Aug 7, 5–7:30 PM Taking a zoom lens to the traditional still life, Wojtkiewicz paints cross-sections of fruit on oversized canvasses that stun with their intensity and pumped-up photorealism. Translucent orange slices seem lit from within; a fleshy, luminous red strawberry glows like a candle flame, with iconic overtones. Wojtkiewicz cites the Northern European Masters— and Vermeer, in particular—as inspirations for both his approach to light and his technique, which involves layering semi-opaque and transparent oils, and has said that his goal in painting is “to realize something that will connect with the viewer on a sensual if not metaphysical plane.” With his latest works, he succeeds on both counts.—DD
Kim Douglas Wiggins Indian Market Preview and Group Show Manitou Galleries, 123 W Palace, 505-986-0440 manitougalleries.com Aug 20–21, reception Aug 20 and 21, 5–7:30 PM In Kim Douglas Wiggins’s world, steeples totter atop adobe churches, trees spiral like soft-serve ice cream cones, and skyscrapers haphazardly tilt in on each other as if a giant hand is folding up the grid. Born and raised in Roswell, the native New Mexican artist draws inspiration for his bold, bright, heavily impastoed fantasyscapes from three sources: Expressionism (Wiggins’s clouds are pure Van Gogh), Regionalism, and Hispanic folk art. The curvy lines of a Wiggins painting may make you feel slightly off-kilter, but that’s why his work is so much fun. Wiggins shares the show with other Indian Market artists, including sculptor and woodcarver Ed Archie Noisecat. —Stephanie Pearson Kim Douglas Wiggins, Old Santa Fe Trail, oil on canvas, 30 x 30"
Yamaguchi Ryuun and Kibe Seiho TAI Gallery, 1601 B Paseo de Peralta, 505-984-1387, taigallery.com Aug 7–15, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM Japanese artists Yamaguchi Ryuun and Seiho Kibe weave dried madrake (bamboo) to construct bowls, vases, and other objects that may be functional in theory, but are much too beautiful to use. Kibe, who comes from the craft tradition, builds graceful, gently curved pieces of perfect proportion, with finely detailed plaiting and colors ranging from tan to a rich dark brown. Yamaguchi is of the more expressive, fine-art wing of bamboo artists; his natural-colored sculptures show off inventive architecture and astonishing engineering skills. These equally impressive, equally artistic, equally fine works seem to blot out that Maginot Line between craft and art.—DD
David Kapp, Into the Subway, oil on paper, 23 x 22"
David Kapp: New York Crowds Zane Bennett Contemporary Art 435 S Guadalupe, 505-982-8111 zanebennettgallery.com Sep 11–Oct 17 reception Sep 11, 5–7 PM Unique in their telephoto-lens perspectives, these post-impressionistic street studies enthrall and ensorcell, capturing both the stillness and liveliness of city life in a single moment.—DJ 136
Kibe Seiho, Sprinkling Rain, bamboo, 10 x 8 x 13" 2009
Michael Bergt: Unorthodox Series Jane Sauer Gallery, 652 Canyon, 505-995-8513, jsauergallery.com Aug 21–Sept 21, reception Aug 21, 5–7 PM “I’m not interested in being a camera,” says Bergt. “I think the role of an artist is to translate the world in a way that expresses how we feel about what we see rather than to duplicate physical appearances.” While his paintings and line drawings are in no way camera-like, they are painstakingly precise—an exceedingly realistic interpretation of his feelings about the world around him. And although his works can often be exquisite almost to the point of being Romantic (Bergt’s skills as a renderer of the human face and body rival those of Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones), they tend to be more eroticized, at times, and far more direct. (The gazes he elicits from his models are often as confrontational as they are seductive.) Using egg tempera and gold leaf on masonite panels, Bergt juxtaposes influences from the Old Italian traditions with those of the Persian miniaturists, adding his own 21st-century point of view to create captivating images. —Natasha Nargis Michael Bergt, The Glance, egg tempera and gold on panel, 40 x 32"
Jeremy Thomas, Brush Hog Orange, forged mild steel and powder coat, 20 x 36 x 24"
Jeremy Thomas: Boll Charlotte Jackson, 200 W Marcy 505-989-8688 charlottejackson.com Sep 4–30, reception Sep 4, 5–7:30 PM You don’t immediately think “cotton boll” when you see one of Thomas’s candy-colored steel sculptures. The bulbous, multisegmented sculptures, (standing about two to four feet high), look light, fluffy, and organic, even while their shiny finishes and sharp edges scream “metal.” A tough-as-nails powdercoat finish—in saturated blues, greens, and reds that mimic those on the tractors used in cotton production—give the sculptures a playful, somehow irresistible appeal and make them rugged enough for display indoors or out.—DD
Il Lee: Ballpoint Drawings Gebert Contemporary in the Railyard 544 S Guadalupe, 505-983-3838 gebertcontemporary.com Aug 7–Sep 5, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM Lee, a South Korean-born artist in his 50s, specializes in abstract ballpoint-pen drawings. This show, marking the inaugural collaboration between Gebert Contemporary and New York’s Art Projects International, features a dozen or so of Lee’s ballpoint pieces on paper and canvas—some of which go as large as six-by-nine feet (yes, feet). The effect is bizarre, bewildering, and impressive—if only because of the tediousness of the work.—DJ
Tom Mason-Mancuso, Penitent Truman, collage with latex, gold leaf, and lacquer on linen on panel, 12 x 12"
Tom Mason-Mancuso: On Earth as They Are in Heaven Center for Contemporary Arts 1050 Old Pecos Trail 505-982-1338, ccasantafe.org Sep 4–30, guest preview, Sep 3 5–7 PM; reception Sep 4, 5–7 PM Haloed within traditional beatification orbs common to the religious icon painters of medieval Byzantium and Greece, MasonMancuso’s parody-tributes to various celebrities (Andy Warhol, Jackie O), tweak our notions of worship, belief, stardom, and orthodoxy.—DJ
Richard Potter, Dante’s Inferno (detail), encaustic on board, 25 x 49"
Il Lee, BL–114, ballpoint pen on paper, 47 x 60"
Richard Potter: Encaustics The William & Joseph Gallery 727 Canyon, 505-982-9404 thewilliamandjosephgallery.com Aug 1–31, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM A heady mix of uncommon materials—flower petals, seeds, bits of mica, even parts of Dante’s Inferno—combines to create unique surface colors and textures in these abstract encaustic paintings.—Michael Abatemarco august /september
Dwayne “Chuckie” Wilcox Morning Star Gallery’s 25 Years of Distinction Morning Star Gallery, 513 Canyon, 505-982-8187 morningstargallery.com Aug 15–30, reception Aug 15 6–8 PM Clever, trenchant, funny, Wilcox’s colored-pencil ledger-art drawings shine brightest in this anniversary group show. Riffing off the style and format developed in the mid-1800s (when warriors no longer had access to hides on which to chronicle their lives’ significant events, they turned to the white man’s ledgers), Wilcox’s versions of contemporary Oglala-Lakota life wield wry pictographic power. “I’m not trying to reinvent ledger art or speak for all Native peoples,” says Wilcox. “I’m just depicting what today’s life is like out here.”—DJ
Aleta Pippin, Third Time’s the Charm, oil on linen, 40 x 40"
Aleta Pippin: New Works Pippin-Meikle Fine Art 236 Delgado, 505-992-0400 pippinmeiklefineart.com Aug 19–Sep 9 reception Aug 21 5–8 PM Pippin loves color: strong, vibrant colors like red and blue that she layers and sands and layers again to produce strong, vibrant, abstract paintings. Resin mixed in with the oil paint leaves some of her pieces smooth and shiny; others are more textured, with scrapes and scratches from her palette knife visible. Together, these explosions of color fill the walls of her charming gallery, which she co-owns with painter Barbara Meikle.—DD
Dwayne “Chuckie” Wilcox, Color of Crow, colored pencils on antique ledger paper, framed, 19 x 25"
Wendy Higgins Canyon Road Fine Art, 621 Canyon 505-988-9511, canyonroadfineart.com Sep 8–15, reception Sep 11, 5–7 PM Taking a most painterly approach to her traditional still lifes—flowers, in particular, and fruits, all arranged carefully if seemingly at random atop tables and counters—Higgins has a worshipful love for all things natural and her works recall both the Old Masters as well as that of her more modern-day compatriots (such as her former instructor, Cary Ennis). Aglow in all the right places, and both diffused and suffused with light and color, her still lifes strive more for an emotional beauty (elusive as that may be) than for any kind of representational exactitude, and in doing so emanate warmth as much as they honor and respect the genre itself. —DJ Wendy Higgins, Peach Splendor, oil on canvas, 16 x 20"
Peter Burega: Divided Skies Meyer East Gallery, 225 Canyon 505-983-1657, meyereastgallery.com Aug 7–21, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM The dense light and moist air of the Caribbean inspired Burega to create this new body of work. Burega captures the mood of the islands by using metal trowels and scrapers, rather than brushes, to apply, remove, and reapply countless layers of paint to birch panels. The paintings are muted and lyrical, with a subtle grid-like quality—the result of hundreds of photographs of shadows and reflections that he took recently when he was in Mexico and then put on his wall to form a grid. “The photograph is very important to painting,” he says. “It’s my version of a sketch.”—NN
Jono Tew, Last Light, oil on canvas, 30 x 36"
Jono Tew: Walking with the Cerros Waxlander Gallery, 622 Canyon 505-984-2202, waxlander.com Aug 4–17, reception Aug 7, 5–7 Aslant, aswirl, mellifluous, and dramatic, Tew’s Regionalist visions of Northern New Mexico, a la Thomas Hart Benton, honor rather than merely nostalgize the landscape, and the people and objects who inhabit it.—DJ 138
Peter Burega, Bright Water Series #44, oil on panel, 48 x 48" 2009
Jim McLain & Dennis Culver Marigold Arts, 424 Canyon 505-982-4142, marigoldarts.com Sep 4–30, reception Sep 4, 5–8 PM Giving new life to trees, particularly to the alligator juniper of the Gila Wilderness, McLain gathers the wood for his impressive vessels himself before carving them by hand, blasting them with sand, burning them, coloring them, turning them on his lathe, and then inlaying them with stone. Inspired by the petroglyphs of the Southwest and the walls of crumbling ruins at Chaco Canyon, these invitingly intricate turned-wood vessels commingle ancient storytelling with modern-day assemblage and masterly craftsmanship. Culver, a Santa Fe-based painter, revels in whimsy—whimsical landscapes and even more whimsical figurative and narrative works. At times the humor obtrudes, overwhelming Culver’s artistic gifts; most times, though, the silliness adds to a piece’s overall flavor, not unlike the way some of the early Surrealists relied on certain in-jokes to spice up their works.—DJ
Hung Liu, Worshipping, mixed media on panel, 41 x 41"
Ryan Singer, Sand People, acrylic on canvas board, 20 x 20"
Jim McLain, Chaco Journey, wood with malachite inlay, 11 x 9"
Hung Liu: Remote Portraits Turner Carroll Gallery, 725 Canyon 505-986-9800, turnercarroll.com Aug 11–Sep 8, reception Aug 14, 5–7 PM Artist lecture Aug 13, 5:30 PM at Santa Fe Art Institute Born and raised (and reeducated under Mao’s Cultural Revolution) in the People’s Republic of China, Liu, 61, who emigrated to the United States in the early ‘80s, melds family history with anonymous historical photographs. Dripping and washed-out and layered with acrylic resin and oil, Liu’s use here of images of the Imperial Dowager and concubines of the Chen Dynasty challenge the artistic diktat of the Chinese Socialist Realist style inculcated into her at Beijing Teacher’s College. Where ‘80s art stars such as David Salle and Julian Schnabel stressed and strained for something to really say through their art, Liu’s paintings, in comparison, are practically effortless and far more complex.—DJ
POP Native Pulse POP Gallery, 133 W Water 505-820-0788, popsantafe.com Aug 17–Aug 31 reception Aug 22, 6 PM SWAIA award-winner Ryan Singer, his cousin Monty Singer, Marie Sena, and Micah Wesley, among other Native art Pop stars—many of whom bear a profroundly different sensibility than some of their brethren showing works in and around the Plaza—convene for another irreverent group show.—DJ
Siddiq Khan, Ether Series #5, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 24"
Chuck Sabatino: New Paintings McLarry Fine Art, 225 Canyon 505-988-1161, mclarryfineart.com Aug 21–Sep 3, reception Aug 21, 5–7 PM A career in advertising brought New Yorker Sabatino on location to the American West, where the artist discovered a strong attraction to the area’s multifaceted aesthetic. In the late ‘80s, he retired to Scottsdale, Arizona, and began the meticulous process of translating his fascination to canvas. Sabatino’s vivid and intricately detailed still lifes cannily juxtapose historical artifacts from different Western cultures and time periods. On rich, earth-toned backgrounds reminiscent of Rembrandt, elegant, subtly colored flowers rest beside arrow bags, beaded moccasins, Pueblo pottery, ledger books, and trompe l’oeil renderings of iconic photographs by Edward S. Curtis.—Eve Tolpa Chuck Sabatino, Sharp’s Indian Encampment, oil on canvas, 30 x 30"
Siddiq Khan & Daniel Brice Chiaroscuro, 702 1/2 Canyon 505-992-0711 chiaroscurosantafe.com Sep 17–Oct 17 reception Sep 7 5–7 PM Thicker and rougher in his postpainterly abstractions than previous geometrically inclined artists (Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland), Santa Fe-based Khan continues to explore the tension between line and gesture. Brice works even more sparely—almost solely—on the line in his charcoal-and-pastel works on paper.—DJ august /september
Ward Russell, Buffalo Man, black and white photograph, 30 x 20"
Ward Russell: Dance Indigenous Ward Russell Photography 102 W San Francisco, Suite 10 505-231-1035 wardrussellphoto.com Aug 21–Sep 20 reception Aug 20, 5–8 PM Cinematographer Russell (Days of Thunder), turns his lens on the Ohkay Owingeh’s religious ceremonial dances. Respectful in approach and bearing a perspicacious eye, he captures not just the aesthetic beauty but the metaphysical oomph and spirituality inherent in these ancient celebrations.—DJ
Lisa Linch, Crimson Clover, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 40"
Lisa Linch Lakind Fine Art, 662 Canyon, 505-982-3221, lakindfineart.com Aug 15–30, reception Aug 14, 5–7 PM Reminiscent of both Impressionists (think Pierre-Auguste Renoir) and Post-Impressionists (the later, lighter Edouard Vuillard), Linch’s still lifes and abstract renditions of her “inner visions” aren’t just “pretty pictures” (as she has stated as her artistic goal), they also toy more deeply than you might realize with light and composition and plane. Tutored from an early age by her father, an instructor at the Chicago Institute of Art, Linch worked as a project designer for commercial spaces (law firms were her specialty), until a car accident sidelined her in 1991. Linch then relocated from Atlanta to Santa Fe and has been painting full-time ever since. Her muted, bright, somewhat two-dimensional works serve as the centerpiece for this grand opening of Lakind’s, which will also be featuring wittily retro collages from Sloane Bibb, Ethiopian abstract painter Wosene Worke Kosrof, the abstract oils of Brigitte Bruggemann, and Tracey Lane’s Gerhard Richterish landscapes. All in all, an auspicious group debut for Lakind, one of Santa Fe’s most benign dentists.—DJ
Tadashi Ito: Quintessence in Clay Touching Stone Gallery, 539 Old Santa Fe Trail 505-988-8072, touchingstone.com Aug 7–Sep 5, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM Ito, 57, of northern Japan, here makes his American debut with these rustic, almost crude ceramic pieces. Intended as homages to the graceful lines and formative beauty found inside seashells (the “quintessences” of life), the more successful works possess a kind of “found” quality; others hover creakily between the mingei (folk art) tradition Ito rejected midway through his career and the higher, more self-consciously innovative, artistic aesthetic toward which he aspires.—DJ
Craig Cully: The Success of Failure in a Space of Crisis Klaudia Marr Gallery, 668 Canyon 505-988-2100, klaudiamarrgallery.com Aug 14–Sep 6, reception Aug 14, 5–7 PM Be warned: Craig Cully’s figurative works—unlike, say, his realistic depictions of foil-wrapped Hershey’s kisses, which have shown in the past at Klaudia Marr— might make you uncomfortable. That’s not so surprising, given that the Washington-based artist sees his oil paintings as “spaces of crisis,” places where he “attempts to resolve artistic, personal, and social exigencies.” In “The Consummate Victim’s Son and the Perpetual Provocateur’s Husband,” for example, Cully shows us two female figures (his mother and his wife, it turns out), one of them sprawled mysteriously across the saltillo tile. Only Cully knows the real story behind the piece, but you’ll feel the tension as your mind works to fill in the blanks.—DD
Don Quade, Mariposa Green, mixed media on panel, 48 x 48"
Don Quade: New Perspectives Winterowd Fine Art, 701 Canyon 505-992-8878, fineartsantafe.com Sep 4–17, reception Sep 4, 5–7 PM Fascinated with the geometry present in the outside world, Quade’s mixed-media paintings of simple shapes—coils, circles, rectangles—are repeated with slight variances, their patterns interrupted by a leaf rendered in detail or a butterfly with wings that echoes the forms around it. Quade’s work is abstract but representational, with color and line suggesting earthly delights and seasons.—MA 140
Tadashi Ito, Quintessence in Clay #2, 17 x 15 x 10"
Craig Cully, Defacing the Hairdresser’s Husband, oil and ballpoint pen on panel, 8 x 8" 2009
Ray Turner: One-Man Show Skotia Gallery, 150 W Marcy, 866-820-0113 skotiagallery.com Aug 7–21, reception Aug 7, 5:30–7:30 PM Turner’s moody, Romantic landscapes have been on view at Skotia since its opening in May. But in this exhibit, we see a different, somewhat bolder side of the California-based artist. In a series of nearly 150 portraits, each on a square plate of glass, Turner uses thick, expressive, Francis Bacon-like strokes to render, from the shoulders up, various men and women he has met near his Pasadena studio. Some are more muted, in grays and blues with touches of reds; others explode, Van Gogh-like, with yellows and purples that make the subjects look brooding and mysterious. Like his landscapes, Turner’s portraits hint at something darker beneath what is visible on the surface. It’s a complex vision, and it makes for a provocative exhibit.—DD
Daniel Phill, Flannel, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 36 x 48"
Laura Tomasie, Hopi Cylinder Vase, 11 x 6"
Ray Turner, Untitled, oil on glass, 10 x 10"
Daniel Phill: Constant Garden Karan Ruhlen Gallery, 225 Canyon, 505-820-0807 karanruhlen.com Aug 7–21, reception Aug 7, 5–7 PM It’s hard to be unhappy when looking at Phill’s poured, dripped, scraped, and smeared “suggestive interpretations of vegetation and flowers.” Organic and spontaneous, Phill sets intense, sculpted colors against calming, neutral backgrounds. The results evoke emotions similar to what you might feel when walking through a brilliant Japanese garden that’s desperately in need of weeding. Phill has no hidden agenda in these paintings, either—an especially refreshing perspective in these dark times.—SP
Roseta Santiago: Grace Brandon Michael Fine Art, 202 Canyon 505-795-7427, brandonmichaelfineart.com Aug 21–Sep 18, reception Aug 21, 5–7 PM Oil painter Roseta Santiago is a storyteller. She contemplates her subjects, establishes an emotional link to them, and “excavates” their narratives. This intuitive process elevates the artistsubject relationship to a form of communion. “I spend many hours absorbing the beauty, artful designs, and story behind these wonderful artifacts,” says Santiago of the Pueblo earthenware pots that populate her dramatically lit still lifes. In her current exhibition, Santiago brings a similar approach to different genre: portraiture. “Grace refers to the inner life of the people I paint, whether they are Native American, Asian, Mexican, or Anglo,” she explains. “Each individual is important and needs recognition.”—ET
Hopi Cylinder Vases Steve Elmore Indian Art, 839 Paseo de Peralta 505-995-9677, elmoreindianart.com Through Sep 5 Crafted during a period when cylindrical vessels again became popular among the Hopi, between 1915 and 1940, with polychrome designs influenced by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements, the 30 outstanding examples of Hopi vases on exhibit here all come from gallery owner Steve Elmore’s personal collection.—DD
Daniela Ovtcharov, After Winter, Spring, oil on canvas, 22 x 26"
Roseta Santiago, Man from San Felipe Pueblo, oil on canvas, 24 x 20"
Dreamscapes: The Art of Imaginary Realism Chalk Farm Gallery, 729 Canyon 505-983-7125 chalkfarmgallery.com Aug 14–Sep 30 reception Aug 14, 5–8 PM These fanciful works, ranging from treacly Pre-Raphaelite to nifty Surrealism, often succeed in transporting you to some otherworldly place.—DJ august /september
all in the family
Da n Na m i n g h a ’s s o n s Ar l o a n d Mi c h a e l f o l l o w i n h i s f o o t s t e p s Dan Namingha is one of those rare artists who made such an immediate impact on the art world, and who has continued to evolve and challenge himself, critics, and viewers, one assumes he’s been around for far longer than he has. A youthful 59, the Hopi-Tewa descendant of Hopi potter Nampeyo had his first solo gallery show in 1973. Since then, he has received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, has helped raise thousands of dollars for Indian Market and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (whose current logo came from the paint job he did in 2002 on a Triumph TR-6 for SWAIA’s auction), and in 1990 opened his own gallery, Niman Fine Art. All the while he has been honing his style, expanding his range, and, with his gallery-manager wife, Frances, raised their two sons, sculptor Arlo, 36, and photographer-collagist Michael, 31, who join him for a group show at Niman (August 21–September 30; reception August 21, 5:30–7:30 PM, 505-988-5091). Did you ever expect your sons to go into art? Dan: Actually, I never thought my sons would become artists. Arlo’s great in mathematics. I thought he’d go in the direction of math or architecture. Michael studied business and marketing. I think the reason why they chose to be artists was because they spent a lot of time in my studio. You never pushed them into it? Dan: I encouraged them to feel free, to take chances. I try to instill that in them. This way they have their own voice. Too many artists jump on the bandwagon of other artists’ successes. So, Arlo and Michael, you never felt pressured to keep it all going? Arlo: No, he never pushed it upon us. But I always had access to my dad’s studios—they were always part of our surroundings. Michael: He did introduce me to photography. He had a bunch of cameras. He bought me one for my twelfth birthday. I like the medium. It’s more instant. Arlo: I was always creating as a kid, carving kachina dolls. But I thought I’d go in a different direction. Then my dad asked me to work here when the gallery opened, and I shifted gears. I helped my mom here for about 10 years before I switched over. Michael: My background is so different from my brother’s. I went to New York—to the Parsons School of Design, then worked on a project for Hermes. My brother stayed here. COURTESY NIMAN FINE ART
Do you give your sons lots of advice or try to steer them one way or another? Dan: I’ve always told them not to be redundant. Keep moving. If there’s a particular series, they stay with it till they squeeze out all the juice. I’m always amazed at what they come up with next. Arlo: Whenever I’d ask my dad what he thinks, he’d flip it around: It doesn’t matter what I think. It’s what you think. And the influence is mutual. We share a lot of ideas and feedback goes back and forth, but we’re all kind of in our own element. Michael: My dad’s always complimenting me. I love his critiques. Most of the time, it’s about composition—how he sees things versus how I see things. So I’ll try to see it from his perspective. I see my dad and brother as incorporating their culture into their art. I’m incorporating my pop culture into my work. I like playing with words—that came from Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger. Dan: The other great thing is that the kids will come out to the house. We can sit and talk about our work. That’s really fun. We’re a close family.—DJ
Top: Dan Namingha, Cardinal Directions #8, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48"; middle: Arlo Namingha, Earth, Sun and Moon, Texas shell, bass, and African mahogany, 16 x 20 x 3"; bottom: Michael Namingha, God Save Amy Winehouse, inkjet on canvas, edition of 2, 36 x 60"
Indian Market events Through September 15 Navajo Saddle Blankets, 1870–1930s. An array of beautiful
churro-wool and Germantown blankets from what’s considered the Golden Era of Navajo saddle blanket design are exhibited and offered for sale. Medicine Man Gallery, 602A Canyon, 505-820-7451, medicinemangallery.com Through September 20 The Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective Exhibition. More than 50 history, legend, erotic,
abstract, and landscape paintings by legendary Native Canadian artist Odjig are celebrated. Reception Aug 20, 5–7 PM, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral, 505983-8900
COURTESY MEDICINE MAN GALLERY
Rebecca Bene and Shelby Tisdale for a talk and tour of “Native American Picture Books of Change.” 8:30–10 AM, $25, Museum Hill Café, 710 Camino Lejo, 505-476-1272 August 14 Native Green. Native jewelers Cody Sanderson, Keri
Ataumbi, Jennifer Curtis, and others dazzle with pieces inspired by nature. Also featured are new works by Indian Market’s 2008 Best of Show winner Sheldon Harvey and vintage Navajo textiles. Shiprock Santa Fe, 53 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505-982-8478, shiprocktrading.com August 14–September 11 Maria Martinez and Family: 11th Annual Pottery Show and Sale. This year’s event will feature more
David Wenger presents “Aren’t You Dye-ing To Know,” a talk about dyes used in early Navajo weavings. At 2 PM, rug restoration expert Laura Center speaks about Navajo weaving conservation. Shiprock Santa Fe, 53 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505-982-8478, shiprocktrading.com
August 20 Jody Naranjo and Malcolm Furlow. Amazing contemporary pottery from
Cochiti’s Jody Naranjo and bold new paintings by Malcolm Furlow, of Taos, fill the Legends gallery. 5–8 PM, Legends Santa Fe, 143 Lincoln, 505-983-5639, legendssantafe.com August 20 Santa Fe Indian Market Gallery at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino.
August 20 Virgil Ortiz: Vagabond. See (and buy) the latest creative clothing designs by Cochiti artist Virgil Ortiz—including silk scarves, eco-friendly T-shirts, and silk dresses (a sneak preview from his 2010 spring collection). 6–8 PM, Shiprock Santa Fe. 53 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505-982-8478, shiprocktrading.com
August 14 Breakfast with the Curators: Rebecca Bene and Shelby Tisdale. Join Museum of Indian Arts and Culture curators
August 15 Navajo Weaving Lectures. At 11 AM, textiles expert
American treasures to appraisers who can tell you what you have and what it’s worth. 12–2 PM, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, 505-465-1250, indianartsandculture.org
New Mexico’s only authorized Indian Market gallery hosts “Modern Heritage,” featuring artists such as Turtle Mountain Chippewa sculptor Rollie Grandbois, Comanche painter Nocona Burgess, Hopi jeweler Steve LaRance, Choctaw glassblower Monty Claw, and Southern Ute beadworker and quillworker Deborah Box, among others. 30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, 505-819-2245
August 14 Annual Indian Market Show at Marigold Arts. This exhibit features Navajo arts—including antique and contemporary rugs, photographs, drawings, and pottery—from the estate of esteemed collector Liselotte Khan. The exhibit runs Aug 5–26. Reception Aug 14, 5–8 PM, Marigold Arts, 424 Canyon, 505-982-4142, marigoldarts.com
than 70 pieces handcrafted by San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez and members of her family, including Popovi Da. Medicine Man Gallery, 602A Canyon, 505-820-7451, medicinemangallery.com
COURTESY NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA AND ART GALLERY OF SUDBURY
happenings beyond the booths
Top: Daphne Odjig’s Harmony and the Universe, at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts through September 20. Bottom: Navajo double saddle blanket, on view at Medicine Man Gallery through September 15
August 17–19 Invitational Antique Indian Art Show. Antique Indian art objects, including Northwest Coast masks and Southwest pottery, are offered in one of the longest-running shows of its kind in the country. Gala preview opening Aug 17, 6–9 PM, $85; Aug 18–19, 10 AM–5 PM, $10, Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W Marcy, 505-992-8929, whitehawkshows.com August 18–September 13 Sweat: Native American Erotica. Titillating works from
Native artists, including America Meredith, Marcus Amerman, Ishkoten Dougi, Kelly Chuch, Dennis Esquivel, Monty Singer, Amanda Schneider, and Salomé Starbuck. Reception Aug 20, 5–7 PM; Max’s restaurant, 403 1/2 Guadalupe, 505-984-9104 August 19 Annual Navajo Rug Auction. Some 200 contemporary museum-quality rugs
by 50 Navajo weavers will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting education, acquisitions, and public programs at New Mexico’s state museums and monuments. Preview, 9–11 AM; bidding starts at 11 AM, Palace of the Governors Courtyard, 105 W Palace, 505-982-3016 ext. 22, newmexicocreates.org August 19 Breakfast with the Curators: Bruce Bernstein. The director of SWAIA
Santa Fe Indian Market presents a talk titled “Indian Market: 88 Years Old and Getting Younger All the Time.” 8:30–10 AM, $25, includes museum admission, Museum Hill Café and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, 505-476-1272
August 20–21 Wheelwright Museum Annual Benefit Auction.
Contemporary and historic Native American art—including jewelry, pottery, textiles, baskets, and folk arts—are offered at this 34th annual auction benefiting the museum. Silent auction, 4–6 PM, Aug 20; live auction, 1 PM, Aug 21. Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, 704 Camino Lejo, 505-982-4636, wheelwright.org August 20–September 1 Denise Wallace at the Museum Store. An offering of silver jewelry by Alaska’s legendary Chugach
Aleut jeweler Denise Wallace. Reception Aug 20, 4 PM. Lloyd Kiva New Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Place, 505-983-1666 August 20–November 21 Fog Mountain and Greyshoes. Stop in
for the opening reception for paintings and sculptures by Robert Montoya (Sandia-Ohkay Ohwingeh) and Upton S. Ethelbah Jr. (Santa Clara-Mescalero Apache). Poeh Museum, 78 Cities of Gold Road, 505455-5041, poehmuseum.com
August 21 Kevin Red Star. Born and raised on the Crow Reservation in Montana, Kevin Red Star conjures evocative images of his culture, past and present, in acrylic, ink, and collage. 5–8 PM, Legends Santa Fe, 143 Lincoln, 505-983-5639, legendssantafe.com August 21–September 18 New Works by Shonto Begay and Oreland Joe. Works by Navajo painter Shonto Begay and Navajo-Ute bronze and stone sculptor Oreland C. Joe. Reception Aug 21, 2–4 PM, Medicine Man Gallery, 602A Canyon, 505-820-7451, medicinemangallery.com August 22 Three Artists Celebrate Arapaho Healer and Horse Gentler Stanford Allison. Writer Lisa Jones reads from her new book, Broken: A Love Story; local filmmaker
Angelique Midthunder presents her documentary film Silent Thunder; and photographer and Santa Fe gallery-owner Teresa Neptune exhibits photos of Stanford Allison. Teresa Neptune Studio/Gallery, 616 1/2 Canyon, 505-982-0016, teresaneptune.com August 22 and 23 The Allan Houser Sculpture Gardens. The rarely opened Sculpture Gardens welcomes visitors from 11 AM–4 PM for tours through its archives, foundry, and gardens; Sunday at 1:30 PM, author W. Jackson Rushing III gives a lecture and signs copies of his book, Allan Houser: An American Master. For directions, call or email: 505-471-1528, email@example.com. Jackson will also be signing books from Aug 21–23 at the Allan Houser Gallery, 125 Lincoln, 505-982-4705
August 19 Let’s Take a Look with the MIAC Curators. Bring in your unidentified Native
August 19 800.804.6423 ND
HEARD MUSEUM GUILD
MARCH 6 & 7, 2010 9:30 A.M. TO 5 P.M. MAKE YOUR PLANS TODAY! À.PSFUIBOUPQ"NFSJDBO*OEJBOBSUJTUT À5IFGJOFTU"NFSJDBO*OEJBOKFXFMSZ UFYUJMFT TDVMQUVSF QPUUFSZ QBJOUJOHT CBTLFUT DBSWJOHTBOECFBEXPSL À#FTUPG4IPX3FDFQUJPOPO'SJEBZ .BSDIGFBUVSFTKVSJFE DPNQFUJUJPOXJOOFST
EARLY BIRD SHOPPING FOR MEMBERS ONLY! #FDPNFB)FBSENFNCFSBOECFBUUIFDSPXET.FNCFSTHFUUIF GJSTUDIBODFUPTIPQPO4BUVSEBZ .BSDI GSPNUPBN BOIPVSCFGPSFUIFHBUFTPQFOUPUIFQVCMJD'PSNFNCFSTIJQ JOGPSNBUJPO DBMMPSWJTJUIFBSEPSH
SIGNATURE ARTIST )PQJBSUJTU.JDIBFM,BCPUJFJTUIJTZFBSßT'BJSBSUJTU8IFUIFS DSBGUJOHJNBHJOBUJWFJNBHFSZPODBOWBTPSJONFUBM ,BCPUJFßT XPSLJTEJTUJODUJWF DPMPSGVMBOETPVHIUBGUFSCZDPMMFDUPST #FTUPG4IPXBOE'BJSBEWBODFUJDLFUTPOTBMFCFHJOOJOH +BOVBSZ $BMMYPSWJTJUIFBSEPSH Michael Kabotie, Lomawywesa, Hopi, “Rainbow Maiden with Chanter,” 2007 Acrylic on canvas, 8x10, Private Collection
the next in NuMex Nothing says summer better than biting into a big, fat, juicy hamburger. At the spanking-new Atrisco Café and Bar, in DeVargas Center, the Green Chile Cheeseburger is a plump patty of free-range ground beef adorned with plenty of chopped Hatch green chilies. Wash it down with an ice-cold brew or the FROGG—a frozen Grand Gold margarita with tequila, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier. Owner George Gundrey comes from a great restaurant pedigree: Mom Georgia is founder of Tomasita’s, and dad Richard, former owner of Horseman’s Haven. Atrisco Café and Bar, 193 Paseo de Peralta, 505-983-7401. Open 7 days, 11 AM–9 PM.—John Vollertsen DOUGLAS MERRIAM
a n o t h e r m e at y m a r v e l f r o m r e s t a u r at e u r Ma r k Mi l l e r
COURTESY RED SAGE AT BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT & CASINO
Since opening last August, Red Sage, located inside the enormous and highly designed Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, has taken its time settling in. For the first few months, consultant Mark Miller—whose star turn at The Coyote Café some 20 years ago has kept him in the culinary spotlight—discouraged early media scrutiny, saying there were kinks to be ironed out. Although Miller owned a Red Sage prototype in Washington, D.C., back in the ’90s, there has been considerable lag time while the famous chef explored other cuisines and destinations. Lag time over. The kinks are no more. The service sails along without a ripple, and the cooking is wonderfully creative and assured. The Red Sage concept has rebloomed in the desert. The long dramatic bar just begs for a stopover and sampling of one of the many gourmet cocktails on offer, while a theatrical “wall of fire” feature along one side of the lounge alerts your palate: Get ready for grilled and smoky meats and dramatic cookery. As stated boldly on its menu, this new Red Sage “celebrates the culinary eccentricities, regional delicacies, and Spirit of Northern New Mexico.” It’s a mission statement with a clear vision and it is totally successful: Mission accomplished. This reenergizing of a not-so-new concept comes in part from Miller’s empowerment of hands-on chef de cuisine Christopher McLean. Although Miller is mostly absent and more the idea guy at this point, McLean has a firm grasp on Miller’s approach and, with his unbridled enthusiasm, sets the food on its ear. We customers benefit greatly. Appetizers include a generous artisanal cured meat board (a stunner in size and assortment), a delicious, crab-full crab cake on roasted corn succotash, and a tequila prawn cocktail, with a decorative splay of sizzled and colorful tortilla strips and plump shrimp, kicked up a notch with a Cuervo marinade and zippy pico salsa. Delish! In a place called Buffalo Thunder, you just gotta have buffalo on the menu. Sure ’nuff, Red Sage has buffalo aplenty. The sweet, tender meat makes an appearance in a variety of cuts and shapes, most deliciously in the “forever braised” short ribs with spicy chile reduction. Beef, too, gets a hefty nod—in the 32-ounce, 28-day dry-aged rib eye, an enormous meat lover’s dream that has to be seen and tasted to be believed; and in the more refined tenderloin cut sided with a luscious braised oxtail-and-thyme pot pie served in a nifty miniature cast-iron skillet. The kitchen is clearly having fun and so are we. Fortunately, mountain men did not dine on red meat alone. Aside from some vegetarianfriendly entrées and a U.S.-vineyard-heavy wine list, the Dutch-oven-roasted Alaskan halibut filet with smoky great northern beans was moist and flavorful. It’s not so hard to imagine it being hoisted from a roaring fire by a burly cowboy out on the range. If you can possibly save room for dessert, order the pear churros with ice cream for the table, or skip coffee and caffeinate with a cowboy coffee crème brulée. Mark Miller and Red Sage are back in the saddle—long may they ride!—JV
Red Sage’s capacious entryway and lounge area
19th annual wine & chile fiesta Santa Fe foodies really know how to celebrate—in any economic climate. That’s why they invite fellow food and wine lovers from around the globe to attend their annual Wine & Chile Fiesta. This year the 19th half-week bacchanal of wine dinners, chef demonstrations, luncheons, and topical seminars all lead up to the grand wine and food tasting, held at the splendid Santa Fe Opera. It’s a must on any serious gourmand’s or oenophile’s calendar, and a fabulous wind-up to the culinary summer season. September 23–27, 505-438-8060, santafewineandchile.org.—JV
gathering of food nations
L o i s E l l e n Fr a n k d i s h e s o n S o u t h w e s t In d i a n c u i s i n e
For her 2003 James Beard-award-winning book, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, chef, anthropologist, and photographer Lois Ellen Frank interviewed, photographed, and took down recipes from Native peoples throughout the western United States. A culinary anthropologist, Frank is Kiowa on her mother’s side and Sephardic on her father’s. Alongside Diné (Navajo) chef Walter Whitewater, she oversees Santa Fe’s Red Mesa Cuisine, a catering business that specializes in—what else?—Native foods. How did Red Mesa Cuisine come about? People wanted to taste traditional ancient foods, as well as Native American dishes, with a modern twist. What are some of your favorite dishes on your menu? The locally raised organic bison from Picuris Pueblo (stuffed inside a roasted New Mexico green chile). The baked stuffed quail in a lemonpepper-sumac sauce. The majority of ingredients we use are local and Native sourced, and as many products as we can find organically raised.
Above: Fried squash blossoms. Right: Some of the Native ingredients Frank favors in her dishes—jalapeño peppers, piñons, corn, squash and more.
COURTESY LOIS ELLEN FRANK
Which career is your favorite: writer, photographer, or chef? I love them all. Recently, I’ve started to teach as an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), and it has been very rewarding. I’ve also just finished another cookbook, The Taco Table, coming out in the spring of 2010.
What's your favorite Native cooking ingredient? I have lots, but if forced to pick one, I’d pick corn. It has sustained Native American peoples for centuries. I have great respect for it, and I love the way it tastes—from a freshly baked bluecorncob bread to the fresh corn soup and blue-corn posole mush we make at Red Mesa.
How have Americans’ perceptions of Native American cuisine changed since you first started chronicling them? Great question! I’m about to finish my PhD in culinary anthropology at the University of New Mexico, and a big part of my original research has been to define Native American cuisine. What’s so interesting is that there was some academic resistance to me labeling foods Native or traditional. But it’s only fair to say that foods introduced to Native peoples by the Europeans are now Native American. Sheep have become interwoven into Diné life now, and we can’t undo that. It’s intertwined; it’s part of the culture and cuisine.—JV
Ah, summertime. The eatin’ is easy, the restaurants are jumpin’, and the conversation between foodies is electric. Is Geronimo as wonderful as it used to be, now that Eric DiStefano’s returned with his new Asian-fusion menu? (It is!) When will Martin Rios’s new restaurant open? (Very soon!) And whether you please your palate with a Navajo taco on the Plaza or with something from one of more than 200 local restaurants, you’ll understand why I call Santa Fe “The City Deliciously Different”—especially at this time of year. If barbecue’s your weakness, look for America’s Best BBQ (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $20). This travelogue of edibles includes a lengthy profile of, and two recipes from, our very own Josh’s Barbecue (3486 Zafarano), plus pork tales and cooking instructions from across the country—everything from Jamaican jerked hog wings to root beer cake. Yum. If barbecue’s somehow more authentic and tastier when served from a mom-and-pop-style roadside stand, check out the Pecos River Barbecue Company, just five miles off Interstate 25’s Pecos/Glorieta exit. Meatmeister Mike Bradford offers brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and slow-smoked chicken by the sandwich, plate, or pound. Add a splash of his Texas chipotle BBQ sauce and fire up the summer! Thursday through Sunday from 11 AM to 7 PM. This season I’ll be hanging at the Santa Fe Farmers’s Market, the new Atrisco Café & Bar, and the Coyote Cantina, and dining poolside at the fabulous Buffalo Thunder Resort. No jackets or ties required—see you there!—JV august /september
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taste of the town N O R T H E R N N E W M E X I C O ’S F I N E S T D I N I N G E X P E R I E N C ES
featured listing Flying Star Café
Fine cuisine in a friendly scene. We’re your locallyowned neighborhood cafe featuring madefrom-scratch food, handmade desserts and pastries. We open early and stay open late for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Free Wi-Fi, diverse magazines, locally-roasted coffee, fine beer and wine, and a bakery in the heart of our cafe. Deliciousness awaits. Monday–Thursday 6 AM–10 PM; Friday and Saturday 6 AM–midnight. flyingstarcafe.com
Amavi Restaurant 221 Shelby, 505-988-2355, amavirestaurant.com
Amavi Restaurant’s delicious regional Mediterranean cuisine paired with fine wines, decadent ever-changing desserts, and impeccable service make it a must. Just one block southeast of the Plaza, Amavi offers fine dining as well as a sophisticated new lounge and bar serving a full menu. Chef/owner David Sellers creates seasonal menus highlighting regions throughout the Mediterranean. Acclaimed as “hot as can be,” Amavi’s classic yet relaxed atmosphere is great for professional and romantic meetings alike. Signature bouillabaisse: classic French Provencal stew with clams, mussels, shrimp, and halibut simmered in a rich saffron-scented broth of fennel, tomatoes, and fresh herbs accompanied by housebaked bread perfect for dipping. Dinner served nightly 5:30–10 PM.
The Bull Ring 150 Washington, 505-983-3328
Serving Santa Fe since 1971, the legendary Bull Ring is “the prime” steakhouse in Santa Fe. Voted “Best of Santa Fe” year after year, it also offers fresh seafood, chicken, chops, an extensive wine list, saloon menu, and patio dining. If there’s one thing New Mexico’s politicians can agree on, it’s where to eat in Santa Fe. Conveniently located one block north of the Plaza in the courtyard of the New Mexico Bank and Trust building. For a quick bite after a stroll at the nearby Plaza—or for a late-night snack— the lounge’s bar menu is sure to satisfy. Lunch 11:30 AM–2:30 PM, Monday–Friday; dinner nightly starting at 5 PM. Underground parking available on Washington Street.
destination not to be missed. James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef of the Southwest,”chef/owner Mark Kiffin pairs seasonal contemporary American cuisine with professional service in a timeless, elegant adobe building designed by famed architect Alexander Girard. Extensive wine list, full bar, picturesque garden patios, a variety of beautiful settings for wedding receptions, social affairs or corporate events for 12–250 guests. Private parking. Seasonal specialty: made-to-order spring asparagus soup, creme fraiche, and caviar. Lunch 12–2 PM, Monday–Saturday; bar nightly 5 PM–close; dinner nightly from 6 PM; full lunch and dinner menu available in the bar.
Doc Martin’s at The Historic Taos Inn 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos 575-758-1977, taosinn.com
Doc Martin’s restaurant is an acclaimed fine-dining establishment located in a registered historic landmark. Doc’s is a true Taos tradition, earning multiple awards. Executive chef Zippy White specializes in organic foods, with chile rellenos being his signature dish. With over 400 wine selections, our world-class wine list has earned Wine Spectator’s “Best Of” Award of Excellence for 20 consecutive years. The Adobe Bar features complimentary live entertainment nightly. Patio dining as weather permits. Featured dessert: Fresh berry sorbet and homemade banana ice cream sundae, with whipped cream, hot fudge, or caramel sauce, and candied almonds. Breakfast is served daily 7:30–11 PM; lunch 11:30 AM–2:30 PM; dinner 5:30–9 PM; Saturday and Sunday brunch 7:30 AM–2:30 PM.
Geronimo 724 Canyon, 505-982-1500 geronimorestaurant.com
The Compound 653 Canyon, 505-982-4353 compoundrestaurant.com
Recognized by Gourmet magazine’s Guide to America’s Best Restaurants and The New York Times as a
Geronimo, in its celebrated 18 years, has established a reputation as the place to dine in Santa Fe. Tradition and innovation merge at Geronimo, a Canyon Road legend. Chris Harvey and partner/executive chef
Martin Rios have succeeded in bringing unparalleled sophistication to this 1756 adobe home. The romantic, elegant atmosphere creates a fabulous backdrop for Martin’s global fusion–Southwest creations. Geronimo, where simplicity and understatement reign within the venerable adobe walls. Lunch 11:30 AM–2 PM, Friday–Sunday; dinner seven days a week, beginning at 5:45 PM.
Graham’s Grille 106 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos 575-751-3242, grahamstaos.com
Graham’s Grille has become the “in” place in the Taos historic district. Visitors and locals alike are raving about the combination of unique food and comfortable atmosphere. Lesley B. Fay, who designed the restaurant to convey a cosmopolitan atmosphere that fits the mission of this extraordinary culinary endeavor, also doubles as the executive chef. Fay and her husband, Peter, created Graham’s Grille to provide honest, creative food at a reasonable price, with great, friendly service in a hip, fun place. Voted Best of Taos ‘07 and ‘08 and #1 on tripadviser.com. Call us about Graham’s Grille Catering Company. Open daily for lunch, 11 AM– 2:30 PM and dinner 5–9 PM.
India Palace 227 Don Gaspar, 505-986-585, indiapalace.com
Voted “Best Ethnic Restaurant” in Santa Fe. Located in downtown Santa Fe, just one block from the plaza, India Palace specializes in the dynamic, complex cuisine of Northern India using ayurvedic (the science of longevity) cooking principles. Homemade cheese, yogurt, ghee, and kulfi (pistachio ice cream), and tandoori-fired traditional breads complement the extensive menu, which includes chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. Entrees may be ordered mild, medium, or hot. No artificial flavors or MSG. Vegan and gluten-free meals also available. Open seven days a week. Lunch 11:30 AM–2:30 PM; dinner 5–10 PM.
Inn of the Anasazi, A Rosewood Hotel 113 Washington, 505-988-3236 innoftheanasazi.com
Experience Oliver’s twist on Southwestern cuisine with an all-new menu. In the Anasazi restaurant, kids eat free with parents on weekdays. In the bar and on the patio, enjoy Anasazi’s famous margaritas all month long for just $5. Complimentary chips and salsa daily from 4–6 PM. In the wine cellar, enjoy complimentary wine tastings with our sommelier. Call us to reserve a seat for our monthly wine dinner. Special room rates and packages. Spring special: Buy one room, receive one at half price. Call us for details.
Joseph’s Table 108A S Taos Plaza, inside Hotel La Fonda 575-751-4512, josephstable.com
We’re open for dinner seven days a week, 5:30–10 PM. Featuring the culinary brilliance of chef Joseph Wrede, Joseph’s Table offers award-winning cuisine, an extensive wine selection, and Taos’s newest night spot, the Butterfly Bar—all awash in an elegant, artistically inspired ambience. Menus change daily. “Joseph Wrede is an exceptionally gifted chef,” says The New York Times.
Josh’s Barbecue 3486 Zafarano, 505-474-6466, joshsbbq.com
Voted best new restaurant of 2008! Savor the flavor of classic American barbecue created with a special New Mexico twist. Chef/owner Josh Baum, with his manager Rodney Estrada, dish up fresh daily a huge selection of slow-smoked, mouthwatering meat choices, including tender brisket and fall-offthe-bone natural ribs, served with a choice of sides, sauces, and desserts, all house-made. Special regional dishes like smoked chicken tacquitos and green-chile brisket burritos have made this recent upstart a local favorite, with additional chef’s specials offered daily. Also available: beer and wine, dine in or take out, catering for all occasions, and a small private dining room for special events. Located next to Lowe’s and Regal 14 cinemas off Cerrillos at Zafarano. Open for lunch and dinner, 11:30 AM–9 PM, Tuesday–Saturday; 11 AM–8 PM Sunday; closed Mondays.
Lambert’s of Taos 309 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos 575-758-1009, lambertsoftaos.com
Contemporary American cuisine in the heart of Taos. Our focus is on quality, value, and consistency. Try our grilled ginger shrimp, glazed roast duck, or grilled medallions of beef tenderloin along with the perfect wine from our extensive list. Nightly specials include seafood and game dishes. Vegetables are fresh and local when available, our sauces made from scratch, our desserts to live for. Bar opens at 5 PM. Dinner served nightly at 5:30 PM.
Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen 555 W Cordova, 505-983-7929 marias-santafe.com
A Santa Fe tradition for six decades, specializing in Old Santa Fe home cooking and fajitas. Watch tortillas being made by hand. A choice of more than 125 margaritas, reputed to be the best in the world, are each made from scratch and hand-shaken. Home of The Great Margarita Book (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley). Most Mexican beers are available, plus a full-service bar and great wine list. Lunch and dinner 11 AM–10 PM, Monday–Friday; noon–10 PM, Saturday and Sunday.
Mauka 544 Agua Fria, 505-984-1969 maukarestaurant.com
Euro-Asian cuisine featuring local and organic ingredients. Mauka features exceptionally fresh fish flown in directly and daily from Hawaii as well as beef, lamb, pork, and vegetarian entrees. Ingredients and cooking techniques that reflect Chef Joel Coleman’s Hawaiian, European, and Asian influences flow through the exciting seasonal menu offerings. Dinner is served seven days a week from 5:30 PM. Beer and wine list available.
paella is classic and legendary—served straight from the flame to your table in black iron pans where the saffron-infused rice is perfectly cooked and heaped with chicken, chorizo, seafood, and more. The house-made sangria is from a generations-old recipe with a splash of brandy. The ¡Chispa! tapas bar offers a fine array of tapas. The full bar includes a distinguished Spanish wine list and special sherries and liqueurs imported from a country full of passion and tradition. Occasional musical entertainment and dancing. Dinner is served 5–11 PM, Tuesday–Saturday.
native New Mexican cuisine in an exceptional setting since 1965. Enjoy outdoor dining or soak up the culture and ambience of this century-old adobe home. Try the Rancho de Chimayo’s specialty: Carne Adovada—marinated pork simmered in a spicy, red chile caribe sauce. Come cherish the memories and make new ones. Rancho de Chimayó is a treasured part of New Mexico’s history and heritage...a timeless tradition. Check the website for updates and hours. Online store is now open!
Rancho de San Juan Country Inn and Restaurant
95 W Marcy, 505-984-1091
Locally owned Italian trattoria located one block north of the Plaza. Nationally acclaimed and affordable, il Piatto features local organic produce and housemade pastas. Prix fixe three-course lunch, $14.95. Dinner, three courses, $29.50, or four courses $37.50 (anything on the menu, including specials). No restrictions. Lunch Monday–Friday 11:30 AM–2 PM; dinner seven nights a week at 5 PM. “Everything is right at il Piatto, including the price.”—Albuquerque Journal
Old Blinking Light Restaurant Mile Marker 1, Ski Valley Road (State Road 150) Taos, 575-776-8787, oldblinkinglight.com
Restaurant opens daily for happy hour 4–6 PM; dinner at 5 PM. Wine shop opens every day at noon. Breathtaking high-country views provide a spectacular backdrop for Southwestern cuisine, skillfully executed by three great chefs. Our wait staff is efficient, our famous margaritas perfect, our bar diverse and lively, and the live entertainment (Monday nights) will give you unforgettably happy feet. Our wine shop (largest and only wine shop in Taos) has 100 fine wines under $15, full liquor selection, lots of microbrews. (Also in Highlands Ranch, CO, 303-346-9797.)
La Plazuela at La Fonda on the Plaza 100 E San Francisco 505-995-2334 www.lafondasantafe.com
La Fonda de Recuerdos—a place of many memories—is a beautiful and apt description of La Fonda’s legendary hotel and signature restaurant, La Plazuela. Generations of Santa Feans have gathered, celebrated and dined here, creating rich personal memories. La Plazuela has just re-opened after a five-month renovation and it is stunning. It is filled with natural light, hand-carved furnishings, a charming fountain, and of course, our much-loved, hand-painted windows. The new menu created by Executive Chef Lane Warner, weaves old favorites with New World influences and showcases authentic New Mexican cuisine. Hours: Breakfast 7–10:45 AM daily. Lunch 11:30 AM–2 PM, Monday–Friday; 11:45 AM–3 PM, Saturday and Sunday. Dinner 5:30–10 PM daily.
El Mesón 213 Washington, 505-983-6756 elmeson-santafe.com
A native of Madrid, Spain, chef/owner David Huertas has been delighting customers since 1997 with family recipes and specialties of his homeland. The
Rancho de Chimayó County Road 98, on the High Road to Taos ranchodechimayo.com
Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante’s grand reopening. Serving world-renowned traditional and contemporary
34020 US Hwy 285, 505-753-6818 ranchodesanjuan.com
Celebrating 15 years in New Mexico, 1994–2009. “The faraway nearby.” Exquisite world-class, award-winning restaurant. Enjoy comfortable dining in an elegant but casual atmosphere. Savor innovative cuisine with a Southwest flair. Watch our website for special events, wine dinners, Dine Around the World evenings, plus Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day brunches. Enjoy our patio in the summer, and dinner by firelight in the fall and winter. Full bar for sunset cocktails, and award-winning wine list with reasonable prices to complement your dining pleasure. Zagat Survey winner, #1 in New Mexico. Only 40 minutes north of Santa Fe. Conde Nast Traveler Gold List #28 in USA. Come celebrate our 15th anniversary all year! Reservations required. Dinner served at two seatings only: 6:30 and 8 PM, Tuesday–Saturday. Table is yours for the evening. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Santacafé 231 Washington, 505-984-1788, santacafe.com
Centrally located in Santa Fe’s distinguished downtown district, this charming Southwestern bistro, situated in the historic Padre Gallegos House, offers your guests the classic Santa Fe backdrop. Step into the pristine experience Santacafé has been consistently providing for more than 25 years. New American cuisine is tweaked in a Southwestern context and the food is simply and elegantly presented. Frequented by the famous and infamous, the Santacafé patio offers some of the best peoplewatching in Santa Fe! During high season, our courtyard, protected by a sun canopy, becomes one of the most coveted locales in Santa Fe. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Terra at Encantado Resort 198 State Road 592, 505-946-5800 encantadoresort.com
Santa Fe’s new dining destination located at the new Encantado Resort. “The cuisine at Terra is elegant, yet simple; interesting, yet approachable; and contemporary, while maintaining its connection to the cultural and historical antecedents of the region,” explains Chef Charles Dale. “Terra will introduce a new perspective to the Santa Fe dining scene, with more European accents to the rustic regional cuisine and an environment alight with energy and intrigue.” Please call to reserve your dining experience.
city 400 C E L E B R A T I O N The Santa Fe 400th, the people behind the yearlong celebration of Santa Fe’s 400th birthday, present ¡Viva! Santa Fe, September 5 and 6 at Fort Marcy Park. Weave a basket, cook, take a flamenco lesson, paint a low-rider bike, or enjoy musical performances by Ozomatli or the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra. Party like it’s 1609! Tickets: Free, 505-986-1610, santafe400th.com
CREDIT JON COULTHARD
A U C T I O N Fine Arts for Children and Teens, the 29-yearold nonprofit helping to provide art, art supplies, and art education to nearly 5,000 at-risk kids in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, and San Miguel county public schools, will be hosting its annual Los Pintores art auction, September 26 at Gebert Contemporary, 550 S Guadalupe. This year’s honoree, santero Luis Tapia, will be there, as will the biddable works of many top artists. Named in honor of Los Cincos Pintores, Santa Fe’s artistic “five nuts in five mud huts” of the 1920s, all proceeds go toward FACT’s arts programs for kids. Tickets: 505-992-2787, factsantafe.org
tastes like piñon A W A R D S On September 15 at The Lensic, the Santa Fe Community Foundation names its 2009 Piñon Award winners. Given annually to five of the area’s 750 nonprofits, the Piñons recognize the hard work of the many people working to improve the City Different. Author, actor, and Pasatiempo associate editor Robert Nott will host, and last year’s Piñon recipients, Wise Fool, will provide circusy relief. Tickets: Free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required, 505-988-9715, ext. 24
CREDIT RAY A. VALDEZ
art for kids
burn him! C O N F L A G R A T I O N Fiesta week probably wouldn’t be half as festive—or cathartic—without the annual burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra, aka Old Man Gloom, the Transformer-sized puppet. The 85th annual roasting away of one’s troubles takes place the evening of September 10 at Fort Marcy Park. Tickets: $5 in advance, $10 at venue, 505660-1965, zozobra.com
events CONTINUING EVENTS
Through August 20 Santa Fe Bandstand 2009. Dance,
mingle, and discover great local music in the Plaza. The summer lineup features Latin-reggae band La Junta, world-beat rockers the Mud Ponies, and more. Free, Monâ€“Thurs 6â€“8:30 PM, Mon and Wed noonâ€“1:30 PM, Community Stage, Santa Fe Plaza, 505-986-6054, santafebandstand.org
Through August 29 Santa Fe Opera. Watch a performance of La Traviata, Don Giovanni, The Elixir of Love, The Letter, or Alcesteâ€”check the website for the complete scheduleâ€”at one of the most stunning opera settings in the world. $26-$188, Santa Fe Opera, 17053 U.S. Highway 84/285, 505-986-5900, santafeopera.org Through September 13 American Impressionism: Paintings from the Phillips Collection. French Impressionist
painters like Claude Monet and Edgar Degas get all the attention. But America had its own share of Impressionistsâ€”John Henry Twachtman, Maurice Prendergast, and Helen Turner, to name a fewâ€”and their works are collected in this exhibit. Daily 10 AMâ€“5 PM, $9 ($6 for NM residents), New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W Palace, 505-476-5072, nmartmuseum.org Through October 25, 2009 Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe. Photographs that have recorded Santa Feâ€™s historyâ€”
and contributed to the City Differentâ€™s world-famous mystiqueâ€” are featured in this exhibit honoring the cityâ€™s 400th anniversary. Tueâ€“Sun 10 AMâ€“5 PM, $9 ($6 for New Mexico residents), Palace of the Governors, 105 W Palace, 505-476-5100, palaceofthegovernors.org Through January 2, 2010 Native American Picture Books of Change. Pueblo, Apache, Navajo, and Hopi artists from
the past and present created these creative and colorful bilingual childrenâ€™s books. Tueâ€“Sun 10 AMâ€“5 PM, $9 ($6 for New Mexico residents), Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, 505-465-1250, indianartsandculture.org
AUGUST August 1 Hopper at the Harwood: Panel with Dave Hickey.
Noted critic and author Dave Hickey leads a panel discussion with Dennis Hopper. The Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux, Taos, $45 ($35 for museum members), 575-758-9826, ext. 102 August 1 Taos Garden and Home Tour. The Garden Club of Taos brings in visitors and residents for its annual tour of Taos properties and landscapesâ€”this year three homes and the Lumina Sculpture Gardenâ€™s studios and artistsâ€™ living quarters. Sat 9 AMâ€“5 PM, $16 in advance, $20 day of tour, 575-751-0191
August 1 Turquoise Ball Gala. Taosâ€™s Millicent Rogers Museum hosts its annual benefit, starting with a silent auction at 4:30 PM, a 7 PM live auction, then dinner in the grand ballroom. Entertainment by Kim and the Caballeros. Tickets $130 per person, El Monte Sagrado Living Resort, Taos, 575-758-4316 August 1â€“2 Girls Inc. Arts & Crafts Show. Works by more than 275 national and local artists are featured in this juried show and sale. Proceeds from artistsâ€™ booth fees benefit Girls Inc., of Santa Fe. 9 AMâ€“5 PM, Santa Fe Plaza, girlsincofsantafe.org August 1â€“2 Summer Festival, Frontier Days and Horses of the West. Family- friendly activities at this Wild
CANYON ROAD FINE ART
West celebration include gold-panning, hide-tanning, and bow-making demonstrations. 10 AMâ€“ 4 PM, El Rancho de los Golondrinas, 334 Los Pinos, 505-471-2261
#ANYON 2OAD 3ANTA &E .-
August 1â€“16 Plein Air Painters of New Mexicoâ€” â€?High on Taos.â€? This 5th annual paintout exhibition and sale
-ORE OF 'REGG !LBRACHTS WORK CAN BE FOUND AT WWWCANYONROADFINEAR TCOM 164 indian market
takes place at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art. Opening reception, Sat Aug 1, 5â€“8 PM, closing reception, Fri Aug 14, 5â€“8 PM, 119A Kit Carson Road, 575-758-3255, wnightingale.com August 3 Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Get ready for a high-octane show: New Orleans virtuoso Trombone
events Shorty—aka Troy Andrews—and his band call their music SupaFunkRock. 7:30 PM, $18–$20, Santa Fe Brewing Company, 27 Fire Place, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com
Estep are on view and for sale at Los Alamos’s Art Center at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central, 505-662-9331, artfulnm.org
Sat & Sun), 6–9 PM; $10, Sat & Sun, 10 AM–5 PM, Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W Marcy, 505-992-8929, whitehawkshows.com
August 9 Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk. They’ve been August 3 Measure for Measure. The Santa Fe Desert Chorale
performs songs from composers around the world, all of which were inspired by the words of William Shakespeare. 8 PM, $20–$50, Loretto Chapel, 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com August 7 The English Beat. Ska favorites The English Beat—
celebrating 30 years together this year—headline this dance party, with ska/punkers Reel Big Fish and reggae/punkers The Supervillians. 6:30 PM, $29, Santa Fe Brewing Company, 27 Fire Place, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com August 7 Santa Fe Desert Chorale: Gala Finale Concert with Mezzo-Soprano Susan Graham. The world-acclaimed
soloist joins the Desert Chorale to present In the Beginning, Aaron Copland’s motet for mezzo-soprano and unaccompanied chorus. $20–$150, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, 131 Cathedral Place, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com August 7–8 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The company’s mixed-repertory performance includes the humorous Sechs Tanze, by Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian. 8 PM, $20–$62, The Lensic, 211 W San Francisco, 505-988-1234, tickets santafe.com August 7–9 Wildlife West Music Festival. Edgewood
brings in folk musician John McCutcheon and Durango’s bluegrass band The Badly Bent, plus Irish music and more folk and bluegrass. Tickets $10–$20, Wildlife West Nature Park, Edgewood, 505-281-7655, wildlifewest.org
playing at Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest for several years; now Ivan Neville (son of Aaron) and his band, Dumpstaphunk, bring their New Orleans funk to Santa Fe. 7 PM, $17–$20, Santa Fe Brewing Company, 27 Fire Place, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com
August 14–16 Rag Rug Festival & Design Collective.
August 9 Patricia Racette: American Songbook. Award-
Female artisans from New Mexico and around the world offer handcrafted rag rugs, tote bags, pillows, and other decorative items. Preview reception and sale, August 14, 4–7 PM; sale August 15–16, 10 AM–4 PM; Stewart Udall Center for Museum Resources, 725 Camino Lejo (Museum Hill), 505-983-6155, nmfw.org
winning operatic soprano Patrica Racette entertains with American songbook standards and cabaret favorites. 8 PM, $25–$55, The Lensic, 211 W San Francisco, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com
August 14–16, August 20–22 Haciendas Parade of Homes. Local builders show off their masterpieces at the
August 9–September 30 Taos National Exhibition of American Watercolor XIII. Painter, teacher, and Juror of
Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association-sponsored annual competition, inviting the public to tour new homes in the Santa Fe area, 11 AM–6 PM, $15, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com
selections and National Watercolor Society member Robbie Laird presides over a smorgasboard of watercolor entries and winners. Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, 1504 Millicent Rogers Road, 575-758-2462, taoswatercolor.org August 11 My Life in Art: Jeanne and Michael Klein with Matthew Drutt. Collectors with a special interest in
minimal and conceptual art, video work, and site-specific installations, Jeanne and Michael Klein will speak about their passion for the visual arts. 6 PM, $10, Site Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, 505-989-1199, sitesantafe.org August 12 O’Keeffe in Asia. Join Hsiu-Ling Lin, a professor at National Taiwan Normal University, for a talk about Georgia O’Keeffe’s fondness for Asian arts and cultures. $5 (members free), 7 PM, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 217 Johnson, 505-6461000, okeeffemuseum.org
August 15 Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women. The Blasters’s Dave Alvin is back with a new band, The Guilty Women, featuring Christy McWilson, Amy Farris, and others. 7:30 PM, $23–$25, Santa Fe Brewing Company Patio, 27 Fire Place, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com August 15 Taos Mountain Music Festival. The Taos Ski Valley serves as the perfect setting for Taos’s first annual music fest, with acts such as Ozomatli, The Wailers, and Joan Osborne set to perform. Tickets $35 in advance, $38 day of show, children free, 800-517-9816, taosmountainmusicfestival.com August 16 Trains & Indians. The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad teams up with members of the Jicarilla Apache Nation for song and dance and railroading. Leaves Chama at 11 AM, back by 3 PM, tickets $59 adults, $29 children, 888-CUMBRES, cumbrestoltec.com
August 14–16 Antique Ethnographic Art Show. More August 8 32nd Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Fair. Jewelry,
painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and more, from artists such as Michael McCollough, Regina Dingler, and Robert
than 150 dealers offer African, Indonesian, Asian, Oceanic, Spanish Colonial, and Pre-Columbian arts-and-crafts antiques. Gala preview opening Aug 14, 6–9 PM, $85 (includes admission
August 21–September 6 Music from Angel Fire. A lineup of 35 international artists—from flautist Robert Mirabal and violinists Ida and Ani Kavafian to pianist Anne-Marie
events McDermottâ€”perform 15 concerts ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary. Tickets $30, Angel Fire Community Center, 71 Valley Road, 888-377-3300, musicfromangelfire.org August 24 Reggae Sunsplash on the Patio. Celebrate
summer with â€œromantic lovers rockâ€? from Jamaicaâ€™s Beres Hammond andâ€”also from the islandâ€”politically charged reggae from Culture Feat, with Kenyatta Hill on lead vocals. 6 PM, $30, Santa Fe Brewing Company, 27 Fire Place, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com August 28â€“30 Harvest Festival. Sock hops, fun runs,
carnival games, and a chuckwagon dinner, all in celebration of Edgewoodâ€™s agricultural heritage. Friday night, Sat 10 AMâ€“9 PM, Sun 10 AMâ€“4 PM, Wildlife West Nature Park, Edgewood, 505-281-7655, wildlifewest.org August 28â€“30 Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival. Headliners at the festival, now its 35th year, include
the Blue Canyon Boys, the Lee Striping Trio, and Alan Munde & Gazette. Three-day pass $12â€“$45, Santa Fe County Fairgrounds, 3229 Rodeo, 505-988-3279, southwestpickers.org August 29 A Russian Night in Taos. Join the Taos Art
Museum for its 5th annual fundraiser. Dinner, dancing, and art begins at 6 PM. Tickets start at $175, 575-758-2690, ext. 4, taosartmuseum.org
September 8 Lecture: Art of the Anthropocene, by William L. Fox. Fox, director of the Center for Art +
September 12 Rotary Air Show Plus. Stunt pilots and daredevil performers wow the crowds at Farmingtonâ€™s Four Corners Regional Airport, $12 at gate, $10 online, children under 13 free, 505-325-5055, farmingtonairshow.com
Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, discusses the nineteenth- and twentieth-century evolution of artistic representation of the planet from landscape art to land art. 6 PM, $10, Site Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, 505-989-1199, sitesantafe.org
September 17â€“19 ShortGrass Music Festival. Three
evenings of live music, featuring one trio, a pianist and cellist, and two Latino folklore musicians. $40 for all three performances, Cimarron, 888-222-4174, cimarronnm.com
September 10â€“12 Michael Hearneâ€™s Big Barn Dance Festival. An Americana music extravaganza on the lawn of
Taosâ€™s Old Blinking Light restaurant, featuring Eliza Gilkyson and Shawn Mullins, among other stars of the singer-songwriter folk-rock world. Three-day pass $95, one-day tickets $30â€“$45, Mile Marker One, Ski Valley Road (State Road 150), 575-776-8787, bigbanddance.com
September 19 Santa Fe Airshow. Wing walkers, sailplanes,
and military-formation flyers make Santa Feâ€™s ever-changing skies even more compelling to watch. $10-$12, 11 AMâ€“3 PM, Santa Fe Municipal Airport, 121 Aviation Drive, 505-424-7024, santafeairshow.org
September 10â€“14 Santa Fe Fiesta. Music, dancing, food,
September 19â€“20 Santa Fe Renaissance Fair. Now in its second year, this celebration of medieval times features costumed performers, jousting, games, and arts-and-crafts vendors, plus food, wine, beer, and music. $8, 10 AMâ€“6 PM, El Rancho de los Golondrinas, 334 Los Pinos, 505-471-2261
and, of course, the Saturday morning Pet Paradeâ€“itâ€™s all part of Santa Feâ€™s annual Fiesta. The fun-filled four-day celebration honors the 1692 reoccupation of the city by Don Diego de Vargas. Santa Fe Plaza and downtown, santafefiesta.org September 11 Crownpoint Rug Auction. Bid on any of 300â€“400 hand-woven Navajo rugs. Rug viewing 4â€“6 PM. Auction begins at 7 PM, Crownpoint Elementary School (72 miles south of Farmington on Hwy. 371), 505-786-5302, crownpointrugauction.com
September 19â€“20 and September 26â€“27 The High Road Art Tour. More than 70 artists and craftspeople along the
High Road, between Santa Fe and Taos, open their studios to the public. highroadnewmexico.com Through September 20 Oâ€™Keeffe: Beyond our Shores. Georgia Oâ€™Keeffeâ€™s travels to Bermuda, Hawaii, Peru, and Asia influenced the seldom-seen paintings in this unique exhibit. Daily 10 AMâ€“5 PM, $10 (NM residents $5), Georgia Oâ€™Keeffe Museum, 217 Johnson, 505-646-1000, okeeffemuseum.org
September 11-13 Route 66 Festival featuring the Pecos River Motorcycle Rally. Motorcycles, concerts,
September 5â€“6 Fiesta de los NiĂąos. A celebration of
children, with games, crafts, and entertainment for the whole family. Free for children under 13, 10 AMâ€“4 PM, El Rancho de los Golondrinas, 334 Los Pinos, 505-471-2261, golondrinas.com September 5â€“6 Totah Festival Indian Market & Pow Wow. Handmade Native American arts and crafts, in
Farmingtonâ€™s Civic Center. Authentic Navajo Rug Auction on Saturday. 200 W Arrington, 800-448-1240, farmingtonnm.org
food, a wild west shootout, poker runs, and motorcycles. Park Lake, Santa Rosa, 575-472-3763, santarosa.org September 11â€“27 New Mexico State Fair. PRCA rodeo, recording stars Huey Lewis and the News, Julianne Hough, and Aaron Tippin (among others), Indian and Spanish villages, art, agriculture, and exhibits, and the ever-popular midway. 300 San Pedro NE, 505-222-9700, exponm.com
September 24 Pink Martini. The Portland, Oregon-based pop orchestra is back in Santa Fe with its blend of Latin, lounge, classical music, and jazz. $44-$62, 7:30 PM, The Lensic, 211 W San Francisco, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com
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events September 25 Guardians Gala in New Mexico. Mingle
with likeminded eco-advocates at this 7th annual fundraiser. Bishop’s Lodge Resort & Spa, 1297 Bishop’s Lodge Road. Tickets: 505-988-9126, wildearthguardians.org September 25–26 ¡Globalquerque! New Mexico’s 3rd
annual celebration of World Music and culture culminates in a two-day multistage festival at Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center. Featured artists include Taos’s Robert Mirabal, Mexico’s Mono Blanco, and India’s Indian Ocean. Tickets vary ($25–$60 for day of show or two-day passes), 1701 4th Street SW, globalquerque.com September 25–26 Taos Chamber Music Group. Performing
at The Harwood Museum of Art, Taos’s premier chamber music group warms up for their 17th season. Sat at 7:30 PM, Sun at 5:30 PM, 575-758-0150, taoschambermusicgroup.org September 25–27 Go! Downtown Arts Festival 2009.
Outdoor art exhibits, live music, dance performances, children’s activity area, food courts, and a beer garden—all along Albuquerque’s Gold Avenue downtown between 2nd and 5th Streets. Fri 11 AM–9 PM, Sat 11 AM–8 PM, Sun 11 AM–5 PM, 505-243-2230, downtownabq.com September 25–27 Nara Visa Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Cowboys just a-hangin’ out, telling stories, reading their poetry, playing tunes. Plus a trade show, a chuckwagon, and dummy roping. Tucumcari, tucumcarinm.com September 25–27 New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
Conductor Guillermo Figueroa leads the orchestra in its seasonopening concert, performing Bolcom’s Violin Concerto and Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony. Violinist Borivoj MartinicCercic is featured. Popejoy Hall, UNM Center for the Arts, Albuquerque, 505-277-3824, popejoyhall.com September 25–October 12 35th Annual Taos Fall Arts Festival. Taos celebrates 35 years of Taos art and artists with
three shows over a three-week period: Taos Invites Taos, Taos Open, and the Special Exhibition: The Taos Living Masters Invitational. Open daily 10 AM–5 PM, Taos Convention Center, 120 Civic Plaza Drive, 575-758-5015, firstname.lastname@example.org September 26–28 Earth’s Palette: Natural Color for Fiber and Fabric. This Taos-based fiber-arts conference features
presentations and workshops by natural-dye and color experts. To register or for more information, visit taoswoolfestival.org September 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010 The New Mexico Women Authors’ Book Festival. More than
sixty accomplished female authors from around the state read, sign, and discuss their books. Free, 11 AM–5 PM, Milner Plaza on Museum Hill, off Camino Lejo, 505-982-6366, museumfoundation.org September 27 Quick Draw & Art Round Up. A plein-air paintout starting at high noon. Preview at 3 PM, live auction of everything at 4 PM. Taos Center for the Arts, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, 575-758-2052, tcataos.org September 27–October 3 Falling for Santa Fe Photography Workshop. Acclaimed photographer Craig
Varjabedian takes five lucky shutterbugs through the basics of shooting in and around Santa Fe. $995 for the week, 903 W Alameda, #115, 505-983-2934, eloquentlight.com
Miriam Gorman and Earl Eder invite you to their Indian Market booth 778 on Lincoln Ave. West, where they will be showing innovative jewelry, scultpure and paintings. Miriam Gorman, niece of RC Gorman and inspired by her grandmothers weavings, creates Navajo jewelry. Earl Eder creates sculpture and paintings reßective of his Lakota Sioux roots. Carvings such as his Red Tail Hawks capture the notion of hawks taking our prayers to the Great Spirit.
Indian Market ¥ PO Box 9698 ¥ Santa Fe, NM 87504 505-474-4831 (home) ¥ 505-501-9316 (cell) email@example.com ¥ firstname.lastname@example.org
September 29 Virsky Ukrainian Dance Ukraine’s internationally acclaimed national dance company mixes traditional folk dancing with ballet techniques. $20–$60, 7:30 PM, The Lensic, 211 W San Francisco, 505-988-1234, ticketssantafe.com September 29–30 Taos Pueblo Geronimo Days. A centuries-old trading event where guests can shop for authentic American Indian arts and crafts. There’s also a ceremonial pole climbing. (No cameras). Taos Pueblo plaza, 575-4581028, email@example.com
SWAIA INDIAN MARKET MEMBERS, SUPPORTERS, AND VOLUNTEERS
to all of you who help make Indian Market possible, including our corporate and foundation supporters, award sponsors, members, and numerous volunteers
CORPORATE & FOUNDATION SPONSORS Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino
OFFICIAL SUPPORTING SPONSORS Blue Rain Gallery Hotel Santa Fe Vanessie of Santa Fe
Textiles & Basketry–Jed Foutz Diverse Arts–Jamie Earles Quillwork & Beadwork–The Taubman Family Youth–Helen Laird Robertson
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Santa Fean magazine celebrates new ownership
Bruce Adams, one of Santa Fean magazine’s first art directors (1989–1994)—for its creators Betty Bauer and Marian Love—and then its publisher since 2007, officially purchased the 37-year-old publication on April 1, thereby adding owner to his title. To celebrate, he and the magazine hosted a coming-out party at the fabulous patio of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Savor entertained with Cuban street music, there was food and wine, and a convivial time was had by all. Here’s to the next 37 years!
1 Santa Fean staff Devon Jackson, Dianna Delling, Anne Mulvaney, Lori Johnson, Bruce Adams, and Emilie McIntyre 2 Former Santa Fean Editor-in-Chief Marin Sardy 3 Sofia Kanavle, Elan Varshay, and Kathrine Erickson 4 Clay Ellis, Peter Ogilvie, Douglas Merriam, and Eric Swanson 5 Emilie McIntyre, Mara Harris, Joe Rich, and Edy Keeler 6 Santa Fean Food and Dining Editor Johnny Vollertsen 7 Latricia Gonzales, Santa Fean Owner and Publisher Bruce Adams, and Mike McKosky 8 Victor Alvarez of Savor 9 Bruce Adams, Rich Veruni, Diane Murphy, Chuck Atwell, and Paul Rau 10 Bruce Mazur
Gallery Openings and Events
1 2 3 4 5
Jina Brenneman and Lucy Perera at the Harwood Museum Santa Feanâ€™s Anne Mulvaney with Pat French at Chartreuse Marla Allison and David Canter at Native Treasures Bob Gardner and Linda Johnson at Lewallen ?, Kasey Cosley, Norma Sharon, and Santa Feanâ€™s Bruce Adams 6 Ron Davis and Rony Lanfield at Lewallen 7 Tammy Garcia and Tony Abeyta at Blue Rain
Gallery Openings and Events 1 2 3 4
Brad Price and Jeff Tabor Carol Belyea and Dean Stockwell at the Harwood Sophie Stroud and Guy Cross at Lewallen Eve Cohen, Andrea Fisher and Natalie Fitz-Gerald at Lewallen
H I S TO RY
the billy jack phenomenon
COURTESY WARNER BROS.
how t h i s 1 9 7 1 f i l m i m ag i n e d w h at a n In di a n h e r o m i g h t lo ok l i k e
“In what remote corner of this country is there a place where men really care about one another and really love each other? You tell me where such a place is, and I promise you I’ll never hurt another human being.”
“It succeeded,” wrote scholars, “in rearranging Indian identity in the media like nothing else before or since.”
once upon a time, even Indians grew up wanting to be cowboys. Why? Because Hollywood’s Indians were nearly always unflattering caricatures . . . and they always lost. Then came Billy Jack—the first Native American action hero. In the 1971 film Billy Jack, this tough-talking, karate-chopping ex-Green Beret flattens white racists, corrupt businessmen, and other hypocrites who stand between ordinary people and justice. The half-Cherokee Billy Jack derives his power in part from seemingly authentic tribal ceremonies, one of which involves being poisoned to the edge of death by a rattlesnake. This month, TCM releases august /september
a restored version of Billy Jack on DVD. The film, which was shot in and around Santa Fe, was written, directed, and produced by a white man, Tom Laughlin, who also played Billy. Billy Jack was silly and ham-handed (The New York Times called the acting “incredibly awful”), with particular clumsiness in its depiction of Native cultures. But it also became astonishingly popular. It cost just $800,000 to produce and returned a recordbreaking $32 million at the box office ($164 million in 2008 dollars), making it the most profitable independent film in history. Its success introduced new marketing models to
Hollywood, sparked copycats (including Rambo), and injected additional juice into countercultural filmmaking. Billy Jack also ignited a discussion about issues of representation of Native peoples. Was Billy Jack an appropriate hero for Native youth? Is an ass-whupping vigilante an improvement over Hollywood’s hatchet-wielding Indians? What misconceptions about Native cultures did he perpetuate? And when would Native people begin telling their own stories on film? Understanding the Billy Jack phenomenon means heading back to the birth of cinema. From the beginning, filmmakers including Thomas Edison, D.W. Griffith, and Cecil B. DeMille turned Native people into one-dimensional stereotypes. These stereotypes only spread as Westerns became popular. “Not only did the Native Americans always lose but they were depicted as inept, stupid or cowardly fighters . . . (or as) cruel, bloodthirsty, inhuman savages,” wrote critics Ralph and Natasha Friar in 1969. Indians quickly became stock characters: They wore fake regalia, spoke nonsensical languages, and, more often than not, were played by non-Natives. By lampooning and vilifying the Indians, Hollywood helped rationalize their mistreatment. The more popular the John Ford films, the easier it became to force tribes from their lands, place their children in federally run schools far from home, and ban their religions. The cultural upheavals of the 1960s had brought several respectful, relatively nuanced depictions of Native people, including Chief Dan George’s Oscar-nominated turn in
fund at his own expense. It was the best bet he ever made. Billy Jack’s financial success allowed Laughlin to make The Trial of Billy Jack, another box-office hit that he launched with visionary skill. Rather than roll the film out slowly, he sank $12 million in advertising so that he could successfully release it nationally. This blockbuster model soon became the industry standard. A few years later, Laughlin’s Billy Jack Goes to Washington, still unreleased and considered a mess, put his directing career to bed. (A 2002 plan for Keanu Reeves to resuscitate Billy Jack fizzled.) Nonetheless, Billy Jack remains a watershed for both Native filmmakers and Hollywood. For some, the film kicked off a new era of indigenous representation. “It succeeded in rearranging Indian identity in the media like nothing else before or since,” wrote scholars Ward Churchill, Mary Anne Hill, and Norbert Hill. Vine Deloria, on the other hand, in a 1980 essay, ridiculed “Bully Jack” because it had “nothing to do with Indians of any stripe but it is a map par excellence of what antiestablishment young whites thought the world was like circa 1970–71.” Chris Eyre, director of Smoke Signals and PBS’s Skinwalkers, found it divertingly cheesy but disliked the way “Laughlin’s character borrows and appropriates the ‘Indian’ idea for the benefit of his agenda.” Says Eyre, “If not personified by a Native person, the ideas are solid propaganda that further perpetuates the ‘Indian myth.’” Movie-Made America author Robert Sklar, though, considers Billy Jack a seminal film. “He was the model for Rambo, for Walking Tall,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “When you think of what Rocky meant for the culture— Laughlin was ahead of all that. He represented the
indomitable outsider, and he was the first one in that era.” Laughlin has continued his visionary ways. In 1987, he started Billy Jack Video, a precursor to Netflix that involved teenage kids delivering VHS tapes in a variety of cities. He’s written books on the psychology of cancer and Carl Jung. He’s trained college football players to channel their aggression in productive ways. And he’s continued to rail vehemently against what he considers the hypocrisy of the American political system. Now 78 years old and reportedly in ill health at his Southern California home, Laughlin hasn’t let his age or his ailments slow him down. Always a walk-the-walk kind of maverick, he doesn’t just blog his discontent; he ran for President in 1992 (he received two percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary), 2004, and 2008. President Billy Jack? Now, that’s a movie we’d like to see. —Jason Silverman
Below: Laughlin in his iconic Billy Jack attire, perpetuating what Vine Deloria called “the persisting identity problem of individuals raised in American society who are afraid to dance, sing, and recite poetry.”
Little Big Man. Laughlin’s film was intended to be far rawer. Having witnessed anti-Indian racism in the North Dakota hometown of his wife and costar, Delores Taylor, he began to wonder: What would an Indian movie hero look like? Laughlin himself slowly emerged as a classic American maverick: after being a standout football player in high school and college, then eking out a living as a B-movie actor (he was the star of Robert Altman’s first film, The Delinquents), he took hold of the camera himself. While directing a series of ultralow-budget programs, Laughlin began compiling his ideas on reinventing Hollywood, including radical new methods of marketing and releasing. An indigenous avenging angel, Billy Jack, who first appeared in Laughlin’s 1967 cult-classic motorcycle movie, Born Loser, espoused a Native (or “Native”) cosmology, carried an antiestablishment vibe he’d picked up in Vietnam, and kept a vicious repertoire of martial-arts skills in the back pocket of his jeans. In Billy Jack, for instance, he defends a school for runaway teens from venal, violent white men, all the while brushing aside the do-gooder concerns of the institution’s pacifist schoolmarm. The makers of Billy Jack, which was shot at Santa Clara Pueblo, Bandelier, and the now-demolished Santa Fe Indian School, were lured to town by New Mexico governor David Cargo, who flew to L.A. three times to talk to Laughlin. Cargo remembers the production as “a rocky deal—it was never smooth going.” Abandoned by its initial production company, Billy Jack was rescued by Twentieth Century Fox, who then balked after seeing Laughlin’s final cut in 1971. Warner Bros. then came aboard, releasing the film with what Laughlin considered a subpar effort (it grossed $6 million). So he sued. Two years later, he struck an ingenious deal: He’d gamble the rights to the film against a rerelease that he’d
D AY T R I P
taos pueblo photograph by Douglas Merriam
Location: Just outside Taos, one mile north Distance: 72 miles northwest of Santa Fe Summer Hours: Mon–Sat 8 AM–4:30 PM; Sun 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Must See: The Pueblo—made entirely out of adobe, there for almost 1,000 years, and where about 150 people reside year-round Must Do: Take in—respectfully—a religious ceremony or just shop: Taos artisans are known for their silver jewelry, animal-skin work, and micaflecked pottery. (Remember, too: Photographs can be taken only with the Pueblo’s permission.) Info: 575-758-1028, www.taospueblo.com