Integrates Love, Life, and Art
for Sculptor Tony Price
ARCHITECT JONAH STANFORD Takes Green Building to the Next Level
Fall 2019/Winter/Spring 2020 Display on newsstands until January 2020. U.S. $9.95 Can. $9.95
Freedom Strikes Left: Candyce with Heart and Soul
Santa Fe Botanical Garden Exhibit May 2020 at Museum Hill
candycegarrett.com | 575.937.1486 | Taos New Mexico | Sonora Texas | firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOS: Â© WENDY MCEAHERN
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Situated in the heart of Santa Fe’s historic Railyard district is Casa Nova, an exquisitely curated gallerylike space that celebrates the cultural wealth of indigenous communities and is highly regarded for its bold and unique blend of color, art, craft, contemporary design and furnishings. Casa Nova prides itself on recontextualizing and juxtaposing the extraordinary with the everyday in cultural fusion that epitomizes “The Art of Living and Living with Art.” It is a dynamic, up-market gallery often referred to as “a feast of eye candy.” AFRICA • ART • ADORNMENT • BEAUTY • COLOR COMMUNITY • CRAFT • CREATIVITY • CULTURE CUTTING-EDGE DESIGN • ETHNICITY • FOLKART FORM • FUNCTION • FUSION • GLOBAL • HAND-MADE INSPIRATION • RURAL • STYLE • TRIBAL • URBAN
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ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF JASON STILGEBOUER EXCEPT LEFT: WENDY MCEAHERN FOR PARASOL PRODUCTIONS
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photo ÂŠ Wendy McEahern
GLASSplash® incorporates original art onto panels of tempered glass, to provide a stunningly unique addition to your kitchen, bath, and office.
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photo © Jonathan Tercero
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PHOTO CREDIT AND ART BY SOUTH AFRICAN ARTIST RONEL JORDAAN
Ronel Jordaan is inspired by nature. Through the medium of felted wool, her original designs playfully and eloquently echo organic forms and textures. These elements infuse a home with the comforting serenity, purity and beauty of the outdoors. In a conscious effort to alleviate unemployment among woman, the company is dedicated to transference of skills, eco-friendly processes and celebration of respect for the environment.
the art of living and living with art
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Kenneth e. foote is a santa fe, new mexico based interior/exterior designer and artist. he works in multiple mediums focusing primarily on the adaptation of space. his life has been devoted to exceptional design, primarily focused in a contemporary direction. he has always loved playing with this blending of design styles, sometimes totally contrasting their unique qualities. his background has been a gestalt of design options and experiences, from architecture, urban studies, interior design and construction.
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COTU JACKET: Hand spun, handwoven cotton with beads woven by members of the CoTu tribe located in central Laos. Faced and piped in silk.
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PHOTO BILL CURRY
features Passively Powerful
Architect Jonah Stanfordâ€™s environmental homes offer true abundance yet sit lightly on the land. By Bonnie Schwartz Photos by K ate Russell
Back to the Source
Local designers find inspiration in patterns and symbols from cultures worldwide. By Gussie Fauntleroy Photos by Byron Flesher
Artist Judy Tuwaletstiwa transforms everyday substances into affirmations of life and love. By Nancy Zimmerman Photos by Peter Ogilvie
Friends of the late salvage-yard sculptor Tony Price perpetuate his message of peace. By Christina Procter Photos by Byron Flesher and Friends of Tony Price
Into the Light Stained-glass artist Spin Dunbar illuminates a traditional craft with contemporary themes. By Ashley M. Biggers Photos by Audrey Derell
86 96 104 116 128
Background: Detail of Judy Tuwaletstiwaâ€™s Patterns (2019), part 3 of 7 parts, glass and adhesive on canvas. Photo by Peter Ogilvie. 36
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
PORTRAIT: PETER OGILVIE. BRACELET: ‘MARCH III’, CYLINDRICAL BEADS, FACETED AQUAMARINE RONDELLES.
Artist’s Reception October 18 2019
“My intention is to to tell a visual story through the months of the year, to express the spirit of each through pattern and color” CLAIRE KAHN
The beauty of our very nature.
131 West Palace Ave. Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA
FROM THE EDITOR
FROM THE PUBLISHER
INTERSECTIONS National laboratories help local businesses innovate. By Cat Reece
OUTLOOK Master of modern architecture Frank Gehry delights Paris with his Louis Vuitton Foundation art museum. By Christina Procter Photos by Peter Ogilvie
TAOS TRENDS At Hotel Luna Mystica on the Taos Mesa, luxury camping becomes a spiritual experience. By Kristian Macaron
ART & DESIGN An Albuquerque screen-printing company elevates the art of the everyday. By Rena Distasio Photos by Douglas Merriam
IN THE Q The invisible ingenuity of designing for museum exhibitions. By Megan Kamerick Photos by Christina Procter, Courtesy of Albuquerque Museum
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
HOW WE LIVE Kate Rivers uses repurposed materials to create profound multimedia paintings in the studio designed by her husband, architect Jon Stern. By Christina Procter Photos by Douglas Merriam ARTIST STUDIO For Albuquerque landscape architect and artist John Barney, painting is performance. By Kristian Macaron Photos by Douglas Merriam
ARTIST STUDIO Taos artist Marcia Oliver uses symbols and color to explore an inner landscape and the “unified web” beyond. By Lynne Robinson Photos by Douglas Merriam
A Little Italy Executive Chef Cristian Pontiggia shares the flavors of his Italian upbringing at Sassella, his new Santa Fe restaurant. By Cyndy Tanner Photos by Dominique Vorillon Styled by Cyndy Tanner Invoking the Spirits New Mexico’s craft distillers bring local flavors and a sense of place to their distinctive products. By Kristian Macaron Photos by Andy Johnson
TUNES Composer Michael Stearns blends nature and machines to create immersive soundscapes. By April Reese Photos by Peter Ogilvie
PASSION OF THE PALATE
Fusion’s No Fad The region’s chefs bring a multicultural mix to contemporary Southwest cuisine. By Mark Oppenheimer Photos by Douglas Merriam
ON THE COVER: Tony Price, Untitled (circa 1968), paper collage, courtesy of Friends of Tony Price
FROM LEFT: DOUGLAS MERRIAM, DOMINIQUE VORILLON
FLASH Tamarah Begay’s firm, Indigenous Design Studio + Architecture, applies innovative environmental designs to public spaces; the reimagined De Anza Motor Lodge, originally built in 1939, is set to reopen in Albuquerque; the Santa Fe Council on International Relations brings global media experts to the City Different this fall.
Living life fully and in this moment Modernist Clothing for Women on the Go
TOKo Santa Fe
101 W. Marcy Street, #2 Downtown Santa Fe firstname.lastname@example.org Photo courtesy of Traces of Me, Portugal
FROM THE EDITOR
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
There are some who say that there is no such thing as coincidences, that they’re merely patterns, threads through points in time that seem to disrupt our linear assumptions. One such ripple occurred during this issue when our publisher, Cynthia Canyon, obtained The Diary of an Art Dealer, the unpublished manuscript by Tally Richards, a former heavyweight in the Taos art scene. Skimming through her diary entries, I saw one from February 3, 1969, when Richards was fresh off the train from New York City and flat broke but thinking about opening a contemporary art gallery. She wrote: “Marcia Oliver, a painter who is at the Wurlitzer Foundation on a grant . . . is going to do some small commercial paintings that I can sell.” Indeed she did, and the two collaborated for years. I was amazed to realize that 50 years later, Marcia Oliver is still at work in her studio, as described on page 150. Richards’ instincts about the artist’s longevity were correct. We hope ours are too, and that the ripples Trend helps make in our community have a longevity and full circle of their own. Christina Procter, Editor
LEFT: COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS; RIGHT: ANDY JOHNSON
n her letter from the publisher on page 45, Cynthia Canyon talks about the “full circle” that characterizes her decades publishing Trend magazine. Each story in Trend sends forth ripples that go on to sometimes unseen outcomes, but often these ripples return to our team in new and enlightening ways as the creative visionaries we cover proceed in their careers. It’s a happy coincidence, then, that the last name of one of our featured artists, Judy Tuwaletstiwa (page 104), is Hopi for “the wind making ripples in the sand.” In a similar manner, our team has fluctuated and grown over the years. I’m honored to be back with Trend as editor of this issue with Kristian Macaron, who helmed our previous 20th-anniversary issue. I took a break to cowrite the documentary Meow Wolf: Origin Story, co-executive produced by George R.R. Martin, whose library features the stained-glass sigils from Game of Thrones that appear in our story on Spin Dunbar (page 128). It seems to me that since I moved here from New York City seven years ago, the ebb and flow and evolution of the arts in New Mexico could well be symbolized by the ancient Egyptian symbol of the ouroboros. This serpent eating its own tail represents the beginning and end of time, and the quantum mystery of the inseparability of these extremes. Navigating in the now, the artists, architects, culinary creatives, and designers of interiors, textiles, and soundscapes covered in this issue are all making their work at the nexus of past and future. They are creating their art in a region where history remains alive and relevant far more than in other parts of the country, and where multiculturalism defines who we are. This is evident in how interior designers find their inspiration, as explored on page 96. In this issue we also look at sustainability in architecture, as exemplified by the work of Tamarah Begay on page 50 and Jonah Stanford on page 86. We also examine trends that strengthen local economics, such as how national laboratories in New Mexico are helping businesses innovate (page 60), and how Kei & Molly Textiles (page 76)—a far cry from the likes of Amazon and other monolithic retail operations—cares for its employees. Of particular interest are the stories that survive beyond the artist’s lifetime, such as the legacy of the late sculptor Tony Price and his propeace, anti-nuclear message, which has found new life via a nonprofit organization formed by his friends (page 116).
architectural + resortÂ photography architect: Â Norman Foster + Partners
resort: Capella Singapore
robertreck p h o t o g r a p h y architecture, luxury hotels, resorts & spas worldwide
PUBLISHER Cynthia Marie Canyon EDITORS Christina Procter, Kristian Macaron CONSULTING EDITORS Nancy Zimmerman, Rena Distasio COPY CHIEF Cyndi Wood ART DIRECTOR & DESIGNER Janine Lehmann PRODUCTION MANAGER & ASSOCIATE DESIGNER Jeanne Lambert CREATIVE CONSULTANT & MARKETING DIRECTOR Cyndy Tanner PHOTO PRODUCTION Boncratious CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ashley M. Biggers, Rena Distasio, Gussie Fauntleroy, Megan Kamerick, Jessica Helen Lopez, Kristian Macaron, Mark Oppenheimer, Christina Procter, April Reese, Lynne Robinson, Anya Sebastian, Bonnie Schwartz, Cyndy Tanner, Nancy Zimmerman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Boncratious, Audrey Derell, Byron Flesher, Andy Johnson, Douglas Merriam, Peter Ogilvie, Christina Procter, Kate Russell, Dominique Vorillon REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Mara Leader, 505-988-5007 ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES Anya Sebastian, 505-988-5007 Skip Whitson, 505-988-5007 NORTH AMERICAN DISTRIBUTION Disticor Magazine Distribution Services, disticor.com NEW MEXICO DISTRIBUTION Ezra Leyba, 505-690-7791 ACCOUNTING AND SUBSCRIPTIONS Anne Martinez SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING Loka Creative, lokacreative.com PRINTING Transcontinental Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lisa Paxton, 604-319-6381 Manufactured in the United States. Printed in Canada. Copyright 2019 by Santa Fe Trend LLC.
Rituals & Spells for Hearth & Home Tarot & Oracle Cards Insightful, Intuitive Tarot Readings Crystals, Candles, Incense Essential Oils & Herbs for Mind, Body & Spirit
“There’s a little witch in all of us.” 376 GARCIA STREET, SANTA FE NM 87501 (505) 670-6659 find us on Facebook & Instagram
All rights reserved. No part of Trend may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from the publisher. For reprint information, please call 505-988-5007, or email santafetrend@gmail. com. Trend art + design + architecture + cuisine ISSN 2161-4229 is published two times a year, Summer and Fall/Winter/Spring (20,000 copies), distributed throughout New Mexico and the nation. To subscribe, visit santafetrend.com/subscribe/subscribe-renew or send a check for $34.99 for one year, two issues, to P.O. Box 1951, Santa Fe, NM, 87504-1951. You will be auto-renewed annually; you may opt out to be sent an annual invoice. Ask your local newsstand (anywhere worldwide) to carry Trend. Find us on Facebook at Trend art + design + architecture + cuisine magazine. Editorial inquiries to email@example.com. Trend, P.O. Box 1951, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1951 505-988-5007, trendmagazineglobal.com
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
From left to right: Jess, Alana, Ben, Britini. Photo: Gabriella Marks Photography; select fashions by CITRUS Boutique, Santa Fe, NM
Master Colorists Hairstyling & Latest Cuts Style & Make Up Consults Event Styling Extensions and Balayage
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TheBeautyBarSantaFe.com | 505-983-6241
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TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
For all your holiday traditions 505.983.0130 · clemensandassociates.com
FROM THE PUBLISHER
t feels like I have been publishing magazines for a lifetime, but actually, it’s only been 25 years. Back when my 32-year-old daughter, Amber Joy, was still nursing, I took an advertising sales job with Santa Fe Symphony, my first after her birth. This led to unforeseen new opportunities. Michael, her father and my husband at the time, is a master stonemason. He built the monumental bridge at the entrance to the Las Campanas neighborhood development and worked with Jack Nicklaus on signature rock installations for two golf courses. Michael also worked with a talented crew to craft the stone water feature, walls, and other stonework for the Rosewood Inn of Anasazi in Santa Fe, styled after the ancient architecture and materiality of Chaco Canyon. Inspired by my experience working with local businesses and by those close to me, I also went on to build a creative legacy. I founded Trend as a way to keep printed magazines a valid art form in the face of the digital revolution. I’m proud to say that its history of continuous publication is unmatched by most magazines in print today. Print matters. Just like great stonework, print is part of a monumental legacy, one that has been appreciated for centuries. I’ve spent half of my lifetime committed to excellence in print with Trend magazine, which, like Amber Joy and my 15-year-old son, Orion, I feel just as honored to protect and nurture. When one creates beauty, one also has an obligation to integrity and balance. With great care and effort, our team of dedicated professionals strive to create with words and photography a harmonious symphony that you can hold in your hands and read. Or, if you prefer to read online, we’re there too. Visit us at trendmagazineglobal.com to check out our flipbook, complete with linked pages for our advertisers. I appreciate you, our readers, who support Trend and the businesses who advertise with us. Between the pages of our editorial, you will find vetted examples of their offerings, which show dedication to the merit they have earned in our region. Trend evolves, riding the transformational wave of our team’s creativity in our quad niche of art, design, architecture, and cuisine. We at team Trend are grateful for your choice to read and spend time with a magazine that matters. In respect and honor,
LEFT: DANIEL QUAT
Cynthia Canyon, Publisher
From left, Cynthia Canyon, daughter Amber Delgado, and son Orion Canyon trendmagazineglobal.com
115 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501 between San Francisco & Water www.goldeneyesantafe.com 505-984-0040
2500 2nd Street SW ABQ, NM 87102 505.345.3160
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK COULIE
M O D E R N
F U S I O N santafedoor.com 46
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
117 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501 â€¢ 573-216-6010
www.cicadacollection.com 221 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe â€˘ 505-982-6260
Kristian Macaron has worked for Trend as a writer and editor. She is a founding editor at the Manzano Mountain Review literary journal and contributes to Brewers Crew Magazine. She is an adjunct faculty member at University of New Mexico–Valencia and University of the People.
Ashley M. Biggers is an awardwinning freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Artists Magazine and Southwest Art, among many others. She serves as editor of GuestLife New Mexico, and she is the author of 100 Things to Do in Albuquerque Before You Die and Eco-Travel New Mexico. She lives in Albuquerque.
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
Cyndy Tanner loves nothing more than being in bed with a stack of literary, cuisine, and design magazines and a cup of Earl Grey. She is a consummate interpreter of people and places, weaving stories of depth and truth. Entertaining at home in Tesuque as well as producing events and photo styling for her company, Parasol Productions, she aims to bring happiness, wit, and delight. Tanner works as a creative director and has recently completed two major book projects.
Andy Johnson is a Santa Fe– based photographer and the owner of Underexposed Studios. Located in downtown Santa Fe, Underexposed Studios is a full-service commercial photography studio specializing in advertising, product, headshot, and portfolio photography.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: LINDA CARFAGNO, DOUGLAS MERRIAM, LINDA CARFAGNO, ANDY JOHNSON, SERGIO SALVADOR
Douglas Merriam is a travel and lifestyle photographer with a passion for covering food and farmers. He crisscrosses the country on assignment, always looking for that perfect slice of blueberry pie or burrito smothered in red chile sauce. He’s found both in Maine and Santa Fe, where he spends most of his time. Merriam published Farm Fresh Journey: Santa Fe Farmers Market Cookbook in 2017 and is currently working on three other cookbooks for different chefs.
CLODKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JO WHALEY, BONNIE SCHWARTZ, LINDA CARFAGNO, PETER WEISS
Raised in Southern California, Peter Ogilvie studied art and architecture at University of California at Berkeley. After graduation he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he turned to documentary filmmaking. This led to still photography. Pursuing his career in advertising, fashion, and fine art photography, he has lived in San Francisco, Milan, Paris, New York, and now New Mexico. He has won numerous advertising and graphic awards for his work, with gallery shows in New York City, Ohio, and Santa Fe.
April Reese is a Santa Fe–based journalist. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Outside, Popular Science, National Geographic, and many other publications. She’s a former editor at Discover and Cosmos in Australia and a former DJ at Radio Free Santa Fe, 98.1 KBAC.
Bonnie Schwartz wrote about architecture and design for 20 years in New York City. Since transplanting to New Mexico, she has worked as a sales, program, and property manager. She is interested in the relationship between word and design, and this is her first piece for Trend.
Nancy Zimmerman is a freelance writer, editor, and translator who reports frequently on art, design, architecture, travel, and cuisine. Her experience includes stints as editor-in-chief of Trend, editor-inchief/associate publisher of Islands, executive editor of Outside magazine’s annual adventure travel issues, and Southwest editor for Sunset magazine. She is also a scriptwriter and video producer.
amarah Begay, Diné, is one of only five registered Native American female architects in the country. She founded Indigenous Design Studio + Architecture in 2012, an awardwinning, all-Indigenous, women-owned architectural firm with humble beginnings. Now impacting Native communities across the Southwest, the company is rooted in honoring Indigenous ways of life, from planning and designs to building sustainable, community-based structures. Begay transformed her home into the firm’s first office. “We started out in my 1,400-square-foot house,” she says. “We set up computers in the spare bedroom. Our documents and proposals were spread out on my electric stove, my washer, my coffee table.” She recalls how her fledgling staff, comprised of an intern and herself, pledged to honor three core values:
quality, cost effectiveness, and sustainability for Native American communities. IDS + A has since built classrooms, chapter houses, and hospitals, among other elements, for a quickly growing Native customer base. Using natural resources, renewable materials, and energy-efficient design, the firm factors in the local climate, site orientation, and natural heating and cooling methods. Begay is also interested in the social living patterns tied to a community’s cultural norms and values, working with these to maximize a design that cooperates with its ecosystem. The company’s growing staff now works out of a sprawling office in northeast Albuquerque. Its core values are reflected in projects such as the Navajo Technical University building in Chinle, Arizona, which was designed with Diné principles. Its entryways are situated east and elements of peacemaking are infused into
the layout. Similarly, the Hopi Tribal Emergency Medical Service building was constructed in alignment with Hopi values and traditions. With IDS + A, all projects begin with a community circle that invites dialogue and deep listening to the stories of members and elders. Begay says that each community-based endeavor is nuanced, given the diverse nature of the people she serves across Indian country. What they get is not a panIndian, prescribed, or generic aesthetic. Rather the firm offers a non-colonial, nonWesternized, and deliberate approach that does not perpetuate cultural stereotypes. Begay says IDS + A is heartfelt and culturally relevant, dedicated to sacred planning, design, and architecture. “We are 100-percent female and Native-owned and we are not tokens,” she says. “We are a pure, full-blooded Indigenous firm and we can do the work.”
Plans for the Kin Dah Lichi'i Head Start building in Arizona, slated for construction in 2020, connect the family-centered structure to its location. With playful colors and stair-stepped windows, it’s designed to be interesting to children. Navajo planning principles were also at play, leading to an east-facing entryway as well as symbolism of sacred mountains and colors throughout. 50 TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
COURTESY OF INDIGENOUS DESIGN STUDIO + ARCHITECTURE
An all-Native, female-owned architectural firm elevates sustainability and innovation in Native communities
Begay left the naysayers behind. “I don’t make coffee,” she says. Now the firm is working on the Kayenta Chapter Multi-Purpose Center in Arizona. Responding to a regional need for better meeting spaces, the new facility will consist of areas for conferences and chapter administration, as well as a community resource center, kitchen, garden, and courtyard. As is typical, the project began with community circles. “Our process is a participatory process,” Tifrea says. “We always begin with the Indigenous community we are working with and for. We always begin with speaking with them, listening to them, and hearing their stories. This is the Indigenous way and this is how we plan and design. This is how we are architects.” —Jessica Helen Lopez
COURTESY OF INDIGENOUS DESIGN STUDIO + ARCHITECTURE (2)
Begay collaborates closely with Jan Tifrea (Mohawk, Potawatomi, and Ojibwa), who is the project architect of the firm and one of the other registered Native American women architects in the country. Begay considers her a role model. Both women were inspired to pursue architecture not only because of their love of design and the art of architecture, but also because they didn’t see many architects who resembled them. They recognized that in order to persevere in a male-dominated, non-Indigenous world, they would have to, as Tifrea says, “find each other and embrace one another.” Begay was propelled, in part, by those who said she should not be an architect. Begay recalls a professor stating that she was not “cut out,” for it, and former employers would delegate Begay to making coffee and doing assistant work.
Conceptual design for the Tsé Bit' aí Justice Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. With a Navajo aesthetic of the four cardinal directions, it is designed for passive heating and cooling. Top: Interior of the Kin Dah Lichi'i Head Start building, with a split-gable roof for natural light in the classroom. trendmagazineglobal.com
What's Old is New Again
n July, developers installed the De Anza Motor Lodge’s iconic triangular sign along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, also known as Route 66. The renovated sign is a harbinger of the historic lodge’s redevelopment—one that’s been decades in the making. C.G. Wallace, a Zuni Pueblo art trader, built the De Anza Motor Lodge in 1939. In the original design and 1950s expansion, Wallace ensured that the De Anza took advantage of Route 66’s auto traffic. It was an exemplar of the era’s motor courts, but Wallace’s ties to the Zuni people soon distinguished the De Anza. Its lobby became a trading post for Southwest Indian art and jewelry, and its Turquoise Café—where the terrazzo floor is flecked with real turquoise— became a gathering spot. Zuni artist Tony Edaakie painted murals in the De Anza’s basement depicting the Pueblo’s Shalako ceremonial processions, another gem of the lodge. The buildings fell into disrepair after Wallace’s death in 1993, and the City of Albuquerque purchased the property
a decade later. Aiming to reinvent the Duke City landmark, a group of private investors broke ground on the De Anza’s next phase in November 2017. Jim Trump, president of Strategic Asset Management and construction manager of the mixed-use redevelopment, remembers growing up in the neighborhood and having breakfast at the Turquoise Café, one of the few sections of the previous building stable enough to survive into the next phase. Another still-standing section will become office space. Many of his other projects have followed someone else’s vision, but at the De Anza, he says, “my fingerprints are all over this place.” Much of the project is new construction, with 40 apartment units and their parking spots adopting the same U-shape around the property’s edges as the original lodge. Fifteen of the units will be rented for short-term stays, like vacation rentals. A two-story amenities building will be home to a game room, library, and movie space and feature a mural by acclaimed Southwest painter
An amenity building, available to all who stay at the Lodge, includes a game room, gym, coffee bar, grills, bocce ball court, and TV room.
TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
COURTESY OF DE ANZA MOTOR LODGE
A reimagined De Anza Motor Lodge is set to open in Albuquerque
COURTESY OF DE ANZA MOTOR LODGE; TOP: COURTESY OF ALBUQUERQUE MUSEUM, GIFT OF ALBUQUERQUE PUBLIC LIBRARY
B.C. Nowlin. A newly constructed restaurant space facing Central Avenue will complete the property. Art is as vital in the De Anza’s second iteration and it was in the first. The developers carefully built around the Edaakie murals and have commissioned Keith Edaakie, Tony’s grandson, to paint a mural on one of the exterior walls. Each paintbrush stroke in the Rainbow Man design will remind visitors of the building’s past and usher in its present. They’re also working with the newly formed Route 66 De Anza Association, a nonprofit that will over-
see further preservation of the murals and organize several mural tours throughout the year. Trump anticipates the apartments will be completed in September, with the debut of the amenity building, Turquoise Café, and mural tours over the following months. Hopefully, one of the property’s finishing touches will be a peach tree from Zuni Pueblo in honor of the fruit Wallace famously gave out to visiting artists and collectors. The tree’s blooms will be a reminder that what was once dormant can thrive again. —Ashley M. Biggers
The property will include apartments running along the left and the central amenity building. Top: The original De Anza Motor Lodge in 1939.
—Anya Sebastian Olga Yurkova, who spoke at last year’s conference, is a journalist and founder of StopFake, which she launched in 2014 to combat false news reports in Ukraine. Now a comprehensive fact-checking organization, StopFake covers media in 11 languages, helping consumers spot fake news.
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COURTESY OF SANTA FE COUNCIL ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
imes have changed significantly since the Santa Fe Council on International Relations (CIR) was founded in 1965. Created with the aim of promoting better understanding among the peoples of the world, the organization has been welcoming international visitors for more than 55 years. Through the International Visitor Leadership Program, rising stars in society, politics, and economics are brought to the United States on a three-week, all-expenses-paid tour. Participants visit five cities and interact with their peers, acquiring a deeper understanding of other cultures and ways of life. In response to the changing times and increasing global connectedness, CIR recently decided to expand and redefine its role. It now offers talks every month, inviting experts to illuminate issues that are of global, social, or cultural significance. “We wanted to involve the community as a whole, because when we have a stronger global awareness, we are better able to understand some of the more complex issues that are going on all around us,” explains Executive Director Sandy Campbell. One of those issues is press freedom. Last year, the council launched the three-day Journalism Under Fire conference. Participants included investigative journalists, awardwinning reporters, and political cartoonists from around the world, as well as former CIA officer and Santa Fe resident Valerie Plame. It sold out, with 600 people turning up for the opening event and a total of 1,200 attending the conference. Following this success, a second Journalism Under Fire conference will be held this year, this time focusing on technology and how technological advances have influenced the media’s ability to do its job. To be held in November, the conference will feature about 30 speakers, including two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Dana Priest from The Washington Post, a senior producer from The New York Times, radio and television journalists, photojournalists, and contributors to prominent independent and online news sources. A delegation of 26 international journalists will also attend. This year’s inquiry—“How does technology shape the truth?”—explores social media, fake news, misinformation, doctored videos, and more, all with the aim of supplying people with the tools to become more media literate. One of the featured speakers is an investigative journalist from India who will recount her experience as the subject of a fake video that was intended to intimidate and silence her, as her work for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian was considered dangerous. “People need to understand what’s going on in this rapidly changing world so that they can approach the media with a more critical eye and learn how to separate fact from fiction and propaganda,” Campbell says. “What we’re looking at here not only has a profound influence on entire conversations, it also impacts voting behavior, belief systems, and even democracy itself.” The opening event on November 14 will be at the La Fonda on the Plaza hotel, with the rest of the program continuing the following day at the Roundhouse.
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Photo: Eric Swanson for Parasol Productions
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Traveler’s Market DeVargas Center, 542 N. Guadalupe Street, ANDEAN ALPACA GIFTS Nu Peru in association with Pueblos Artesanos is dedicated to supporting the promotion and preservation of the Andean communities and culture. Garments made by Nu Peru are not only textiles composed of the best alpaca, vicuña, and llama ﬁbers, but they are also products of a commitment to conserve, breed, and improve these species.
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The Labs Boost Business
ew Mexico is a wild blend of art, science, and culture. For some time now, these sectors have been enhanced by the scientific innovations of the national laboratories in Los Alamos and Albuquerque. It is undeniable that the labs in particular have been a boon to the state’s economy, drawing professionals and their families from all over the world. The labs also give back to small businesses through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program (NMSBA), which partners scientists and engineers with businesses to help solve problems, grow the companies, and provide access to technologies and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach. NMSBA’s technical project manager, Julia Wise, says, “Our goal is to promote economic development in the state, with an emphasis on rural areas, by providing access to the capabilities, the brainpower, and the capacity within the national labs to help small businesses solve their critical challenges with our resources and help them grow.” Since 2000, the program has helped 2,797 businesses in our state, which has in turn helped create 7,853 jobs. Wise says the program is “industry agnostic,” open to partnering with businesses of all varieties. “We try to help everyone who
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puts in a request for assistance. Businesses are matched with a particular laboratory or university based on what they need, depending on where the expertise is.” The program provides different types of assistance at no cost, including individual projects in which a single business works on a specific set of problems, as well as leveraged projects, which bring together multiple business that share a set of challenges. Robert Taylor owns Plectone, which partnered with Sandia National Laboratories on an individual project to help refine Taylor’s invention of a double-strike guitar pick coupler, which allows guitar players to produce a fuller, brighter sound. “It’s built to mimic the structure of the human hand, of the finger, so it feels natural when you play it. The steel pivot in the middle functions like a bone, like the core of your finger, and allows for it to have a good range of motion. And the silicon will match your body temperature, so you forget you’re even holding it.” When Taylor joined forces with the labs through the NMSBA program, he already had a solid idea and prototype of the design, but he wanted to understand more about how the process was altering the sound. “They took to their hundred-thousand-dollar video cameras that they use to film missiles crashing into brick walls. They were able to capture 5,000 frames a second, and we set up a test where we did some strumming. It shows exactly how the picks are striking the string and the type of vibration it’s creating. It’s beautiful to watch,” says Taylor. This video not only enabled Taylor to gain a deeper understanding of just how his creation works, but it also turned into viral marketing tool. “I posted a raw video from those tests on the web. It went viral. It went all over the world, even to Australia, and it got about one million hits in one week.”
Michael Baron of AerBlock Enterprises and Jay Bonner of Bonner Design Consultancy jointly operate LUCA Industries USA and were part of a NMSBA leveraged project to focus on refining and manufacturing cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) using a variety of locally sourced materials. Baron was part of a grant program focused on rebuilding in Haiti after the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake, and while on site, he wanted to find material that would achieve the same ends as Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC), which he’d observed in use in Germany, but would be cheaper and easier to manufacture. “We wanted so much to try to help rebuild with better materials, but we had problems trying to ship AAC down there,” Baron says. So the company developed CLC, which they could use to build on site in Haiti, creating materials that could be quickly assembled into safer homes. CLC is an innovative building material that can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes as well as defy mold and rot. It has a drastically smaller carbon footprint due to a simpler manufacturing process and takes advantage of local materials. Baron, with the design expertise of Bonner, then sought a way to expand its use to the rest of the world. They partnered with the labs in order to find a way to use the manufacturing method and material in our own country as a starting point. The first goal was to use locally sourced materials. “New Mexico is incredibly rich with pozzolanic materials,” Bonner explains, referring to the fine, powdery materials that help strengthen and solidify cement, such as gypsum, pumice, and ash. The lab equipment and expertise of Los Alamos National Laboratory were essential, enabling them to test this material to stringent safety standards. “We were able to run a lot of tests on a lot of material, and on different mix designs,” Baron says. “Because of the labs,
COURTESY OF AERBLOCK ENTERPRISES; TOP: COURTESY OF PLECTONE; OPPOSITE: COURTESY OF LUCA INDUSTRIES
National laboratories in Los Alamos and Albuquerque provide resources and expertise to assist New Mexico’s small businesses
Specializing in Cold Wax & Oil Paintings
LUCA Industries plasters an assembled test structure of cast CLC wall units. Opposite, from top: Plectone’s double-strike guitar pick; an AerBlock Enterprises home in Crestone, Colorado, made with lightweight cement.
we were also able to really control the curing process. Then we could run all sorts of pressure tests to observe how strong it was, what kind of force it can withstand, and to see how it broke.” Bonner adds, “It’s even safer than traditional cement.” Aside from the obvious practical advantages, Bonner, an ornamental architect by trade, explains that CLC is rife with decorative potential. “It’s very strong material, but it’s actually a pleasure to work with ornamentally. With simple rasps, you can come in and you can round the corners, just by hand, really easily. In other words, it lends itself to sculptural detail. It’s perfect for Southwest design. You wouldn’t even be able to tell it apart from other traditional stucco housing.” Bonner and Baron’s end goal is to create affordable houses with safer and more enduring building materials than current methods, which use stick frames and traditional concrete. Baron notes just how quick the building process could be: “With prefabrication and modular style production, you could build houses in a day or two.” For both Plectone and LUCA Industries, NMSBA propelled business growth with access to high-end equipment and expertise from the labs. With such partnerships between the arts, science, design, and entrepreneurship, there’s no telling how New Mexico’s economy will grow. R trendmagazineglobal.com
“Fire & Ice 25” Cold Wax & Oil 30” x 40”
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firstname.lastname@example.org • www.marystrattonart.com Also represented by Royal Street Fine Art 205 Mill Street, Aspen CO 81611
BY CHRISTINA PROCTER | PHOTOS BY PETER OGILVIE
Art Takes Flight
Louis Vuitton Foundation, the landmark Frank Gehry–designed museum, brings the “Bilbao Effect” to Paris
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hen Bernard Arnault, CEO of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, decided to create an art museum in Paris, he sought an architecture talent that could bring awe to a city already used to beautiful things. After he saw the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, a titanium-clad masterpiece built in 1997 and nicknamed “the artichoke,” Arnault’s search was over. Its maker, architect Frank Gehry—who started off thinking he’d never make houses for rich people—had long since been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize for his impact on modernity. With a style as Cubist and Abstract Expressionist as it is whimsical and futuristic, Frank Gehry’s contribution to Paris just might be his greatest tribute yet. Gehry sought to create a structure that would complement the neighboring Jardin d’Acclimatation, a long-run-
ning amusement park in the Bois de Boulogne where many a child has played, including Marcel Proust in his day. Back in the 1960s, Gehry spent a couple of years in Paris with his first wife and two young daughters, working for a pair of architects and visiting the architectural meccas of Europe. At that time, he had a middling career in architecture, which was sparked decades later by his signature remodel of his home with his second and current wife in Santa Monica, California. Few anticipated then that he’d go on to design the likes of Dancing House in Prague, Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles—not to mention his magnum opus in Bilbao, Spain, which earned him world acclaim and even led to what has been called the “Bilbao Effect” of his cascading inf luence on other architects.
Begun in 2006 and finally completed in 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation building, which houses an art museum and cultural center, added another major accomplishment to his portfolio. The two-story structure features 11 gallery spaces and houses a slew of heavyweights in modern and contemporary art, including Pablo Picasso, Janet Cardiff, Jeff Koons, and Ellsworth Kelly. Its white concrete exterior showcases cascading terraces and views of the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop. Twelve glass sails cover the building and seem to move with the city’s shifting light, while the structure itself seems to be about to take flight. It has been compared to a cloud, an
Rising from glass, steel, and concrete is the Louis Vuitton Foundation, a museum with a permanent collection and rotating gallery spaces (top). With a moat and stepped waterfall, this chrysalis of modern architecture is sometimes shrouded in mist. trendmagazineglobal.com
iceberg, a canyon, a ship, a sea creature, or an insect; its curious form, translucency, and moat base with a stepped waterfall and disorienting mirror columns all imply movement—and sentience. Inside, the Louis Vuitton Foundation building tells the story of how it went from model-size to massive, progressing through Gehry’s expressive line drawings and increasingly refined models as visitors proceed through different levels. The journey starts with Gehry’s scrawled mission statement: “I dream of designing a magnificent vessel for Paris that symbolizes France’s profound cultural invocation.” More than six years in construction, the building costs went from a projected 100 million euros to a final figure nearing 800 million euros— an expensive, shimmering gift that will be endowed to the City of Light come 2062. From dream to denouement, some 400 people contributed to Gehry’s designs, with hundreds more—not to mention an army of industrial robots—taking them to realization. After Gehry first met with Arnault, he filled a book with sketches on his long plane ride home to California. To turn a dream into a feasible design, a Located alongside the Jardin d’Acclimatation in western Paris, the building is a feat of architectural design that required the expertise of hundreds. Its glass panels sheen from head to toe, with wending staircases leading to terraces with panoramic city views. 64
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number of engineers sought to determine how to make curved glass durable enough to withstand wind. With the help of Digital Project, a 3-D modeling software developed by Gehry Technologies for designing projects with complex geometries, 3,600 glass panels were set into frames that allow for subtle movement. The base of the building now houses permanent collections, rotating gallery spaces, and a 350-person auditorium with a backdrop of resounding color work by Ellsworth Kelly and views to the moat outside. A central structure of cement columns, which Gehry calls “icebergs,” supports the building’s curvilinear glass exterior, with staircases and a glass elevator with a panoramic view accessing gallery spaces and terraces above. With an intricate water catchment system, sustainable materials, and a physical orientation that serves to reduce energy costs, the building attained Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE) certification, equivalent to LEED Gold. A self-described outsider among architects, Gehry has been known to refer to most architecture in the world as pure excrement, and his strong personality has even led him to spar publicly with President Donald Trump. Gehry, who changed his last name from Goldberg in the late 1940s due to anti-Semitism he experienced in the United States, has spoken out against
Trump’s immigration policies. The president, in turn, has challenged reports that Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street building is a foot taller than the nearby Trump World Tower, previously the tallest residential building in New York. Gehry grew up with hard-working parents and an extended family that believed in him. In a 2016 interview with the Academy of Achievement, a nonprofit that honors extraordinary achievements across industries, the now 90-year-old architect recalls how his grandmother would give him wooden blocks and scraps to play with, and they would build little cities together. Gehry still uses blocks to create hundreds of small models as he crafts designs of epic proportion. Regarding the future of architecture, Gehry has said, “I hang on to democracy . . . we can be different, we can coexist. We’re going to have to find ways to make cities that promote that.” While Gehry’s gargantuan and unconventional designs have been unpopular in some circles, he seems to be designing for a multicultural future with diverse tastes. Gehry has built an art museum for Paris that is anything but typical, and if he has done anything for modernity, he has certainly blown open our idea of how things are supposed to look, preferring instead to show us what we might dream. R
LARRY BELL H Y D ROLU X, 1986 PICT URE D AT ART BASE L ( 201 9 ) PHOTO BY OLLIE B E LL
| l a r r y bel l . co m |
VE NICE B E ACH
CHRISTINA PROCTER TI DE TI ED
PA LASK I
Tide Tied, archival pigment print, 55" x 26", 2019
129 Kit Carson Rd. • Taos, NM 87571 575.770.7675 • palaskifineart.com
K AT H E R I N E M A X W E L L D E S I G N Sustainable Fashion Knits & Textiles located in Santa Fe New Mexico
email@example.com 505-920-0415 K AT H E R I N E M A X W E L L . C O M 66
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Aspen Shadows, 16"x 16,” oil on panel
SPLENDORS OF FALL, 12” X 9”, OIL ON PANEL
Ron Larimore –Taos–
PAINTING NEW MEXICO & THE AMERICAN WEST PLEIN AIR & STUDIO PAINTINGS
Register at larimore.faso.com to see new and available work. Please visit us ½ block off Taos Plaza, where the American flag flies every day.
larimore.faso.com | 575.770.4462 | 135 N. Plaza Taos, NM
FIRE AND ICE 16, COLD WAX AND OIL, 30" X 40"
marystrattonart.com Gallery/Studio • 137 N Taos Plaza, Taos, New Mexico 87571 • 575-770-0760
PHOTOS: WENDY MCEAHERN. TRADEMARKED DESIGNS: STIRRUP®, WRAP®, & STRIPE® RINGS
119 Bent Street or PO BOX 1510 | taos, new mexico 87571 | 575-758-1061 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fine European Handwork in the Noble Metals | Handmade & Custom Wedding & Partners’ Rings
award winning designs • in taos since 1980
Emily Benoist Ruffin
BY KRISTIAN MACARON
Into the Mystic
he Taos Mesa is both a geological and spiritual marvel, nearly 3,000 square miles of sage and scrub and ancient rock, along which the sun plays games of light and shadow while the seemingly ever-present wind whistles ancient songs. At night, coyotes howl and crickets chirp and the moon washes everything in a silvery light. On dark, clear nights, the galactic plane overhead opens wide, spilling stars and planets from the Milky Way and galaxies beyond. In this landscape, born eons ago of violent volcanic forces, it is easy to feel at once inconsequential and yet intimately connected to nature’s grand scheme. But that’s what also draws many guests to the Hotel Luna Mystica, a vintage trailer hotel and campsite located on the mesa seven miles east of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the community of El Prado, home to the legendary Earthship community. “This is a place that people often feel spiritually connected to,” says Hotel Luna Mystica owner Ryan Irion. “There is a mysticism to the view of the sky at night, the moon, the mesa, the weather. People want to be here.” The trailers—18 and counting—offer uninterrupted views of Wheeler Peak to the east and Tres Piedras to the west, as well as Taos to the south. To the north, the land stretches wide and open to the Colorado border. Most days, the skies remain bright blue until sunset, when they become a riot of color. Visitors report that the experience of staying there can be surprising, even otherworldly. “When I first discovered Hotel Luna Mystica, I had stars in my eyes,” says Amanda Powell, who runs the hotel’s social media and participates on the trailer design team. “Seeing the oddly shaped, brightly colored trailers scattered across the mesa, like tin cans in front of a perfect mountain backdrop, was like something out of a movie.”
A hotel on the Taos Mesa elevates luxury camping to a spiritual experience
AMANDA POWELL; TOP AND OPPOSITE: TANNER WILLIAMS
Western-themed trailer “Sundance,” a 1961 Airstream, pays homage to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, outlaws on the run. Top: The interior of “Judd,” a 1953 Vagabond, features a hand-painted Moroccan tile floor. Opposite: The Milky Way opens up above Hotel Luna Mystica, a perfect place for stargazing. trendmagazineglobal.com
Taos Trends Irion, a civil engineer, says that his original plan was to open an RV park as a complementary business to Taos Mesa Brewing, which was cofounded by his brother, Dan. The project never got off the ground, but the basic idea remained at the back of his mind. A few years later, a brewery regular kept mentioning that he wanted to start an Airstream hotel. He and Irion eventually partnered up and in 2016 bought a 4.24-acre parcel next to the brewery. Although his partner eventually left the business, Irion proceeded with plans to dig wells and build the basic infrastructure. “We opened with 8 trailers initially,” he says. “We now have 18. We’ll eventually have 24.” “The people who come to Taos are spellbound by its serenity and peace-
AMANDA POWELL; TOP: BRIDGET BURNETT
Guests enjoy “The Sands,” a colorful 1957 Spartan Imperial Mansion with eight beds and an outdoor hot tub on the deck. Bottom: Like an oldtime wagon train, Hotel Luna Mystica trailers are arranged in circle around a central path.
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Inspired creativity worth reading white floor, and glass-tiled bathroom. CHRIS WEBSTER “Soy Capitan,” a spacious 1954 Spartan Imperial Mansion, is distinguished by large windows that allow natural light to showcase the original birch paneling. “We chose ’70s-style decor with pops of color and patterns that make it feel really funky,” Powell says. The hotel can even accommodate large families and groups. In “The Sands,” a SANTA FE spacious rainbow-striped 1957 Spartan Imperial Mansion, individuals can rent CHRIS one of eight beds, hostel-style, or it WEBSTER can be rented out in its entirety. Regardless of size or style, every trailer is outfitted with a working kitchenette with electric appliances and an induction stove, air conditioning and heaters, a bathroom with modern plumbing, and exterior decks. All have outdoor campfire spaces. Hotel Luna Mystica is the only hotel of its kind in the state of New Mexico and one of only a handful of similar properties in the country. Most vintage trailer rentals are single units attached to an Airbnb, or they are billed as places to get away, disconnect, and do nothing, like El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas, famed for its teepees and safari tents. Hotel Luna Mystica, on the other hand, encourages connection. Nechvatal says that the hospitality industry overall is seeing this kind of movement, where guests are less interested in just booking a place to stay and more interested in having an immersive experience. “Taos is unique,” he says. “It’s less of a city and more of a mindset. It’s so rooted in its culture and its community . . . people who come here get to connect with that.” By the end of 2019, the hotel will begin construction on a permanent office and lounge, which will have an indoor fireplace and a rooftop terrace for morning yoga, evening cocktails, and astronomy nights. Though there isn’t a bar on the property, Hotel Luna Mystica has a mobile license, which allows them to partner with local distilleries and breweries to sell alcohol on-site for events. Irion encourages locals to come out and enjoy the place as well, pointing out that the camping sites are perfect for wed-
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REPRESENTING AND SELLING SANTA FE’S MOST RENOWNED PROPERTIES SINCE 1976
20TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
20TH ANNIVERSARY SUMMER 2019
Architecture as Kinetic Sculpture
CASA DE VIDRIO (HOUSE OF GLASS) A Contemporary Masterpiece Overlooking the Santa Fe Opera. 5 BR, 6 B, 5,600 SF Main House, 1,600 SF Guest House,13.58 acres (2 lots), $3,975,000
A New Alliance Merges Art and Tech
LEGENDARY ESTATES AND LIFESTYLE
The Sisters Who Shaped Santa Fe’s Cultural Legacy
+1 505 780 9500 | CHRISWEBSTER.COM
Summer 2019 Display on newsstands through September 2019 U.S. $9.95 Can. $9.95
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A Complex Legacy Local Designers Share Their Secrets Alexandra Eldridge’s Bridge to the Unconscious
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ful vibrations,” says Andrew Carlton, the on-site contractor who renovates the trailers, which are purchased from owners across the country and relocated to the site. The trailers themselves are a little charmed. Originally built in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, they are remnants of the post–World War II urban pioneer spirit, when people by the millions took to America’s highways, invigorated by a renewed patriotism and pride of place. Companies like Airstream and Spartan, who manufactured fighter planes during the war, refocused—or, in the case of Airstream, returned—their operations to travel-trailer production using the same aircraft-grade aluminum sheeting and rivets. Though the trailers show wear and tear, their quality and simple layouts make them ideal for renovation and perfect for Hotel Luna Mystica’s glamping aesthetic. Since each trailer arrives with its own rich history, no renovation is the same, giving each trailer a unique charm. “It can be frustrating, but it’s also rewarding,” Carlton says. “Like building a ship in a bottle. What I particularly like about it is the artistic freedom. We are not tied down by strict building codes and things like that.” The process begins with an initial inspection of what can be salvaged and then the team decides on the name. “The name kind of designates the overall theme,” says Patrick Nechvatal, one of the hotel’s managers, who has been with the property from the beginning. The theme can be based on a color or series of colors, on an architectural style, or on a period in history. The decor of “Sundance,” a red and white 1961 Airstream that was completely gutted, was inspired by the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A 1963 Avion Tourist named “Thelma” was renovated with a neutral color scheme and minimal elements to highlight the contrast between the light and dark wood on the cabinets and floor. On the other hand, the 1951 Spartanette “Esmerelda” is more boldly designed, with a copper accent wall, black-and-
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Art, design, architecture, cuisine, and style Subscribe to and advertise with a magazine that matters. 505-988-5007 trendmagazineglobal.com From top: Robert Reck; Photo courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects; Carol Coates, Cirque
The hotel operates year-round, and each heated trailer’s campsite is equipped with its own firepit. Top: Hostel-style bunk beds at “The Sands.” Other trailers include full-size beds. 74
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AMANDA POWELL (2)
dings, family reunions, scouting activities, and other special events. Through the summer and fall, they also have a Bedouin tent that is used as another social gathering and event space, including a makeshift stage for performances or festivals like Music on the Mesa. Irion also wants to eventually construct a small “earthbag” community— structures built from compacted units of local soil—that will provide spaces for various workshops and activities for guests as well as locals. “We want to create a space at the north end of town where people can come and be together, and be in nature.” Any time spent on the Taos Mesa is a perfect and beautiful reminder of where we lie in the vastness. Whatever respite you are searching for, Hotel Luna Mystica may be that oasis. R
HOEING THE GARDEN, Oil on Canvas, 36” x 60”
LA CUEVA FLOUR MILL, Oil on Canvas, 48” x 48”
HERDING SHEEP, Oil on Canvas, 24” x 48”
OCTOBER SNOW, Oil on Canvas, 24” x 24”
ED SANDOVAL GALLERY 102-B Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM 87571 575-770-6360 | email@example.com edsandovalgallery.com
BY RENA DISTASIO | PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS MERRIAM
By Design An Albuquerque screen-printing company elevates the art of the everyday—along with the lives of the people who work there
chile roaster happily tending his fire, dinner guests gathered around a bountiful table, a young girl fishing with her father . . . these are just a few of the whimsical, folksy tableaux—rendered in bold single color on towels, totes, and T-shirts—that distinguish the Kei & Molly brand. Established in 2010, Kei & Molly Textiles is one of Albuquerque’s most successful homegrown ventures, notable not only for its distinctive design aesthetic, but also for the way in which its owners redefine what it means to do good business. It wasn’t the idea for a product or service that inspired Kei Tsuzuki and Molly Luethi to go into business together, it was a group of people—specifically, the immigrants and refugees who live in southeast Albuquerque’s International District. The two women had close ties to the area since moving to the city in the mid-1990s. It’s where their children went to school, where Tsuzuki’s husband taught AP-level English and art history at Highland High School, and where Luethi, a language educator, offered classes in English as a Foreign Language. And the women were immigrants themselves—Tsuzuki was born in Japan but grew up in Montreal, and Luethi was born and raised in Switzerland—so they understand the difficulties of adjusting to a new homeland. The two became friends in 2006, when Tsuzuki’s young son took a class in Japanese that Luethi was teaching in one of her after-school programs. In 2010, with an MBA and career’s worth of experience in economic development under her belt, Tsuzuki talked to Luethi about starting a social enterprise. From the start, their mission was clear. “We thought, ‘Let’s do something that creates good jobs in our community,’” Tsuzuki says, “something that supports its refugees, that uses economic development to improve their lives.” The key was to come up with something that required no formal training and would be relatively easy to teach their employees. Tsuzuki, who knew how to screen print, hit on the idea of producing a short run of decorative dish towels that featured a simple, single-color design and testing them out at a craft fair or two. Luethi, tasked with creating the design, looked to the papercutting traditions of her homeland for inspiration. “Traditionally,
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Kei & Molly owners Kei Tsuzuki (left) and Molly Luethi in their retail showroom at their production facility in Albuquerqueâ€™s International District.
ART&DESIGN you see some kind of depiction of a chalet surrounded by cows,” she says, “so that’s what I came up with.” As a nod to New Mexico and reflecting the humor that would soon become a company trademark, she included a few roadrunners as well. Not only did the little Alpine scene help sell out their first run of 135 towels at the Bandelier Elementary School holiday fair that fall, the two women sold out a second run at Luethi’s house that Christmas. Within a year they opened their first production facility in the International District, and in 2017 they expanded operations, buying a building at the corner of Washington and Silver Avenue SE, which serves as a production facility, offices, and retail shopping space. That neither woman had formal artistic training actually worked in their favor. “We didn’t know at that point that we wanted to create a folk-art look,” Luethi says, “because Kei was more into repeat abstract designs.” But since customers responded to the homespun quality of that initial design, they melded their aesthetics into a single look. “We work around our limitations,” says Tsuzuki, who says the process begins with a piece of paper and a hand drawing. While they eventually scan the resulting image into the computer and tweak it there, the designs all retain that lively, folksy feel. “I think people really respond to that, to the handmade element of it, the old-world look,” she says. Their designs range from single repeats of animals and flowers to animated scenes of everyday life—people out in nature, pots steaming away on a stove, even cars motoring along the “Big I” interchange in Albuquerque. “We try to stay away from really cliched images,” Luethi says,
This isn’t your average production line—the goal is for every employee to master the series of steps that go into producing a run of towels. Top: Esther Kapinga, a refugee from the Republic of Congo, says she loves her work because “it teaches me how to develop ideas, how to support others, and how to welcome and accept others.” It has also, she says, given her a family from which she draws the strength to make Albuquerque her home. Opposite: Over 75 designs appear—on a rotating basis—on towels, cleaning cloths, T-shirts, tote bags, and notecards. 78
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“Instead, we look for those things that are a little insider-ish, like the chile roaster or the Very Large Array—things that insiders get, that make them smile, and that tell a story in a unique way.” Storytelling is important to Tsuzuki and Luethi, not just because it distinguishes their dish towels from all the others out there, but because it establishes a more personal connection between the product and the buyer. “Many towels have beautiful graphic designs, but they don’t really relate to an emotion or a memory,” Tsuzuki says. “That’s what we’re trying to do, to keep the human element.” As beautiful as they are, the towels are meant to be used. Made from a highly absorbent but durable flour-sack cotton that
is manufactured in Pakistan, they soften up perfectly after the first wash and soak up water instead of spreading it around. Likewise, the European-style sponge cloths, tote bags, and T-shirts are intended to be used, and to last. When the dish towels are spent, they make great multipurpose rags, and the cleaning cloths can be tossed in the composter instead of the landfill. “We’re really lucky we chose housewares because I’ve learned over the years that having a pretty kitchen is really important to people,” Luethi says. “We found the perfect niche.” They did recently veer from that focus by accepting a commission to design the poster for this year’s ¡Globalquerque!, an annual celebration of world music and cul-
ture in Albuquerque. “We always ask our artists to give us their vision of the event,” says the festival’s cofounder Tom Frouge, who has known the two women for a long time, including as regular attendees. “And Kei and Molly went for the whimsical, dance party, celebratory aspect of it.” Their towels are no doubt their most popular product, though. Their website includes a comprehensive list of where they can be purchased, both locally, including at their facility in Albuquerque and at stores throughout New Mexico, and at 400 stores across the country and in Australia. Towel production alone averages about 400–600 a day, each one pinned, smoothed, vacuumed of lint, and silk-screen printed by hand atop a 44-foot-long table. trendmagazineglobal.com
Even so, there isn’t a hint of chemical smell anywhere in the building. From the start, Tsuzuki and Luethi knew that they didn’t want to expose their workers to the dangers of inhaling the fumes that arise from drying plastisol inks. Instead, they use water-based inks, which they run through a sophisticated filtration system before sending them back out into the wastewater system. When they bought the building, they also inherited its long-neglected solar power system, which they’ve since refurbished to be up and running. Sustainable practices aren’t the only way in which the duo rethinks the for-profit manufacturing model. Ask each of their nine employees what they like best about their jobs, and you’ll hear similar answers. To these women the job is not just a job, their coworkers not just fellow employees. Instead, they use words like “family” and “support system,” and express thanks for the opportunity to develop not only occupational skills but also an overall sense Tsuzuki folding towels with Remy Davis, who hails from the Philippines. “Kei and Molly were the first ones who gave me the opportunity to work for them, and it’s like a dream come true,” she says. “My steady income has helped me support my kids.” 80
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of confidence and belonging—the latter especially important given that the majority of these women are refugees new to the city. Tsuzuki and Luethi work with Lutheran Family Services, which sends them qualified applicants whenever a position opens. While they don’t have a policy against hiring men, and have in the past, an all-women staff is just how things have worked out. “Sometimes it’s a comfort for women who have been in difficult situations in the past to be among women,” Luethi says, “because who knows what happened to them at the hands of men?” While they are working to meet sales goals that will eventually allow them to pay at least $15 per hour, they also offer a host of benefits designed to make their employees’ lives easier, both on and off the job. In addition to donating up to $500 to those who want to learn English or take a business class, they also offer flexible hours and shut down entirely during the Albuquerque Public Schools’ winter break in order to accommodate the needs of the women with children. “To be able to say, ‘You need to go to your parent/teacher conference? We’ll pay you for two hours—go and do that,’ that’s important to us as moms,” Tsuzuki says.
They also try to foster a sense of community among the women, pointing out that they eat lunch almost every day with their employees, have a potluck once a month, take them out to dinner or bowling, and even organize group classes, like a recent one on making jewelry. “While we worked really, really hard, we also weren’t desperate for every dollar,” Luethi says of why their model has been so successful. “We wanted to create a social enterprise, and that’s where our efforts went. Whenever we hire somebody, we have to know we can keep them on. Because this was always about our staff, not about how much money we could pocket or hiring a ton of people for a big project and then letting them go.” They are also thankful for the support of Albuquerque’s artistic community in their early days. “For first two years, Molly and I were out every weekend at every market that we could get ourselves into—out there selling and figuring it out,” Tsuzuki says. “So many people were willing to help us and support us, and we all wanted to see each other succeed. It was amazing to have that kind of support going forward.” In turn, they give back by opening their retail shop every February for local artists to sell their wares. They also hold summer workshops, regularly donate items to nonprofit fundraisers, and sponsor a yearly scholarship at Highland High School that provides grants to three of the school’s college-bound immigrant students. Finally, simple respect has always been a guiding tenet of the business. “Regardless of whether you are university-educated or someone who never went to school,” Tsuzuki says, “we never look down on anyone here. We all learn so much from them—what they’ve survived, what they have overcome, what they aspire to for themselves and for their kids. It’s amazing to be that resilient and survive, and it’s amazing for us to learn from that.” And to share the fruits of all their labors. “It’s what America is about,” Tsuzuki continues. “It’s not about, ‘Oh, I don’t have enough so you can’t have any.’ It’s more like, ‘Look at our potential, and what we can do together and how great it can be.’” R
BY MEGAN KAMERICK | PHOTOS BY CHRISTINA PROCTER, COURTESY OF ALBUQUERQUE MUSEUM
useum exhibitions, filled with artifacts out of time and place, must be carefully crafted to tell a story that showcases not only the items but also their significance. If museum exhibition designers do their job well, you’ll likely never notice their work—you’ll wander through, enjoying the subject without a thought for the lighting, colors, flow, or object arrangements. Encouraging the casual movement of people through a space requires savvy technique. Stephen W. Hutchins, exhibit designer at the Albuquerque Museum, has been working in the field since 1993. Since relocating to New Mexico in 2013, he has designed exhibitions for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, inspired by the cultural wealth of the state. He joined Albuquerque Museum in late 2016, and 2017’s Hollywood Southwest, depicting the long history of television and moviemaking in New Mexico, was his
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Objects out of time and place shine through creative and thoughtful exhibition design first exhibition. “I designed it so that when people moved through, it was like film going through a projector,” Hutchins says. Visitors might have missed the metaphor, but it was an effective way to move them through the history and the exhibition. Hutchins works closely with graphic artist Robin Hesse and the curators to develop a visual plan for each exhibition. As a team they look at numerous issues, including the content and the aesthetics of the presentation, protection for the artifacts, and how the audience will interact with the exhibition, which includes safety and accessibility. “For me, every exhibition that comes here has its own personality,” Hesse says. “I feel it’s my job to figure out what that personality is and use the tools I have to express that.” That can include choosing fonts and colors on the descriptions as well as selecting the signature image for each show. “A lot of times I’ll talk to the art curator or history curator to get a sense of how they feel about the show and then we work together. Stephen and I talk about what colors evoke a certain feeling or time.”
Each exhibition, however, gives rise to its own design challenges. Hutchins recalls that 2018’s Visions of the Hispanic World was subject to restrictions imposed by the show’s lending institution, the Hispanic Society of America, which called for stanchions around anything that was not displayed in a case. Remembering a previous show where stanchions kept visitors too far from the artworks—“People were leaning in as far as they could and in a few cases, they were falling,” Hutchins says—he brokered a compromise, creating a system of tape on the floor and signs asking people not to touch the art. Designers also have to quell visitors’ impulses to get tactile, especially with textiles, which was a big problem in the Hollywood Southwest show where guests thought nothing of plucking the headdress worn by Johnny Depp in Lone Ranger off a mannequin and posing for selfies. For the historical clothing in the museum’s current show, A Past Rediscovered: Highlights From the Palace of the Governors, Hutchins opted for closed acrylic cases, which allow visitors to get close enough to observe the fine details of richly colored Territorial Era dresses and Native American leatherwork, as well as intricately beaded dresses from the Roaring Twenties, without actually being tempted to touch the fabric. The Palace of the Governors, seat of the 17th-century Spanish government in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently undergoing renovations, and A Past Rediscovered is the first time that any of their collection items have been shown outside the 400-year-old
historic building. Albuquerque Museum Curator Josie Lopez took key pieces from the massive collection to create a storyline of New Mexico history. “We decided to use a historical narrative, but to have the objects really tell that story in a way that’s different from how you would typically see a history show,” Lopez says. While there is a chronological order, the objects are displayed so that they relate to each other visually, she adds. “For example, Gustave Baumann’s prints are presented alongside his woodblocks showing his process, his tools, and the final work of art,” Lopez says. “This work was created in the 1930s and tells a different perspective on the era than the Works Progress Administration works that are also on display. In this sense, there is an aesthetic and artistic view on display alongside historical objects.” The exhibition contains the vast, 400-year collection in one room, separated only by partial walls and colors to lead visitors through time. Included are such wide-ranging historical objects as the famous Segesser II painting on bison hide depicting the devastating rout of the Pedro de Villasur expedition in 1720, photos of Zozobra’s origins in the 1930s, and colorful lowrider photos from the 2000s. Recreating the historic Palace of the Governors in a modern building was unrealistic, so large photograph murals, such as the 19th-century Santa Fe street scene behind the penny-farthing bicycle, give a sense of place. Hutchins also used color to define each section of the gallery. “Colors evoke different feel-
Stephen Hutchins used to build miniature models when designing exhibitions. Now he does it all on SketchUp, a program that allows him to create a virtual 3-D mockup of an exhibit complete with thumbnail images of each piece of art. Opposite: In the Spanish Colonial era, religiousthemed artworks demonstrated the spiritual and cultural complexity of the period. The artists were mostly indigenous and mestizo people in Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia. Hutchins researched colors that were most popular in historical periods to inform his design choices for exhibit walls. trendmagazineglobal.com
ings, different emotions. They can even put you in a particular time period,” he says. The shades start in the 1700s as a burnished gold and transition with the passing eras into sky blue, sea foam turquoise, then white with black frames. A black room at the back of the gallery, which contains part of the Palace’s collection of pinhole photography, actually feels like the inside of a pinhole camera. “Whether visitors notice it or not, it’s a subconscious thing,” Hutchins says. “I wanted them to experience an example of how pinhole images are created.” “It’s the things people don’t notice that make good design,” says Hesse. Ultimately, the design is what allows the artifacts in a museum exhibit—items always out of time and place— to shine in their brand-new, carefully created world. R
Dioramas like this one of Taos Pueblo were popular in Europe and the United States in the 19th century. Behind the model is a display of photos by Ben Wittick, famous for photographing Geronimo, as well as props he used that have never before been publicly displayed. Hutchins placed a squashblossom necklace next to a photo of the Navajo artisan who made it, but you can also see the same necklace in photos of Apache scouts. The design prompts viewers to question the very idea of authenticity Wittick was trying to portray. Top: At A Past Rediscovered, Michelle Monk (left) and Melissa Valencia pose for a period-style photograph in an interactive component of the exhibition, where visitors can also make their own zoetropes. 84
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canyon road gallery
Sergio Moyano with
618-A Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM | 505.316.4445 | inspirecanyonrd.com
When Passive is Powerful Architect JONAH STANFORD designs a new kind of eco-home with a minimal energy footprint
BY BONNIE SCHWARTZ | PHOTOS BY KATE RUSSELL
pon entering the home of architect Jonah Stanford, something immediately stands out. It registers first as a feeling, a shift in one’s perception of “houseness.” Part of it has to do with the home’s constant, comfortable temperature, even on a warm day. Part of it has to do with the 2,400-squarefoot home’s luxurious silence, even in the context of an urban infill neighborhood south of downtown Santa Fe. Part of it is the home’s commodiousness, even given its tidy, excess-free floor plan. Mostly, it’s the combination of these. Built in 2011, Stanford’s home is the first Passive House in New Mexico, designed to the exacting performance metrics initially defined in the late 1980s by a German physicist and Swedish scientist. Passive Houses are not passive solar constructions, but houses that require very little active energy to power. They are built with specific window types, energy systems, and super insulation, among other factors, that in combination produce a low-energy-consuming structure for secure and comfortable living, even in extreme climates. While Passive House standards are highly technical, what results from their calculations and considerations are simple, efficient, and high-performance buildings. While one might not know through any obvious means
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I learned to design from the outside in rather than from the inside out.
Jonah Stanford and Edie Dillman in their Santa Fe home. Opposite: Clad in weathering fir, the barnlike shape of the 2,600-square-foot Taos Ski Valley home of Kate Ferlic and Chris Stanek references the architectural vernacular of the mountainous Southwest.
Passive Houses create an airtight container that consumes about 90% less energy than neighboring, standard-built homes.
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that one is inside a Passive House, one can feel the effects of its extensive insulation, air freshness, and high-performance glazings, the last of which are fashioned to thwart heat transfer. The Shoofly Street home where Stanford and his family live also features his particular brand of rigorously edited design. Stanford’s credo is to provide exactly what the homeowner needs and leave the rest on the cutting room floor. It is from this orientation that he named his custom home design firm Needbased. Stanford grew up in Colorado’s Uncompahgre Wilderness and spent time working with his father on the family’s hand-built wood cabin and exploring the woods. He possesses a deep and abiding love for the natural world and has long been attracted to rural building forms. While he understands that energy-efficient, single- and multifamily infill solutions have the greatest capacity to make a significant environmental impact and is currently working on many such urban projects, his love for the natural world gives him a penchant to design modern-day, energy-efficient vernacular cabins perched in natural settings, several of which have been recently completed or are in the process of being built.
A long glazed wall that rounds a corner in Ferlic and Stanekâ€™s home looks out onto the river and forest, while still affording privacy. Opposite: Careful home siting and window placements that leverage the best views are hallmarks of Stanfordâ€™s residences. trendmagazineglobal.com
I learned to design from the outside in rather than from the inside out.
At 6 feet 4 inches tall, Jonah Stanford is an imposing man, and perhaps it is because of his height that the ceilings in most of the houses he designs are at least ten feet tall, though some of the ceilings in upper-story rooms slope. This registers as a sense of spaciousness in his buildings, even within fairly tight footprints. Stanford first learned about Passive Houses through training he took in 2008 while working at Homewise as a project manager, which he says was pivotal. “I learned to design from the outside in rather than from the inside out,” he explains, referring to the fact that the construction of a home’s thermal mass is one of the most critical aspects of energy efficiency. By 2009, he’d found a zeal and dedication to designing superenergy-efficient houses on a full-time basis, leaving behind the safety net of a steadier paycheck. “I’m really grateful for A painting that echos the shape and structure of her home was purchased by Ferlic years before Stanford designed it. Top: One of Stanek and Ferlic’s sons climbs out of the hot tub. The spa and adjacent sauna building share the same materials as the house, contributing to a cohesive sense of place. Opposite: The river rushes by the Ferlic and Stanek home. 90
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that moment in my life,” he says. “Homewise paid for me to go to one of the first Passive House trainings in the US and then I was pushed out of the nest. It was a game changer. I knew what I had to do from that day forward.” In his 18 years in practice, Stanford has designed approximately 60 buildings, many of which have the tight Passive House materials and standards that allow for extraordinary energy efficiency—whether or not his clients have asked for them. Whereas most conventional houses are designed with much lower thermal mass standards, Passive Houses have much higher performance metrics, or R-values, to which they must adhere. Northern New Mexico Passive House walls are built to a value of R-55 to R-60, roofs to a value of R-90 to R-100, and sub-slab insulation to a value of R-25 to R-30. Conventional building insulation standards are often a third to half of these values, allowing significant temperature leakage through their envelopes. Add to these the Passive House standards of triple-glazed windows that deflect unwanted heat gain and specialized, imported tape to seal these windows, and one starts to appreciate how Passive Houses create an efficient container that consumes about 90% less energy than neighboring, standard-built homes. Aside from his custom home design practice, Stanford recently formed a new company, B.Public, with his wife, Edie Dillman, and Charlotte Lagarde. Dillman has long worked in the areas of management, strategy, and partnership creation in various design-based for-profit and nonprofit entities and is, for the first time, professionally joining her husband of around two decades. When asked why now, Dillman says that, while she
initially tried, she just could not resist the opportunity. While Stanford’s Needbased firm designs custom homes for clients with the means to commission them, B.Public is a B corporation that requires performance to a triple bottom line of environmental, social, and economic impact. To do so, the company has fashioned a kit of parts to create site-built homes at a lower cost. The underpinning of B.Public’s product offering is a series of about 13 standardized building components—walls, roof sections, floors, windows, and doors—that are prefabricated to exacting environmental and thermal mass standards off site and configured like building blocks that can be rearranged, streamlining both the design and construction phases and significantly lowering design costs and construction risks. B.Public’s design process also enables Stanford and Dillman to present clients with a quick and precise cost estimate immediately upon completion of the design due to their understanding of the material and shipping costs of each component. “These modular systems break a broken system down and work on so many different levels,” says Dillman. “From the choice of materials to the price points to producing highly performing buildings for more people to enjoy and benefit from, to doing something more for the environment—there were so many ways in which every aspect of this offering appealed to me. I couldn’t stay out of it.” Stanford understands that the time for cautious energy planning has come and gone, and that we are no longer heading toward a state of full-on environmental crisis; we’re in it. “We know how much climate change is affected by the
The time for cautious energy planning has come and gone. We are no longer heading toward a state of full-on environmental crisis; we’re in it.
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Stanford sited this modest 500-square-foot fishing cabin to perch eagle-like over the Rio en Medio, offering its owners exquisite views and privacy. Opposite, left: This customdesigned residence is being constructed with a version of B.Public’s super-insulating wall, roof, and flooring components. Opposite, right: Stanford calls Bill and Ariana Feinberg’s Taos Ski Valley house under construction “10K,” referring to its elevation. Here, a prefabricated component is craned into place.
Clockwise, from top: Energy for the cabin is supplied by solar panels; the cabin does not have plumbing, so the owners haul in water and use a gravity-fed system for washing up; the cabinâ€™s interior is clad in plywood and heated with a wood stove. Opposite: Stanford created a series of moveable wooden panels that secure doors and windows, closing up the remote cabin securely when not in use.
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running of homes,” Stanford says. “These technologies need to be offered on a larger scale to more people. We need to look at reduction and accessibility in order to move the needle. We have known for a while that prefabrication can be very economical,” he continues. “What we are trying to do with B.Public and its prefabricated components is produce highperformance buildings that reduce material consumption and consider long-term lifecycles at an accessible cost. There is currently a huge demographic of people who are being left out of this conversation. That is what we are trying to change.” Even though the components of B.Public houses may be standardized, the siting of each home is decidedly not. Customized site planning remains an element of the design process that Stanford feels is essential to the effective life span of any home. “Designing a site-specific house is a quality of life issue,” Stanford says. “It’s a critical aspect of the quality and performance of a home.” While Stanford was designing a Taos Ski Valley cabin for Kate Ferlic and Chris Stanek, for example, Ferlic would sometimes visit the as-yet-undeveloped site and find Stanford on top of a ladder sunk into a pile of dirt, figuring out where to place windows to leverage the most satisfying views. Says Ferlic, a self-described “design junkie” who codesigned
several elements of her home with Stanford, “What you notice about Jonah’s buildings is that they always feel appropriate to the place. He puts a lot of work into that component of his designs, and you feel it once the houses are built. They are exactly on the spot that they should be, oriented in exactly the right direction, with windows that open to exactly the right views while maintaining a sense of privacy for the inhabitants and their neighbors. It’s such a specific calibration, and he does it so well.” While Ferlic’s home is a custom design through Stanford’s Needbased practice, and thereby on the higher end of his typical budget spectrum, B.Public’s modules similarly allow Stanford to design and assemble the specific homes that his clients request, adding very little that is ancillary to those needs. What appeals to him most about the B.Public offering is how well the modular system simplifies the critical aspects of home design so that the buildings become “much more economically digestible.” “We all feel like we have a moral obligation to try to change things at this stage in our lives,” Dillman reflects. Summing up both his professional and personal philosophies Stanford adds, “What I really want to do is be helpful. Because if you are not being helpful, what are you being?” R
Aesthetics and designs familiar to New Mexico flourish in the larger design world BY GUSSIE FAUNTLEROY | PHOTOS BY BYRON FLESHER
ocal interior designers have long drawn from the wealth of aesthetic traditions all around us in New Mexico and the Southwest. Now the larger design world is catching on, finding inspiration in the visual qualities that tap into Earth-rooted cultures, rich colors, and the natural world. Often, designers are attracted to tribal motifs that nod to ceremony, tradition, community, and sense of place. Artisan-crafted elements seem to provide an antidote to the feeling of a disconnected, pre-fabricated world. Santa Fe–based designers Pam Duncan, Edy Keeler, Heather Van Luchene, and Steffany Hollingsworth, among others, pay tribute to New Mexico’s history, geography, and multicultural traditions while expressing these elements in fresh, contemporary ways. At the same time, especially in the use of tribal and Native American– inspired patterns, these designers are careful not to cross the line into cultural appropriation or exploitation. New Mexico has famously evolved from a variety of Native, European, Mexican, and other global influences. Think of Georgia O’Keeffe’s sensibility to simplicity and the high-desert landscape. Think of local trends with Saltillo flooring, carved wooden furniture, or colorful Mexican backsplash tiles. New Mexican designers have long appreciated the freedom to incorporate eclectic elements from their clients’ global travels and collections. Santa Fe’s Spanish Market, Indian Market, and the International Folk Art Market are among the wealth of resources available here. In recent years, in-house designers for national and international manufacturers of textile, furniture, and carpeting lines—as well as in fashion—are increasingly incorporating these forms of inspiration in ways that are utterly in tune with contemporary design in the larger world today. “What we see in these lines is exciting, because we’ve been inspired by those things for a while,” says Heather Van Luchene, founder of HVL Interiors in Santa Fe. Steffany Hollingsworth, Van Luchene’s principal partner at HVL Interiors, points out that “Santa Fe sums this all up because it’s a wonderful amalgam of
From Top: Buffy Kline and Pam Duncan of Wiseman & Gale & Duncan Interiors; Heather Van Luchene and Steffany Hollingsworth of HVL Interiors; Edy Keeler of Core Values Interiors. Opposite: Mauve shower tiles in a bathroom designed by Edy Keeler echo the color of an interior accent wall. trendmagazineglobal.com
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influences, including European, Asian, and ethnographic art from all over the world.” One of the most prominent aspects of the current design approach, particularly in textiles, is the application of pattern inspired by different cultures, most notably Native American and African. “You see a lot of fusion everywhere now, under the umbrella of ‘tribal.’ There’s a worldwide diaspora of cultures relocating, moving, merging, and bringing an infusion into pattern language,” Hollingsworth says. An HVL Interiors–designed kitchen that juxtaposes ancient inspiration with a clean, contemporary look features a steel vent hood laser cut with four-directional crosses, a motif derived from various cultures. Other nature-based elements suggest basketry, including woven jute pendant lamps over the kitchen island and woven leather counter stools. The fridge is clad with charred wood, an ancient Japanese technique that preserves the wood. Through the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s licensing program, designers for manufacturers or retailers can find inspiration and adapt designs based on specific items in the museums’ collections. Most of the licensing over the years— resulting in rugs, furnishings, bedding, accessories, clothing, and wall coverings— has involved items from the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) and the Museum of International Folk Art, both in Santa Fe. Pamela Kelly, vice president of licensing and brand management, who established the program in 1998, notes that there has always been a market for ethnographic-related designs. But she sees today’s cultural gravitation toward spirituality, sustainability, simplicity, and nature as converging factors in their appeal. When it comes to using objects or art from other cultures as jumping-off points for pattern, designers often speak of inspiration or adaptation. But interior and textile designer Alexander Girard (1907–1993) described the process as “extraction.” As Kelly explains, “What’s really happening is an extraction of design elements, which are then adapted: changing the scale or materials used, or
A display in Wiseman & Gale & Duncan’s showroom exemplifies their interest in blending aesthetics inspired by various, often indigenous, cultures. Opposite: An HVL Interiors design reflects a contemporary Southwestern feel with saddle-blanket patterned fabric on the dining chairs. trendmagazineglobal.com
Clockwise from top left: Edy Keeler’s eggplantcolored interior wall plaster, where shifting natural light produces varying hues; Pam Duncan’s design sketch with samples of a colorful Chinese textile and an ottoman braid inspired by blackand-white Guatemalan backstrap weaving; fabric samples at Wiseman & Gale & Duncan’s design studio; Duncan’s drawing and swatches for a bedroom design for her clients’ preteen daughter. Opposite: Ancestral Puebloan–style stacked stone, interspersed with handmade colored clay tiles by Syzygy Tile in Silver City, New Mexico, in a shower nicho by HVL Interiors. 100 TREND Fall 2019/Winter/Spring 2020
to that community of origin. They have meaning that goes beyond decor, graphic design, or aesthetics, but goes into the culture,” Chavarria says. Any licensee’s marketing and educational material must credit the design’s cultural source, the original artist if applicable, and the museum to which the inspirational material belongs. While the licensing program and many designers are increasingly conscious of these issues, the question of cultural patrimony theft remains especially raw and unsettled in the world of fashion design, where fashion houses frequently borrow generously from indigenous design and profit extravagantly, offering little credit and no monetary compensation in return. “There definitely is a sensibility that needs to come with using tribal designs,” says Hollingsworth. “It’s only natural that this inspiration is going to float to the surface. People don’t necessarily intend to misuse,
but it’s something that we have to pay attention to.” Thoughtfully extracting motifs not only circumvents the cultural appropriation pitfall, it can result in compelling designs with a modern edge. “A lot of patterns are alluding to something traditional, but they’re scaled up and really fresh,” says Hollingsworth. She adds that part of the current appeal of this type of pattern language is its strong graphic quality, often involving geometric or simplified elements. Longtime Santa Fe–based designer Pam Duncan, founder and principal at Wiseman & Gale & Duncan Interiors, remarks that it is “nice to see new textiles come out with tribal-inspired motifs.” She and design partner Buffy Kline, who is of Navajo, Mexican, and Filipino descent, have found that negotiating the boundary between inspiration and appropriation involves respect and acknowledgement.
NARRATIVE MEDIA, COURTESY OF HVL INTERIORS
the pattern of a design repeat, or pairing it with something else altogether. The best designers thoughtfully analyze a design or motif and then create a new pattern inspired by that.” In order to honor—but not exploit— the culture of origin, the original object is not reproduced. Instead, extracted elements are used to create new works of art. The licensing program requires that during the creation of designs based on Native American art, every step of the process must be reviewed by an Indian Advisory Panel (or the panel’s subcommittee) consisting of members from several Northern New Mexico Pueblos and Native curators at MIAC. While not a member of the panel, Tony Chavarria of Santa Clara Pueblo, MIAC’s curator of ethnology, is often consulted when licensing requests involve objects from the museum’s collection. “There are shapes that are universal, but some designs have very specific meanings
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COURTESY OF KOHLER CO. (2)
An HVL Interiors kitchen design at the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin, references indigenous design elements and materials in a highly contemporary context. Native basketry on the fireplace wall is complemented by woven natural-fiber pendant lamps over the kitchen island and woven-leather counter stools. A selection of textured tile in graphic, organic-feeling patterns by Ann Sacks frames a window. The steel vent hood features laser-cut four-directional crosses, a motif derived from tribal cultures around the world.
“Taking the time to educate oneself about the item in question allows it to be used in a respectful and appropriate way while giving a nod to the culture from which it was derived,” Kline says. Duncan and Kline also appreciate fabrics and upholstery that celebrate other aspects of New Mexico’s past, for example, designs inspired by Spanish Colonial embroidery. And in keeping with the global connections of many who are drawn to Santa Fe, they source furniture, fabrics, art, and accessories from around the world. Duncan, who opened her Santa Fe studio 26 years ago and recently moved her offices and showroom to Canyon Road, sometimes hand-draws interior designs for clients. “I pull things from all kinds of places and see how they go together,” she says. This may include combining Pueblo pottery, Chinese fabric design, and an ottoman featuring a Schumacher braid based on a weaving from a Guatemalan backstrap loom. While the old can be made new, New Mexico designers have long made their work timeless by incorporating original Native pottery, basketry, rugs, and regional art from clients’ collections. “I always try to include something from this geographic area,” Duncan says. “A sense of place is important—it’s why most people are here.” Original folk art and textiles from other parts of the world also find a welcome place in contemporary design. In one project by Duncan, Bolivian blankets with wide, strong stripes were used as upholstery on steel chairs. Employed in a limited way, such an element can be “the star of the room because it adds so much drama on a background of more neutral colors,” she says. Warm, rich colors, often those suggestive of the Earth, have been integral to regional aesthetics since Puebloan peoples began weaving baskets and textiles and working with clay. The Spanish brought traditions that included brightly painted retablos and bultos—two- and three-dimensional representations of saints—which continue in Spanish Colonial art. In Santa Fe, structures by Mexican architect Ricardo
Legorreta (1931–2011) feature intense exterior palettes, while Moroccan influence has long added vivid color in carpets and tile. “There’s definitely a big push in saturation of color that we’re seeing,” Hollingsworth says of the larger design field. “But here in New Mexico, we celebrate it and get to incorporate it all the time.” She adds that one factor in the emergence of bolder color in the larger design field may have to do with the economy. “With a flourishing economy, people tend to make more chances with color and pattern. Several years ago it was very neutral,” she says. Duncan has noted the shift as well: “The sky is the limit with color—lots of hot pink, purple, orange, red, turquoise, and green. I’m just happy that people are thinking beyond checks and stripes and plain colors.” Edy Keeler of Core Values Interiors has held a particular affinity for color since the start of her design career some 20 years ago. Working with her husband, architect Robert Zachry, in a Santa Fe subdivision where exterior color is not limited to shades of brown, she delights in finishing Zachry’s ultracontemporary homes with stucco or plaster in eye-catching hues. One home, for example, features a wall in a mottled eggplant shade. Hues that Keeler calls “real color” are available these days in natural-earth plaster from such companies as Sara Dean Plaster Color in Santa Fe. While a deep red or sunflower yellow exterior clearly reaches beyond Northern New Mexico tradition, Keeler points out that such hues contrast well with natural materials including reclaimed wood, flagstone, and other stone. In addition, light fixtures made with naturalmaterial shades can soften interior wall colors in a subtle, attractive way. Yet in a counterintuitive twist, even unconventionally colored walls can serve as a pleasing backdrop for art. “It’s a long-held misconception that art must be hung on white walls,” Keeler says. “The first time I was in Florence I was enchanted by the coralcolored walls in the museum. There was wonderful centuries-old Renaissance art on them and they looked fabulous.”
Among Keeler’s recent kitchen remodels is one featuring deep red cabinets contrasted by off-white, all-glass tile in a combination of matte and high-shine finishes, for an ultracontemporary look. Another leans toward the more traditional, with deep tealgreen cabinets and refined-pattern Spanish tiles in primary colors. Still, “white can be exciting too,” Keeler says. She’s thinking of a chef’s kitchen remodel in high gloss white, paired with rich, charcoal-hued soapstone countertops. Another central feature of quintessential New Mexico design is the mark of the artisan’s hand. There was a time when locally hand-carved wooden furniture was virtually all that many people had, and the appeal of the handmade has remained strong, especially in traditional homes. Recently this interest has expanded with the international maker movement, Hollingsworth says. When it comes to furniture, textiles, and accessories, she says, “People are gravitating to an off-the-loom sensibility. They’re looking for authenticity and honesty.” Tracking licensing requests over the years, Kelly recognizes these yearnings in the larger market as well. “Consumers want products that are meaningful and imbued with a sense of history,” she notes. In a made-in-China world, with plastics turning up at the bottom of the ocean and global uncertainty compounding daily, it’s no surprise to see a desire for aesthetics that feel nurturing, honest, and made by hand. Carved wood, fabricated steel, hand-forged ironwork, stonework, and items formed from found natural and organic materials are among them—all handcrafted by local and regional artisans. In New Mexico, this phenomenon is nothing new. At various periods of the state’s past, creatives were drawn, in particular, to Santa Fe and Taos to escape what they considered the soullessness of industrial and commercial life. Today’s international pull toward the aesthetics that New Mexicans have long understood may reflect the latest version of a perennial human search for the real. As Kelly puts it, “It’s part of the zeitgeist at work in the world today.” R trendmagazineglobal.com
Material Witness ARTIST
transforms objects from the natural world into elegant expressions of deep truths
BY NANCY ZIMMERMAN | PHOTOS BY PETER OGILVIE
When you meet Judy Tuwaletstiwa for the first time, you immediately want her to be your new best friend. Her gentle presence, her wisdom and compassion—they all weave a spell that wraps you in a shroud of intimacy, as if you’re the only two people in the world. This ability to make instant and meaningful connections with people is both a talent and a curse for the Galisteo-based artist, although she’s not likely to see it that way. Tuwaletstiwa, an energetic 78-year-old, is nothing if not accessible, and she brings everything she’s learned over the course of her life to every encounter and project, reveling in the possibilities of the present while opening herself up to the upheavals of the past as well as the stirrings of a future yet unknown. That essential integration of living, creating, and knowing is a powerfully seductive force, and it attracts people who enjoy just being around her, often without knowing exactly why. And even without ever seeing her work or understanding what drives her, they know instinctively that they’re in the presence of a consummate artist. Working in a variety of media—textiles, glass, acrylics, found objects, and more—Tuwaletstiwa brings an open heart and an outsized talent to her many projects, including several books that combine her images and words to create a stunning visual poetry. She distills her materials down to their essence with such a subtle hand that viewers are inclined to linger with the work to fully absorb the messages. Even her most far-reaching artistic statements are rendered so simply that the viewer is led gently to the understanding of the complex thoughts and feelings revealed via her deceptively minimalist approach. Oddly enough, Tuwaletstiwa didn’t even realize she was an artist until she was almost 30 years old. Growing up in East Los Angeles during the 1940s and ’50s in a multicultural environment, she enjoyed a childhood rich with intellectual stimulation amid genteel poverty. She went on to attend University of California–Berkeley, where she received her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature, then Harvard, where she got her master’s degree in teaching literature. “I came out of a household that was extremely articulate, a Jewish intellectual family where you had to be well spoken,” she says. It seemed she was destined for a career in letters, but it turned out that life had other plans for her. Tuwaletstiwa had always enjoyed handicrafts, but she still hadn’t recognized herself as an artist, concentrating instead on raising her three young boys (a daughter came later). Then one day, while living in the Bay Area with her first husband, she hired a babysitter and took the afternoon off to visit a Van Gogh exhibition at the old de Young Museum in San Francisco. “The show was chronological,” she recalls, “so I started at the beginning, then walked through and went deeper and deeper into Van Gogh’s mind. When I reached Wheatfield With Crows, I simply started crying and couldn’t stop. Even as I drove home, I just cried and cried.” As soon as she reached her house, she put the kids to bed, tore off a piece of mat board, and made a pencil drawing of a tree that was a little bit reminiscent of Van Gogh. “I hadn’t drawn since I was 11, when a teacher told me I was no good,” she says with a laugh. “I started doing my art because Van Gogh’s painting broke my heart open and gave me a glimpse of what was possible. A door had been opened, an amazing door, and I had to work with that moment. There was no way not to do art then. And the art has been an expression that has allowed me to go deeper and deeper into my own woundedness, through my hands, through my heart, through color, through form, through the power of the image to heal. It’s not that I
Das Buch der Fragen, or The Book of Questions (2007–2013), linen, camel fibers, rolled and burned paper, bamboo sticks, and graphite on canvas, 2007–2013. This piece was inspired by a photo of a child in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II who wore an identifying patch on his coat. “The question it raised was: How do you speak to God after the Holocaust?” says the artist.
“When I started weaving tapestry, that changed the world for me—the texture, the language, going line by line, just like writing.”
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expect my brokenness to go away—it’s about being able to live with it in a way that is healing.” Tuwaletstiwa began schooling herself in earnest, studying the works of great painters, but she was less concerned with technique than with the materials and emotional depths that gave the works life. “I study all the works of artists I feel strongly about,” she explains, “but it’s usually their final works, those last 15 to 20 years, where there’s a transformation. What I find in their work is not a truth that I want to put into words, but it touches a part of my heart that transforms how I see, that transforms me as an artist.” She progressed from pencil drawings to using ink on rough watercolor paper, darkening it in so that the spaces in between became the drawings. “I also took a silk-screening class at the community college, but I didn’t start painting yet. I needed to be more present to do that.” Tuwaletstiwa then moved with her family to Edinburgh, Scotland, and her trajectory as an artist took on another dimension. “I had this fantasy that I was going to learn how to weave from some little old lady in a cottage,” she recalls with a smile. “Instead, I found Archie Brennan, a master tapestry weaver at the Dovecot Studios who was teaching a night class, and I signed up for it. Archie taught me about what he called the integrity of weaving, explaining, ‘When you lay in a line, never take it out. It’s just like yesterday—you can’t undo what happened yesterday, so you change it by what you put in
Songs of Innocence 20 (2018), glass and adhesive on canvas. Top: Songs of Innocence 2 (2017), glass, fabric, and adhesive on canvas, with a babyâ€™s christening gown. The title is a reference to a collection of poems by William Blake. Opposite, from top: Rolled and burned Japanese paper soaked in beeswax, reindeer hair, and other fibers in an unnamed tapestry begun 15 years ago; Tuwaletstiwa at work at her loom.
above it.’ When I started weaving tapestry, that changed the world for me—the texture, the language, going line by line, just like writing.” She was entranced by the process, which she found remarkable in its ability to calm the mind and heart. “It’s when I started working with fiber that my world opened to me as an artist. It’s so ancient, so simple,” she points out. “In and out, in and out. That’s the thing about my work—I don’t use fancy techniques because I’m not interested in them.” Tuwaletstiwa continues to find inspiration in her materials—natural substances ranging from seeds and nests and pebbles to sand and paper and twigs. All materials have their own rhythm, their own language, she says, and she lets the substances lead her with their individual voices. “Our first language is the rhythmic beating of our mother’s heart,” she explains. “We know all kinds of cacophonous sounds that are going on in our mother’s body, but it’s that heartbeat that is the constant. “The second language is our mother’s touch, and that’s equated with love and safety—that’s what holds us,” she continues. “If you look at weavings from cultures that don’t have a written language, it’s all about rhythm and texture. It’s true for every human being; it’s the one thing that that unites us all. I think when we get too far away from that, from the texture and that rhythmic beat, we lose ourselves. Perhaps that’s why 108
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All materials have their own rhythm, their own language, Tuwaletstiwa says, and she lets the substances lead her with their individual voices.
A collection of materials and a glass color chart in her studio. Tuwaletstiwa heats colored glass powders in her kiln at different temperatures to create glass “fabrics” of different colors. Opposite, top: Text.Shards 5 (2019), glass, adhesive on canvas. Bottom: Tuwaletstiwa holding a cast of her hand created by artist and professor Mary Kavanagh of Toronto. “Hands are our special intelligence,” says Tuwaletstiwa. “My materials have taught me how to see through my hands.” trendmagazineglobal.com 109
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An interactive part of last summerâ€™s CCA exhibit, The Dream Life of Objects, was Title Pages, which featured 20 photos of objects, each with an accompanying story. Viewers were asked to write a story of their own based on the photos, with archival paper provided for the task. Above and opposite, bottom: The exhibit also included this installation of continuing paintings begun in 1987, which sought to answer the question raised in Das Buch der Fragen. Opposite, top: Text.Shards 2 (2019), glass, adhesive, and acrylic on canvas. Previous pages: Text Shards 1 (2018), glass and adhesive on canvas. The artist used 32 color mixes of glass powder and fired them at five different heat levels to achieve subtle changes in hue. 112
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materials are so important to me—the rhythm of making glass, the rhythm of weaving. I’ve hung on to the fibers I’ve collected over the years, hoping that one day they would speak, that these different materials, whose languages spoke to me at the times I worked with them, would speak again and have a conversation with each other in a way that I could never have imagined.” Tuwaletstiwa’s next opportunity to expand her vision came in 1993 when she went to live at Hopi with her second husband, Phillip Tuwaletstiwa, a geographer and Hopi native who was working with the US Geological Survey to map the region and help the Hopi people protect their lands. The couple spent 12 years there, and it was during that time that Tuwaletstiwa began working with sand. “It was the most abundant material,” she points out, “and from the sand eventually the concept of glass came to me, as it’s made from sand. At Hopi my work became less narrative and more what would be called abstract, although that’s not the word I use. I say ‘essential.’ I’ve always been reaching toward the essence of things.” The couple moved to their current home in Galisteo in 2005, having fallen in love with the village when Tuwaletstiwa was showing her work at Linda Durham’s gallery there. She continued to collect colored sands, working at the kiln in her studio to fire them into glass “paper” that
“The art has been an expression that has allowed me to go deeper and deeper into my own woundedness, through my hands, through my heart, through color, through form, through the power of the image to heal.”
Internationally renowned violinist Arnold Steinhardt plays his 200-year-old instrument in an improvisational performance based on Tuwaletstiwa’s triptych, Das Buch der Fragen, in connection with the CCA exhibit The Dream Life of Objects. Top: This series highlights meaningful objects whose individual stories continue to resonate through the years. From left to right: Sands collected from Iwo Jima; a Nazi armband; a child’s tallit katan from Tuwaletstiwa’s grandfather’s prayer bag; a remnant of the artist’s childhood quilt; her grandfather’s tailor’s chalk; shards of fired glass.
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she uses to bring color, dimension, and an organic sensibility to her work. A wall of shelves containing glass jars filled with the sandy powders gives her studio the appearance of an alchemist’s lab, and indeed, her work has an element of alchemy to it as she transforms her materials into quiet expressions of deep emotion. “Working with the glass powder is like the synthesis of the materials for me,” she says. “The sand itself took millions of years to make, so there’s a long geological evolutionary history there—destruction and creation at the same moment. You have sandstone, a rock, and over millions of years it becomes particles, grains, and it’s such a simple, amazing process.” Tuwaletstiwa finds inspiration for her work everywhere: in nature, in history, in her own inner explorations. One particularly moving piece was inspired by a 2004 news report about the massacre of 49 men in Iraq who had trained to be part of the Iraqi army. They were aboard a bus traveling back to their village when they were ambushed at a roadblock by fake policemen. The men were removed from the bus, laid out in rows out in the desert, and killed. “I was horrified that this massacre was a result of our actions, because we couldn’t see the consequences of our war,” she says. “So I took a burning tool to cut hatch marks from a sheet of cotton rag paper, 49 of them to represent the souls lost that day, and then I arranged them in rows by sewing them to the paper. I was doing it from the most sacred part of myself, taking responsibility as an American. When I turned the paper over, I discovered that the stitches I used to fix the burned marks to it had created the shape of a mosque on the reverse side. I had created a mosque to hold these men, and I had no idea I was doing that. To me, that’s when art is at its absolute truest.” For her summer 2019 exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, The Dream Life of Objects, Tuwaletstiwa created an installation of a sequence of paintings done over a number of years that represent her process in a unique way. She created a painting, photographed it, then painted over it to create a dozen or more iterations, new each time. The photographs were displayed in a vertical sequence, with the final
painting a synthesis of every version that had gone before, completely different from the first in the series but bearing marks of all of them. Her process was similar to the ancient methods of the Hopi in the kiva, who for centuries have created murals for their ceremonies, then whitewashed them and painted over them multiple times. “In some kivas there were more than a hundred layers of murals,” she says, “which is astounding to me, coming from a people who wandered the Earth. Here were people who could dance in a kiva in the Southwest, knowing that their ancestors’ hands were on that wall.” What she learned from doing this series, she says, was how to let go. “I was teaching myself how to paint. All of my work is based on that, on letting go.” Tuwaletstiwa has a number of projects either in progress or waiting in the wings, including a novel that she’s writing with her husband and a children’s book. When not making art or writing, she also teaches workshops and classes to help people find their inner artist and hone their skills. Her fascination with materials also led her to create a scholarship fund for her former high school to supply students with materials to create art. “There are other scholarships available for tuition and study,” she says, “but kids need materials to work with, and they’re expensive. So I wanted to help low-income kids gain access to the materials they need.” Tuwaletstiwa’s work can be found in private and museum collections throughout the world, and her life’s oeuvre continues to expand. She particularly values the art of collaboration and enthusiastically works with other artists, designers, musicians, and filmmakers on a variety of projects. Visual artist, writer, teacher, and collaborator—Judy Tuwaletstiwa is a force of nature, not unlike the materials she collects and cherishes. It seems appropriate, then, that the name Tuwaletstiwa is Hopi for “the wind making ripples in the sand.” “It’s perfect for this stage of my life,” she says. R Several of Judy Tuwaletstiwa’s quotes in this article were excerpted from the film The Language of Materials, written and directed by Melinda Frame of FRAME+WORK, LLC. You can view the film at https://vimeo.com/337436945. trendmagazineglobal.com 115
Tony Price looked to worldwide religions to base sculptures off of their â€œgood energies,â€? using repurposed parts from nuclear bomb machinery to reconstruct a warning and appeal for peace, as in Nuclear Crucifix (1987), steel, brass, and copper. Opposite: Price with one of his large sculptures in 1988. 116
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PETER MENZEL, COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE; OPPOSITE: COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE
fter artists die, we know them by the works they leave behind. In the case of Tony Price, an assemblage sculptor who mined his materials from the former salvage yard of Los Alamos National Laboratory, we can also know him by his friends. Like Price, they were the original hipsters of the post–Beat Generation, spiritual explorers and political activists who predated hippies and were shaped, like no generation before, by the lingering resonance of a bomb that went off when they were still children. It was a bomb born in New Mexico, one that put humanity at its own mercy with a power previously known only to the Sun. For Price, who was eight years old when the atomic bomb was first tested at the Trinity Site, it embodied a new psychological archetype that he’d spend the rest of his life trying to fight—the ability for humans to cause absolute destruction. When Price died in 2000 at the age of 62, he left behind more than three decades of work, including hundreds of sculptures made of heavy-metal and rare plastic that came from the very machinery that spawned this archetype. He also left a will stating that 144 unsold pieces in his collection must stay together, be made available to the public, and benefit the three children he left behind, two of whom were still teenagers when he died. For nearly 20 years, his friends have collaborated to carry out his intentions. They formed a nonprofit, the Friends of Tony Price, which has protected, maintained, and promoted his work ever since. Now, the Friends are on the verge of realizing Price’s dream, with plans—and the help of a benefactor—to create a museum that will permanently display his work in Santa Fe, where Price spent the more settled years of his life. Death was part of Price’s existence from an early age. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, along with his fraternal twin brother, sister, and parents, but his father passed away when he was 12, and he was subject to the duck-and-cover drills that sent schoolchildren scurrying under their desks in the 1940s and ’50s. The Price family was well off, and Price was sent to a private boarding school, where, as schoolmate Jonathan Richards has described, he was “sort of a legendary figure, even in his middle teens. He had a kind of aura about him . . . somebody who seemed to really be able to give the finger to authority and not care what happens to them.” After graduating in the mid-1950s and at the encouragement of his stepfather, Price joined the Marines, where he applied his innate talent for drawing to military portraits and murals. Records show he was honorably discharged in 1960, though in more intimate company Price would tell of how his supervisor used to have to scream his name to wake him, and how he once punched the guy in his sleep. Following his service, Price went on to travel for a couple of years throughout Western Europe with a guitar over his shoulder, always
Los Alamos artist
transformed artifacts of destruction into vehicles for peace
BY CHRISTINA PROCTER PHOTOS BY BYRON FLESHER AND FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE trendmagazineglobal.com
dark and light energies together to balance and thus hold the peace.”
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JAMES HART, COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE
“These sculptures act as valves, bringing the
LEFT CENTER & BOTTOM, RIGHT TOP & CENTER: PETER MENZEL; LEFT TOP, RIGHT BOTTOM: ISABEL CARLOTA RODRIGUEZ; COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE (6)
Left, from top: El Rancho Piano Box, glass, steel, and piano harpsichords, was an immersive sound experience; due to the risk of heating metals that could release radioactivity, Price bolted and glued parts for his assemblage art; Untitled is both a show of strength and a reference to futility of nuclear power, and how it pits us against ourselves. Right, from top: Price believed in a fifth dimension that perhaps had the capacity to save us and tried to open portals to it in his work; Price got his materials at the former Zia Salvage Yard of Los Alamos National Laboratory; The Last S.A.L.T. Talks were built in 1975. Opposite: Price’s “atomic art” at the studio he built in Reserve, New Mexico. trendmagazineglobal.com 119
drawing and quick to tell a yarn. He also spent time in Mexico City and at Hopi. Yet it was in San Francisco that Price met his most kindred spirits among the communes and counterculture of Haight-Ashbury. He also spent time in Woodstock, New York, where he synced up with poets and musicians and hung out with Bob Dylan. Music was a fundamental part of Price’s life, and his eldest daughter, Rosanna Maya Price Herman, recalls that he would simply strum his guitar for hours, like he was taking part in a Gregorian chant. It was in HaightAshbury that he became friends with Reno Myerson, a music producer and political activist whose band opened for the group that became the Grateful Dead. Myerson led Price to New Mexico in 1968, where the artist met his muse. Price and his partner at the time, with whom he had Rosanna, moved to New
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Mexico. They split up soon afterward and his daughter and her mother went back to the West Coast, though Rosanna would visit him each summer. Price went to live in El Rancho on the same property as Norma Cross, who had previously owned a restaurant in Woodstock. Her son, writer James Rodewald, recalls Price as a charismatic type who, when Rodewald was nine, would make him take the wheel whenever Price paused to light a Camel cigarette. Often they were on their way to the Zia Salvage Yard, where the Los Alamos National Laboratory used to sell its scrap to the public by the pound. “Los Alamos to me was finding a place of just pure raw material and fantastically, beautifully shaped metals,” Price has said. “I found it a perfect mountain of art to experiment with.” Every Thursday at noon the yard opened, and Herman recalls her father
speed walking to the piles. Filmmaker Godfrey Reggio, who became a close friend of Price, recalls, “Tony was the fastest. His eyes were like digital spotters.” Early on, Price made work that was primarily musical, including a 30-foottall set of pipes that became chimes that he named after his eldest daughter and various “atomic gongs” that, when struck or moved by the wind, released a rare vibrational sound into the atmosphere. He also created El Rancho Piano Box, a mirrored room in the middle of a field with interior walls and a ceiling decked out with piano harps, which could be played by visitors to create otherworldly sounds projected by an antenna of speakers. James Rutherford, another close friend and former director of the New Mexico Museum of Art’s Governor’s Gallery, says, “There was this genius in Tony’s
“Tony’s works are like a Hydra head that
ELLIOTT MCDOWELL, COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE
is really one piece. If you want to hear the voice of the choir, you have to have all the members.”
Price painted this Yucca Flat backdrop in collaboration with Elliott McDowell, who took this iconic photograph in 1982. Opposite: The core ranks of the Friends of Tony Price nonprofit include, from left in front, Andrew Ungerleider, Norma Cross, Jamie Hart, and from left in back, Godfrey Reggio, Linda Cohen (holding a photo of her husband, the late Rosé Cohen, who started the group), Ray Jimenez, Bob Palmer, and Reno Myerson. This summer, Hart solidified a new group of board members to take over as the nonprofit prepares to secure a permanent museum space for Price’s work. trendmagazineglobal.com 121
“His vision was that if he could
Clockwise, from left: Beware of Mad Generals, steel, brass, and aluminum; Hopi Nuclear Maiden (1987), plastic and metals, from the collection of Museum of New Mexico; Pharaoh’s Curse: “Nuclear Weapons Are The Curse For Falling So Deeply Into Matter,” steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. Opposite: Nuclear Crown Prince, steel, aluminum, bronze (circa 1982)
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JAMES HART, COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF TONY PRICE (4)
create spirit masks made of parts meant for destructive purposes, that when you look into the eyes of the spirits, that energy would be inverted.”
work. He’d find individual parts and he’d be able to see something else in them. He’d take a metal disc and it would become an image of an ancient Mexican god.” Whenever Price had a spare penny, which wasn’t often, he spent it on materials. These he built into a pantheon of sculptures inspired by deities and spiritual entities from religions around the world. Today, some might question the appropriative nature of his work. Stuart Ashman, who was a friend of Price and who served as director of various arts institutions in Santa Fe before becoming the CEO of the International Folk Art Market, says Price was influenced and inspired by the belief systems he studied. “I think we all draw from each other’s cultures,” Ashman says. “That’s different from misappropriation.” Price was as interested in the occult as organized religion. Essentially, he sought something beyond reality, and he looked to
many cultures in search of that. Price said he knew “vast energy banks of super-good energy” existed, and explained that, “Each religion is like a giant capacitor in the fourth dimension, holding and dispersing the energy of its followers. Now all I had to do was create symbols corresponding to the energy banks of these religions, using the material of the nuclear weapon’s energy system. When the vibrations of the nuclear scrap have been shaped into spiritual energy images, a vibrational tunnel or bridge is formed . . . and an automatic balance of energies would be established. These sculptures act as valves, bringing the dark and light energies together to balance and thus hold the peace.” In 1969 Price had a show hosted by his friend back in New York, the late poet Rosé Cohen, who also ended up in Santa Fe a few years later with his wife, Linda Cohen. There were stretches of time when Price
lived with the Cohens, and as Linda recalls, “There was something about Tony that connected people. There was some kind of energy when the three of us were together. It felt right.” They loaded up a truckful of the artist’s work in New Mexico and took it to Manhattan, where Rosé had a loft space called The Liquid Wedge Gallery. “I remember opening night, champagne in test tubes from Los Alamos, and we just blew everybody’s mind,” Rosé said in an interview with Rutherford. Price got some press from this exhibition, and he went on to show at contemporary art galleries in Santa Fe and was included in an exhibition of regional sculptors at Santa Fe’s Museum of Fine Arts, now the New Mexico Museum of Art, in the late 1970s. (There would be another, solo show for him at the museum in 2004.) In 1982, Rutherford showed Price’s work alongside Linda Fleming’s at the former Heydt/Bair Gallery in Santa Fe. An aspiring trendmagazineglobal.com 123
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For the first time in decades, a large group of Price’s masks and sculptures are now showing at James Hart’s Phil Space Gallery in Santa Fe. Among the masks is a standing figure, Anti-Nuke Warrior Kachina.
curator at the time, Rutherford says, “Tony’s work changed me. It changed the way I viewed art, because I understood in a visceral way that art had the power to change a person, to change perception, maybe even change the world.” At the exhibition, documentary filmmakers Glenn Silber and Claudia Vianello screened Atomic Artist, a short film about Price that later aired on PBS. The next year, Price was invited by the City of New York to install his Atomic Wind Chimes and The Last S.A.L.T. Talks, a group of sculptures based on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, at Battery Park in lower Manhattan. Rutherford also curated a popup show in SoHo in a space that became known as the Atomic Art Gallery. The Last S.A.L.T. Talks sculptures were eventually purchased by Biosphere 2, an Earth-systems science research facility in Arizona that, in its time, echoed many people’s fears about nuclear destruction and their hopes for a sustainable future. By this time Price had met artist Donna Lubell, who became his wife and mother of two more children, Zara and Jed. The couple lived together for 12 years but then split up, and Lubell moved to Reserve, New Mexico. Price later followed to be near his kids, and there he built a studio and large display room that still houses much of his work and has been tended faithfully by the Friends over the years. Price lived and worked there in relative solitude until 1998, when he had a major stroke. His friends raised money for his care but he never fully recovered. He returned to Santa Fe and lived the remainder of his days in a house owned by Norma Cross. Over the decades Price mounted many gallery shows and even received a blessing from the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet when he showed some 100 pieces at a Santa Fe dojo-turned-gallery created by the nonprofit TENGAM, which supported Tibetan refugees. Yet despite this experience, Price remained a relative stranger to the major art markets. “He was an outsider,” says multimedia artist Erika Wanenmacher, who cites Price as an influence. “He was not addressing things that were contemporary in the art world. He was just doing his own weird trendmagazineglobal.com 125
Some of Priceâ€™s work is owned by Andrew Ungerleider, one of the Friends of Tony Price, including Nuclear Hummingbird in the right foreground and a black slate with a small mask, which was a wedding present from Price. 126
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thing.” As Reggio puts it, “He was committed, like to an asylum. He was consciously trying to transmute all these elements that went into making something monstrous into something positive. And he did so with a great sense of humor.” Indeed, several of Price’s friends have sworn that he was the funniest person they knew, and all of them testify to his ability to captivate a room with his storytelling. Musician and activist Wavy Gravy of Woodstock fame, and who spent time in New Mexico with the Hog Farm traveling commune, has said, “Tony had a sense of the divine goof.” As Rutherford points out, humor was a kind of release valve for the seriousness of Price’s message. Jamie Hart, who only knew Price peripherally and yet was inducted by the Friends and later became the nonprofit’s president, currently
shows about 50 of his works at Phil Space gallery in Santa Fe. “His vision was that if he could create spirit masks made of parts meant for destructive purposes, that when you look into the eyes of the spirits, that energy would be inverted,” says Hart. “The work was meant to be shown together,” Hart adds. “Tony believed the pieces are more powerful when they are together.” Reggio explains this idea: “Tony’s works are like a Hydra head that is really one piece. If you want to hear the voice of the choir, you have to have all the members present. The visual impact becomes visceral instead of intellectual when it’s presented in this manner.” It’s an issue the Friends of Tony Price and his children have faced over the years, negotiating conflicting ideas about what to do with the work. Sell it off to collectors?
Break it down into traveling shows? Get a portion of the work into major museums to secure Price’s reputation? Myerson and others in the group shake their heads at this. It wasn’t the artist’s will. Andrew Ungerleider, one Friend who has provided financial support over the years, cites a term coined by Buckminster Fuller, whose events he used to organize: “Tony was turning weaponry into ‘livingry,’” he says, “into something you want to live with.” Indeed, the Phil Space show, which includes dozens of masks hung on a black backdrop, evokes a physical response. The remnants of the atom bomb’s components are concentrated here, arguably emanating a force for peace. The response, several of the Friends have said, is precognitive. In addition to his ideas on the fourth dimension, Price often waxed lyrical about what he considered the fifth dimension, something Rutherford explains as his belief in “a layer of life that exists beyond our cognitive ability, one that Tony thought of as vibrational.” Wanenmacher says, “The first time I walked into that show I got goose bumps. Tony was a mediator, someone who’s making the connection between the gods and the community.” Five years after Price passed away, his work was installed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, where it was temporarily exhibited in the lobby of the visitor center. Meanwhile, back in New Mexico, plans are underway today to build new pits for advanced nuclear warhead production at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Greg Mello, founder of the Los Alamos Study Group, an activist organization opposing nuclear power, recently spoke to a group in Santa Fe, stating, “This is one of the largest programs proposed since the Manhattan Project. Our community needs to take a stand. They need our silence, our compliance, to proceed.” Among the loudest voices are the silent, open mouths of Price’s atomic masks. They await the viewer to give sound to their chorus, to resurrect, as Price would have it, a new old world, one that is prenuclear—even if it takes one atom at a time to change our minds. R trendmagazineglobal.com 127
Stained-glass craftsman SPIN DUNBAR walks the line between artist and architect
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BY ASHLEY M. BIGGERS | PHOTOS BY AUDREY DERELL
he recent fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has sparked conversations about the significance of stained glass and the legacy that it leaves to communities. The art form rose to prominence during the Gothic period in Europe from roughly the 13th to 14th centuries, when skillful architects employed it in monumental cathedrals not only to cast dramatic light but also to convey symbology, tell a story, and serve as an illustrated Bible for illiterate worshipers. Today master stained-glass artisans like Spin Dunbar are rejuvenating and elevating the art form. More than just a designer or craftsman, Dunbar lends contemporary spaces color, light, and personality. For him, stained glass is not a time-capsule technique, nor is it a static art. Colors brighten and recede as the sun shifts throughout the days and seasons, making it a kinetic component of whatever space he works on. Dunbar was introduced to stained glass more than four decades ago when, newly graduated from high school, he observed a friend working with the medium. His curiosity was piqued, and the friend gave Dunbar a kit from which he assembled his first stained-glass piece, Spin Dunbar at George R.R. Martin’s library, for which he created stained-glass imagery based on a medium-complexity geometric window. For the seven houses of Game of Thrones. Opposite: A commission for a client who wanted to depict the idea of Metatron, a high angel in Islamic, Rabbinic, and folklorist traditions. Dunbar used a the Ventura, California–born artist, it was a blue star to reference sacred geometry and geodes at the base of the design to represent Earth. quick and fruitful journey to a professional career. Dunbar earned a free ride to Bennington College in Vermont thanks to his glasswork, and he studied throughout his career. Racks of handmade glass in every hue art and music. In 1973, while in North Bennington, Vermont, line the walls. Along the west wall, near floor-to-ceiling windows a contractor commissioned him to make a stained-glass shine with works in progress, from panels that have been sandwindow for every house in a development. By 1983, Dunbar blasted to reveal the petals of a sunflower to studies of the faces wanted to be closer to his aging grandparents in California, of saints from restored works. so he relocated to Santa Fe. Dunbar works on both restoration and custom projects. In 1996, he opened Dunbar Stained Glass in downtown Perhaps his most famous preservation commission was the Santa Fe’s Design Center, a hub for architects, interior designScottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe. With its distinctive pink hue ers, and artists. In 2010, he and his wife moved to Nambe, down and Moorish lines, this architectural and cultural landmark a rambling dirt road where a large cottonwood tree serves as a dates back to New Mexico’s 1912 statehood. Inspired by the waypoint, and he finds the best cell signal under a gnarled apridesign of the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, the venue has cot tree. Dunbar, now in his late sixties, walks a few dozen steps hand-painted scenes around the stage and original equipment each day from his adobe home to a blue-metal-roofed studio. that makes it a museum to early 1900s theatre. “The building Rolls of white paper are stacked in the corners; they’re just a emphasizes toleration among cultures and religions, and that’s handful of the thousands of windows he’s sketched and built part of the cultural heritage of Santa Fe,” says John R. Adams, trendmagazineglobal.com
vice president of the temple’s preservation foundation. Because classes of graduating Masons gifted the windows to the temple over the years, the stained glass is not only important to its architecture but also to the lodge’s personal history. When Dunbar was first invited to the building more than 15 years ago, its stainedglass window dedicated to the Masonic Temple’s brother and Western history icon Kit Carson was failing due to a misaligned support bar that was putting stress on the upper portion of the window. Its diligently painted panes could fold like an accordion at any time. Dunbar took the window apart, recreating broken panes by matching the painting techniques and reassembling the window with brace bars in positions that would shore up the window. With fewer stained-glass artists taking up the medium today—Dunbar says they’re drawn to “sexier” blown glass, which is more organic and has nearly instant gratification—the stained-glass master is frequently called upon to preserve histor130 TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
ic windows like the ones in the Scottish Rite Temple. The fire at Notre Dame certainly put these artisans in the spotlight as the world held their breath over the fate of the cathedral’s famous Rose Window. Although the windows were ultimately undamaged, it sparked preservationist conversations about whether damaged windows should be recreated faithfully, thus maintaining historic value, or modified for modern narratives and techniques. The latter may alter the windows’ appearance, but still maintain the purpose of stained glass throughout history—as an instrument to tell stories. The biggest challenge of Dunbar’s restoration projects is the deep process of observation necessary to the work. “I have to take it apart and see how it was made,” he says. “I have to get into the previous artist’s head and see how they approached it.” He must also know how to faithfully recreate the prominent techniques of a particular time period. For example, minerals used for pigment may be suspended in alcohol, clove oil, turpentine, vinegar, or distilled water, all of which create different
BOTTOM: COURTESY OF SPIN DUNBAR
Dunbar does renovation and commission work for Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, which installs an original stained-glass element for each new archbishop. Top: The design for the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, New Mexico, depicts a golden flower, the idea of the Christian Trinity, and shapes of sound waves to capture the essence of the gospel through music. Opposite: For George R.R. Martin’s library, Dunbar worked with Martin to design elements related to the different houses in Game of Thrones.
effects and can be layered to various extents before firing, yet another variable in the puzzle. Finally, he has to work out how the glass was supported previously and how it needs to be structured to prevent future breakage. “Your biggest enemy with stained glass is gravity,” he says. If the glass moves out of the vertical plane, the lead matrix between panes can stretch, causing panes to fall or the window to collapse. “By doing restoration work, it’s educational for me because I can see how windows fail,” he says. Many stained-glass artists specialize in single, autonomous panels, which either take the place of a building’s windows or function as art objects. Dunbar, on the other hand, prefers collaborating with clients and architects on large projects. “I don’t make autonomous panels mainly because I function best when I’m presented with a problem and criteria,” he says. Problem solving comes naturally to Dunbar, who is also a lifelong musician. Music “organizes the mind,” he says, in ways that he can apply to his stained-glass work. He must fit certain space requirements and also orient the piece to the light, engineer it to seamlessly support the heavy weight of glass and metal, and, of course, make it lasting and beautiful. For instance, science fiction inspired the stained-glass door of the Special Collections Room of the Artesia Public Library. The circular design may appear to be pure abstraction, but in the narrative tradition of stained glass, it has a purpose. Floating circles in the sidelights reflect the circular shape of crops common in this arid corner of southeast New Mexico, and the center pattern evokes a portal to another time and dimension, like the fictional portal in the TV show Stargate SG-1. His inspiration for the 2016 project was the 46-foot-wide, 15-foot-high mural by Peter Hurd, The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for It (1952), around which the library’s architects trendmagazineglobal.com
COURTESY OF SPIN DUNBAR
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COURTESY OF SPIN DUNBAR (4)
Clockwise, from top left: For Tootie Tatum’s California home, Dunbar depicts Tatum’s dogs as well as symbols of the climate crisis and its threat of mass extinction, like the bumble bee; glass at Dunbar’s studio; Dunbar’s design drawings; Dunbar holding one of Tatum’s glass panels. Opposite: Dunbar’s studio in Nambe, New Mexico.
designed the building. Dunbar kept the mural’s muted colors and futuristic ideals in mind for the piece dedicated to Estelle Yates and Sandi Lanning, two women who were integral to the mural’s acquisition and library’s design, but who didn’t live to see either. Another of his projects is a set of seven windows created for author George R.R. Martin’s library and office. Backed by a Tudor-style diamond pattern, the windows feature the sigils of the houses of Westeros, the fictional land in which the books of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series—better known as Game of Thrones—are set. There’s a dire wolf for House Stark and a three-headed dragon for House Targaryen. Each emblem is slightly more transparent than the background, as though a character from the novels has just wiped a bit of soot off the window to see if winter has come. He finished the last of the windows, which he began in 2008, in 2018. trendmagazineglobal.com
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Some clients hire Dunbar to solve practical problems in stylish ways. One client, for example, commissioned Dunbar to create a door between the bedroom and bathroom that provided privacy between the spaces. The rollers on the barn-door mechanism trigger LED lights that glow through the colorful window throughout the day. The client, who asked to remain anonymous, says, “I love the beauty of sacred religious spaces but I don’t like to take the whole thing too seriously. It’s fun to play with the designs of the old masters and then riff on them in an amusing way.” Client Tootie Tatum opted for a stained-glass door to divide her living room from her bedroom in her Santa Fe home. “I wanted to have something that would separate but would transmit light and literally be a work of art on both sides,” she says. As Dunbar and Tatum consulted, a plan emerged for a piece with personal and professional meaning to Tatum. She’s the CEO of a consulting firm that helps health care providers offer genetic testing to patients, so she chose a detail of a strand of DNA to inspire the design. While the result is a far cry from traditional Christian symbology, it is contemporary iconography. “It can be quite traditional, but as an artform it’s really flexible,” Tatum says of the medium. “It doesn’t have to be saints and bowls of fruit you’d see in Tiffany lamps.” Tatum turned to Dunbar again for stained glass at her California home. She wanted to keep prying eyes out, while letting light and views of nature in. Dunbar is filling three panels with 36 round stained-glass windows that send colorful light effervescing across the floor-toceiling windows. The rounds feature flora and fauna significant to Tatum’s life, such as her two dogs, and where her home is situated. In the panels, bees and ladybugs flit among flowers and hares hide beneath greenery. As a whole, the panels display the diversity of Dunbar’s techniques. Some are marked with customary lead matrixes and painted glass. He has sandblasted the top layer of flash glass—colorless glass layered with thin colored glass—to reveal pattern beneath, etched with hydrofluoric acid, and employed a graffito method to apply and scratch away layers of color. The variation is the mark of a master at work and at play. As with artists before him, Dunbar’s work captures stories, both personal and public, solving problems with kinetic creations that bring color, light, and individuality to contemporary spaces. Perhaps someday we’ll look upon his work as we do the windows of grand cathedrals like Notre Dame—as a lens of the times R
For the Apache Creek Ranch in the Galisteo Basin, Dunbar designed sandblasted stained-glass doors that woodworkers echoed in the surrounding frames; this design is reflected throughout the ranch house. Opposite: Dunbar is seen playing the bass through a glass design of thin strips, placed at different angles to create the tension that holds the piece together. trendmagazineglobal.com
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How We Live
BY CHRISTINA PROCTER | PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS MERRIAM
KATE RIVERS uses repurposed materials to create profound multimedia paintings in the studio designed by her husband, architect JON STERN
ometimes love comes early in life and sometimes it comes later. For Kate Rivers, independent and happily single, what mattered most was always her art. Of course, love is nice too—and when Jon Stern walked up to her later in life at the Cowgirl bar in Santa Fe, it certainly seemed fated. Long before that, Rivers was a young girl with a sure dream, riding the bus back and forth across Columbus, Ohio, sketching passengers. She fantasized of one day having a studio where she could make what she wanted: multimedia, collagebased paintings sculpted from repurposed objects steeped in memory. She eventually did get that studio, and a few more as well, but none that compare to the two-story structure—complete with a Romeo and Juliet balcony—that resides next to her home with her husband, architect Jon Stern. “Being in a studio that was specifically designed for me is rare,” Rivers says. “I don’t even think Georgia O’Keeffe had that.” As a child Rivers collected things, gathering what others would consider refuse. Rivers says her art is kind of like composting. “It’s elevating something that would have been trash, making it static and beautiful,” she says. Her work ranges from deeply saturated palettes to pale color schemes, and she does a mix of figurative work, printmaking, and collage-based paintings that gallerist George Brugnone of galleryFRITZ says are reminiscent of textiles. Rivers is fascinated by language, marks, and records. From these, she creates compositions using shape, tension, moving lines, and shifting colors. Paradise, which recently showed at galleryFRITZ, is composed of brightly colored linear strips of discarded book covers sewn together.
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Rivers discovered art when her sixthgrade teacher tasked her with painting a mural on the back wall of his classroom. When her family moved from Youngstown to Columbus, Ohio, Rivers learned that the College of Art and Design offered Saturday classes for kids. She babysat to earn money and rode the city bus to class, filling up the sketchbooks that later secured her a full scholarship to the college. She went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina and another Master of Film Theory and Criticism from Arizona State University, where she focused on feminist criticism. She became a tenured professor of art and taught for decades, but her childhood dream never faded. Years ago, Rivers did an art residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, and it was in Santa Fe—meeting other artists, going out dancing, and running in the mountain air—that her life took a turn. “I began to feel that my destiny was not in Oklahoma, where I had a tenured position,” she says. She also began to experience an uncanny sensation, as if someone was standing behind her. “I kept looking over my shoulder, and sometimes I got a glimpse of something. It wasn’t male or female, but more like eyes watching.” Rivers ditched her job and moved to Santa Fe, deciding to try her fate as a full-time artist. Events like Rivers’ specter make reality slippery, and perhaps this is part of why records and evidence play a significant role in her art. In a piece that looks like a nest of pale blue tones from afar, up close one finds a butter wrapper, old map, tour brochure, clothing tag, uncashed check, parts of books, stamps, a wine label, scorecard, sheet music, and the words “protect our winters.”
Multimedia painter Kate Rivers with her husband, architect Jon Stern, who designed their shared studio.
How We Live
An open floor plan allows Rivers to use the studio’s central area for her painting, while Stern has a modest drafting table. Stern contracted Sattva Ananda to design the staircase with a removable railing so Rivers can transport her large works to a storage space on the second level. Opposite, from top left: The couple’s two-story studio has views of the Sandia and Santa Fe Mountains; Angels, a composition made from book covers stitched onto old prints and drawings, references Rivers’ idea of “a two-part loss,” including the loss of discarded objects and the loss of memory; Rivers has based many of her compositions on the form and aesthetic of bird’s nests.
lead architect for Palo Santo Designs, one of the first design-build companies to go green. “He’s a real purist,” Rivers says. “He seems kind of goofy, like silly and laidback. But he knows what he wants.” Stern’s designs involve everything from shopping complexes to a casino and include many of the more contemporary renovations along Santa Fe’s main drag, Cerrillos Road. When Stern sidled up to Rivers, she’d been self-sufficient for quite some time. After leaving two marriages and raising three children, Rivers reckoned that the less she focused on romantic entanglements, the more time she had to give to her art. By the time she met Stern in 2015 she was regularly showing at galleries across the Rivers stumbled upon the nest motif by chance. Years ago, she got a residency for printmaking at the Vermont Studio Center. But when she got there, it turned out there were three printmakers and only two studios. Rivers took a painting studio, outside of which another painter had placed a swallow’s nest. Rivers set aside her printmaking materials and began to repeatedly sketch the small mud nest. Then she started building nests out of collaged materials. She was fascinated by a circular composition filling up a square or rectangular canvas, experimenting with the tension created between the shapes. Nests are built by parents to raise young, then abandoned, Rivers observes. “Sort of like wombs,” she says. “Like the birds, I’m creating a holding space. In it I store memories, documentation, and loss. All memory is loss,” she adds. “Even if it’s a good memory, there has been a transition.” When Stern and Rivers moved to their current house, she had to leave behind dozens of nests she’d saved over the years, but she still keeps a couple in their studio space, perhaps a reminder of the creative space they’ve made together. Rivers has since taken collage to another level. She uses the spines of book covers to sew together compositions, hunting for the colors she needs at thrift stores and discarded book piles at libraries and churches. At a time when people are starting to spend more time reading digitally, she’s interested in the troves of records left behind.
As for sewing, the process holds meaning that has changed profoundly over the course of Rivers’ life. She recalls being forced to take sewing in junior high, when she’d rather have been in shop class with the heavy machinery and boys. By the time she was doing her graduate degree, Rivers had her third child, a daughter born with a birth defect that required several surgeries. A doctor instructed her how to take out her child’s stitches and loop a thread to close a wound. Sewing, a practice long inflicted on women, became a new part of motherhood and a reclaimed technique in her art. Yet however happy and self-contained Rivers had been, she was nonetheless on a crash course with another highly independent individual, Jon Stern. With an undergraduate degree in photography and a longtime fascination with design, Stern became a commercial architect and worked on large-scale projects in Pittsburgh. While Rivers describes her young adult years as limited, Stern, who never had children, has stories about hitchhiking across the country and working on a farm in the Northwest. Stern faced his own roadblocks, however. At around 40, he felt like his career in Pittsburgh was coming to a standstill. “All of a sudden, I was like, this sounds really boring,” he says. “It was good. It was predictable. So I moved out here to see if I could survive.” Stern worked for an architectural firm and then started Modulus Architects, which he ran for almost a decade before becoming trendmagazineglobal.com
How We Live
Rivers in her studio with completed works and works in progress. From left to right, Railyard Walk, mixed media with oil on canvas; Sunset, discarded papers and ephemera with oil on canvas; Contemplating Flight, oil on canvas; Untitled, stitched books covers and oil stick; Paradise, stitched book covers with oil stick on paper; and Angels. Opposite: Dido, started in 2011 and completed this year, is a contemplation on memory and loss that includes sheet music, handwritten letters, ephemera, and book covers sewn and glued on canvas.
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country. Accolades soon followed, the most recent of which is her nomination earlier this year for inclusion in the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a hard-won honor. When he spotted Rivers, Stern was undaunted, and they married in 2018. “She’s nonstop interesting to me,” he says. Now, the couple is firmly rooted in Santa Fe, which they love for its expansive nature, multiculturalism, and national art scene. They’re often out and about at exhibit openings, dining out together, or just enjoying a glass of wine and the view of the city’s mountains from one of their porches. Stern created the studio’s two-story structure out of concrete, steel, and wood. He gives credit to his subcontractors, including Carrillo Construction and Advanced Concrete. “They’re the real craftsmen,” he says. Rivers attributes the studio’s meditative atmosphere to Stern’s clean lines and simplicity. He let in natural light from high-flung windows and glass walls to the east, overlooking the mountains, and the west, where the edges of town give way to wilderness. Built around the central studio are ambulatory spaces, including a printing press and a recessed “pit” with a reading room that follows the original elevation of the land. Thickly insulated walls make for low energy costs, and a spiral staircase leads to storage, another workspace, and a balcony overlooking the Sandia mountains. There are also plans to put in an elevator.
Stern has a drafting table next to a tool collection on the first level. Lately, he’s been teaching himself how to do linocuts and has started creating compositions based on landscapes and architecture, interested in the form’s bold, graphic quality. After working with his subcontractors to design a removable railing for their spiral staircase to allow for moving large canvases, he’s interested in taking classes at the Santa Fe Community College to learn how to weld. “Architecture is just another form of art,” says Stern. “It’s sculpture, to me. I want to learn how to weld and smith to create furniture, gates, and a fence on the property.” He’s also done some painting and has never abandoned his training in photography. “I guess the thread that ties it all together is that I want to create things that will outlive me,” he says. “My goal is to produce images, spaces, or objects that evoke a strong feeling or mood, creating an experience for the viewer that has a personal impact.” As for their life together as artist and architect, Rivers admits she’s still “kind of selfcontained.” “The one thing Jon does, though, is inspire me. He believes in me. And that means a lot.” Now Rivers, a former marathon runner who always did her thinking on the jog, trains with Stern, and the couple typically run two half-marathons a year, which they often combine with travel, like the one they’re doing in London this fall. And when they’re not blazing trails, says Stern, “We go to Home Depot. It’s always a date.” R trendmagazineglobal.com
Artist Studio BY KRISTIAN MACARON | PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS MERRIAM
TRAVELS in SPACE and TIME
A landscape architect and painter explores the nature of motion in both life and art
he way the human body occupies space is not just the singular act of being present—it’s a continuous interaction of the physical and spiritual. Albuquerque artist John C. Barney Jr. explores this interaction in such a way that the creation of the art itself becomes a performance. The results are fluid images in which figures—often performers—appear in tangible and temporal motion, not locked into a specific moment of time. In order to paint, Barney says, “I have to be completely present, which we seldom are. There’s no extended processing of what I am going to do. I just have to go with it. There’s a lot of connecting to that part of myself, to ‘go into the zone,’ to be present to how that art is coming through me.” In these moments of creation, the act of art is an “intuitive gesture that captures the essence of performance,” he says. Barney has been the resident artist at Chatter Albuquerque, a weekly presentation of musical performance and conversation, since 2016. He attends every session and completes a single drawing based on each performance. “I hear and feel what’s going on, and I create these patterns based on that,” he says. “There’s a lot of repetition in the way that people interact with each other in a space.” Chatter Albuquerque and similar performances, including dance and art shows, have inspired Barney to portray a variety of human motion in his art, deftly incorporating bodily movements into the space of the artwork. “I make drawings in the moment—the energy, shapes, and patterns suggested by the music or the movement of the body in space become a visual score of the performance,” Barney says. “The work can be read as a complex rhythm of abstract figures, or as energy that resolves itself into interwoven forms.” His style has been referred to as dynamic cubism, an exploration of synchronicity and time. Barney grew up in Ithaca, New York, the son of a musician/attorney and a teacher. Although he doesn’t recall a time when he wasn’t making art, he has only recently come to define himself primarily as an artist. Barney, who has worn many hats in his 55 years, is currently a landscape architect and planning manager for
Albuquerque artist John C. Barney Jr. Top: Holy Crows (2019), acrylic and mixed media on canvas trendmagazineglobal.com
Ink and mixed-media drawing on paper from the Chatter Albuquerque performance of the Concord Sonata by Charles Ives, as performed by Emanuele Arciuli in 2018. Bottom: We Can Do Amazing Things, ink and mixed-media drawing on paper from the Chatter Albuquerque performance of Margaret Randall in 2018. Opposite: Barney with, at top, Crows into Ravens (2018); Palindrome (diptych) (2018), bottom left; Children of the Sun (2017), bottom right; all acrylic and mixed media on canvas.
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the Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation Department, but he has also been a college educator, lawyer, poet, painter, sketch artist, and proud father. But even as he pursued—and continues to pursue—a variety of occupations and activities, art was always in his DNA. While Barney explored other life paths, he says he also searched for artistic direction via his readings and encounters with active artists, including Henry Miller, Romare Beardon, and Wasily Kandinsky. His yearslong quest for artistic fulfillment took him from Ithaca to Manhattan, then to San Francisco’s bohemian North Beach, where he was mentored by poet Jack Hirschman and writer/artist Aggie Falk, among others. During this journey, he traveled to New Mexico to work at the arts-minded Zuni Pueblo in 1997 as a graduate student in the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. It was there, while studying restoration and landscape architecture, that Barney learned to connect landscape architecture and art. He was also influenced by the Land Art movement, particularly by artists Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, whose work focused
on the American Southwest. “The whole experience totally shifted the way I would see landscape in space and time, and that informs a lot of my paintings,” he says. Deeply affected by what he had learned at Zuni Pueblo, Barney relocated to Albuquerque in 2002. “As a landscape architect, I need to know how to work within the environment and the social rules of the place. It made sense, in a meaningful way, for me to be here.” Landscapes, and human interaction with them, are thus a main focus of his work. He calls these “bodyscapes,” which are abstract representations of the human body as they exist in a designated but non-prescribed spaces. Barney’s own spiritual journey informs his art as well. In January 2019 he traveled to South India, where the unabating cacophony was a bit of a shock to a man seeking tranquility. “The people, the traffic, the insects—and especially the crows—keep up a constant din. The only quiet place you’re going to find in India is inside yourself.” In the jungle town of Kerala he visited Amritapuri, the main ashram of Mata Amritanandamayi, a 65-year-old Hindu guru known simply as Amma, which
means “Mother,” to her legions of followers worldwide. Amma is revered as “the hugging saint” for her piety, charitable works, reported miracles, and especially her ritual of gently hugging all who meet her. Amma has ashrams around the world, including one in Santa Fe where Barney first heard her speak in June 2018. “She is all about love. She is the closest thing to a saint that I will ever meet,” he says. He adds that in his own brief but meaningful personal meeting with her, “I got a message from Amma that I should be out in the world and painting. This was both validating and reassuring to me.” Barney continues: “I no longer am committed to a specific result. That means adhering to specific processes, but not to an expected result. Landscapes can be scored or assessed partly by how you move through them and partly by how you understand them. I try to understand how people are currently moving through and accessing a space. How does that inform what we think about it? Is it positive? How does it allow us to engage in a space? It’s as much about movement through space as it is about designing a space to move through.” R trendmagazineglobal.com
BY LYNNE ROBINSON | PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS MERRIAM
LESSONS in CURIOLOGY Taos artist MARCIA OLIVER uses symbols and color to explore an internal landscape of beauty and balance
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arcia Oliver lives in Des Montes, New Mexico, a rural community about ten miles north of Taos, in a whitewashed adobe studio that she built with her own hands. Sunlight streams through the windows into the art-filled studio where Oliver paints on the floor. At almost 80, she is impossibly youthful—spry and agile, with thick blonde hair that shows no sign of graying, even as she brushes it away from her face with an impatient hand. She is warm and friendly, with an almost girlish voice that seems tinged with laughter as she greets visitors to her studio. This warmth then reveals an incredible depth of intellect along with the wealth of knowledge that comes from a lifetime of practicing her craft. “I came to Taos in 1968 on a one-year Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist residency,” Oliver says, “and at that time they paid a $75 per month stipend.” During that year, Oliver saved enough money to buy the land in Des Montes and self-built an adobe home, but it wasn’t until she had left Taos after her residency that she realized New Mexico would be the perfect place to support her journey as an artist. She ultimately returned in 1972 and built the studio she lives in now, using the house on the same property as a rental. In Taos, Oliver reconnected with artist Agnes Martin, whom she met a decade earlier in New York at Martin’s first show at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1958, and the two women forged a close friendship that continued until Martin’s death in 2004. Martin, who was a mentor as well as a friend to Oliver, encouraged the younger artist to stay with her process, no matter how frustrating it might be at any given time. Oliver’s art is emotional and expressive, a dance of repeating forms and amorphous shapes that emerge from the watery surfaces, incorporating grids in a nod to Martin and squiggles that are reminiscent of Cy Twombly’s whimsical works, and her process is one that she has refined through-
Oliver with two of her mixed media works with crayon, oil, and chalk. Top: Birthday (2001), oil on canvas
out her life. From intimate works on paper to large-scale canvases, the bulk of Oliver’s work begins with layers upon layers of acrylic ink and watercolor that form the surfaces on which she then begins to obscure. The imagery she conjures enables all the elements to intersect and mingle on the paper or canvas in an intuitive way, distilled to its very essence through the artist’s process. Expressionism is about an artist depicting their inmost feelings, and as Oliver explores her own consciousness, she shows us that content through the signs and symbols of her work. It is an almost mystical process, transferring ideas from the inner world to the outer. “For me, it is drawing upon a visual vocabulary that I’ve relied on since childhood,” she explains. “It is both a playful dance of the imagination, as well as a disciplined and focused flow of ideas and a search for beauty and balance.” Her unique approach utilizes expanses
of negative space upon which these distinct markings unfold in a symphony of color across the large canvasses upon which she is currently working—one a diptych, the other a triptych—duplicating and triplicating these themes in a visual language. The process, Oliver feels, is important to the creation of her paintings as well as observing them. “Working from an interior vision is realizing harmony and connection to the unified web to which we all belong, and it is profound and joyful,” she says. Her commitment to the elusive and mysterious process that takes her from inspiration to concept and finally to the canvas is absolute. She says it is almost as if she experiences an alternative reality while working: time outside of time. “It’s all about space and balance,” she says. “Balance is frequently part of the idiom, and it’s always an adventure.” Because of this, the vision of a piece appears before the name. The trendmagazineglobal.com
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canvases against the wall, although complete, are still nameless. “The titles will come,” she says, unconcerned. However, the physical space itself is important to Oliver’s process. “I like to live where I work,” she says, “and this space provides autonomy, boundaries, and a sense of sanctuary. There is a precious sense of one’s self that can emerge from periods of reflection and solitude. Then the interior dialogue begins with the empty canvas, where the process starts.” In the tidy studio, several large canvasses are stacked against the wall. In front of them, a large drop cloth spreads across the floor, where Oliver works from puddles of paint kneeling over the canvas. Everywhere, brushes and paints are gathered neatly on surfaces. Oliver also makes bronze sculptures, many in the same omnipresent amorphous shapes that appear in her work. They are reminiscent of hieroglyphs in seeming to emit language in a form all their own. “These recurring personal images are a visual language,” she says, referring to the mysterious shapes
Right and top: Oliver creates an untitled work in mixed media. Opposite: April (diptych) (2019), mixed media trendmagazineglobal.com
Oliver calls these small drawings on paper sketches or exercises, where she works out ideas for larger compositions on canvas. They often begin with a scrap of paper and become a blend of charcoal, water crayon, and ink graphite or other powders.
she has seen with her inner eye since her youth. Not quite linear nor literal, they are not completely devoid of form either, rather they appear as if floating in space or deep water, alien and primal. After 50 years in Northern New Mexico, Oliver’s youth in Pensacola, Florida, still affects her art. “We lived quite near a bayou, where I spent most of my hours after school in those bamboo glades and oak brambles in solitary contemplation,” she says, recalling that she had great freedom to explore and sail in the bayou. “It was an idyllic childhood until my father— whom I adored—died when I was 11.” Despite this great sadness, Oliver found comfort in nature and art. As a child, she says she was always the best artist in her class at school, where she could render likenesses of anything. But abstraction was always an attraction. “When I was a 154 TREND Fall 2019/Winter/Spring 2020
child, I loved to pour water on the paints, close my eyes and just move the brush around.” She smiles at the memory. “I loved the results.” She later attended the University of Alabama, an enormous change from the boats and beaches she’d called home. After her first year there, and the following summer in Maine watching the play of light on the ocean, Oliver realized she wanted to major in art. She continued her studies at the University of Illinois before spending time in Cape Cod and New York City. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Oliver taught art in California while painting and printmaking at the graduate level. She continues to make prints periodically and keeps a portfolio of monoprints and smaller works on paper that combine drawing and collage, oftentimes spread on the floor of her studio for visitors.
After seeing an exhibition of her work at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, art writer Ann Landi noted that Oliver’s paintings “unfold in a slow and seductive progression, becoming ever more ethereal and nuanced in color even as they remain grounded in her own quirky vocabulary of line and shape. Part of the pleasure of her work is the way the artist lets the viewer into her process.” “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others,” Jonathan Swift once wrote, pointing out that art is a story, a journey, an interaction. In the case of Oliver’s extraordinary work, her interior journey and story conspire to draw the viewer closer. That interaction is the ultimate result of her singular process—the artist’s ongoing quest to explore and reveal harmony and balance through the colors and symbols of her secret language. R
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505.988.4640 | SFPROMUSICA.ORG
BY APRIL REESE | PHOTOS BY PETER OGILVIE
tepping into the recording studio of Michael Stearns is like entering a time-traveling spacecraft. Hightech control panels sit at the center of the room, a huge video screen perched above. Seven small speakers surround this command center, suspended from the ceiling like satellites. Brightly colored tapestries laced with intricate geometric patterns of ayahuasca visions rendered in thread adorn the walls. Old and new
Composer MICHAEL STEARNS conjures audio from unlikely places to create transcendent soundscapes
instruments from around the world are strewn throughout the room, including African drums, Asian singing bowls, and electric keyboards. Resting at a 45-degree angle near a wall is a 12-foot-long aluminum plank with 24 strings that looks like some kind of steampunk harp made for a giant. “That’s ‘The Beam,’” Stearns says. “Want to play it?” The sound is otherworldly: theremin meets asteroid crash.
Stearns, one of the pioneers of electronic and ambient music, may have grown up playing guitar in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona, but he is more of a conductor of sound than a musician in the traditional sense. With a knack for technology and an affinity for the natural world, he blends
Michael Stearns watches Baraka in his studio, one of the many films he has scored. trendmagazineglobal.com
the sounds of nature with the sounds of machines to create immersive soundscapes that are transcendent invitations to other worlds. Stones and cicadas become instruments; cellos become rumbles from space. “He opens doors—doorways of perception and doorways for experience,” says Ron Sunsinger, who has collaborated with Stearns on several albums, including Singing Stones and Sorcerer, as well as a forthcoming project. “He’s like a cosmic movie theater usher.” The analogy is especially fitting for Stearns, whose groundbreaking soundtrack work helped filmmakers conjure singular 158 TREND Fall 2019/Winter/Spring 2020
worlds. He was one of the first musicians to work on an IMAX film and was a pioneer in using multiple speakers to immerse viewers in a film’s soundscape. “He was mixing in surround sound before anyone knew what it was,” Sunsinger says. “He’s a master of it.” The Beam played a starring role in one of his most well-known and inf luential film projects, Chronos. The 1985 IMAX film directed by Ron Fricke employed custom-built time-lapse cameras to capture the beauty and history of landscapes and civilizations around the world, from Arizona’s Monument Valley to the Acropolis in Greece. The Beam’s resonant,
sustained voice provides a distinctive transition from one segment to the next. Stearns’ eye is as keen as his ear. In his travels, he surveys the landscape for objects from which he might coax a new sound. He also creates his own instruments and uses existing ones in unusual ways to get just the sound he
Stearns plays “The Beam,” a 12-foot-long aluminum instrument with piano strings. The Beam’s deep tones play a starring role in his soundtrack for the 1985 IMAX film Chronos. Opposite: A Neumann dummy head “Fritz” microphone, which Stearns uses to capture immersive binaural sound, has a microphone in each ear.
wants. A cicada recorded in Thailand makes several appearances in his albums, including the soundtrack to Fricke’s later film Baraka, perhaps Stearns’ best-known work. Together, Fricke’s images and Stearns’ music transport the viewer to cultures around the world. One moment you’re immersed in joyful jungle rhythms, the next, the delicate bell-scape of a Buddhist monastery. Stearns’ first instrument was a far more traditional one: the guitar. And like many musicians before and after him, it wasn’t music that inspired him to pick up the six-string, it was girls. “When I was 14, my best friend and I went to a community swimming pool—it’s really hot in Tucson in the summer—and in the evenings he’d pull out his guitar and start playing, and all the girls would just go ‘wooo’ and I thought, ‘oh, I like that,’” he recalls. “So I got my parents to buy me this old guitar and he and I started taking lessons . . . and then eventually we both got electric guitars and started playing pop music and surf music. So that’s how I got started. I got tricked by the muse.” His parents’ support soured, though, when he decided he wanted to be a professional musician. “It freaked my parents out,” he says. “My father was a physician and my parents are from the Midwest and East Coast gene pool, and it was like, you became a doctor, a dentist or a lawyer or whatever, and their kid was playing guitar. They wanted to cut me off cold turkey, so they sent me to a private school for boys in California and took my guitar away.” Eventually, his parents agreed that if he made the honor roll he’d get his guitar back. He did and quickly formed a band with schoolmates. After high school, he went to college just as the Vietnam War was ramping up and ended up dropping out. “At that point I couldn’t continue to live in the momentum of my parents’
expectations,” he says. He played music for a time, but was then drafted into the Army, serving in the Air Force for four years as a linguist specializing first in Spanish and then Haitian Creole. Stearns continued to play music, however, with whoever would join him. When he left the military in 1972, Stearns moved back to Tucson and started playing professionally, earning enough for a living. Yet, though he was finally living his dream, something was missing. He realized he had been neglecting a part of his life that was just as essential to who he was as his music. “Ever since I was a little kid there were things going on with me,” he says. “I don’t know if you can relate to this or not, but invisible Tibetans would come and I would have my mother set the table for them when I was like four or five years old. And my parents couldn’t figure that out at all. And then I was having these wild dreams, and that never stopped. That was going on my whole life.” Finally, in his mid-20s, the pull toward the spiritual became too strong to ignore. “While I was in Tucson, around 1974, after I had been playing out six nights a week, I came to this impasse where I just had to stop.”
Trouble was, Stearns didn’t know where to find what he was seeking. For a time he became involved in the Sufi community in Tucson. “It didn’t feel right, but I didn’t know what else to do,” he recalls. Then, happenstance brought him exactly what he needed. His girlfriend at the time invited him to a workshop by California-based spiritual leader Emilie Conrad. Stearns felt a kinship with Conrad, who had lived in Haiti and spoke Haitian Creole, like he did. But he never could have anticipated how her spiritual practice, called Continuum, along with the accompanying music by her husband, Gary David, would change his life. During one of the meditation sessions, David began playing a Minimoog synthesizer over a looped jazz recording. Stearns recognized the piece as “Sound Museum,” a 1958 recording by poet and jazz musician Ken Nordine. “The track was like a guided meditation,” Stearns explains. “He took you down this hall and he’d open a door and you’d experience this 12-second piece of music. He got to this one door and opened it, and there was a sound behind that door that was like, whew. It was me. I was behind that door—it was music that I would create. Very languid, meditative, unusual.” That was the very segment David played during the meditation, only backwards and at half speed. Stearns was deeply moved. “After the session ended, I walked up to him and said, ‘How would you take that little 12-second piece and play it backwards at half speed? It was brilliant. One of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard, and what a thing to meditate to.’ He looked at me and said, ‘God, you’re the only person in the world who would recognize that.’” Stearns moved to Los Angeles and began working with Conrad and David. A year later, he was writing his own music trendmagazineglobal.com
TOP: COURTESY OF MICHAEL STEARNS
to accompany Conrad’s meditation sessions. “It was music that I was playing for myself because I didn’t have a context for it,” Stearns says. “And here was a context. So I started to be able to develop it.” Soon he recorded his first album. His reputation grew, and Stearns found himself in demand for soundtrack composing. He worked on four IMAX films in a row, providing the opportunity to perfect his surround-sound experiences. Stearns’ melding of sounds to create an immersive soundscape also caught the ears of the denizens of the embryonic ambient music scene in Southern California. “I think he’s one of the pioneers of the early electronic music explorations,” Sunsinger says. “Even back then he was doing some really groundbreaking things.” After a few years collaborating on film scores with mentor Maurice Jarre, composer for David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia,
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and Craig Huxley, who he met through Gary David, he created the soundtrack for Ron Fricke’s Chronos by himself. He absorbed the sights and sounds of Egypt and other film locations and wrote the music in three months to meet his deadline. “I hadn’t even seen the film!” he says. Over the years, Stearns continued to alternate between soundtracks and albums, including Plunge and Encounter as well as the Fricke film Baraka. So far, he’s recorded around two dozen records. Some are journeys through nature—birdsong and streams flow through “The Light in the
At left, the Eurorack modular synthesizer system used by Stearns. At right, Stearns plays a Parker Fly guitar in his studio. The guitar was the first instrument he learned as a teenager. Opposite: Stearns tracks and mixes various instruments for a soundtrack. Top: Stearns in his Los Angeles studio in 1984.
Trees” from the album The Storm—while others are journeys through the psyche, like “Toto, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore,” a spacey mindbender from Planetary Unfolding. But while Stearns has recorded many a solo album, he also thrives on collaboration. A few composers in his orbit—Sunsinger, Steve Roach, and Kevin Braheny—have been frequent musical partners. After moving to Santa Fe 27 years ago to reconnect with the Southwestern desert and be closer to Sunsinger and other local collaborators, Stearns established his own record label, Earth Turtle, and recorded a series of albums, including Within, Spirits of the Voyage, The Storm, and Sorcerer. He has continued to compose music for films and his more recent credits include the 2011 film Samsara and Alpha in 2018.
Through the years, Stearns has struggled to find his creative voice and an audience that would appreciate it, but his exceptionality has become critical to his success. “I’m approached for projects because what I do is unusual, and I work with unusual instruments,” he says. Stearns continues to juggle multiple projects and the occasional live performance. He recently played the B-Wave Festival in Belgium, filling the venue with the sound of coyotes he recorded in his backyard in Santa Fe. “That was exciting,” he says. He and Sunsinger are now working on a new album, and Stearns continues to seek out new sounds to weave into his music. Having learned the hard way the importance of finding and following one’s true calling, he has a final word of advice for those still in the throes of such a struggle: “Listen to the little voice.” R trendmagazineglobal.com
Exceptional Italian cuisine in the heart of Santa Fe.
Open Monday - Saturday | Closed Sunday Lunch 12 pm - 2:30 pm Dinner 5 pm until close Bar Reopens at 4:30 pm 225 Johnson Street, Santa Fe NM next to the Georgia Oâ€™Keeffe Museum 505-982-6734 sassellasantaFE.com
Passion of the Palate
NEW MEXICO’S CULINARY INSPIRATION
Cheese Cake Basilica with cranberry sauce is a seasonal delicacy at Santa Fe’s Anasazi Restaurant.
Passion of thePalate
Fusion’s No Fad Always multicultural, Santa Fe and surrounding areas are adopting more of the world’s cuisine influences into their repertoire BY MARK OPPENHEIMER PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS MERRIAM
ny trend without longevity is just a fad. Take fusion cuisine, culinary crossovers that have occurred for as long as different peoples have been mingling, and which is still driven by the imagination of those curious enough to look beyond their own cultures. In the City Different and the surrounding region, chefs and restaurants are bringing international influences to regional cuisine, deriving inspiration from other cultures by getting to know their cuisine customs, cooking techniques, food preparation, and relationship to food. “It’s a big flavorful food world here in Santa Fe,” says Chef John Rivera Sedlar, arguably the father of contemporary Southwest cuisine and founder of Eloisa restaurant, which fuses Latin and Southwestern flavors with Northern New Mexico’s classic dishes. “The pressure continues—people are shifting their tastes from New Mexican–style foods to a more expansive global cuisine, which includes the influences of Korean, Japanese, and other Asian flavors and textures. The local impact of global cuisines are having a positive effect on New Mexico foods and cooking.” “American cuisine is no longer simply a turkey dinner with dressing and gravy,” says Executive Chef Peter O’Brien, who serves a range of Asian-influenced dishes at the Anasazi Restaurant in Santa Fe. “Now there is a New American Cuisine,” he says. “A melting pot of ethnically diverse ingredients that produces innovative global flavors and textures that give chefs with 164 TREND Fall/Winter 2019/Spring 2020
enough confidence the courage to take more risks.” Chef Hue-Chan Karels, owner of Open Kitchen, agrees. “What drives me is my ability to go with my imagination, playing within the rules but also breaking them,” she says. Offering monthly events that bring different chefs and styles to the public, Chef Karels explains, “I love the whole concept of global to local. All of us come to Santa Fe from somewhere else. We bring with us a collection of cultural and multicultural histories of flavor and influences, which results in an explosion of flavors on the local palate.” In a city as diverse as ours, the formal or informal blending of cuisine is important to our identity. Each type of cuisine is a link to the customs and rituals of its homeland,
and when chefs blend these, they’re acting as ambassadors for the intrepid diner. And now, in our ever-changing regional foodscape, Asian cuisine is on the rise. Chef Charles Dale, former owner of Bouche Bistro and one of the culinary statesmen of Santa Fe, explains that Asian cuisine is a new culinary frontier for Westerners. “A lot of what’s been introduced to us is tailored to an American palate,” Chef Dale says. “Many Asian countries will use off-cut meats with textures most Americans aren’t used to. But now you’re seeing younger chefs incorporating their family’s food traditions with modern techniques, and they are beginning to have a larger audience.” Dale also points out that long before ramen became popular, Eric DiStefano of Geronimo developed his Green Miso Sea
Bass with ramen. Now, Geronimo’s menu has as many Asian-style dishes as New Mexican. Joel Coleman of Fire and Hops has gone the same route, with a menu inspired in part by the success of David Chang and his influential Momofuku restaurant group. Coleman’s menu is filled with Asian-influenced dishes, including a popular ramen dish. At Santacafé, a tradition of Asian-inspired cuisine continues under the helm of Quinn Stephenson, who also owns Coyote Café. “Asian inspiration and New Mexican cuisine go well together,” says Josh Gerwin, chef and owner of Dr. Field Goods Kitchen. “We regularly see Asian tacos. A dumpling in Mexico is an empanada and in India it’s a samosa. Every culture has this beautiful nugget of food stuffed in the dough of that country—they’re the comfort foods of the world.” The surge in Asian cuisine goes well beyond individual menu items to include a host of new restaurants. In Fall 2019 Mampuku Ramen recently opened on Cerrillos Road, helmed by Ayame Fu-
At the Anasazi Restaurant, the Talus Wind Ranch pork chop is made with mussels, watercress, curly sweet potato fries, and fermented black bean sauce. Left: An additional Talus Wind Ranch pork chop dish comes with sweet potato gratin and huckleberry sauce. Opposite: Maine lobster tartine with basil, Fresno chile, black squid ink, and citrus zest at Santacafé.
kuda and Iba Fukuda, daughters of Shohko and and Hiro Fukuda, owners of the former Shohko Cafe, and in Albuquerque, the second location of their Naruto Ramen will soon be part of the burgeoning Sawmill Market. Both locations will serve authentic, Hakata-style ramen, which is made from pork bones, eggless thin noodles, and chashu pork. They will also serve shoyu ramen made with soy sauce and miso ramen, with miso imported from Japan. And in Taos, after ten years of operating from a noodle stand, Chef Marshall Thompson has opened his new restaurant, Donabe Asian Kitchen, which offers a range of Southeast Asian dishes with a Southwest twist. Last year, Gonpo
Trasar opened Tibet Kitchen in Santa Fe, serving traditional Tibetan food characterized by a blend of Chinese and Indian flavors and textures. Meanwhile, Chef Brent Jung, formerly of Izmi restaurant, has Korean pop-ups around Santa Fe that offer an assortment of dumplings and Korean banchan on Monday nights at Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery. Local distilleries, in turn, have developed their own spin on fusion, introducing regional flavors to spirits with origins around the world. Flavors such as mesquite, sage, pinon, and juniper are finding their way to locally crafted vodkas, gins, whiskies, and more. And as these uniquely New Mexican creations find their way to the wider audience beyond our borders, we are showing that we can give as well as receive. R trendmagazineglobal.com
PHOTOS: DOUGLAS MERRIAM
Saveur means taste, and the name says it all.
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Not just a pretty table.
Photos: Top left, Kate Russell. Bottom, left: Boncratious
Fresh local ingredients, inspired fusion flavors, and excellent service. A Santa Fe fine-dining experience in an airy, contemporary space with a touch of industrial chic.
LUNCH Daily 11:00–2:30 DINNER Monday–Saturday 5:00–9:00 BRUNCH Saturday 11–2:30 Sunday 10–2:30 901 West San Mateo, Santa Fe Reservations 505-820-3121 midtownbistrosf.com
Osteria D’Assisi & Piano Lounge 24 Years of Excellence Owner Lino Pertosini from Italy and his culinary team deliver an exceptional Italian dining experience, good value, extensive wine list, great cocktails, and world class service. Happy Hour 4-6 • Dinner Nightly 5-close Lunch Tue-Fri 11:30-2:30 • Brunch Sat & Sun 11:30-2:30 58 S. Federal Place| Santa Fe, NM 87501 osteriadassisi.com | 505-986-5858
Pizzeria & Trattoria da Lino
Just like in Italy, casual Great wine selections and micro brewery, Brick oven pizzas. Salads, pasta, fresh local produce & seasonal specials. Gelato & desserts. 204 N. Guadalupe St. | Santa Fe, NM 87510 505-982-8474 | pizzeriadalino.com
Chili Line Brewing Co.
From Lagers to Viking ales We are local, small and we love what we Do! 204 N. Guadalupe Street | Santa Fe, NM 87501 152 Old Lamy Trail, Lamy, NM 87540 505-982-8474 | chililinebrewery.com
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Passion of thePalate
A Little Italy Executive chef CRISTIAN PONTIGGIA adapts the flavors of his Italian upbringing to a new restaurant in Santa Fe
170 TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
BY CYNDY TANNER PHOTOS BY DOMINIQUE VORILLON STYLED BY CYNDY TANNER
hef Cristian Pontiggia accomplishes a myriad of tasks every day, including one sartorial ritual he performs each morning before leaving for work. He begins by opening a large wooden box housing his collection of 24 watches, pairing his selection with a complementary penknife from the 16 he owns. Then he chooses a pair of shoes to accompany the accessories. This attention to aesthetic and detail personifies Chef Pontiggia’s approach to a fine dining experience. The award-winning chef has recently partnered with Lawrence and Suzanna Becerra, who own Santa Fe’s Sazón restaurant, as well as Sazón’s chef, Fernando Olea, to open his first restaurant, Sassella. Neighboring the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in downtown Santa Fe, the Italian restaurant is named after a small village in the wine region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. Pontiggia would ride his bike to Sassella as a kid, and he had his first glass of wine there at age 25. Inspired by her London roots and extensive travels with her husband to Italy, interior designer Suzanna Becerra says her goal in designing Sassella’s bar, dining room, and recently expanded outside front patio was to complement the restaurant’s iconic building, which was the original Fort Marcy army barracks. Becerra maintained the authenticity of the building’s architecture, retaining the exposed brick walls and pecan-colored floors and adding contemporary globe pendants that illuminate the bar. In the dining room, dove-gray walls are anchored by black-and-white photographs and metallic beaded-curtain
Executive Chef Cristian Pontiggia reviews notes for his dinner service. Opposite: Pontiggiaâ€™s Burrata Caprese includes heirloom tomatoes, house-made burrata cheese, edible flowers, and micro basil. trendmagazineglobal.com 171
Passion of thePalate window treatments. A solid wall of gilded mirrors reflects the natural light. The result is a room that shimmers with understated elegance. Pontiggia says he worked 12-hour days for months in preparation for Sassella’s opening in August 2019. He smiles as he witnesses his long-held dream come to fruition. “I like good things,” he says. This can only partially explain the eclectic combination of menu and bar offerings at Sassella, including his favorite recipes and wines from all regions of Italy as well as fine rosé wines and champagnes from France. There’s also a meticulously curated gin bar, testament to Pontiggia’s love for the spirit, which, like his selections of wine and
cuisine, he feels activates all the senses. He loved the juniper scent of gin from a young age, before he ever tasted it. One of his favorites on Sassella’s menu is Empress 1908, which is composed of eight signature botanicals, including tea, juniper, rose, coriander seed, grapefruit peel, ginger root, cinnamon bark, and, last by not least, butterfly pea blossom, which adds an earthy note and a natural, violet hue. There’s also a charcuterie station. Pontiggia notes that “charcuterie is represented in every region of Italy and every town has its unique specialties,” pointing with pride toward a corner of the bar where a cherry-red meat slicer, personally selected and imported from Italy, has just been installed. “And oys-
ters,” he continues. “I love oysters because there is so much variety. Whatever I love, I want to give to my customers.” The concept of fusion cuisine comes naturally to Pontiggia, who hails from the alpine town of Sondrio, Italy, just a few miles from the Swiss border. Pontiggia’s father was a sommelier who worked seasonally in Saint Moritz, Switzerland. He tried to dissuade his son from a career in the restaurant business because of the grueling work and long hours. Yet Pontiggia’s passion prevailed, and he has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 14. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu and having worked at two Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, Pontiggia has received several
Bartender Daric Gutierrez prepares sparkling wine aperitifs. At right, a flight of Negroni cocktails with fresh garnishes. Opposite: Sassella co-owner and interior designer Suzanna Becerra chose gilded mirrors and black-and-white photographs to adorn the dining room. 172
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Passion of thePalate
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awards from La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society. Pontiggia says he’s excited to have his own restaurant. “I can change my menu every day if I want to,” he says. “I love to cook, experiment, refine, and present something beautiful and delicious that engages all five senses. I think of every plate I create as a blank canvas. When you think about it,” he muses, “food is one of the cheaper pieces of art that you can buy.” Pontiggia loves to travel and he seeks out local specialties wherever he goes. When he returns to Italy he avoids the big cities, preferring to dine in smaller, less touristy surrounding towns. He’ll order specialty regional dishes that he tries to recreate afterward, improvising his own take. Recalling a dining experience in Tuscany, he tells a story about walking across a piazza and stopping at a nondescript restaurant, captivated by expressions of pure pleasure he saw on the faces of customers through the window. The place had no menu. He entered, sat at a table, and before he had time to order, a glass of house-made red wine was placed before him. When asked by the owner, who was also his waiter, what he would like to eat, Pontiggia responded, “I want to try everything.” The man responded, “I already like you, and I want to make you happy—so just tell me when to stop.” Pontiggia says he spent the next two hours savoring a succession of the most delicious meats, cheeses, breads, and wine—including a wild boar prosciutto accompanied by unsalted, rustic Tuscan bread that he remembers to this day. Closing his eyes, he says, “it tasted like heaven.” Ever inspired, Pontiggia tries to offer the same experience for his customers. He is proud of the Caesar salad he has created for Sassella, for instance, and notes that despite the ubiquity of the dish, his version, Caesar a Modo Mio, presents a vertical wedge of grilled
Server Zack Daood polishes stemware in preparation for Sassella’s lunch service. trendmagazineglobal.com 175
Passion of thePalate
From left, Sassella is a collaboration among Lawrence Becerra, Executive Chef Fernando Olea of Sazón restaurant, Cristian Pontiggia, and Suzanna Becerra. Opposite: Pontiggia’s Zuppa Fredda d’Asparagi is a chilled asparagus soup with a potato cup, poached lobster, and tarragon foam. At right, Sassella’s Caesar a Modo Mio, Pontiggia’s take on a traditional Caesar salad, is paired here with a cocktail made with one of Pontiggia’s favorite gins, Empress 1908.
176 TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
romaine, crisp white anchovies, imported Italian capers, and a beautiful focaccia ring with a classic vitello tonnato tunacaper sauce for the dressing. His Zuppa Fredda d’Asparagi, meanwhile, is chilled asparagus soup with a potato cup and poached lobster. The soup is poured from a carafe into a slate-gray bowl at the table. “Santa Fe is such an amazing creative soup with all kinds of creativity going on everywhere,” Pontiggia says. “I love the chef community, the artists, and the farmers who grow year-round here. I’ve lived in many other places where the chefs are not nearly as friendly and supportive as they are here.” Pontiggia looks forward to inviting guest chefs to come and cook at Sassella. “I love to mix things up,” he says. “A dumpling in Japan becomes a ravioli in Italy. Why not have an Asian dumpling with an Italian sauce? Throw away the rules,” he says. “That’s when things in the kitchen get interesting.” Chef Jerry Dakan, Pontiggia’s friend and collaborator, is also at Sassella. Chef Dakan
spends the first part of his day heading up the Culinary Arts Program at the Santa Fe Community College and then goes directly to Sassella, where he is the lead dinner chef. You might describe Italian classically trained chef Pontiggia and French classically trained chef Dakan as brothers from a different mother. When they met several years ago in Los Angeles, they knew they were destined to work together, and several of the items on Sassella’s menu are testimony to their collaboration. Mar Nero, a dish composed of squid ink spaghetti, tiger shrimp, wild arugula, baby tomatoes, roasted garlic, and white wine, is a delicious example. In the midst of his new venture, Pontiggia recalls a childhood that gave him a love for food and an appreciation for the all-senses experience that dining can provide. He recounts a story about a recent trip home to visit his family in Sondrio after being away for three years. His mother had made a typical stew from fresh ingredients that he often ate as a child. An involuntary tear rolled
down his cheek as he took his first bite, overcome with memories. With Sassella’s warm, distinctive atmsophere and unique, Italian-based authentic specialities, he hopes to make memories for others, too. Along with Dakan, he’s been sharing his expertise as a volunteer Superchef for Cooking with Kids, a program started in 1995 that brings free nutrition eduction and hands-on culinary experience to more than 5,000 at-risk children in Northern New Mexico. They even have the youngest kids stirring pots of risotto, learning knife skills, and making their own mirepoix, a mixture of cooked celery, onions, and carrots—all the must-learn basics for any pint-sized chef. As for his days off, Pontiggia remains a chef. “I recently made a traditional ragù lasagna, but because I am so used to cooking on a restaurant scale, the lasagna I made was huge. My wife and three-year-old son have been forced to eat lasagna for days,” he laughs. At Sassella and beyond, for Pontiggia, good food is what makes for a good life—and the rules need not apply. R trendmagazineglobal.com 177
Invoking the Spirits
New Mexico distillers bring a sense of place to their distinctive products
BY KRISTIAN MACARON | PHOTOS BY ANDY JOHNSON
istilleries in New Mexico are bringing local flair to the nationwide enthusiasm for craft liquors, incorporating some of the state’s signature flavors to create singular spirits with a unique sense of place. Local producers are introducing a wealth of new flavor profiles—mesquite, sage, piñon, juniper, chile, prickly pear, blue corn, and other locally sourced ingredients—in a decidedly contemporary Southwestern approach to their liquors. Local distillers have adopted a Southwestern approach to an age-old practice of distilling that dates back to Greek alchemy in the 4th century CE and the first distilling vessel, an alembic pot, in 8th century CE. Alchemists primarily sought to turn base metals into gold, and modern chemistry is a direct successor of this pseudoscience. Though the alchemists never did transform lead into gold, they did distill the very first pure alcohols, which were used in medicines and rituals before they became accessible as aqua vitae. Modern distilling has equipment of its own. At Left Turn Distilling in Albuquerque, owner Brian Langwell has been practicing the craft for 35 years and built his 100-gallon, hand-hammered still. “I designed the still to work a little differently so I can control the flavor profiles and how fast it works.” To create his Rojo Piñon Rum, he infuses the rum with piñon so that its nutty flavor highlights the rum’s natural burned-sugar flavor profile. The distillery also offers its Old Santa Fe Trail Bourbon, whose mash is made from blue corn atole. Bourbon is always corn-based, but the roasted blue corn infuses it with a sweeter, richer flavor. 178 TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
Santa Fe Spirits barrel-ages their liquors for cocktails like the Smoky Manhattan with mesquite-smoked Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey, sweet vermouth, and angostura bitters.
Santa Fe Spirits, one of the state’s largest distilleries, was founded in 2010 and features a single malt American whiskey that is a version of scotch, which by law can only be produced in Scotland. Though scotch is distinguished by a woody quality, usually from peat, Santa Fe Spirits distiller Steffany Landers says that their version is uniquely local. “We use mesquite, which gives it more of a Southwestern feel. When mesquite is smoked it has much more of the flavor that you encounter in this region of the United States.” Most distillers start making spirits by testing out brandies made from fermented fruit. Santa Fe Spirits began by making apple brandy with apples from owner Colin Keegan’s apple orchard. “Colin was making apple brandy, and eventually he wanted to make it on a larger scale,” Landers says. “Originally we were using apples from his orchard, but right now our production has grown so much that it’s not really possible to get 4,000 gallons of local apple juice.” Landers adds that soon they plan to build a cider house where orchard owners can bring extra apples to be processed into cider and juice. “We’re excited about that, to go back to our roots and make the brandy using New Mexico apple juice,” Landers says. “We use a lot of flavors—piñon, mesquite, and juniper—that are also locally sourced.” Though many distilleries in New Mexico are attached to tasting rooms and operate as stand-alone businesses, others are boutique distilleries that operate with small stills and offer a different sort of tasting environment. Algodones Distillery, opened by Greg McAllister and David Pacheco in 2013, is nearly halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe alongside the Rio Grande. “We consider ours an
Santa Fe Spirits owner, Colin Keegan, offers a pour. From top: Santa Fe Spirits Distiller Steffany Landers examines a hydrometer at the parrot of the still; spirit flights give guests a sample of the complexity of high-desert ingredients; Santa Fe Spirits’ distillery tasting room is a homey local favorite. trendmagazineglobal.com 179
Clockwise, from top left: Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery’s state-of-the-art stills; Algodones Distillery’s unique grounds adjacent to the Rio Grande bosque; wild harvested bull thistle used in Amaro bitters and Tumbleroot’s Pipe Dreams cocktail; Tumbleroot’s expansive tasting room has a music venue and is a popular meeting place; Tumbleroot’s spirits and cocktails infuse a variety of local flavors. 180 TREND Fall 2019/ Winter/Spring 2020
TOP RIGHT: COURTESY OF ALGODONES DISTILLERY
Clockwise, from top left: Left Turn Distilling’s distinctive Brothers Old Tom Gin next to a crafted cocktail; Miranda Chavez at Left Turn Distilling smokes rosemary for a Rosemary Sour made with Brothers Old Tom Gin; Brian Langwell, founder of Left Turn Distilling, with Chris Medina, head distiller.
estate distillery,” McAllister says, “a crossover between a winery and a distillery. We want it to be a destination, where people can come to learn as well as experience.” Welcoming guests to kick back and experience of the stillness of the Rio Grande bosque, Pacheco adds, “When you come here, it’s not just ‘sip your sample and leave.’ Come sit down. Sit under the trees. Relax and talk. Enjoy the bosque. That’s what we want to do here, create that space.” The local agriculture and natural beauty of the site are important aspects of Algodones Distillery. McAllister says that the water from their 300-foot artesian well is clearer and sweeter because it’s untreated and unchlorinated, helping to give the spirits their singular flavor. “Our microclimate here in the Rio Grande bosque is really special,” McAllister says. “It means we can age things a little differently than in the high desert, where things are drier, because we do have slightly more humidity here and different temperature fluctuations. We really wanted to see what our environment did to produce spirits that we could say are truly New Mexican.” The ingredients of Algodones Distillery’s New World–style gin is an example of the hyper-local roots that McAllister and Pacheco had intended. To be classified as a gin and not merely an infused vodka, gin’s primary botanical must be juniper. Like other local distilleries, Algodones Distillery uses juniper from the Northern New Mexico mountains, but its gin also contains five other local botanicals: piñon, prickly pear, desert sage, roses from the distillery’s property, and lavender from Purple Adobe Lavender Farm in Abiquiu. “Our gin recipe is more expressive of local agriculture,” says McAllister. “As much as possible, we trendmagazineglobal.com 181
COURTESY OF ALGODONES DISTILLERY
want our ingredients to be concentrically local, and we want to give back to the providers we source these ingredients from.” In 2020, Algodones Distillery will begin to produce its whiskey, which they intend to infuse with another unique local flavor: pecans from southeastern New Mexico. Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery in Santa Fe, founded by Jason Fitzpatrick and Jason Kirkman in 2017, wants to change the whole aesthetic of city bars with a spacious, upscale rustic vibe and a performance venue. Tumbleroot brews its own beer and emphasizes craft cocktail mixology, making vodkas, gins, rums, whiskeys, and agave spirits by hand using only organic ingredients. Because a spirit can only be called “tequila” if it’s made in Mexico, Tumbleroot refers to theirs as agave spirits. Enebro Juniper Liqueur, The Plata Agave Spirit, with a “robust, fruity pictured alongside the distillery’s Spanish cactus flavor,” makes a truly homegrown alembic still, uses six local margarita. Their three gins—Navy Strength, ingredients, including London Dry, and Botanical—are all flavored lavender. with wild-harvested New Mexico juniper berries, herbs, spices, fresh citrus zest, and botanicals harvested from their garden, and the Botanical Gin adds lavender and sage for a scent and sip of the local landscape. If the ancient alchemists could taste the magic being wrought today in modern stills rather than alembic pots, they might see their work as a success after all. R
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Meyer Gallery meyergalleries.com 505-983-1434....................................................................25
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Patina Gallery / Claire Kahn patina-gallery.com 505-986-3432....................................................................37
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Patricia Carlisle Fine Art / David Pearson carlislefa.com 505-820-0596....................................................................19
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186 TREND Fall 2019/Winter/Spring 2020
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