Trend Annual Summer 2020 Magazine

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Reimagines the first American revolution


©Wendy McEahern

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Photography by Robert Reck with StudioGP

Photography by Robert Reck

LewAllen Gallery

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Photography by Patrick Coulie

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Handcrafted dinnerware, pottery, glass art, lighting, furniture, and fine art by more than fifty contemporary artists.

Nov 6

Aug 28

Jun 19 Jul 10


Nov 20

Macdonald Sep 11





Dec 4

Sep 25

Jul 24






Featherston Oct 23



Jun 5

Livingston Aug 14


2020 Exhibition Schedule

Dec 18

Oct 9

Jul 31


The Railyard gallery space designed by DNCA Architects originally housed Gebert Contemporary. It combines classical proportions with a modern and minimal volume for the display of large art, sculpture, and performance.


Art as Activism Virgil Ortiz crafts a futuristic spin on the Pueblo Revolt. By Christina Procter


DNCA Architects create livable spaces that soothe the soul

Transcending the Moment Emotive movement in the abstract photography of Robert Reck Introduction by Cyndi A. Wood Photo Essay by Robert Reck


TREND art + design + architecture + cuisine 2020

From spray paint to calligraphy with four New Mexico artists Introduction by Kathryn M Davis Photo Essay by Audrey Derell


A Woman’s Place Finding focus and clarity among Abiquiu’s natural landscapes and cultural diversity By Rena Distasio Portraits by Peter Ogilvie

Architecture for the Senses By Nancy Zimmerman




Coming Home Architect Richard Martinez came back to New Mexico and found his voice By Anya Sebastian Portrait by Peter Ogilvie


Rebuilding From Within New Mexico food organizations pivot for a better post-pandemic industry By Mark Oppenheimer



Making Their Marks

Traces of Me, Portugal

Because You Were Born Cool

TOKo Santa Fe

101 W. Marcy Street, #2 Downtown Santa Fe 505-470-4425


departments FROM THE EDITOR






FLASH Printmaking powerhouse Tamarind Institute has revived the art of lithography through collaboration; Tesuque Pueblo provides a safe spot for Indigenous heirloom seeds


OUTLOOK Team Midtown coalesces to bring new life to the heart of the city By Cyndi A. Wood


ART MATTERS Vital Spaces fosters Santa Fe’s contemporary art scene By Ashley M. Biggers


TAOS TRENDS Currents of tradition flow through the work of Taos Pueblo artists Story and Photos by Rick Romancito



HOW WE LIVE Artist-couple Bunny Tobias and Charles Greeley just keep going By Cyndy Tanner Photos by Audrey Derell




Q&A Larry Keller gets real about interior design By Cyndy Tanner Styling and Interior Design by Susan M. Stella


TUNES Trumpet player Ryan Montaño ascends to the national stage By April Reese Portrait by Peter Ogilvie




Tipping Point Food and drink for emotional well-being By Christina Procter


MOVING ARTS Dancing Earth nurtures new generations of Indigenous talent By Jade Whaanga

Spirit of the People An ancient brew finds new life in Santa Fe By Nancy Zimmerman Photos by Marc Malin





TREND art + design + architecture + cuisine 2020



ON THE COVER: Nona Hendryx performs at the grand opening of the REACH at the Kennedy Center in a Virgil Ortiz–designed Aeronaut costume with vinyl, sequins, latex, and foam fabricated helmet adorned with cock feathers. Top: Ryan Montaño; Nichole Salazar in Dancing Earth’s production Of Bodies and Elements.



Fine Imported Rugs 214 Galisteo St., Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-820-2231



PUBLISHER Cynthia Marie Canyon

The initial idea for a Santa Fe Film Festival was first introduced in May 1980, when Bill and Stella Pence, founders of Taos Talking Picture and Telluride Film festivals, started an event with a New Directors/New Film program, co-sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The Pences led a festival for four years, with such notable guests as Francis Ford Coppola, Charlton Heston, Sam Peckinpah, and Lillian Gish. Last year, the festival honored renowned Matthew Modine. The current form of the Santa Fe Film Festival was inaugurated in 1999 as a nonprofit and began showing films in the year 2000. It was created by Kurt Young, Larry Stouffer, John Armijo, David Koh and film critic Jon Bowman who also acted as the Executive Director and guiding light of the festival for ten years.

EDITOR Christina Procter ART DIRECTOR & DESIGNER Janine Lehmann COPY CHIEF Cyndi Wood CONSULTING EDITORS Rena Distasio, Nancy Zimmerman PRODUCTION MANAGER & ASSOCIATE DESIGNER Jeanne Lambert CREATIVE CONSULTANT & MARKETING DIRECTOR Cyndy Tanner PHOTO PRODUCTION Boncratious CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ashley M. Biggers, Kathryn M Davis, Rena Distasio, Mark Oppenheimer, Christina Procter, April Reese, Rick Romancito, Anya Sebastian, Cyndy Tanner, Jade Whaanga, Cyndi A. Wood, Nancy Zimmerman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Audrey Derell, Michael Jensen, Marc Malin, Douglas Merriam, Peter Ogilvie, Robert Reck, Rick Romancito REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Mara Leader, 505-470-6442 ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES Anya Sebastian, 505-988-5007 Skip Whitson, 505-988-5007 NORTH AMERICAN DISTRIBUTION Disticor Magazine Distribution Services, NEW MEXICO DISTRIBUTION Ezra Leyba, 505-690-7791

Festival awards varied over the years. Initial categories included: Best Short, Best Documentary, Best Feature, Best Native American, and Best Latino Film. By 2006 the awards became the Milagro Award (best American independent film), the Independent Spirit Award, and the Audience Award, Honorable Mention in the Creative Spirit Award and lifetime Achievement Award. The Santa Fe Film Festival has now continued for over 20 years and is currently run by over 75% of women with partner programs such as Native Cinema, Latin Ciné, Afro Cinema, Sisters of Cinema, the LGBTQ+ program and our Spotlight on NM Films. The Film Festival will continue to celebrate cinema as a leading portal for all things cinematic in New Mexico.

ACCOUNTING AND SUBSCRIPTIONS Anne Martinez SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING Loka Creative, Manufactured in the United States Copyright 2020 by Santa Fe Trend LLC 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 505-470-6442 or email Trend art + design + architecture + cuisine ISSN 2161-4229 is published online throughout the year and in print annually (20,000 copies), distributed throughout New Mexico and the nation. To subscribe, visit Sign up for a free, 60-day trial, and then pay $1 a year for continued digital access and/or $14.99 for a print copy. Find us on Facebook at Trend art + design + architecture + cuisine magazine and Instagram @santafetrend We’re seeking new and diverse voices! If you’re a writer or photographer interested in contributing, please visit and send your story pitches to Trend, P.O. Box 1951, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1951 505-470-6442,

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TREND art + design + architecture + cuisine 2020


How We Heal



oni Morrison once said: “I think all good art is political.” The winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has also said, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work . . . . That is how civilizations heal.” New Mexico, with its blend of civilizations past and present and violent history of colonialism, is no exception. But we’ve also seen our extraordinary capacity to heal. The summer’s activism signaled strengthened ties between local groups, such as Building Black Power for New Mexico, The Red Nation, and Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA). Young Hispanic teens gathered at a candlelight vigil for George Floyd and commemorated their friend, shot by police in Española. They joined the Black Lives Matter movement alongside those demanding investigations into missing and murdered Indigenous women and outraged by the state’s fatal-police-shooting rates that are top in the nation. Here, the movement for police reform is years in the making. It was recently joined by many more, including the state’s attorney general, who has recommended fundamental changes. We are not just a diverse state. We are shaped by the strength, innovation, and interconnectivity of our diverse peoples. As it turns out, we live and stand together. I come from Massachusetts, where history books begin with the Founding Fathers, but there is little sense of the original America there. By the time the East Coast colonies had all but decimated Indigenous groups and rebelled against the British throne, the people who lived in what would become that state of New Mexico were a century into addressing vast trauma. When Morrison made those statements, she was referring to writers, but healers are everywhere. In New Mexico, they contribute to what is now a flourishing, multicultural society. They are doing things like preserving Indigenous heirloom seeds; spray painting iconographic social commentary; and reimagining the Pueblo Revolt. In this issue, you’ll meet many of the diverse artists, dancers, teachers, architects,

Virgil Ortiz’ Venutian Soldier characters seek new land in a film installation for the artist’s exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey.

designers, musicians, chefs, and entrepreneurs helping manifest a contemporary new decade here. Healers are always at work. But healing is a two-part act that involves storytelling and listening. The stories that you find here come from deep collaboration between our subjects and contributors. Next the narratives go to our team—and we hope that no purity is lost in translation. Incidentally, Morrison also quipped, “An editor is like a priest or a psychiatrist; if you get the wrong one then you’re better off alone.” Of course, I think we’re better off together, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. —Christina Procter

Correction, Trend Fall/Winter 2019: In the article Material Witness, Melinda Frame of FRAME+WORK, LLC should have been credited for her short film, The Language of Materials, about Judy Tuwaletstiwa. She graciously allowed us to excerpt some of Tuwaletstiwa’s quotes in the film for use in the article. You can view her film at



Made in

IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES, publishing a magazine like Trend is more important than ever, despite the obstacles we face in bringing it to print. Trend is a homegrown New Mexico publication that has been available locally and nationally, even internationally, for more than two decades. Conceived and created by our dedicated team, it has consistently brought our readers the art, design, architecture, and cuisine of Santa Fe and the greater Southwest. At the helm is founder and publisher Cynthia Canyon, an LA transplant who has lived in New Mexico for 33 years and whose affection for the region has only grown over the decades. She brings her creative spark and a deep commitment to telling the stories of the fascinating artists and artisans who make the Southwest such an intriguing place. At her side for more than 20 years is art director Janine Lehmann, a former New Yorker who studied fine art photography and worked as a graphic designer there before decamping for Santa Fe. She approaches the task of creating Trend’s visual identity with grace, elegance, and a subtle minimalism, adeptly showcasing the finest of the Southwest’s unique array of talented creators. Contributing to graphic design and managing our production with efficiency and eternal patience is Jeanne Lambert, an anchoring presence on our team, while editor Christina Procter and copy editor Cyndi Wood bring their commitment to excellence to the editorial content. Consulting editors Rena Distasio and Nancy Zimmerman have guided Trend’s edito-

Christina Procter


Jeanne Lambert Kidd

TREND art + design + architecture + cuisine 2020

rial integrity throughout most of its lifetime and continue to write stories that matter for each issue. Providing fresh insight, Cyndy Tanner doubles as creative consultant and marketing director. Our local distributor, Ezra Leyba, makes sure we see Trend throughout Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, and Abiquiu, allowing our visitors from around the world to enjoy the beauty of the Southwest and share it with friends and family back home. We hope our efforts to bring you the best of the region’s art, design, architecture, and cuisine, both in print and online at, will continue to move and inspire our readers. With the pandemic-induced revenue shortages and limitations on our ability to interact in person, publishing has never been more difficult. We’re working to overcome these obstacles via small business loans and with the support of our longtime readers and advertisers, and we hope to have the print version of Trend in your hands soon. In the meantime, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the digital version of the complete magazine, which is full of the kind of content that has made Trend a success for so many years. Supporting the arts and keeping our readers informed is more important than ever during this era of self-isolation. If you’d like us to mail you a copy of the print edition once it’s available, just click to order on our website or send a check for $14.99 made out to Santa Fe Trend, LLC, to P.O. Box 1951, Santa Fe, NM, 87504. We plan to bring you a magazine that matters for many years to come.

Cynthia Canyon

Cyndi Wood

Janine Lehmann




Audrey Derell’s lifelong journey in the arts began as a child in Finland. She lived and studied performing and visual arts in the Philippines, Belgium, France, Spain, and finally New Mexico. After a 20-year career in dance arts, Audrey transitioned into photography. Twelve years ago a pollen-laden bee in the heart of a desert bloom captivated her mind and heart. Derell specializes in macro-botanical studies and dance imagery, and she enjoys meeting the fascinating artists whose portraits and oeuvre she captures for Trend magazine.

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.

Jade Whaanga is an Aotearoa (New Zealand)–based Indigenous dance artist who hails from Ngāti Kahungunu. Holding a master’s degree in dance studies from the University of Auckland, her research focuses on reclaiming and healing Indigenous femininity through dance. She facilitates workshops and spaces for women to develop and embrace sisterhood.

Rena Distasio has worked as a writer and freelance editor for numerous online and print publications for nearly 20 years. In addition to serving as a member of Team Trend in various capacities since 2011, she also works as a freelance content editor, helping new and established writers craft compelling stories, both fiction and nonfiction. When not pushing words around, she enjoys recreating in the great outdoors surrounding her Tijeras, New Mexico, home, with her husband and dog. Mark Oppenheimer strives to be as fearless in life as he is in the kitchen. A self-trained cook, student of meditation, and lover of all things Miles, Coltrane, Fellini, and the Fermi Paradox, Oppenheimer is endlessly fascinated with words and always on the quest for good food and wine. A private chef, he also writes a long-running column with chef interviews. Oppenheimer grew up in Chicago and relocated from LA to Santa Fe in 2014 after a fruitful career in the film industry.


TREND art + design + architecture + cuisine 2020


Rick Romancito recently retired from The Taos News. During his 30 years at the paper he covered the arts, Native American topics, veterans, and breaking news in award-winning articles and photographs. He is also an accomplished movie actor, artist, and filmmaker. He is of Taos and Zuni Pueblo heritage.




the art of living and living with art

530 South Guadalupe St., Santa Fe, NM 87501 • in the historic railyard district • 505 983 8558



| 50 W. Marcy Street, Suite 103, Santa Fe, NM | 505.820.0596


igurative bronzes date back to the ancient Greek practice of melting weaponry and transforming it into images of gods and goddesses. Yet David Pearson’s work at Patricia Carlisle Fine Art does not illustrate the adventures of the undead, evoking instead living presences with abstracted, figurative expressionism. In a piece like Silent Desert, a fully shrouded lifesize female figure, the results are mysteriously poetic. Pearson often places stylized images of winged women in intimate interaction with flowers and birds. In Song of Songs, a woman holds a short piece of clothesline miraculously strung with white doves. When these pieces work, it is because they draw the viewer into a world where the small, subtle, and simple become monumental. When does pathos pass over into sentiment, and why? Sentiment panders and attempts to please. When genuine pathos is produced it is because the artist has gone deeper, has turned from the viewer’s assumed needs to satisfy the demands of the sculpture itself and face more truly the inner enigmas of bringing being into existence. When Pearson does this, his work becomes worthy of the traditions—ancient and expressive—that seek honor. —Jon Carver

Blue Shadow, bronze, 65" Left: Silent Desert, bronze, 5' 2" Opposite: Delfina, bronze, 27" 31





rigami presents a simple metaphor: we all start with a blank page. What we do with it is up to us, and the possibilities are endless,” says sculptor Kevin Box. Box begins each origamiinspired metal sculpture with a simple piece of white paper folded into a sculptural form and then proceeds to cast these shapes in metal. With an aesthetic of delicate strength, he offers a refreshing way of viewing our complex world from the perspective of connection. Fascinated with ancient ideas and symbols from art makers and historians, he offers a contemporary vision of beauty and wonder that carries forth techniques of old. With a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and now based in Santa Fe, Box creates a myriad of enchanting subjects in various scales. He collaborates with worldrenowned origami masters to create cranes in flight, brilliant metallic winged horses, and shimmering bison, unicorn, and squirrel pieces. His themes are always evolving around the ever-changing cycles of life. The majority of Box’s artwork is created employing the lost-wax casting technique. It involves many makers participating in this classical, artistic process, and the foundry is essential to bringing his origami visions to life in metal. In this way, impermanent paper transforms into long-lasting metal sculptures. “Inside each and every origami form is a beautiful star—a design beneath the surface that reminds me of the complexity going on inside each and every one of us,” he says. Both inside the home and in the garden environment, this artist’s work enlivens its surroundings. Currently, this visionary artist is creating works in a monumental scale, up to 24feet tall, for garden settings. Box’s sculptures are now on view at Kay Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Nesting Pair #31 (left), stainless steel & bronze, 64" high, Duet Series (right), stainless steel & bronze, 72" high; Opposite: Rising Cranes #8, stainless steel on stone, 60" high (left); Folding Planes Monument, ed. of 8, bronze on steel, 84" high (right)

| 600 Canyon Road Santa Fe | 505.365.3992 33



| Studio: 704 Zuni Street, Taos, NM 87571 | 575-751-0375

Trevisan International Art | | 129 North Plaza, Taos, NM


painter inspired by history, literature, and imagination, Charlotte Shroyer grew up in a rural area of central Ohio, where neither her family nor her school system placed much value on art. She chanced upon her future passion when she first took a paintbrush in hand during an elementary education methods class at The Ohio State University. She went on to earn a bachelor’s in French and became a teacher and later a college professor after receiving a PhD in language and learning disorders. She took art classes at various universities along the way, but it was not until a serendipitous trip to Taos, New Mexico, that the “art seed” took hold. “I am inspired by the world—its people, archaeology, and cultures,” says Shroyer. “My favorite authors—among them Orhan Pamuk, Lawrence Durrell, Thomas Pynchon, Mario Vargas Llosa—all explore duality of personality. What the individual shows to the world and what remains hidden influences what appears on my canvas. Through painting, I tap into and expand the depths of my unconscious and a global unconscious that I believe transcends individual and cultural boundaries.” Shroyer remains impacted by her work with children and adults who have limited language skills, and she’s developed visual systems that convey information more symbolically. She cites the early cubism of Pablo Picasso and later work by Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín as influences. “In my work, facial features take on exaggerated planes, colors, and lines, often leading to a final result unanticipated at the start,” she says. Shroyer’s work has earned numerous national and international awards. She is represented in Taos by Jackies Trading Post and in Europe by Trevisan International Art.

Over Our Shoulders (2017), oil on canvas, 36" x 18" Left: A Motley Crew (2020), oil on canvas, 36" x 36" Opposite: Into The Future (2018), oil on canvas, 36" x 36" 35




“Liquid Light” September 2020

ette Ridgeway’s oeuvre of vivid artistry and her signature technique of “layering light” stems from her unorthodox process of paint “Il Mare (the sea)” • 30.5" x 30.5"pouring • Acrylic that creates gem-like veils of transparent color. She has employed this style in her work since the mid-1970s, placing her among the second generation of American Abstract Expressionists. Her mastery of details like paint density, the regulation of paint flow, and color harmonies allow for serendipity while Proudly she skillfully maneuvers canvas angle surface tautness to move the paint Represented at the Ventana Fine Art and on Historic Canyon Road and shape and layer the color. Ridgeway enjoys international recognition, exhibiting globally in over 80 museums, universities, and galleries, Palais-Royale in Paris and the Embassy LIQUIDincluding LIGHT • the Exhibition opens Friday, September 11, 2020of Madagascar. Prestigious awards include 2020 Leonardo DaVinci Prize, Top 60 Contemporary Masters, and Oxford University Alumni Prize at the Chianciano Art Museum, Tuscany, Italy.


VENTANA FINE ART 400 Canyon Road

Santa Fe, NM 87501



The Birth of the Blues, acrylic on linen, 80" x 64" Opposite: Aquamarine Dreams, acrylic on canvas, 60" x 44" 37



409 Canyon Road Santa Fe, NM 87501

505.982.2073 | |


eriving inspiration from the natural world, sculptor and painter Christopher Owen Nelson is interested in the paradox of its infinite complexity and finite simplicity. Driven to achieve a similar state of harmony in the dichotomous elements of his work, he also seeks a balance between refined and unrefined textures, which he feels deepens his relationships with his subjects and himself. With large-scale works in cast glass, concrete, metals, and synthetics, Nelson often makes sitespecific sculptures on commission. In relentless pursuit of new approaches to medium and technique, he’s been making art full-time ever since he quit a job building retaining walls in the mountains of Colorado. A graduate of painting and sculpture at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, his work now exhibits in galleries, museums, and permanent collections across the globe.

Skyland (2020), reverse carved and painted plexiglass, 24" x 18" x 2". Right: Firefly (2020), reversed painting on carved plexiglass, 19" x 16" x 2". Opposite: Glowing Vision (2020), reversed painting on carved plexiglass, 24" x 18" x 2"


MARK WHITE Mark White is an artist who is keen to follow his muse wherever he's led. From his gently moving Kinetic Sculptures that greet visitors at his eponymous gallery to vibrant patinas on engraved aluminum to oil landscapes on canvas, he expertly crafts his visions in various media to convey feelings and stories. The desire to find the perfect form for each of his works drives White to consistently push his boundaries and expand his repertoire.





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A born Renaissance man, White has always embraced a range of media in his art, having studied under sculptors, patina artists, and painters in college. This diversity in skills translates seamlessly throughout his works. His wind sculptures made of bright colors and engraved aluminum panels shine under patinas applied as expertly as any oil paint. Viewers can even see the effects of sculpting in his oil paintings as he guides the paint to create movement along the canvas.

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White's drive to expand his experimentation through different media is ongoing, and with a wealth of new ideas, he's eager to showcase both his latest inspirations and the skills needed to bring them to life. "I see 'new growth' as referring to the expansion of artistic vision," he says. How these explorations will manifest in White's work remains to be seen, and the keen collector will be able to observe them revealed in new and interesting ways across the spectrum of his work. As his techniques develop and diversify, he brings a broadening vision to life.

409 Canyon Road I Santa Fe, NM 87501 I 505.982.2073 I I



| PO Box 593, Taos, NM 87571 | 575.937.1486



andyce Garrett is a maverick, a visionary and a dreamer. She is also the world’s preeminent female monumental granite sculptor. With ranching in her family and creativity in her blood, she draws energy from the backdrop of the desert Southwest. Working from studios in Texas and New Mexico, her art is expansive, just like the areas from which she draws her inspiration. Garrett’s abstract and figurative art have universal appeal. Her work encourages viewer participation and interpretation, and its meaning can shift over time as the viewer changes and evolves. With four decades of sculpting, Garrett’s art is global. She’s represented everywhere from private collections in prestigious homes and businesses to museums, corporations, and public venues. You’ll see her works in the Taos shopping district and at the entrance of the San Antonio Spurs training facility. Her art can be found from California to Washington, DC, and from Barbados to Japan and Switzerland. Recently profiled in the National Sculpture Society’s official publication, Sculpture Review, Garrett’s pieces have profound depth, balance, and intensity—much like their creator. Discover more at

Awakening (2018), California Academy granite, 4' x 6' x 6', approximately 9,000 pounds Top: Emergence triptych (2008), California Academy granite, three pieces each appoximately 3–3½' x 3–3½' each, 3,000 to 3,500 pounds per section. On display at the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. Opposite page: Follow Your Dreams (2019), Texas sunset red granite and California Academy granite, 9' x 9' For more information about these works, contact the artist at 575.937.1486.





metal sculptor based in Madrid, New Mexico, Michael Austin Wright lives and works in a roadside studio made from recycled trusses of an old mining building. His office is in a former railway car that was once a drive-up liquor store. Wright’s life and process is all about reinvention. “I find interesting pieces of metal and envision what they may become together,” says Wright. Amidst his welders, forges, anvils, and woodworking saws are assorted piles of patinaed metal and discarded materials from the nearby mine. He works with objects that call out their purpose in an assemblage process that yields a rustic, whimsical take on Southwestern art. Under his hand a fender from an old Buick becomes a bison, or disparate metal parts elicit a buffalo chase scene. Often, in an ongoing conversation, the works remain in process until he finds the pieces that complete them. Inspired by artist John Chamberlain, who worked with crushed car parts to imitate phrases of poetry, and Antoni Gaudí, whose compositions originated in nature, Wright is interested in the imagination’s role in assemblage. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he taught art and design classes at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Santa Fe Community College for many years. Having shown works at various galleries in Santa Fe, often with large-scale exterior installations, he’s represented at his boxcar gallery in Madrid, open on weekends by appointment.

Blue Horse (2001), patina metal, 7' x 3' x 6' 6" In permanent collection in Chicago, IL Left: Eagle (2003), recycled nails and metal, 6' x 36" x 38" Collection of Wilder Baker, Darien, CT Opposite: Monsoon Maize (2016), welded steel, 36" x 68" x 2" Georgia Maryol permanent collection

| 2785 State Highway 14, Madrid, NM 87010 | 505-577-4907 (call for appointment)


Representing Jane Abrams, Douglas Atwill, Cecilia Kirby Binkley, Kathleen Doyle Cook, Woody Galloway, Bill Heckel, Ann Hosfeld, Steven A. Jackson, Aaron Karp, Reg Loving, Linda Petersen, Julia Roberts and Richard Swenson

Paintings by Ann Hosfeld, bronze sculpture by Bill Heckel Paintings by Aaron Karp

610 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-795-7570 •

Variegated sterling silver bracelets with 18K gold and a variety of precious stones. From top: Humming Bird Bracelet with a large set sapphire; Star Bracelet with multicolored stones; Dragonfly Bracelet with a ruby, Unfolding Bracelet with a green tourmaline and white sapphires | 505-660-0901



stella Loretto, currently the only Native American woman working in monumental bronze sculpting, is recognized internationally as one of the finest sculptors living today. She creates sculptures with the essence of strength, grace, and serenity. Her genuine spiritual nature defines her commitment to integrity and authenticity in her art and in her life. Loretto was born in the Pueblo of Jemez and into a world of artistic tradition. Leaving the Pueblo at the age of 15, she spread her wings to explore other cultures around the world. Her curiosity and desire for adventure took her to Europe, Nepal, Japan, and Australia, among other places. She has studied and trained with many mentors, including her mother and, most notably, sculptor Allen Houser, who encouraged her artistic endeavors and led her to working on monumental sculptures. Today, Loretto is sculpting on a smaller scale, making exquisite, wearable art. She is creating a new beautiful line of jewelry, Realignment 2020.

Kateri, bronze, 36" x 36" x 7' 6"

Earth Mother, bronze, 36" x 36" x 7' 6", base 36"

Prayer of the Peace Warrior “The Peace Warrior’s Prayer is a healing prayer for the global community. It’s about living in harmony upon mother earth, and reuniting the spiritual circle of the human family. It reminds us all of the sacredness of life, and invites us to walk gently with dignity, and integrity, respecting one another and our differences.”

Peaceful Warrior, bronze, 5' diameter x12' tall | 505-660-0901 49





arth Elegance by Tracy Collins is a luxurious, wearable art line that celebrates a womanʼs inherent sensual connection with the Earth. “When we respect the body as the temple of spirit, Earth consciousness and the sacred feminine are one,” says Collins. Her adornments and clothing designs are crafted with hand-painted silks, natural fiber knits, leather, velvet, and feathers as well as gemstones, shells, pods, fossils, and vintage objets dʼart. Collins also creates interior functional art, including lamps, mask sconces, window treatments, land-based installations, and ceremonial tools. Since 2000, she has brought her artistry to costume design for the New Mexico film union, aging and dyeing materials to create authentic patinas as well as craft specialty pieces for various feature films. As a life-long dancer she pioneered a conscious dance community in Santa Fe, Embodydance, which continues to thrive after more than 20 years. Collinsʼ wearable art, adornments, signature pieces, and interior functional art embody the nature-based power for which she’s known. “I harvest locally in the surrounding wilds,” says Collins, who also integrates treasures collected from her travels. “My intention is to heal the separation of spirit and matter and restore sacredness to our collective being.” Collins lives in Tesuque, where she is nourished, fortified, and sustained by the ancient lands of New Mexico. She adds, “Mother Earth is a sentient being. With the gift of life comes the responsibility to respect, honor, and protect precious life on this planet.”

505.988.3760 | Facebook: Earth Elegance 51

JUDY CHICAGO. FRITZ SCHOLDER. BILLY AL BENGSTON. These are just three of the high-profile artists who have passed through the Tamarind Institute’s doors over the past 60 years. In 2020, the illustrious printmaking workshop is marking its diamond anniversary, albeit amid the emergence of COVID-19. Tamarind, however, is no stranger to reinvention or putting heads together for a better solution. In 1960, founding director June Wayne created the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles to rescue the dying art of lithography. The name hailed from the street Wayne lived on in Hollywood. Current director Diana Gaston says Wayne was fond of saying, “If we’re successful in our undertaking, the name Tamarind will come to mean something. If we’re not successful in this venture, it will just be my address.” Tamarind has indeed come to mean something in the world of lithography. After its LA birth in 1970, it moved to Albuquerque, where it has since been under the umbrella of the University of New Mexico. At UNM, Clinton Adams, the first associate director, and Garo Antreasian, the first technical director, established a rich ecosystem of Contemporary artists, printers, and an engaged public. Since its beginnings, Tamarind has amassed a thousands-strong print inventory housed at the UNM Art Museum and trained a fleet of master printers from around the globe, some of whom have returned home to establish their own workshops, including influential printers such as Ken Tyler, Irwin Hollander, and Judith Solodkin. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s Coyote Made Me Do It! (1993) is a monoprint she made at Smith College Print Workshop. Top: Tamarind Printer Training Program participant Alice Gauthier (right), from France, collaborates with artists from UNM’s College of Fine Arts in 2015.


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The Art of Collaboration


“Lithography is the medium we use, but the approach we take is one of collaboration,” Gaston says. “Artist and printer come to the project together, with the printer offering technical expertise and guidance and serving as a conceptual sounding board, and the artist bringing ideas and imagery.” Corrales, New Mexico–based painter Jaune Quick-to-See Smith has been printing with Tamarind since the 1970s. “They make suggestions. You can use them or not, often I do because that’s the medium they work in,” she says. “It’s making art by committee. It’s teamwork, and that process either appeals or not. I like it.” Usually working elbow-toelbow with the master printers and students in the workshop, Quick-to-See Smith drew on a stone delivered to her doorstep and proofed remotely in early summer 2020. Quick-to-See Smith’s work represents a trend Tamarind hopes to cement moving forward. “Tamarind has a great history of working with international artists,” Gaston says. “We’ve also in the last few years been focusing on artists here in New Mexico. Native American and Latinx artists here are a priority for us. I want to maintain our original focus around diversity—of artists, printers, and stylistic approaches.” Gaston also observes that Quick-to-See Smith’s work-from-home approach may become more common as the workshop finds new ways to produce amid social distancing concerns—and considers how it can reinvent the gallery experience for collectors, a key support for the nonprofit organization. “We trying to transform how we show art and communicate about it online,” Gaston says. Recipient of a 2020 Frederick Hammersley Artist Residency, Ellen Lesperance will be working in-house most of July and August. The artist, based in Portland, Oregon, says, “Tamarind is an incredible printmaking facility. I jumped at the chance to do the artist residency.” She’ll be making lithographs for the first time and hopes to create a matrix of the textile-inspired mark-making. “I’m hoping it allows me space to experiment with color in a way I can’t do in my own practice,” she says. Although COVID-19 waylaid some of Tamarind’s 2020 celebratory plans, it’s moving ahead with a retrospective show, Land of Mañana: 60 Years of Innovation at Tamarind Institute, running August 11 to December 12. The title plays off a common New Mexican saying suggesting that everything can be delayed, however, in Tamarind’s case, it nods to the institute’s spirit of innovation as it reinvents itself for the next decades. —Ashley M. Biggers Quick-to-See Smith, Browning of America (2000), oil and mixed media on canvas, Crocker Art Museum collection, Sacramento, California. Right: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

ocated 12 feet below ground, in a room about the size of a single-car garage, its walls constructed from dozens of tire bells weighing 1.5 tons each and plastered over with adobe, is the only repository in the United States dedicated to preserving heirloom seeds of Indigenous origin. Corn, beans, and squash seeds are in the majority, encased in glass jars and burlap sacks, but there are also boxes holding packets of various vegetables and culinary and medicinal herbs. Upstairs at ground level are even more seeds—dozens of tins on the floor, hundreds of packets in boxes—all awaiting planting, cataloging, and storage. This is the Tesuque Pueblo seed bank, established in 2011 under the leadership of the Pueblo’s Agricultural Resources Director Emigdio Ballon. Born and raised in Bolivia,

Ballon (Quechua) has been thinking about how to ensure food security for the human race for most of his life. He received his master’s degree in plant genetics in neighboring Columbia and, while pursuing a PhD at Colorado State University in the early 1980s, assisted with research on the viability of quinoa as a cash crop. A few years later he moved to New Mexico, where he helped found the organic seed and food company Seeds of Change and worked with Marsha Mason on her farm in Abiquiu. In 2005 the Pueblo of Tesuque hired Ballon to reestablish their farming operations. Although individuals had long cultivated small home gardens, the Pueblo had not had a bona fide agricultural program in years. “The people wanted to get back to that,” says Gailey Morgan, the farm’s foreman. “They wanted to bring back edible crops and, of

course, our traditional sacred crops—the three sisters of corn, beans, and squash.” It was a position that suited Ballon’s heart as well as his head. Here, he could put to use not only his decades of scientific knowledge but also a lifelong belief in the interdependence of all life-forms. “In science, we don’t believe in the emotional connection between things,” he says. “But here we have our ceremonies—we pray, we plant, we pray. We are very much in touch with the spiritual.” It’s an approach that has proved fruitful. The 73 acres currently under cultivation include a wide variety of vegetables, beans, and herbs, as well as apple, apricot, and peach orchards. The food produced is distributed first to the Pueblo’s elders, then to the school, and some of it is used to make fruit preserves, and chile and garlic powders are packaged and sold to visitors.

Plants grow in the greenhouse before their seeds are gathered for preservation.


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A Safe Spot for Rare Seeds


The seed bank was the next step to ensure the Pueblo’s agricultural independence. “Seeds are life,” Ballon says. But not just any seed, and certainly not the kinds of seed found in most catalogs and garden centers, which are genetically engineered to produce plants whose seeds are sterile and will not germinate.

people in my country, they actually farm on dry land, with no water.” Ballon and Gailey, along with their two helpers, keep busy with farm duties and with performing germination tests on the seeds before they are stored and labeled with their name, acquisition date, origin, planting date, and germination percentage. With careful storage and regular tests, the seed should keep indefinitely— available for planting on the farm or to Pueblo residents for a small fee. Ballon believes local agricultural independence is the best way to foster and ensure global food security. “We should have a small collection of seeds in every community,” he says, “because tomorrow might be a problem. We need to start asking, ‘How are people going to survive?’ ‘What is our food future?’ ‘What happens when we go to the grocery store and the shelves are empty?’” The answer, he says, is in the seeds we save. —Rena Distasio

Ballon set about instead to collect non-genetically modified heirloom seeds from Native American tribes and other Indigenous people. “For thousands of years, they have worked with these seeds, making selection after selection,” he says. These include, among the many hundreds of varieties stored at the bank, Hopi corn and tobacco, Navajo watermelon, Kickapoo tepary beans, and herbs from Africa. All battle hardened, if you will, and containing the genetic material needed to germinate, grow, and sustain life regardless of soil and climate. Or the availability of technology, which Ballon believes fosters a dangerous dependence on machines and insecticides. “I don’t want to say that technology is not good,” he says, “but, look how certain people live. The Hopi, for instance, and the

Emigdio Ballon in his underground repository in 2014. Top: The seed bank is home to a catalog of heirloom seeds from Indigenous peoples.



Midtown Matters Bringing new life to the heart of the city


n the former campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, numerous buildings stand dark and empty, and there is a feeling of slumber. There is some activity—production companies have leased the Greer Garson Studios and temporary artist studios are being created in an unused building by Vital Spaces—but the relative quiet, amplified by restrictions due to the pandemic, belies the robust development efforts underway to breathe new life into the area with a vibrant, new Midtown District. When SFUAD closed two years ago, it handed 33 buildings on 64.22 acres back to the city of Santa Fe, an unusually large site for a city this size. “For a while now the city’s been looking at how to redevelop and


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redefine St. Michael’s Drive and portions of Cerrillos Road to spur mixed-use development that integrates housing and work opportunities on a pedestrian-friendly streetscape,” says James Feild, senior vice president for land development, Cienda Partners. “This development can really have a transformational effect not only on the campus, but on the whole Midtown area of Santa Fe.” In 2018, the city launched a public engagement campaign to generate ideas for the property’s redevelopment. Common themes began to gel, and this input helped create guidelines for the future development effort. The vision is to create a dynamic urban district in the geographical heart of the Santa Fe that benefits residents throughout the city, a community in which to live, work, play, and learn in an environment of innovation and creativity. The city guidelines prioritize mixed-use and residential housing, technology and innovation, higher education, film and multimedia, public open spaces, and arts and culture. At the same time as the city was doing this work, local individuals and organizations with an interest in developing the

site were already coalescing, basing their ideas on the public input and envisioning a collaborative campus with arts, film, education, and housing. “Santa Fe has always been known as a center of art and creativity,” says Alexander Dzurec, principal of Autotroph Designs. “And we’re really trying to expand that for the 21st century to include cutting-edge forms of technology and artwork and jobs that people could actually make into careers.” Sage Morris-Greene is the project planning coordinator for Team Midtown, the selected development group, and she and Justin Golding began the early discussions and formed the initial team. “While we were putting together local team members, we focused on partnerships—who was going to work well together to create co-programs for a really vibrant environment where you are giving people many different options and opportunities,” Morris-Greene explains. “For example, the higher education partners—UNM, Santa Fe Community College, Higher Education Center, and YouthWorks—are working with the film studios and the public high schools so that a students of all ages and backgrounds can start onto


this education pathway. We’re going to have studios specifically for the students so they can be training with equipment right away, and they’ll be able to intern at the studios. So we’re setting up education pathways that lead directly to a career right on the campus.” To develop such a complex campus environment, they reached out to KDC and Cienda Partners, companies with strong ties to Santa Fe that together bring experience in commercial development, public-private partnerships, and historic rehabilitation. This May, the City officially selected Team Midtown to begin predevelopment activities. These activities include surveying the condition of the existing buildings, their contents, and facilities to see what can be repurposed, as well as continuing to engage the public and gather information and feedback.

This phase will take at least a year, and possibly more. The public input portion of this effort has been derailed somewhat by the emergence of the novel coronavirus. The Meet the Developer series had to be moved online, with the presentations, discussions, questions, and feedback streaming through the city’s YouTube channel. “We’re going to have to wait to some extent until we can actually meet with people in public again and reach out to diverse members of the community so that they can be included the process,” says MorrisGreene. “And that’s important to us. We definitely want people to be seen and heard.” Once gatherings are possible, the developers hope to have a safe, socially distanced public engagement event once every month or two, and the community

There is art throughout the former SFUAD campus. In the buildings, Team Midtown has found collections of pottery, photography, and rare books as well as fine art and custom furniture. Outside there are many sculptures and murals, around which the team is planning an art walk. Opposite: An architectural concept by MASS demonstrates one way to express Santa Fe’s historical style in a contemporary manner.



ing principles for our plans are the same things the citizens said they wanted.” Stantec, the national urban design firm, worked with these goals and design principles along with the Midtown Team’s thoughts to come up with a starting point. “We quickly coalesced around the idea that there probably needs to be a central promenade running between the Fogelson Library and the existing quad that connects to Cerrillos Road,” Feild says. “We’re also trying to weave everything together so there’s not just an education district


partners and the city will likely hold events, as well. The team has also planned early activation events to reinvigorate excitement for the site and get people to see the buildings in order to prompt ideas. Team Midtown will use their website to provide updates, post plans, conduct polls, and gather other forms of feedback. While this input will inform the plan and eventual design, the team is not starting from scratch. “Because we’re starting with the information that was gathered by the city,” Morris-Greene says, “the guid-

over here and a film district over there. We want the various uses to work together to encourage people onto our pretty, new, walkable streets.” Dzurec says, “This is really a great opportunity to look back at Santa Fe’s past and learn from it, but do it in a way that’s forward thinking. I see it as a place for architecture that is still rooted in historical precedents, with plazas and courtyards, portales and colonnades, and stepped building forms, but in a much more modern and contemporary way.” “We are very committed to keeping the buildings that we know have a profound history in Santa Fe,” Morris-Greene says, “so the Fogelson Library, Greer Garson Theater, Garson Studios, Benildus Hall, the Visual Arts Center, those kinds of buildings we’re definitely going to keep. It will take some time to go through and make sure that the due diligence is done correctly, that we understand the buildings’ significance properly, that we have adequately catalogued the arts and the inventory.” Feild says he has never worked on any project that has such a treasure trove of existing art, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. “I don’t think there’s anyone that could tell you what all is here. Every time


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This planning diagram for the Midtown District shows a central promenade running between Fogelson Library and Cerrillos Road, at left. Opposite: The Visual Arts Center is one of the many iconic buildings that will remain in the district’s renewal. At bottom is an early architectural rendering by Autotroph Design presented to the City of Santa Fe as part of a process to solicit ideas for the Midtown District. This process predates Team Midtown, but helped form the city’s guidelines for redevelopment.

we go into a building, my head spins at the assets that the city owns and can be put to good use, that need to inventoried and taken care of.” The Fogelson Library has existing library books but also a collection of fine art and rare books and pottery. Other buildings have rare photography collections. A signed piece of furniture in the Visual Art Center may be an important artwork. And on and on. “And sometimes it’s a little spooky, you know. You open a door and look in what had been a classroom or a darkroom, and it looks like people just set the pencil down and walked out.” For historic preservation of the artworks, the team will be working with the Christian Brothers and others to determine what needs to be conserved and how. Some of the artworks may be placed with local museums. And then there is the significant amount of public art on campus, such as the murals and sculptures. “Because a big part of our development is walkability and outdoor public spaces,” says Morris-Greene, “we’d like to create a walking art path throughout the campus that has a lot of these pieces situated on it, and also commission new artworks from

local artists to weave together the past and the future.” The team has also discovered that the existing utility and information grids on campus are quite outdated. “We’re going to be building a whole lot of new square footage, so now is really a great time to look holistically and think big picture about technology, energy, and other infrastructure systems,” Dzurec says. The team is looking at microgrid work and sustainability efforts on a whole campus level and considering what is needed to future-proof the site in terms of technology and environmental sustainability. Flexibility in buildings is going to be key, explains Dzurec. “One of the things brought about by COVID-19 is that a house isn’t just a house anymore, it’s also an office. It’s exciting to see how this notion of work and social distancing are going to play into design and planning in the future, and determine how we can provide flexibility in our master plan to allow things to change over time and not become obsolete within 10 or 20 years.” But as an early effort, signs point to the film industry. “There are production com-

panies that have the Garson Studios leased today and others that would like to be there as soon as they can,” Feild says. “That tells us that if we were able to produce some new soundstages we could probably start to get those jobs on site faster. So that may be the place we start working first.”

Members of Team Midtown include KDC and Cienda Partners as the master developers. Local team partners continue to be added and include: for education, University of New Mexico, Santa Fe Community College, Higher Education Center, and Santa Fe Art Institute; for housing, HomeWise, Yes Housing, Aberg Property Company, and Phase One Realty; community members Christus St. Vincent’s, YouthWorks, and Live Arts Santa Fe; and for entertainment, La Fonda on the Plaza and Pacifica Ventures, representing the film industry and creator of the Albuquerque Studios. Consultants include Sage MorrisGreene and Justin Golding; Stantech Urban Design, Architecture and Engineering; Hogan Group; and Autotroph Design.; R



Filling in the Blanks


fter 18 years of living and working as an artist in New Mexico, John Vokoun was ready to leave the state. As many midcareer artists do, he’d seen sales of his Information Age–inspired contemporary paintings lag. With the price of studio spaces in Santa Fe double what they’d once been, he could no longer afford to stay. “I had one foot out the door,” he says. Then he discovered Vital Spaces. The nonprofit organization occupies vacant buildings across the City Different to provide affordable studio space to an array of underrepresented artists. Vital Spaces also aims to enhance Santa Fe’s cultural scene by allowing artists space to create, show their work, collaborate, and teach. With three physical spaces across Santa Fe, it has also pivoted during COVID-19 to engage the public with art and provide paid opportunities to artists.


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Nonprofit Vital Spaces fosters Santa Fe’s contemporary art scene with affordable studio space and more

Jonathan Boyd, a furniture maker with a background in real estate investing, founded Vital Spaces. As his fine furniture business grew, he noticed that downtown Santa Fe studio space was exorbitantly expensive. “It was prohibitive to a young creative wanting to start a business and have their work seen in the world,” he says. At the same time, however, every time he would walk around the plaza, he would notice the throng of storefronts and offices standing vacant. “I had this idea to fill the vacancies with temporary space for creatives, which would serve emerging artists and serve the city as a whole.” After Boyd’s brainstorm, he discovered a similar organization already existed. Anita Durst’s Chashama does comparable work in New York City. Durst was “essential in me moving forward so quickly,” Boyd says. She mentored Boyd during Vital Space’s start-up phase, and the legal frameworks

she shared allowed Boyd to fast-track the opening. In March 2019 he debuted the first of now three Vital Spaces annexes at 220 Otero Street. The 8,000-squarefoot space is walking distance from the plaza and was awaiting redevelopment to become luxury condos. In fall 2019, Vital Spaces took over a corner retail space at 1604 St. Michael’s Drive, where artists such as RJ Ward, Israel Haros Lopez and John Paul Granillo from the Alas de Agua Art Collective, and Sarah Stolar have mounted short-term displays. In February 2020, it leased a space in Santa Fe’s Midtown that was formerly part of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Vital Spaces has signed agreements with 25 artists. It accepts new artists via rolling applications, which a curatorial committee reviews. Committee members include Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, faculty member, Institute of American Indian Arts; Joanne


Art Matters


Clockwise, from top left: Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt and Santa Fe City Councilor Renee Villarreal during a site visit at the Warehouse 21 studio at Vital Spaces; Vital Spaces founder Jonathan Boyd; Kyle Luke Mascarenas, recording studio coordinator of Warehouse 21; Gallegos y Reinhardt with Raashan Ahmad; John Vokoun at his studio space on Otero Street in downtown Santa Fe. Opposite: Vokoun with his piece Structure of a Sunset (2017), oil on panel, right, at a Vital Spaces group show.

Lefrak, director of education and curator of public practice at SITE Santa Fe; Bess Murphy, curator at the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts; and Ariel Plotek, curator of fine arts at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “We’re trying to help the populations that are underrepresented in any way you take that word,” Boyd says. The committee hopes to support Indigenous and Latinx artists, as well as those in underrepresented mediums, like performance art. Rent is set at a standard $100 per month; some who are unable to afford that fee help out more, and those who can pay more do. As artists like Vokoun attest, access to affordable studio space can make or break creative careers and programming. Musician, poet, DJ, and event mastermind Raashan Ahmad’s critically acclaimed albums have taken him to performances all over the world, but as an artist (and dad) working from home, it was difficult to be

prolific. “Literally there was a before and after I got that space,” he says. “My productivity went through the roof.” In December 2019, Ana Gallegos y Reinhardt, longtime Warehouse 21 Executive Director, helped the youthfocused arts nonprofit move out of the Santa Fe Railyard after 22 years. Now serving as a consultant, she helped W21 establish a hub site at Vital Spaces. There, they set up a recording studio, where it has recorded interviews with teens talking about the arts and plans to produce podcasts in the future. “Vital Spaces brings visions to reality for artists. A lot of the artists wouldn’t be producing at the level they are without it, especially due to the affordable studio rental fee. It’s such a huge relief,” she says. With diverse artists working side by side, Vital Spaces has become fertile creative ground. “There’s something about

the small occurrences of interactions,” Vokoun says. “It’s pretty inspirational for me on a personal level. And a lot of the artists here are asking my opinions of their work. I’ll be working on sculptures this year as a result of those conversations.” Vokoun is planning to collaborate with Justin Skillstad, whose work focuses on the internal human narrative and whose mediums range from glass to cardboard, and Patience Pollock, an interdisciplinary artist who often uses found materials. “In so many ways, it’s just about being inspired by beautiful things,” Ahmad says. “I walk in and there’s a huge quilt being made, or someone is prepping for a show with huge paintings laid out on the ground. It’s so inspiring to be in a place where so much creativity is happening.” Creativity is indeed happening. With its artists taking the lead, Vital Spaces has mounted gallery shows, held workshops,


Installation in progress for Tempest (2020), a collaborative project by Patrick Boyles, Devon Hawkes Ludlow, Keith Ryan Riggs, and Sarah Stolar. Bottom: A Vital Spaces event with Cohdi Harrell and special guests, titled And Then There Were None or My Weight in Ice or a Presentation of Unfinished Ideas (2019)


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Art Matters

thrown dance parties, and more. “I’ve tried to use every inch of that building,” Ahmad says. “I’ve thrown a couple different youth workshops there. I held a storytelling event there. They are very open for us to be artists and do whatever we want to do creatively.” Setting up artists to explore and evolve is at the heart of Vital Spaces’ mission and its far-reaching effects. “Santa Fe has this reputation as an arts town,” Boyd says. “To be perfectly honest, I believe it’s riding the coattails of that reputation. It’s working with a model of collecting and art engagement that’s dated. It’s essential to make a way for Santa Fe to be an art destination in the future.” For a time, Meow Wolf represented the leading edge of art employment and engagement for young and emerging artists. However, that role seems to be evolving. “Meow Wolf is working to provide Patience Pollock takes a break at the Otero Street location. Right: Vital Spaces artists Jamison Chas Banks, John Vokoun, RJ Ward, Patience Pollock, Justin Skillstad, and Shayla Blatchford

careers and a youthful vibrancy to this city, which I believe is an essential ingredient in Santa Fe’s success,” Boyd says. “But with the success of Meow Wolf has come higher rents in what was a more affordable part of this city, making studio space even harder to come by.” Vital Spaces is working with engaged, studio-practice-based artists and making sure they have time and space to explore their work. As the new coronavirus hit in the spring of 2020, what it meant to support artists within and beyond Vital Spaces changed rapidly. Santa Fe Public Schools commissioned Vital Spaces’ artists to record athome, educational art projects to share with students. It also drafted off similar initiatives happening across the country to create #NMTwinning. It invited the public to reinterpret works from five New Mexico institutions: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Museum of International Folk Art, and New Mexico Museum of Art. It also sent out prize money to the community—five randomly selected $200 prizes each week in May, and three top prizes of $300. In May, Vital Spaces partnered with 516 ARTS in Albuquerque and The Paseo Project in Taos in an open call for submissions for Windows on the Future. The show,

installed July 1 and up for a month, featured 60 different artists or organizations who mounted displays in vacant storefront windows in the three host cities. Each participant received a $500 stipend for the installation. “We wanted to get desperately needed money out to the artistic community. And we saw it as an opportunity to invite the public to safely engage with vibrant art installations that are very much of this moment but look to the future,” Boyd says. In Santa Fe, selected projects included one from W21 featuring work by students. What It Feels Like to Be Free featured portraits of migrant children that have died in southern border detention camps. Sean Paul Gallegos from Albuquerque installed Yes, Strings Attached! featuring hand-sewn anatomical hearts with strings stretching between them to represent the invisible lines connecting humanity. And, in another project, Santa Fe artist Daniel Forest installed an assemblage of ceramic forms that mimicked a coral reef. Perhaps these window installations will give viewers a taste of what the Vital Spaces’ artists experience in their space. “We can reflect on the meaning of aesthetics and the role of art in our lives,” Vokoun says. “A huge part of it for people like myself is having the time and space to dream and ponder.” R


TAOS Trends


Water, Earth, Stone, Flesh Currents of tradition flow through generations of Taos Pueblo artists


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TAOS Trends

water originated at Blue Lake, high in the mountains above their village. The lake’s sacred significance is ever present, especially this summer, as tribal members commemorate the 50th anniversary of its return from federal government control in 1970. “Back when Theodore Roosevelt took our land in 1906 and made it a national forest, our people couldn’t hunt up there anymore and go up for religious doings,” renowned sculptor John Suazo says. “My grandfather, Jim Suazo, used to say the men used to go up there to hunt, hiding from the rangers. And they would hide during Blue Lake ceremonies, waiting until the tourists were done fishing.” Blue Lake was revered for centuries before Spanish contact in the 16th century. The ceremonies conducted there are so sacred that the tribe prohibits sharing any information about them with outsiders. So, when President Roosevelt established the Carson National Forest in 1906—with-

out informing the tribe that it included Blue Lake—this was an epic offense. Jim Suazo, in fact, was beaten over the head with a pistol by rangers who caught him hunting in the area, as chronicled in Frank Waters’ seminal novel The Man Who Killed the Deer. Like the river connects the villagers with the lake, there are currents that connect the village with its artists, stemming from longpracticed traditions and beliefs, of which the Blue Lake is an integral part. These traditions and beliefs have influenced generations of Taos Pueblo artists, past and present, such as John Suazo, DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo, Dawning Pollen Shorty, and Jonathan Warm Day Coming. The stone sculptures of John Suazo have a mythic grace, and much of his work stems from his love of stories, typified by imagery that often depicts women and children. He says his works are inspired in part by his late uncle Ralph Suazo, whose sculptures reflected the people and nature

Sculptor John Suazo talks about his work in his studio near the village. When he finishes a piece, he says he hopes it will give the viewer a sense of it “being alive.” Previous pages: Water in the Rio Pueblo flows from Blue Lake, a site sacred to the people of Taos Pueblo in Northern New Mexico. 68

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n the winter not too long ago, Taos Pueblo kids would bundle up to carry metal buckets down to the Rio Pueblo from their adobe homes in the village. Sometimes they’d have hatchets in hand, which they’d use to hack holes in the ice. Armed with cold, clear water, they’d stagger back to their houses, where the heavy buckets would be placed on wood stoves to warm for use as wash water. Taos Pueblo artist Jonathan Warm Day Coming says this is what he often did to get ready for school. It’s easy to romanticize this as a cultural snapshot of a time past, but the tribal council decided long ago to never have plumbing or electricity in the central pueblo area. So, if you need water for washing or drinking or cooking, you go down to the river to get it. In the mind of a Taos Native, there has always been something holy about it. Back when the people collected water in micaceous clay ollas, they did so knowing that this


John Suazo’s Raven Man (2020), New Mexico alabaster, embodies a shared consciousness between human and animal. Right: Mother and Child (2020), Moroccan selenite, glows when a light is placed within.

around the Taos Pueblo, and also credits his experience working with renowned Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Houser. While Ralph worked primarily in cedar wood, John works in alabaster, limestone, and granite, which he may travel hundreds of miles to locate. Although now in his late 60s, Suazo says he is fighting the years as much as the weight of his medium. He feels that his efforts to forge ahead are always done with the shadow of his ancestors looking over his shoulder— and in the knowledge that his grandfather might approve. DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo, a much younger artist, takes a turn from convention, drawing from Native traditions along with the aesthetics of Japanese anime. Her multimedia paintings, rendered in India ink, colored markers and pencils, and acrylic paint, have made patrons at Santa Fe Indian Market step back and reevaluate their ideas of what Native art really is. The daughter of well-known artists Gary David Suazo and Geraldine Tso, Suazo began making art at an early age. One of

her fondest memories is from the time she attended the Taos Pueblo Head Start as a young child. “We were drawing on the floor with crayons and I remember one of the teachers was like, ‘Oh wow, DeAnna, you put a neck on your person!’ And, for some reason, that memory always stuck. Why wouldn’t you put a neck on a human figure?” This past spring, Suazo exhibited with the 63rd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix. It was the first week of March and signs of the coronavirus emergency were already evidenced by diminished crowds. Suazo’s work, though, did not fail to impress, especially those works recalling the style of Plains Indian ledger art for which she has gained quite a following. “My art now is about Indigenous women present today, so what I’m doing is incorporating traditional attire—of course, it’s pre-contact attire,” she says. Ledger art, created by Plains Indians, is rooted in pictographic imagery created on buffalo skins and other materials. Around the 1860s, this imagery was transitioned to the discarded ledger books of accountants. The lined and numbered pages notwithstanding, these drawings create an indelible account of life ways before the advent of photography. “The stories of ledger art, how these warriors and prisoners put down their stories on ledgers given to them while imprisoned, that’s what I do,” she says. “We’re deep into our traditions. I’m Taos Pueblo and Navajo, but we’re also very modern and know how to balance the two . . . . For our tribe to be one of the first to get our land back from the US government was monumental. For so many Indigenous communities, their land was taken and they’re no longer able to do their ceremonies.” Meanwhile, ceramics artist and teacher Dawning Pollen Shorty initially tried not to become an artist. She was born into a family steeped in the arts; her late grandmother Geri Track was a model for Taos Society of Artists painters and other family members, including her uncle, John Suazo, are well known. Still, as a teen, Pollen Shorty bristled at the idea that


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DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo (right) used to hang around bookstores, poring over art books like Fruits, with photography of Japanese Harajuku girls dressed in vivid clothing. “Some of their clothing reminded me of the corn dances at the Pueblo. The colors blended together like there’s a palette going on. Those are the colors I use in my work.” Top: Untitled (2019), Prismacolor marker, black India ink, colored pencil, and acrylic paint on canvas. Bottom from left: Waiting Maiden (2020), Prismacolor marker, black India ink, colored pencil, and acrylic on 1907 ledger paper; Spring Dances (2018), acrylic on canvas


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people would have “these preconceived ideas about who I was based on who my parents or my grandparents or my uncles are, you know, and I just thought like, hey, ‘Know me before you think about me! Maybe I want to be a scientist or I might want to be a veterinarian.’ I just felt like put into this box. I didn’t like it.” She delved into archaeology and photography instead and now tells stories with clay. “I’m always looking to the past,”

Dawning Pollen Shorty in her classroom at Taos Academy, where she teaches a new generation of artists. Top: Yeibichai Sunset (2018), micaceous clay, feathers, and mixed media. Bottom: Winter Dance (2018), micaceous clay and mixed media

she says. “You just see this continuation of patterns that started a long time ago and are still being used today. And then you have a connection.” The ceramic tradition at Taos Pueblo is primarily utilitarian, including the widemouthed olla used to collect water from the Rio Pueblo and small bean pots used for cooking, both made from local micaceous clay. It wasn’t until the 20th century when the tourist trade popularized the decorative pottery of other Pueblo tribes that Taos artists began incorporating figurative designs into pots made only as works of art. “When I was developing my style, I was doing it from a purely aesthetic point of

view,” Shorty says. “I just want to show people beauty and simplicity.” Always an innovator, Pollen Shorty’s work is becoming more satirical and political. “I don’t really show those pieces,” she says, “because the public isn’t ready. It’s from life. It’s from what happens. They’re too controversial.” Jonathan Warm Day Coming also hails from an honored lineage that includes the Taos Pueblo painter Eah-Ha-Wa (Eva Mirabal), whose gouache and watercolor cartoons famously depicted World War II as well as pastoral Pueblo scenes. Works by both were shown together in a special exhibition at the Harwood in 2013. Warm Day Coming grew up at the Pueblo, unlike many members today who


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Jonathan Warm Day Coming, The Tastiest Plums (2014), acrylic on canvas. Bottom from left: New Buffalo Commune (2015), acrylic on canvas, is the artist’s take on Taos hippies, referencing the iconic Grant Wood painting; Cacique (2018), acrylic on canvas, refers to the title given to the men of one lineal descent whose generational duty is to oversee and pass down their knowledge of Taos Pueblo’s intimate religious life to fellow tribal members.


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Jonathan Warm Day Coming. Left: The Plum Harvest (1996), embossed paper, is a tribute to the annual harvesting of wild plums, part of late summer life at Taos Pueblo.

live outside of the village, and that experience informed his personal vision. Within his artwork, one can glimpse an ideal image of Taos Pueblo life: women in traditional attire picking chokecherries and men singing at night on the middle bridge in the village, harvesting corn, and gathering water from the river. He works primarily in acrylic on canvas with a representational, illustrative style. In each of his paintings, there is an attention to detail without the hard-edged adherence of an academic’s approach. That’s because these are memories, and when fellow

tribal members see his work, they nod in assent, for these moments are shared, part of the village community. As Warm Day Coming began to develop his signature style, made famous by his painting Night for Songs and Stories that was used to promote the now-defunct Taos Talking Pictures in the 1990s, he was also writing. For many years he’s been working on a novel rich with personal insights from his upbringing. Another book nearing completion, written in collaboration with Lois Rudnick, is Eva Mirabal: Three Generations of Tradition and Modernity,

the first comprehensive book about her art and life. The contemporary art of Taos Pueblo flows from water, stone, earth, and the deep traditions of its people. During the fight for Blue Lake in 1969, tribal elder Severino Martinez said, “The Blue Lake is the lifeline of this country. This is what has been told by our forefathers and their elders. This Blue Lake is not only a lake, but the blessing that we get from that lake belongs to everybody.” Western culture often has a need to understand by full disclosure, even if that admission may ultimately be discarded because it doesn’t fit a preconceived idea. In some respects, it would rather hold to a stereotype than a simpler truth. Martinez said as much when he stated, “We know this is true, although we do not know how to explain it or prove it to you who are not Indians.” John Suazo puts it more directly. “We were here first. This is our land.” As is the Blue Lake. A Blue Lake commemorative show at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, to be rescheduled to 2021, will exhibit works by local artists as part of a citywide initiative to acknowledge the fraught—yet ultimately triumphant—history of the neighboring Pueblo. R




| 135 N. Plaza, Taos, NM 87571 | 575-770-4462



fter 38 years of collecting art in Taos with his wife, Carol, and most of the past 21 years working in a very small studio with a leaking roof, Ron Larimore finally moved into a studio/gallery space just off the Taos Plaza with visibility, traffic, and a dry roof. He finds the opportunity to talk with visitors to be rewarding and inspirational. Primarily a landscape painter in oils, he likes to tell people, “I paint what I see, or at least what I think I saw.” Having spent most of his working life in the investment business, Larimore always had a watercolor set at hand wherever he traveled. About six years ago he switched to oils and has never looked back. Drawing inspiration from Taos artists Walt Gonske, Rod Goebel, and Robert Daughters, color permeates most of his paintings. He’s also motivated by the expressionistic works of Russian painter Vitaly Makarov. Recent paintings based on the Arizona desert seem to be softening his palette, but he still finds Northern New Mexico his favorite landscape. Larimore likes to paint en plein air, but can generally be found at his studio/gallery, along with his two dogs, Chester and Molly. Right: Blaze of Fall, oil on canvas, 16" x 12" Below: Morada Y Calvario, oil on panel, 12" x 24" Opposite: Arizona Dry Wash, oil on panel, 12" x 12"





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Fire & Ice 39/40, diptych, cold wax and oil, 60" x 40" Opposite page: Fire & Ice 38 (Inset image: Fire & Ice 42), cold wax and oil, 36" x 48"



ary Stratton’s studies at the Pasadena/Seattle School of Interior Design and the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle in the 1980s included classes in color, painting, and design. These experiences helped shape and guide her artistic pursuits in encaustic and, more recently, cold wax and oil painting. But having spent most of her early career in the corporate world of magazine advertising in Seattle, as well as later years in real estate in Seattle and Sun Valley, Idaho, it wasn’t until 2009 that Stratton made the decision to launch her painting career. Stratton opened her first studio in Sun Valley and focused on encaustic painting. After moving to Taos, New Mexico, in 2013, she began exploring cold wax and oil, a direction that has turned out to be so rewarding, both personally and professionally, that she now works exclusively in the cold wax and oil medium. In 2017 she opened her gallery/studio on the Taos Plaza, and she also shows at Royal Street Fine Art in Aspen, Colorado, enjoying success with art buyers from all over the world. Inspired by the skies, landscapes, and hues of the Southwest and working mainly in the abstract, Stratton puts an emphasis on color exploration, leading to bold and vivid combinations in both smooth and textured surfaces. Her vision and planning for upcoming works continues to excite her, and she feels the possibilities are endless. Stratton enjoys the challenge of creating custom pieces for a client’s individual style and space, and she welcomes all inquiries. Numerous bodies of work in encaustic and cold wax and oil can be viewed on her website.

| Gallery/Studio: 102 Dona Luz St | Taos, NM 87571 | 575-770-0760


Moving Arts


Seeding Stars nurtures new generations of leadership and creativity





anta Fe–based Dancing Earth Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations not only performs internationally, but also brings powerful programs to local communities, pueblos, and reservations. Artistic director Rulan Tangen founded the organization in 2004. It has since recruited many members, who in turn influence younger generations with dance programs that are grounded in culture. What makes these programs successful are the individuals—the dancers, activists, and teachers—who bring unique perspectives to Indigenous contemporary dance. Anne Pesata is one such force. She identifies with her Jicarilla Apache heritage and is also of Puerto Rican and Filipino ancestry. Having grown up dancing in powwows, Pesata first met Tangen while

participating in the National Dance Institute when she was in elementary school. Arriving in Santa Fe from San Francisco via New York, Tangen comes from a multitude of ancestral waters, including Pampangan, Norwegian, Spanish, Chinese, French Canadian, Negrito, Scottish, and Irish. She is also adopted (hunka) by Lakota Tiyospaye of Kul Wicasa Oyate and claimed by families of Kanai and of Anishinaabeg/Métis people. She’s interested in how culture shapes a person as a dancer, and she saw something special in Pesata early on. Within a decade, Pesata says she was “enthusiastically attending everything” that Dancing Earth offered, including summer intensives and productions. “The whole reason I wanted to be a part of Dancing Earth was I saw an image of myself,” she

says. “It was the first time I felt like I could be something more than just an outlier.” By 2014 she was a core dancer with the company. Drawn to its eco-conscious and culturally informed work, Pesata explains, “When the motivation comes from a deeper place, a more real place, I think it resonates deeper. We give the audience an opportunity to participate and be inspired to create change.” As the company’s name implies, its productions often address the integral part we play with nonhuman existence. With transformative contemporary dance rooted in various backgrounds and techniques, performances aim to educate audiences about our relationship with the environment and generally involve ecofriendly costumes and stage design with a low carbon footprint. On stage, earth,

Dancing Earth artists whisper invocations to the audience during a 2020 performance of Between Underground and Skyworld. From left: Ciera Budge, Rulan Tangen, Kayla Banks, Natalia Aceves-Ghezzi, Trey Pickett, Justin Giehm, and Raven Bright, in costumes by Connie WindWalker and Tangen made from repurposed materials, with set pieces by Kayo Muller and Drew Van Brahn. Opposite: Rulan Tangen, founding director and choreographer of Dancing Earth.


Moving Arts

representatives for the Albuquerque episode of KQED’s If Cities Could Dance series. Next, Pesata will collaborate with Diné hip-hop artist Def-i on a music video. Pesata says that training with Dancing Earth has developed and strengthened her body, unlocking its potential. “They want to see you succeed,” she says. Another dancer, Deollo Johnson of XiAmaru Aboriginal Indigenous American heritage, spent most of his life training in martial arts and has a background in West African, capoeira, modern, jazz, aerial, and classical Thai dance. In 2007, Tangen saw Johnson perform West African dance, and she shared her vision for the company. Johnson went on to tour with Bodies of Elements, Walking on the Edge of Water, Seeds, and Seeds: Re Generation productions. The company is engaged in healing and unlocking cultural knowledge, and this is one of the many reasons Johnson became involved in Dancing Earth. He says Tangen cultivates a safe space for deep exploration of one’s own culture. He’s since been involved in touring and teaching, most recently with the cultural creative movement

water, sky, and the cosmos are inseparable from human bodies. As Tangen says, “The heartbeat of the Earth is the drum— the pulse of the dance.” With a focus on health and wellness as well as Native representation in the arts, 80

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Pesata recently performed at her home community in Jicarilla Apache. She’s into freestyle and spirit dance and recently accompanied another member, Raven Bright, in the 18th Annual Breakin’ Hearts hip-hop event in Albuquerque. Both were also selected as


Anne Pesata performs in Seeds: Re Generation, a land-based production at Ghost Ranch Education Center, in a costume by Cheryl Odom with fabric by Israel Haros Lopez. Right: Deollo Johnson during his residency at Santa Fe Art Institute in 2012, preparing for Walking At The Edge of Water, an intertribal contemporary dance expression of Indigenous water perspectives.


Teaching artist Xeric Tlaloc Meraz leads a Dancing Earth youth workshop at a Montana public school during a company tour several years ago.

program at Cochiti Pueblo where he works with elementary school children. He’s also been delivering virtual qigong classes during the coronavirus pandemic. Someday, he hopes, Dancing Earth will have a physical facility dedicated to rehearsal, classes, and workshops. It’s a dream Tangen shares. The company now rents studio space and she hopes to secure a permanent space to host multidisciplinary Indigenous collaborations, bringing together those working in food, wellness, architecture, and research, with the aim of re-storying Indigenous identities. Tangen believes that Indigenous perspectives can promote healthier human relations worldwide. As future goals loom, the dancers keep evolving, and the programs more farreaching. Natalie Benally, assistant and rehearsal director with Dancing Earth,

began focusing more on community work when she was also hired as an Indigenous program manager at Girls Inc. of Santa Fe. Of Diné, Zuni Pueblo, Southern Ute, and Mexican heritage, Benally was introduced to Dancing Earth in 2005 at the Native Wellness Institute in San Diego when she was only 16. She went on to get a bachelor’s degree in theater and a teaching degree at Fort Lewis College, and then joined Dancing Earth full time. “I wanted to do work that honored my artistic self and that is able to encompass everything I am culturally,” she says. “I am a person of two worlds and it’s a dance in itself,” she laughs. She speaks to navigating a traditional world rooted in Diné culture and a contemporary world of technology and social structures. She acknowledges Dancing Earth has provided her with tools and skills to address the dualities.

“We are people of the future,” Benally says. When asked about the large body of Indigenous works that focus on historical trauma, she notes “that’s not all we are.” She points out that for many audiences, Dancing Earth productions are their first experience with Indigenous dance. “That’s a critical opportunity,” she says. This year Benally is mentoring with Tangen, who is guiding her in leading online classes, which the company launched in March. “All our live programs for the foreseeable future have been canceled,” reports Tangen. “Yet the gifts carried by the teaching artists seem to be what people need at this time: to connect body, mind, spirit, memory, imagination, intuition, and hope.” Benally recently taught a Hózhó In Motion class, which incorporates Diné


Moving Arts

philosophy. “It means balance and harmony in all aspects of life,” she says. “The class is centered around finding hózhó in our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits.” Through the class, she guides participants in a core Dancing Earth exercise called the medicine wheel. This involves grounding one’s feet and shifting one leg toward the cardinal directions and back to the center. “In our daily lives, we are so busy going in many directions, that we often forget to come back to our center to regroup,” she says. Acknowledging the wisdom that is held in the body, in movement, and in cultural practices, one can begin to appreciate that infinite potential to unlock knowledge within each person. That has ripple effects in communities. In addition to classes, Dancing Earth has started facilitating collaborative virtual productions, inviting artists around the world to participate. Among their recent live productions was Between Underground and Skyworld, which premiered at Arizona State University Gammage performing arts center in Phoenix. Tangen explains, “The show 82

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considered Indigenous futurities from the perspective of a new generation of young leaders searching for ancestral wisdom and remembering their powers as eco-warrior superheroes—to dream and embody a way forward for seven generations ahead.” This year, Dancing Earth is focused on training its dancers in high-integrity teaching methodologies with the goal to engage more Native youth. “Our intention is to uplift and support our communities, bringing movement practices that help us collectively move through fear, grief, sadness, and disconnection into an experience of culture and collective,” says Tangen. “This gives the teaching artists a chance to embody their purpose on Earth.” As the organization moves online, Tangen says: “This feels like an expression of global artistic collaboration for the reclamation of cyberspace as a realm of liberation, where we can reimagine and animate a reIndigenized future.” As the next generation of Indigenous dancers prepare to take the stage, we are reminded of how important our songs, stories, and dances truly are. R


Deollo Johnson instructs youth at Keres Children’s Learning Center, a nonprofit Indigenous Montessori Institute serving Cochiti Pueblo. Johnson, who teaches acrobatics, capoeira, and movement practices, guides students in cross-lateral movements, part of an Educational Kinesiology methodology that prepares the brain for learning.

original artwork and artisan-made goods designed and curated by kelly o’neal 340 read street insta/k.oneal_santafe

Art as Activism Potter, designer, and filmmaker brings revolutionary fervor to his quest for truth and transformation




you Google “the first revolution in America,” you’ll get more than five million results for the American Revolution, the one in which Anglo colonists sought independence from the British Crown. Yet almost 100 years earlier, the real first revolt took place in this country when 46 Pueblos throughout New Mexico organized a rebellion and, in one fell swoop, drove the Spanish conquistadors from their lands. “Most people do not know about the Pueblo Revolt of 1680,” says Virgil Ortiz. “It isn’t taught in our schools; it isn’t in our history books. It has been swept under the carpet for hundreds of years because of the genocide against Indigenous peoples.” Ortiz, who comes from Cochiti Pueblo and was taught to work with clay by his mother and grandmother almost before he could walk or talk, is an artist of many genres. But the story he’s telling through his art is always the same: the perseverance in the fight for justice and equality. It’s the quintessential American tale, and—as we’ve seen in recent months with the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement and other protests, not to mention New Mexico’s recent removal of colonial statues—it won’t end until the battle is won. The youngest of six children, Ortiz says he “had the most time to experiment with clay, sitting next to our mother.” After school each day, he’d go home to clay. “I thought every family worked with clay,” he says. “I did not even know that it was art that was being created.” The practice involved going on trips to nearby mountains to harvest the clay and gather wild spinach, which is boiled down for days into a sludge and set into corn husks, where it becomes a deep black paint. The pottery is shaped using the ancient coil-and-scrape method, then painted and fired outdoors in the traditional manner, although Ortiz sometimes uses a kiln when he’s not at the Pueblo, where he has a home and studio. Around the age of 14, Ortiz started to create new figurative pieces that were totally different from what he’d learned from his family. That’s when he caught the eye of Robert Gallegos, a collector and dealer from Albuquerque who visited the Pueblo several times a year to purchase clay works from Cochiti potters. “He has known

me since I was a kid,” says Ortiz. “Robert kept an eye on the children of the potters who would naturally pick up the art, continue with the tradition, and pass it on to the next generation. He knew it was a dying art form.” When Gallegos saw these figurative works, he invited Ortiz and his parents to his showroom. “We walked in and our mouths dropped in disbelief. My experimental pieces looked identical to historic Cochiti figurative creations,” says Ortiz, who had never seen such pieces. These were monos, large clay figurines made between 1880 and 1920, mainly by women potters, to describe the changes that came with the arrival of railroads and a new wave of settlers in New Mexico. At that moment, Ortiz realized the true value of the age-old Cochiti Pueblo practice of clay art, which prioritizes social commentary through storytelling. Later, Ortiz says, his parents told him: “The clay is talking through you. Just remember what happened today.” “I knew by the age of 16 that I would dedicate my life to clay. It is in my blood,” says Ortiz. “I knew I had to revive the historic style and social commentary that was lost. I decided that higher education was not in my cards, so I quickly learned how to make a living as an artist. After all, I knew I had studied under two of the best clay masters.” Less than a decade later, Madonna’s book Sex hit the shelves and inspired Ortiz to explore sexuality and the aesthetics of sex. Elements of sadomasochism and bondage still permeate his work, which is really just a personal continuation of the repetition of graphic, bold shapes in traditional Cochiti Pueblo pottery. “I learned how our ancestors used their clay works to discuss ‘forbidden’ subjects,” says Ortiz. “I’m reviving this method of inspiration. New and unique encounters that I witness and experience often inspire my work. I find that it’s easier to discuss a subject if you have a piece of art that reflects it within reach.” He adds that when he was younger he traveled a lot, and, always a lover of music, he and his friends joined the underground dance club scenes in various cities. “Hence,” he says, “the latex and rubber subjects were born into my art and creations.” It wasn’t long before Ortiz started showing his work at the Santa Fe Indian Market each summer, and sales there provided his primary

Foam-fabricated armor for an Aeronaut character displays the signature Virgil Ortiz “turkey track.” In Cochiti culture, turkeys are noted for moving around energetically and unpredictably, and their “X” footprints make them hard to track. Ortiz thinks of this as a “good luck symbol” for dynamism in his work.

Ortiz uses digital art to develop his characters, such as Taoky, doyen of the Rez Spine Watchmen, who guides the Venutian Soldiers. Top: A painted clay mask from the Trans-figured series (2011) is inspired by historic Cochiti Pueblo monos figures. Opposite: Ortiz says that Puppy Play (2019), Cochiti red clay with white and red clay slip and wild-spinachplant paint, represents more than kink. “It’s a world scene created by men and women, and it’s one that is not about control, but about love and affection. ”


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income. By the early 2000s, he had taken part in exhibitions in Paris, the Netherlands, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and New York, including one at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. He was shocked that in Europe people were eager to ask him about the Pueblo Revolt. “They know our history better than US citizens do,” he says. By then, he’d started working on an epic master narrative that’s still unfolding like a serial graphic novel through his ceramics, film, and other media. His story, Revolt 1680/2180, which was also the title of his Denver Art Museum exhibition in 2015, reimagines the Pueblo Revolt through a science-fiction narrative with a punk vibe that takes place simultaneously in 1680 and 2180—except that in his story, the Castilians, representing the Spanish invaders, don’t violently reconquer the Pueblo lands 12 years later. Rather, the resistance continues to unfold through time and space. Ortiz has created 19 groups of characters and storylines representing the Pueblos remaining in New Mexico today. His Aeronaut characters, for example, are Indigenous people living in the year 2180 who travel back in time to the present day, collecting artifacts, designs, and materials to protect them from extinction. Meanwhile, Venusian Soldiers are eight-foottall nomads from a future Pueblo destroyed by nuclear weapons, donning gas masks as they search for a new, uncontaminated land. These soldiers typically do battle after nightfall, much like their creator, who says, “I’m nocturnal. Typically, I work in my clay or fashion cave

would often say, if it wasn’t for the women, “aMylotmother of our traditions and ceremonies would be forgotten. ”



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The Aeronaut character Cuda, designed with foam fabrication, acrylic paint, wool, and latex with weaponry by Foster Romano, was part of the Cowboys in Space and Fantastic Worlds exhibit at Bullock Texas State History Museum in 2019. Opposite: Nona Hendryx appeared as an Aeronaut for the Kennedy Center’s grand opening of the REACH last fall.


This is one race on this planet—so maybe we need to be “thinking about human futurism. —Nona Hendryx ”


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until 5 a.m. When I hear the morning birds, it’s time to crash out.” He’s also invented the Blind Archers, a group of women warriors led by the character Tahu, who was blinded by a conquistador after she defeated him in an archery contest. In response, she recruits an army of women who relentlessly battle the invaders and drive them out. “My mother would often say, if it wasn’t for the women, a lot of our traditions and ceremonies would be forgotten,” says Ortiz. Meanwhile, an androgynous female character, Translator, Commander of the Spirit World Army, is able to travel through dimensions, where she meets with an avatar of Po'pay, who led the actual 1680 Revolt. The story is told with pottery and also shows up in functional items—costumes, clothing, and accessories he designs himself. He’s also working on a screenplay to tell the stories, which has caught the attention of a couple of major production companies. Several of his exhibitions have included film components over the years, and they’re generally interactive, with largerthan-life clay characters, audio, and costumed actors. Yet clay will always be this artist’s primary medium. “When I create characters for movies, they speak through the clay. Everything revolves around the traditional pottery,” he says. As for the sci-fi bent, Ortiz explains, “As a young kid, I watched the first Star Wars film in awe. I

learned every character, where they were from, the costuming, the ships, the weaponry they owned. I figured that if it could capture and keep my attention, it would help me do the same for others. My characters have to be capable of standing alongside The Avengers and Black Panther.” He was also interested in making the Pueblo Revolt compelling to younger audiences. Watching his nieces and nephews glued to video games and blockbuster movies, he knew he had to find a way to compete. Meanwhile, Charles King, the gallery director who has represented Ortiz for 20 years now, points out that the artist has reached a technical apex. “He’s really pushed himself as a ceramicist. As he’s developed this story, his pieces have grown larger, with more angles and sharp edges, which can easily crack, but he’s mastered it.” Citing the stark blacks, beiges, and pops of red that make up Ortiz’ repertoire and provide dynamic contrasts that play with the viewer’s eye, he adds: “It’s taken the optical illusions he creates on each piece to a new level.” King also points out that Ortiz came in at the start of a movement that in the last couple of decades has celebrated works in clay as fine art rather than mere craft. “It’s an art form that has immediacy,” he says. “Ceramics has become, maybe by default, an art of the moment that speaks to things of the world around us, providing social commentary. At the same time, work-

Face Off (2016), digital art pitting Tahu against a Castilian, was an interior mural installation in Ortiz’ 2016–2017 exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum. Bottom: Digital art of an Aeronaut survivorship



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any obstacle.” Often, he’ll work with professors across departments, from ceramics and fashion to music and Southwest studies, helping to integrate learning about the Pueblo Revolt into his multimedia projects. This past spring, he invited two of his ASU students to assist him on a high-profile project: he’d teamed up with legendary vocalist Nona Hendryx (a distant cousin of Jimi Hendrix) to design costuming and sets for her performance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Hendryx and her band, clad in elaborate costumes and masks, entered The Met’s Temple of Dendur, murmuring incantations by the late jazz master and pioneer of Afrofuturism, Sun Ra. “It was surreal,” reflects Ortiz. “Watching her perform on stage was electrifying. I still get goose bumps reminiscing about that night.” Hendryx had discovered Ortiz while in Santa Fe to visit a friend and attend Indian Market. She passed by King Galleries downtown and saw one of Ortiz’s clay figures through the window. “I stopped in my tracks,” she says. “I was like, oh my god, what is that, who created


ing with clay connects you to someone working with clay 1,000 years ago.” King believes that Ortiz’ versatility is key. “Virgil opens that door even more for other artists,” he says. “When he started doing fashion, people said, ‘Oh, wow, we could be more than a potter or jeweler or painter.’” Ortiz concurs. “I will say that I hope that artists who happen to be Indigenous would create all kinds of art and not be pigeon-holed into creating art that comes from their heritage,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong: learn that first, but expand to whatever you want to create. Get your work into all kinds of venues—not just places that cater to Indigenous aesthetics.” A couple of years ago, Ortiz ended up in the venue of higher education after all, with teaching posts at Colorado College, University of Nebraska, and most recently Arizona State University. “I love communicating and teaching students that they can achieve any goals they desire,” he says. “I remind them to face any hurdles that are in the way. Remove self-doubt, and you remove


When I create characters for movies, they speak through the clay. Everything revolves around the traditional pottery.


Translator (2011), with body paint by Virgil Ortiz, is the Commander of the Spirit World Army who links ancestors of the past with warriors of the future. Opposite: A Revolt Runner character with body paint by Luis Octavio Lopez reveals encoded intelligence.


Art is as influential as language and our ways of life. Art saves lives.


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it, and where is this person?” She hunted him down at an event the next day, and the two swiftly connected. “We were of the same mind when it comes to regalia, art, and costuming. I’m deeply steeped in Afrofuturism and was fascinated by his Native futurist characters. We’re moving in the same direction in terms of looking at the past to go forward,” says Hendryx. Last summer, Ortiz helped Hendryx design a float and costuming for her appearance in a parade organized by the Kennedy Center. It included floats for different periods in American history, starting with the era of slavery and ending with the Hendryx float, which represented the future. Ortiz recalls, “I asked her, ‘Can you wear five-inch stilettos?’ and she said, ‘Who do you think you’re talking to?’” The 75-year-old singer ended up sporting thigh-high chrome boots. By the time The Met performance came around, the two had developed a powerful collaborative relationship. Ortiz and his students showed up with sewing machines and foam fabrication materials. For them and for Hendryx, dressing in costume is an enactment of a rite, and in Ortiz’ case his clay figurines are clearly costumed, defining characters with graphic-heavy elements and symbols. “Costume is ritual,” says Hendryx, citing her African heritage and the cultural importance of dress. “Look at the


The character Mopez has a foam-fabricated beak and cock-feather costume with body paint by Kyle Ortiz. Right: Revolt 1680/2180 storage jar (2016), Cochiti red clay, white and red clay slip, and wild-spinach-plant paint. Opposite, clockwise from top left: reVOlution Couture (2019), recycled billboard materials, latex, leather, and foam fabrication with a plastic and steel headdress by Daniel Romano and forged steel weapon by Foster Romano; Virgil Ortiz applies finishing touches to the helmet and costume for Nona Hendryx at his Cochiti Pueblo studio; behind the scenes at The Met, dancers Jaime Rodney and Francesca Harper, dressed and styled by Kanyata Hathaisan, prepare for their performance with Hendryx.

military, or the pope. Your energy and consciousness are concentrated as you dress yourself. You’re saying, ‘This is what I’m part of. This is how I want you to see me.’” Hendryx says that before meeting Ortiz, she’d never heard of the Pueblo Revolt. “I have to go along with Lauryn Hill and admit to the miseducation of Nona Hendryx,” she laughs. Ortiz also gave workshops and talks at The Met, sharing his art and its story with youth and museum administrators alike. Ortiz, too, reflects that he learned about the Afrofuturism movement in a way that has informed his perspective on Indigenous futurism. Hendryx says, “When you’re born, you don’t know you’re African or Asian or Caucasian or Indigenous. You’re just this being. This is one race on this planet, so maybe we need to be thinking about human futurism.” Ortiz adds, “We have a unique opportunity to heal by inspiring dialogue concerning the difficulties and challenges faced by communities around the world, but we must do the work. Together.” As Ortiz’ epic retelling of the Pueblo Revolt unfolds bit by bit, it helps the world become more aware of its past in order to achieve a better future. He’s also determined to ensure that the knowledge he received from his mother and grandmother does not die. “I must make this connection to the next generation,” says Ortiz. “Art is as influential as language and our ways of life. Art saves lives.” Today, his 38 nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and greatnephews join him for picnics and excursions. They know where to find the clay. R



ARCHITECTURE for the Senses

Designing a beautiful, nurturing environment involves more than just visual appeal


Most of us perceive architecture as a primarily visual experience, reacting to how a space looks and extrapolating from there as to how it might feel to exist within it. But sight is not the only sense that is addressed by architecture; sound, touch, and even scent have an equally profound, if more subliminal, influence on how we react to being in a given space. Consciously or not, when we enter a room or building that addresses all these sensory considerations well, we often feel a sense of well-being and contentment that goes beyond the visual beauty or even the functionality of the place. At DNCA Architects, led by principal and founder Devendra Contractor, a select group of architects explores such sensory intangibles as the spiritual and mystical nature of light, the importance of sound and touch, and other considerations one doesn’t normally associate with the building process: joy, compassion, and generosity of spirit. The firm, which has offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, specializes in incorporating these concepts into their plans, designing spaces whose nuanced, minimalist aesthetic is unexpectedly warm and livable, unlike so many modern boxes whose ambience tends to be overly stark and predictable. Contractor’s group of likeminded professionals understands and celebrates the myriad ways that the built environment can instruct and inspire us to live our best lives, and they treat every new project as an opportunity to further that intention. The result is a body of work in which each building, whether residential or commercial, functions as a kind of sacred space that welcomes and soothes all who enter. “Our work is very much a group effort,” Contractor says. “We spend a great deal of time thinking, discussing, throwing out ideas for the group to consider, and we’re able to adapt and refine our ideas with everyone’s input. I’m the principal because I founded the studio, but when it comes to the process, we’re all equal.” Equal in input and influence, perhaps, but each member brings a unique background to the projects, which allows for a broader discussion and a deeper dive into what architecture means and how it works, particularly as it relates to the senses. Senior associate Deirdre Harris, for example, holds degrees in architecture and landscape architecture, and is a key catalyst in the programming and ideation phases of the group’s projects. A Saskatchewan native, Harris is involved in textile art and at one time had her own silk-screening business, so she brings a fondness for the tactile to her work as an architect. “Growing up on the plains also makes me sensitive to little details of the 96

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is not the only sense that is addressed by architecture;

sound, touch, and even scent have an equally profound, if more subliminal,

A view looking up to the skylight at the Levitated Toy Factory in Albuquerque, where unexpected juxtapositions provide visual interest. The building won the 2014 AIA Albuquerque Honor Award for its adaptive reuse of the building that once housed the Albuquerque Journal reporters and the press association. DNCA Architects brought natural light into the heart of the building and included flexible gallery and education spaces. Opposite: In the former Gebert Contemporary gallery at the Railyard in Santa Fe, an operable skylight opens completely, transforming the space into an interior courtyard. Previous page: Detail of a photovoltaic panel installation at the Levitated Toy Factory

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influence on how we react to being in a given space.




the sensory way we experience the built

environment has a direct effect not just on how we feel in a given space but also on

landscape,” Harris adds. “It’s almost like a fractal experience—when you get out of your car and look down at your feet, it’s a different world from what you see out on the horizon. That informs my point of view.” Project manager Shane Williams spent ten years as an EMT before obtaining his master’s degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute in New York City. He works to reconcile what he encountered in that profession with a compassionate approach to architecture, such that personal, intimate spaces are given a special respect. “As an EMT I got to go into a lot of personal spaces,” Williams explains. “You’re not really invited into these intensely personal moments, and it’s a special place to be, a part of the built environment that most people don’t get exposed to. So that background informs a lot of things that I find important when we have design problems—I look at all those secondary, un-thought-about spaces in and around buildings.” For Contractor himself, manifesting the divinity of existence in our everyday lives gives his buildings a sense of purpose that goes beyond the daily activities that take place within their walls. Born and raised in India as a member of a caste of temple builders, his understanding of the relationship between the sacred and the mundane is rooted in his DNA. “We can date our family back to the 5th century,” he says. “My paternal grandfather published a book on the rules of architecture based on Hindu tradition and scripture, and my father was an architect and engineer. My own first passion was archaeology. When you go on archaeological digs in India, you can put a spade in the ground and discover statues and coins and all kinds of incredible objects that are hundreds of years old.” New Mexico has a similar appeal, with cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque layering themselves over centuries of human civilization whose artifacts are frequently revealed when ground is broken for a new building. His mother, Didi Contractor, grew up 100

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in Taos, the daughter of German painter Edmund Kinzinger, who was part of the early Cubist movement and the director of the Hans Hoffman Institute in Germany before it moved to the US. Didi studied art and then went into interior design when she moved to India, where she eventually achieved widespread fame as an architect designing sustainable adobe structures. Contractor’s maternal grandmother insisted that Didi’s children go to college in the United States, so Contractor followed his older sister’s lead by enrolling at St. John’s College in Santa Fe upon completion of high school in India. He’s been in the area ever since. Contractor’s experience as a “Johnnie” is key to how he runs his architecture studio. The college’s method of deep discussion and dialectic influences his group’s approach to architecture, with no topic or idea considered out of bounds when envisioning a new building, and the group’s conversations are far-ranging and as philosophical as they are practical. And it all begins with the light. “Much has been written about the spiritual nature of light, the mystical nature of what that represents,” Contractor says. “There’s a lot to be said regarding the nature of light in physics, in biology, in landscape, as something that nourishes and something from which we also seek sanctuary. Its importance is always balanced by the equal importance of shadow, shade, and respite. Light contributes to how we see form. The challenge in architecture is how to engage the human being within a contemporary, well-lit space in a way that’s not alienating or intimidating, in a way that brings joy through light to a space.” One notable project that incorporates the many aspects of light is Vladem Contemporary, the new extension of the New Mexico Museum of Art that DNCA is designing in conjunction with Albuquerquebased Studio GP. The challenge involves refurbishing the existing building, a cubeshaped warehouse, and linking it to a new


how we arrange our lives there, and how that translates to the larger world.

The sculpture terrace at Lewallen Gallery in the Railyard was specifically designed to accommodate sculptures and installations via its removable guardrail that allows objects to be placed there by forklift. With views both outward toward Railyard Park and inward to the gallery, the expansive space works well as a site for events and gatherings.



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is key to how the group positions a building on its site, something that earlier cultures paid close attention to as well. “Native American pueblos are rotated 30 degrees so that they open up to the winter solstice and the winter sun, such that the entries to the pueblo, the terraces—everything—celebrates the winter sunlight,” Contractor says. “We create a site plan on which we superimpose a diagram of exactly where the sun is rising and where it sets. We also address the summertime sun and how to screen it.” It’s a part of passive solar design, he says, and it’s a challenge in New Mexico, where the light can be overwhelming if it’s not tempered and filtered. “You want a house to open up to a view, but if the view is to the east the space is going to cook if you open it up too much.” One way they deal with this is to design separate large windows to deliberately frame the view as if it were a series of paintings, rather than merely using a broad expanse of glass. Harris explains that understanding how the body feels in a given space is essential to creating something that makes its inhabitants feel good. “We experience much of what’s around us with our brains and eyes, and we don’t think about the fact that there are other senses involved,” she says. “But

This gallery space in the Railyard, now occupied by Evoke Gallery, is a remodel of the former Sears-Hansen Building. The architects preserved the shell of the building while bringing a modern sensibility to the structure, with walls designed to interact with the open space as a showcase for art. The building won the State of New Mexico Heritage Preservation Award for urban design within a historic context. Opposite: A “zone of transparency” at Albuquerque’s Tamarind Institute provides a visual connection to Central Avenue and the University of New Mexico beyond. This project was awarded a LEED Gold rating, with features that include efficient exhaust/ ventilation systems, natural lighting and ventilation, an underground stormwater retention and distribution system, and green and local materials.


building that intersects it at a slight angle. The new building thus presents an opportunity for the team to introduce light in a controlled way, emphasizing the juxtaposition of the two geometries. “Museums are tricky because they want to control all the light, and there’s an inclination to want the museum to just be a white box that has no natural light in it,” Contractor says. “We really felt that this was a disservice to the nature of place. People come to New Mexico because of the light, so we created one of the galleries, which we call the Light Gallery, upstairs on the north end of the building overlooking Montezuma Avenue with a view of the mountains. It has a sense of controlled north light, filtered through a screening element that engages you with the landscape.” “Another consideration was that the original building had very little natural light, and we really hated the idea of having spaces that absolutely have to be artificially lit,” adds Harris. “So we created these openings in the floor plate where we use the upper mass of the building as a device for bringing light down into the lobby. It’s really important to us to be able to bring natural light into the heart of a building that has never had it before.” Tracking the movement of the sun in all seasons





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group understands and celebrates the myriad ways that the built environment


can instruct and inspire us to live our best lives, and they treat every new project as an opportunity to further that intention.

in order for architecture to feel comfortable, the other senses have to be comfortable, and they do more for our perception than our eyes actually do.” The group thus pays attention to light’s tactile quality, which affects how we feel in a space. “I tend to think about light’s application in buildings and how it feels on your skin, on your retina,” Williams says. “Sunlight in New Mexico is such a tactile experience. You feel it on your body, and it’s not entirely different inside a building. I don’t like to be in an air-conditioned box—I like to feel the air moving and the sun on my skin.” It’s not just the light that can create a tactile experience, Harris points out. “Tactile elements are the things you’re drawn to touch, say, a mud plaster

wall, or a fine piece of wood—something you want to get close to. If you’re in a house with floors with a radiant slab, for example, you’ll want to walk around on it barefoot in winter to feel that warmth.” The sensory experience of a building includes the perception of sound as well. “Your body feels sound, it feels vibrations,” Contractor says. “So much of what we do as architects is subliminal. There’s an inclination in architecture to reduce all sound, to want to neutralize it,” he adds. “One of the things we talk about a lot with some of the buildings we’re designing is how to use the experience of sound as a kind of processional element within the space.” Contractor points out that in a lot of art spaces or museums there’s a tendency to want to deaden the

This owner’s suite addition to a private home was created for a couple with an extensive art collection. The space was designed to open up the interiors to the garden while providing expanded wall space for displaying art. The massing of the structure creates and defines a private courtyard. Opposite: In another private home, “floating” concrete walls have corresponding skylights whose light appears to levitate the walls as it creates a play of light throughout the space.


Another view of the Levitated Toy Factory shows a light-filled exhibition space framed by light-filtering elements and interesting geometries. Below: Shoofly Pie is a livework project in Santa Fe’s Baca Railyard District that features two storefronts on the ground level and two residential units on the top level. It was deliberately set close to the sidewalk with large overhangs to engage with the street as part of the more urban aesthetic of the area’s galleries and residential units.


Opposite top: A rendering of Vladem Contemporary in Santa Fe as seen from the corner of S. Guadalupe Street and Montezuma Avenue. The corner is opened up to create a kind of civic space and welcoming entryway to the museum. Opposite bottom, from front: The team of DNCA Architects includes Devendra Contractor, Deirdre Harris, Shane Williams, and Alaa Quraishi.


sound. “But there’s another way of looking at it,” he says, “which is to keep it live. There are spaces like places of worship or museums that are by nature live, and when you are in those spaces, where every footstep and sound is amplified, people develop a self-conscious instinct to lower their voices. When ambient sound is completely neutralized, people can have a tendency to not be aware of how loud they are speaking. Live sound forces people to whisper and behave in a more respectful way. It forces you to reduce your tone and alter the way you interact within the space.” Adobe buildings in particular have their own kind of sound, Harris notes, because building materials affect the way sound moves. “One of the great things about adobe is that sound travels through it like you’re in the earth,” she says. “You can have a building that looks like adobe, but if you bang on the wall you can hear that it’s just hollow. That figures into how sound echoes, or doesn’t echo, which I think plays into how much reassurance and comfort you feel in a space.” Water features within a courtyard or entryway have both auditory and tactile qualities that can affect our perceptions of a space as well. For one residence in Albuquerque’s North Valley, Contractor’s group blended the vernacular architecture of New Mexico with that of India, since the homeowners were from there. Architectural features common to both cultures, such as courtyards, trellises, and residential compounds, were abstracted using the interplay of light and shadow. “By introducing patterns of shadows we created a celebration of light,

while a trough-like water feature evoked the vocabulary of water and acequias,” Contractor says. It also represents a symbolic cleansing for people entering the home through the courtyard, and the interior vestibule is lined with aromatic cedar to further the sense of purification introduced by the water feature as one enters the home. How one enters a space is indeed an important aspect of a home’s design, one that continues to occasion serious discussion among the group. “The question is, how do you move from your daily experience outside into the sanctuary of a home?” Harris says. “How do we slow people down between the car



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For the Renal Medicine Associates’ clinic in Albuquerque, the team created corridors with courtyards on both sides of the building that show how light can animate the building and create unexpected corners of respite within a hardworking setting. Opposite: Stylized courtyards are a prominent feature in the team’s designs because of their ability to provide zones of repose that break up larger spaces.


and the front door? While we might not always be able to install a water feature, we usually try to work with some sort of sequence, or even just turn people along the path that they’re traveling so that each time they turn, it’s a subtle slowing of the pace. We think a lot about the event of the arrival at a space and its transitional zone, so it’s not just a door at the front wall where you’re either outside or inside. There’s some space between.” Ultimately, the sensory way we experience the built environment has a direct effect not just on how we feel in a given space but also on how we arrange our lives there, and how that translates to the larger world. According to Contractor, it’s not enough to merely create beautiful architecture. “The objective is to create beautiful spaces that improve people’s lives,” he says, “but there is a much larger objective, which is about human goodness and kindness, and how we interact with each other.” He cites a current project the team is working on for the University of New Mexico Hospital that involves two new clinics, where special attention is being paid to creating a nurturing, reassuring environment similar to one they designed recently for a renal clinic. “We hate going to the doctor or to the hospital,” Contractor points out, “but we love to go to the spa. What is the difference? After all, they’re both about physical and spiritual well-being.” So how can a medical clinic become a more spa-like experience? Small courtyards within the building provide a natu-

ral green space that is soothing and relaxing, and the all-important natural light is directed and screened to provide both illumination and comfort. “Our intention was to make the space appealing not just for the patients but also for the doctors and the staff,” he continues. “Sometimes we forget just how hard it is to be a doctor. Really good ones are healers, and they’re empathetic with their patients. But at the same time they have to maintain a certain separation, so they can be close but also somewhat detached. We created an environment where they have these zones of green, almost like a little oasis, within these large buildings. The doctors and care providers tell us, ‘We really love working in this building. It makes us happy to be there.’ It contributes to what they do in an intangible but important way.” Contractor cites Williams’ ideas about paying attention to the less thought-about spaces as part of that approach to creating an environment that embraces its occupants and encourages happiness. “We need to make sure the little details that make a difference are understood and addressed.” Ultimately, it’s all about intention, Contractor says. “Architecture is such an experiment because it’s about bringing beauty to what it means to be a human being, not just about looking good and photographing well for a publication—of course we want that also—but to really allow people’s lives to feel better in the space. It doesn’t mean everyone will always love what you do, but it means your intention should always be a good one, an honorable one.” R


Transcending the Moment Emotion, movement, and a willingness to take chances


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n Robert Reck’s series No. 8, the images are impressionistic, almost dreamlike, suggesting the capture of an elusive moment, the subject obscured in a painterly haze. “The series is mysterious,” Reck says. “It’s another way of looking at the world for me.” With the appearance of soft brushstrokes, these images differ dramatically from the crisp angles and precise edges of the architectural work from Reck’s ongoing 40-year professional career. “They are divergent,” he says, “but they have a consistency in meaning that ties them all together. Working with line, and now working with random, curved lines—they’re still lines, yet they lead to a different visual conclusion.” Reck began experimenting with images in this style years ago, but kept them to himself until they evolved into a satisfying, cohesive body of work. “The images use a method of childhood innocence to transcend the moment,” he says. “Even as a current means of expression for me that is extremely personal, the work freely allows viewer interpretation.” Jasper Johns once said, “I feel that works of art are an opportunity for people to construct meaning, so I don’t usually tell what they mean. It conveys to people that they have to participate.” Reck agrees. In this series, Reck is not so much interested in documentation, but rather in letting the image itself be the subject, and then allowing the viewer find a connection. “I want to present images that confront the viewer and give them the opportunity to look into their own experience and carry that image in memory.” The images suggest that all vision is a kind of conversion of the real into the imaginary, capturing moments and converting them to artworks that have an emotional resonance with the viewer. One of the photographs that launched this series was taken while driving down the highway, and it spoke to Reck emotionally and spiritually. “Collectively, the effervescent and transient nature of these photos has a qualitative impact on the awareness of and personal interactions with our surroundings,” he explains. “The images are a permanent trace of a very gestural response to sidelined information in the real world.” Shot in New Mexico and surrounding states, the images are all created in camera, with no more sophisticated manipulation than would have occurred in the darkroom of Ansel Adams—dodging and burning, lightening and darkening, and manipulating contrast. There are no color enhancements. The honesty of the data collection is important to Reck, as is the integrity of the final images, printed on archival watercolor paper and often mounted to float from the wall to further enhance their ethereal feel. “This approach embraces a willingness to take chances and an acceptance that mistakes can be part of the process,” Reck says. “It’s a freedom of expression that holds a lasting peace.”


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Distraction (2006). Previous pages: Anticipation (2010) 113


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Uncertainty (2019) 115

Soul Reliquary (2018)


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Sanctuary (2009) 119

Making Their Marks

Four artists based in New Mexico propel into the new decade




rom their origins as the son of generations of ranchers in the Española Valley to a Korean who grew up steeped in her culture’s traditions and arrived in the United States via Australia, our four featured artists have collectively traveled the world. Between them, they speak several languages, the most essential being that ineffable dialect of visual art. While their vocabularies may be quite diverse, each addresses the inevitable action of expressing one’s sense of self within an overarching community. And all possess that intangible yet necessary qualification for being an artist: Thomas Vigíl, Lauren Mantecón, Darren Vigil Gray, and Hyunmee Lee can’t not make art, and, collectively, they’ve been doing it for well over a hundred years. Capturing their processes, photographer Audrey Derell—an artist in her own right—presents spontaneous portraits of the artists at work in their studios. Naturally, these four identify as unique individuals, though they have many traits in common, each drawing from their own cultural backgrounds to create new perspectives. Vigíl is, he says, “an outsider” who “is experiencing his own personal renaissance.” Represented by Evoke Contemporary in Santa Fe, he was also part of GenNext: Future So Bright in 2018 at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. Vigíl creates graphical arts using spray paint, stencils, old road signs, and any weathered metal surfaces people find for him. His imagery, however, is straight out of the Baroque period of Counter-Reformation art— traditionally a source for Spanish Colonial art in Northern New Mexico. Mantecón is one of those people you feel you’ve known forever—an easy talker. She has worked in many a medium over the years, from found items in the streets of Caribbean Mexico to the photographer’s darkroom. A painting instructor offering workshops and open studios, she feels her role is “to hold space for people to have their own experience of art.” Having begun her studies as a conceptual photographer at California State


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University, Fullerton, Mantecón, like her heroes Judy Chicago, Betye Saar, and Cindy Sherman, makes work that actively deflects the privileged male gaze. After receiving her MFA in Portland, Mantecón won an artist’s residency at the Wurlitzter Foundation in Taos and was then invited to the Santa Fe Art Institute. “Santa Fe found me,” she laughs. She’s been painting in a lyrical style for at least 25 years and feels that she serves as a vessel for her art’s veiled yet potent mysticism. Vigil Gray, of Jicarilla Apache and Kiowa Apache descent, grew up in the small community of Dulce, New Mexico, tribal headquarters of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation. As a child, he was influenced by his father and older brother, both honky-tonk musicians, and, by the age of ten, young Vigil Gray was performing in his brother’s band. It was at the Institute of American Indian Arts, back when it was located at the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1970s, that he began making art, inspired by instructor and Hopi jeweler Otellie Loloma. Now based in Santa Fe, his regular practice includes making music as a natural extension of his visual repertoire. He approaches painting simply as another means of presenting cultural imagery and notions in his own postimpressionist style. “I’ve stopped making 80 to 100 paintings a year, but I still need to paint,” he says. Lee’s journey across the globe has been one of self-searching. Born after the Korean War, she recalls a childhood of poverty amid strong cultural roots. She trained in the classical art of calligraphy, but it wasn’t until she moved to Sydney, Australia, where she received her MFA at the University of Sydney, that she began to truly consider her native culture. At school, she “examined the works of Robert Motherwell, Franz Klein, and Mark Tobey, in an investigation into how textures . . . and color can balance composition.” While her paintings could be ascribed to the New York School of Action Painting, they are hardly the stuff of Jackson Pollock. Rather, her carefully trained hand makes meditative gestures that balance grace and tension as rigorously as a prima ballerina en pointe. None of these artists can be separated from their cultural roots and experiences, yet each articulates a vision undeniably contemporary and indelibly their own.

Thomas Vigíl’s Die For What You Believe In (2017), spray paint, references the martyred Saint Sebastian, who survived a Roman death penalty in the late third century. By incorporating old road signs into his work, Vigíl also invokes the centuries-old medieval tradition of pilgrimage. Previous spread, from left to right: Hyunmee Lee works on The Rise 10; Thomas Vigíl spray paints layers of hand-cut stencils over recycled material; Lauren Mantecón works on a process-based painting in her Santa Fe studio; Darren Vigil Gray touches up Abiquiu Moment (2020), acrylic on mounted paper on board. In the background: Details from Mantecón’s The Abundance of Fall (2019), oil on panel


T Thomas Vigíl

Thomas Vigíl outside his home in Española, New Mexico, with his mixed-media painting Withering Faith (2018). “I chose the material for this painting to represent the decay of religious values in today’s society,” he says. Vigíl’s works blend the familiarity of urban graffiti with traditional religious imagery, with echoes of Caravaggio and Bernini. Opposite: Vigíl’s Dolores (2019), spray paint on recycled wine crate, is a tribute to Dolores Huerta, who worked alongside César Chávez to organize the California grape strike for immigrant farm workers’ civil rights in the late 1960s. Vigíl is interested in themes of resistance over time.



A work in progress employs Hyunmee Lee’s “sketching process,” which involves cutting and pasting hanji, Korean traditional handmade paper, to explore composition and texture. “Shapes are spontaneously born,” Lee says. “Though I begin with a composition in mind, the piece finds its own path.” Opposite, top: Detail from Withy (2011), acrylic on canvas. Opposite, bottom: Detail from House of Riddle 6 (2017), acrylic on canvas

Hyunmee Lee



Darren Vigil Gray



It’s easy to picture Darren Vigil Gray as a rock and roll drummer, perched in front of his kit, informed by the rhythms of his life. The life of an artist “turns into a lifestyle,” he says, recalling his younger days with his band The Mud Ponies, but “now is a time of re-emergence and new momentum.” Opposite: Calibrations Landscape (2020), acrylic on canvas, reveals the artist’s expressionist bent— deeply influenced by a momentous predecessor of Vigil Gray’s at the Institute of American Indian Arts: painter/musician T.C. Cannon.

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Lauren Mantecón


Lauren Mantecón in her studio with It Takes Two (2019), oil on panel triptych. “The vessel has been emerging in my paintings over the last five years or so. I believe it to be a metaphor for moving from one plane of existence to another: a journey—whether it be death or just getting from point A to point B,” Mantecón says. “I grew up around boats, so the idea of fluidity is always with me. I also often dream of people passing away before the news reaches me in the physical realm. My curiosity of how we might live in more than one dimension at a time is also of interest. In this painting the vessel is fading into atmosphere—the space between one and another. It Takes Two can refer to a relationship with oneself, the other, or an otherworldly essence.”


Full Moon Rise Over Rio Chama, Abiquiu, NM

photo by walter nelson




“Memory images serve to identify, interpret, and supplement perception. No neat borderline separates a purely perceptional image—if such there is— from one completed by memory . . .” —Rudolf Arnheim



he Gallery at Casa Anima, Abiquiu, New Mexico, offers an opportunity to experience Jim Woodson’s large-scale paintings in the enchanted landscapes in which they are created. Small private and individual tours are available by appointment for alone time and reflection in the gallery overlooking spectacular vistas of surrounding mesas, Cerro Pedernal, Abiquiu Lake, and Ghost Ranch. Woodson’s work draws inspiration from the high deserts of New Mexico. Part of this inspiration involves an inner landscape that takes place in the imagination when in one of these places. This inner landscape is a dialogue with dreams, memories, thought fragments, and streams of consciousness. By the contextual placement or overlay of inner and outer, Woodson hopes to convey his thoughts about the nature of imagination to achieve a sense of its movement against a relatively unchanging environment.

Continuous Transitioning Premonitory Convergences (2017), oil on canvas, 60" x 288" (three 8' panels) Top: Discerned Inward Temporal Saturations (2018), oil on canvas, 60" x 84" Previous page: Determined Insistent Conflated Emergences (2018), oil on canvas, 60" x 84"



Recovered Arising Perceived Emanations (2017), oil on canvas, 24" x 48" Top: Temporal Conflated Disturbance (2017), oil on canvas, 30" x 40"

Woodson is interested in calling attention to the act of painting as well as to how one understands visual conventions by combining self-referential marks and forms with more traditional rendering. He hopes these juxtapositions enliven the surface and create an ambiguous space that causes the viewer to question his or her notions about perceptual space. Through these works, Woodson offers the viewer choices that lie between dualities like cultural and natural, perspectival and encompassed, near and far, representational and abstract, mythic time and geologic time, movement and stillness. The viewer becomes a participant for works best understood as verbs rather than nouns. | 505-929-7489 | studio visits by appointment | Jim Woodson -


A Woman’s Place Finding focus and clarity among Abiquiu’s natural landscapes and cultural diversity



f all the enchanted spots in New Mexico, perhaps none has reached such mythic status as Abiquiu. Famous as the home of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived and worked there from 1945 until her death in 1986, Abiquiu is the backdrop against which the O’Keeffe legend unfolded, a tale told of the artist as environmental alchemist who abstracted from the simple elements around her—mesa and sky, flower and bone—a visual language of epic proportions. But O’Keeffe was not the first—nor would she be the last—woman to decamp polite East Coast society for New Mexico. In her meticulously researched book Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest, author Leslie Poling-Kempes, an Abiquiu resident since 1976, tells the stories of a series of 19thcentury women who came to the wilds of New Mexico and, she writes, “. . . imagined and created a new home territory, a new society, and a new identity for themselves and for all the women who would follow them.”

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Poling-Kempes fell in love with Ghost Ranch during visits as a child, and the quest to tell its story led her to other, mostly unsung, ladies of the canyon. “We were used to hearing about the famous and iconic, like Mabel Dodge and O’Keeffe, but they didn’t give us a wide enough perspective,” she says. “We need more than the extreme and the ultra-successful. We need to share stories about ordinary women who did extraordinary things.” Natalie Curtis was one, a talented musician who dedicated most of her life to cataloging the songs of New Mexico’s Puebloan people. Another, Carol Stanley, spent years running guest ranches in the Santa Fe area before taking over a former outlaw camp that her estranged husband had won in a poker game. She renamed it Ghost Ranch. Just as these pioneering women discovered their calling in the wilds of New Mexico, so too have some present-day Abiquiu-based women artists found focus and clarity of vision here. Inspired by the natural landscapes and cultural diversity, they contribute in unique and powerful ways to the artistic canon of the American Southwest. Back in the 1980s, the owners of the Taos gallery that was the first in New Mexico to show sculptor Star Liana York’s work were cautioned by the former owner not to bother with female artists. “He told them that we just don’t sell,” York says. Luckily, the new owners ignored the advice, and she became their best-selling artist.

Star Liana York in Copper Canyon on Zena O’Lena, a quarter horse mare born on her ranch, who she raised and trained. Top: Georgia O’Keeffe at Ghost Ranch in 1953


Star Liana York in her studio with two of her works in progress

A pioneer in her chosen media, York is today one of the foremost artists of cast bronze sculptures in the country, creating highly expressive works that reflect her passion for New Mexico’s wildlife and Native peoples. Her keen ability to imbue her subjects with both complexity and quiet grandeur has made her a favorite with collectors around the world, and her work has been featured in dozens of galleries and exhibitions throughout the country—including a retrospective at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. York learned the art of lost-wax casting at her high school in suburban Maryland just outside of DC, and she was enjoying brisk sales of her miniature sculptures even before graduating from the University of Maryland with a BA in Fine Art. Her work underwent a profound change in 1982, however, when the Smithsonian Institution commissioned her to sculpt an Anasazi Indian working on a sand painting. “I was used to doing tiny little things, and this piece was supposed to be a crouching man this big,” she says, holding her hand about three feet from the floor. “That was huge to me at the time.” It also opened up the opportunity to explore the subtleties of human facial expression, a skill for which she would become famous. The commission also sparked an interest in sculpting the peoples and cultures of the American Southwest, an interest that deepened after she and her first husband, the writer Rodney 138

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Barker, moved to New Mexico in 1985, in part because York was looking for a foundry that could handle her work and found it at Weston Studio-Foundry in Santa Fe. Barker was also working on his book The Broken Circle, a true-crime story that takes place outside the Navajo reservation near Farmington. York often accompanied him on his interviews, and the friends she made and the cultural understanding she gained as a result would inspire her work for many years. She is, however, perhaps best-known for her wildlife sculpture. Surprisingly, for many years she resisted exploring this work, in spite of her lifelong love of animals and her series of large-scale bronzes inspired by ancient pictographs. “I thought, there are so many competent people out there, what would I bring to it?” Her move to Abiquiu in 1995 after her divorce changed all that. On any given day on the 40 scenic acres she shares with her second husband, seven horses, and four dogs, she’ll spot various wild animals, from elk and deer to hawks and the ever-present ravens. An avid horsewoman and former polocrosse player, she says, “I came up here originally because I wanted to breed horses, but it wound up being so much more than that because of how inspiring it was to be around so much wildlife. A big change for me was being a lot more conscious of the animals who live around here.” In the process of bringing these animals to life, her work, while still representational, took on a more contemplative quality.


Neither emblems of ferocity nor of Disney-style cuteness, her animal subjects are fully themselves and confident in their environments, separate from the preconceptions of the human gaze. “To this day what most interests me about doing these pieces is the heart of it, trying to find that incredible personality inside the idea, inside the sculpture,” York says. “I want my animals to have a personality, and that’s what keeps me going back.” Her life in New Mexico, she says, hasn’t just inspired her work, it’s also helped her, in ways both practical and spiritual, to find the focus required to bring it to such vivid life. “The more you open up to this place, the more it reveals itself,” she says. “There’s

Star Liana York, Touch the Earth (2017), cast bronze. Right: Star Liana York, Rocksie (2010), cast bronze

a reason why they call it the Land of Enchantment. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” Painter Paula Narbutovskih, who was born and raised in a small Pennsylvania town an hour north of Erie, has found her inspiration in the way the desert allows her to see “the bones of the Earth.” A lifelong student of both the early 20th-century American painters and the European classics, she is a talented draftsperson and colorist, her work revealing a love of form, of light, of the play of color, while at the same time hinting at something wild and even otherworldly beneath the grid of visual reality. Her father, an engineer with Westinghouse during the week and a Sunday painter on the weekends, regularly took his family on museum outings. “We didn’t just walk through and glance here and there,” Narbutovskih says, “we looked at every painting, so he really taught me how to look at art.” When she was 12, he bought her a set of oil paints. “There was no looking back after that.” Yet when it came time to study painting, her parents balked. She spent two years focusing on architecture at Penn State, thinking it was the practical thing to do, before dropping out and heading to Europe. Reinvigorated by the experience, she returned home and enrolled at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. Later, after moving to New York City and meeting her first husband, who was a student at the New York Academy of Art, she studied composition, lighting, and color under his guidance. The marriage didn’t last, but her love of classical composition and her desire to find her niche in the art world did. Visits to friends in Abiquiu and several summers spent hiking the National Parks in Utah cemented her love of the Southwest. “What attracted me to the desert were the infinite possibilities,” she says, “the sheer beauty, at times the stark landscape stripped of the vegetation that hides the contours of wetter parts of the


Paula Narbutovskih in her studio working on Cliff Swallows in the Maze, oil on linen


Right: Paula Narbutovskih, Life’s Residues (2018), oil on 100-percent rag paper


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country. It matches something about the way that I see life.” One day, back in New York City, “It finally dawned on me: I was looking out these windows down these streets but what I was seeing were the canyons.” So she headed west in 1980, working first as a ranger at Chaco Canyon, where she formed close friendships with the Navajo people who worked with her. They also introduced her to her second husband, with whom she had a daughter. She moved to Abiquiu in 1990 and since 2018 has lived just south of there, in the village of Medanales. Her paintings, she says, began as a way to “document the landscapes of the dying West, to paint all those beautiful landscapes before they are gone.” While she works from photographs she takes while out and about and then imposes a compositional grid atop her canvases, what emerges, she says, “comes from the heart.” With their bright, sometimes downright psychedelic colors and animated, vibrating line and form, her works mix pop and graphic art energy with a hushed surrealism. This duality—the deliberate, classical structure underpinning a mystical landscape—illustrates what she calls the “reality behind the reality,” a way of seeing she in part absorbed from life with her now-ex-husband and his people, intertwined her own deeply spiritual beliefs. An active member of the Native American Church, Narbutovskih

believes that everything that exists is part of the mind of God. If true, then perhaps everything that exists in the mind—and heart—of the artist represents the conduit between heaven and earth, reality and spirit. Painter and sculptor Hebé García’s move from her native Puerto Rico to Abiquiu in 2015 was likewise a personal and professional reboot. While she hasn’t been there as long as York and Narbutovskih, she found the region to be just as inspiring, allowing her to more deeply express her interest in what she calls on her website “the internal and external mysteries of humanity.” García studied painting and ceramics at Louisiana State University, from which she graduated cum laude with a BA in Fine Arts. Technological realities derailed her plans to then head to Europe for additional study—nothing was digital then and she could not afford to transfer her work to slides. Instead, she returned home to Puerto Rico, got married, and helped raise two daughters. She began to paint again after her daughters graduated from high school, made a foray into sculpture, and built a following in the Puerto Rican art world. In 2013, as a way to de-stress after one of her daughters’ weddings, she attended a workshop conducted by sculptor Debra Fritts. Her husband, who tagged along to hike while she worked,

Hebé García in her new habitat, marked by Georgia O’Keeffe’s beloved Cerro Pedernal in the distance



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Hebé García’s studio. On the easel is Contemplaciones: Y ahora qué? (2017), acrylic on cradled Ampersand Gessobord. Top: Hebé García, Contemplaciones: Sin prisa (2017), acrylic on canvas


loosen up. “I used to paint much more like this,” she says, pointing to a series of highly detailed representational portraits, “and clay was a way of not being so meticulous, so perfect.” Central to García’s work in both media is an emphasis on texture and on the human figure, the former lending a tactile immediacy to the pieces and the latter serving as avatars for the artist’s explorations of psyche, identity, culture, and shared narratives. “The human aspect of life has always intrigued me,” she says, “the stories that it tells.” And much in the way storytellers weave their spells, so too does her art, toggling between the real and surreal, with dreamlike, almost fairytale qualities. A series of ceramic busts called Conversations in Silence explore the ways in which we communicate without saying anything. “All conversations are surrounded by silence somehow,” she says. “You can express yourself without talking—people can hear you.” Her Viajeros—travelers—are approximately foot-high sculptures of women walking, bundled up in floor-length garments, their faces featureless. The series is, among other things, a feminist exploration of the burdens women carry. “They are about the past several years, the #MeToo movement, the border wall. They represent us women Hebé García, Viajeros (2020), coil-built mid-fire red sculpture clay, oxide, and glaze as a group, walking together, sticking together, carrying our burdens with us. is the one who suggested they eventually move to the Santa Fe They walk with closed eyes because you have to trust in yourself. area. Two years later, with both their daughters living in the That’s the only way to keep on going.” States, they made the move to Abiquiu and built their home and Birds are another common theme in García’s work. “They García’s studio atop a scenic mesa with 360-degree views that express freedom to me, and are a symbol of survival,” she says. include the Cerro Pedernal and Black Mesa. In some of her paintings, ravens are the companions to the García says they immediately felt at home, pointing out that female figures walking horizontally across the canvas. In more as someone who had spent a lot of time on the ocean, the large recent works, the figures walk toward the viewer, inviting direct expanse of desert didn’t intimidate her. “New Mexico is also very engagement in the themes of psychological and physical freesimilar to Puerto Rico in that you also have the Hispanics, the dom. “These are about how we as a people have always traveled,” Natives, the Americans, so we ‘get’ this place. We feel extremely García says. And, through that travel, seek not only improvement accepted.” Especially, she says, by the artistic community, which but also inspiration. she says is giving, kind, and helpful. Certainly, her experience has now become part of the rich hisGarcía’s studio, set apart from the house by a short walkway, is tory of all women who defied conventions and followed their inner divided into two sections, one for painting and one for sculpting. voices to parts unknown. “Change your vocation, change your situA lifelong painter, García turned to clay back in 2010 as a way to ation,” she says. “We are always looking for a better way of life.” R




igurative ceramic sculptures by Debra Fritts allow the viewer to feel and connect on many different levels. These bodies in clay speak a universal language of mystery, hope, and solitude. “As a child I always had dirt under my fingernails from playing in the creek behind my home,” says Fritts. “I have continued to allow the earth to feed me information for my art and daily living. Working intuitively from pounds of wet clay, forms appear and stories develop. I may be questioning an occurrence or celebrating a relationship or just being present in daily life. At the present, I am exploring new territory in the West while embracing my Southern heritage.” In a renovated building in Abiquiu, New Mexico, that was once a chicken coop, Fritts creates her one-of-a-kind sculptures with large coils of clay. She etches lines into the wet surfaces to create a personal language and then incorporates dry pieces of clay that record the history of the pieces. Each sculpture may be fired in a kiln three to five times depending on the color and surface she’s trying to achieve. She then uses a combination of slips, oxides, glazes, and underglazes on the clay surface in a painterly way. Fritts has garnered national recognition for her work in ceramic sculpture through invitational exhibitions and awards, museum exhibitions and collections, gallery representation, and publications, and her work abounds in private collections. She also conducts national and international workshops in figurative sculpture with a focus on individual expression. “The search continues until I reach the core: the spiritual level of the sculpture,” she reflects. “Then the work can speak.”

| Studio: Abiquiu, NM | 505-685-9468


From left: Queen (2019), stoneware, 29" x 10" x 16" In My Quiet (2019), stoneware, 22" x 10" x 6" Three Wishes (2019), stoneware, 13" x 9" x 7"



DOUG COFFIN Doug Coffin Fine Art

| PO Box 938, 58 County Road 159, Abiquiu, NM 87510

505.685.4128 |


ost artists in Abiquiu began life in another place. For sculptor and painter Doug Coffin, that was Lawrence, Kansas, at what is now Haskell Indian Nations University, an hour from his reservation, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Coffin first visited New Mexico in 1955 with his parents at the age of eight. By the end of his first day in Santa Fe, he was hooked. He has lived in New Mexico for over 40 years, the last 27 spent on a mesa top in Abiquiu with his wife, filmmaker Kaären Ochoa. Abiquiu, Coffin believes, “allows you to experience and appreciate light and time in a different way—in tune with the seasons, the land, sun, moon, stars, and all of nature.” Coffin built his studio out of rammed earth, which enhances this connection. His often brightly colored steel sculptures, paintings, and other works have exhibited internationally at the Grand Palais in Paris, through the Art in Embassies Program, and in private collections. They’ve appeared everywhere from the White House Sculpture Garden to the National Museum of the American Indian. His Spirit Totem project, five 30-foot contemporary steel totems, will be installed at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City later this year. “I’m working on a new sculpture concept and feel hopeful and lucky to live on our mesa, surrounded by the beauty of Abiquiu,” Coffin says. Right: Snake Dance Shaman, unpainted steel, 12' Below: Abiquiu Cosmos, mixed media on panel, 7' x 13'


Opposite: Doug Coffin in his studio



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21120 US-84, Abiquiu, NM (505) 685-4378 www.ImaginalArts.Studio

hebé garcía fine art studio Figurative Painting & Ceramic Sculpture • 52 Corona Rd, Prado Valley Ranch, Abiquiu NM • Inquires & Studio Visits by Appointment 505.690.9888 image credit: HGB ©2020

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How We Live


Elegant Mutations Artist-couple BUNNY TOBIAS and CHARLES GREELEY never stop reinventing


ou might guess that with over six decades of prolific art-making, multimedia artists Bunny Tobias and Charles Greeley might have slowed down a bit—but you would be mistaken. Both from New York City, they met in the 1960s while studying painting at the School of Visual Arts. “My interest in Charles had to do to a large extent with our differences,” says Tobias, raised in Brooklyn in a secular Jewish family, while Greely grew up Irish Catholic in Manhattan. “He was so attractive to me because he was so outside the framework of my familiar. Plus he was Irish. And funny.” The two ended up pursuing a life of art together, and since 1972, they’ve occupied a 300-year-old adobe house in Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, where they’ve dug into rural life. Every horizontal space of the home is studded with Tobias’ assemblage work as well as paintings and ceramics by both artists. From 1996 to 2014, the house and its morphing studio spaces served as the couple’s beloved Gallery Zipp, which represented an eclectic assortment of Santa Fe artists. “People like to ask us about our past,” Tobias says, “but what is more exciting to us is whatever we are doing now. We’re still here, we’re still working, we’re still inventing ourselves.” Reinvention has been an ever-present theme in both artists’ lives. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 1963, Greeley traveled in Europe and Morocco for a year, and then they got married. In Marrakesh, Greeley was inspired by the mesmerizing patterning in Moroccan tile

Bunny Tobias and Charles Greeley with Greeley’s painting Pompeii (2018), acrylic on canvas, which was awarded Best of Show at the 2019 Santa Fe Art Fair. Tobias is wearing her necklace Shield (2015), made of bronze metal clay.

work and the process of tessellation— an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together by tiling a flat surface or plane using geometric shapes without any overlaps or gaps. This was an early influence on his paintings that later included ancient symbols, double helixes, and intricate, interwoven patterns. Resistant to any definition or labelling of their work that ended in “ism,” they both started to feel that the art scene in Manhattan was restrictive and hyperfocused on Abstract Expressionism. After

a six-month painting hiatus in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, followed by a stint working in Houston, Texas, they moved to San Francisco, where the counterculture movement and Summer of Love were in full swing. After watching a news segment about a demonstration in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Tobias told Greeley: “We are flower children. We belong there.” With little money and not a stick of furniture, their first purchase was an intricately woven prayer rug that they displayed like a painting in their aparment.


How We Live

Determined to make art their priority, they supported themselves with a variety of odd jobs—Tobias a gregarious travel concierge while Greeley worked at the airport, where part of his job was checking in body bags returning home from Vietnam. Meanwhile, Greeley dug into visionary painting and enjoyed a good reception in the Bay Area, though Tobias felt she was sidelined as a female artist. She shifted from graphite drawings based on natural imagery to the earliest of her assemblage art, constructing fantastical sculptures out of wood and fabric and beginning to explore and teach herself ceramics. It wasn’t long before the two hankered for another adventure, though. They visited New Mexico and were smitten. They bought their patch of land, acquired two horses, and proceeded to become an indelible part of the Santa Fe artist community. They were included in various biennial museum shows and showed at the iconic Hill’s Gallery and Elaine Horwitch Galleries, which were instrumental in creating local platforms for Contemporary art. Museums as well as private collectors acquired their work, and Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum featured a ten-year Tobias–Greeley retrospective in 1979. Their work was featured in a PBS documentary about New Mexico artists, and as a result, Disney commissioned

Tobias and Greeley on their property in Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, with their shelter dog Sadie (left) and a playmate.

them individually to produce work for their annual Collector’s Memorabilia Auction. It’s still a rugged, mud-slick climb to the mountain road to their compound, and it is here that Tobias and Greeley work without an iota of lost momentum. In the living room, an antique white birdcage suspended from the ceiling is festooned with feathers, porcelain doll parts, crystal prisms, and antique silver tea strainers. “My homage to the bowerbird,” Tobias quips. Tobias’ studio is just a few steps away from the house in a rustic log cabin with designated areas for assemblage work, ceramics, painting, and a small kiln for firing bronze clay metal jewelry. Drawn to objects that have been forsaken or forgotten, her work can feel very much like a nest

of salvaged parts. She assembles found objects, shells, bones, and rusted parts with dry yet profound wit. “For me, it’s about reimagining objects with a new way of seeing,” she says. Often, Tobias will hold on to objects for years, and an assemblage piece may remain undone until “the right object appears.” In the dining room a mixed-media sculpture assemblage by Tobias titled Chrysalis is composed of driftwood, a metal vase adorned with a cherub, a crackled doll’s head, an antique hatpin, and a rubber grasshopper. “When I found this piece of driftwood on the property I thought it looked just like a bird’s head,” Tobias explains. As it came together she had the realization that it was a birth, and a creature emerged. “I work with the ele-

The couple’s home. Its living room and dining room once housed Gallery Zipp and remains replete with their paintings and sculptures.


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Top: Charles Greeley, Truchas, NM (2015), Japanese paper collage. Middle: Japanese paper collages from Greeley’s 2019 Face series, inspired by the #MeToo movement. Bottom: Greeley in his studio with his painting Endangered Species (2020), acrylic on canvas


How We Live

Works by Bunny Tobias, clockwise from top left: Eye Pendant (2020), bronze metal clay, glass, and Swarovski crystal; Chrysalis (2019), mixed media; a painting from the San Miguel de Allende series (2020), acrylic on canvas; Homage to the Bird Bower (2019), mixed media 154

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Bronze metal clay jewelry by Tobias, part of the Bijoux Art collection. Right: Tobias’ studio is compartmentalized by her work in different media.

ments until something magical happens, and for me the process is like a state of perfection. I like to leave the world behind when I make things.” A recent enterprise, Bijoux Art, combines her passion for ceramics and jewelry design. Beginning with a ball of bronze clay that can be sculpted, rolled, textured, fabricated, and sanded, Tobias then fires pieces in a digital kiln. The organic binder burns out, resulting in pure bronze jewelry pieces that are embellished with Swarovski crystals and gemstones. The collection shows at Form & Concept gallery in Santa Fe. In addition to teaching at the Santa Fe Community College, Tobias also facilitates jewelry design workshops where participants make bead necklaces from patterned, colorful Japanese washi paper. This practice comes from a medium crossover with Greeley, who had been using the paper in Southwest landscape collages. With his leftover scraps, Tobias began the meditative process of making rolled paper beads, eventually fashioning them into necklaces. Teaching is something she’s enjoyed since before she moved to New Mexico, finding it propels her own sense of discovery. “Helping someone enjoy the creative process—without the critical conceptions of what art is or supposed to look

like—is so gratifying,” she says. Meanwhile, a few steps off the dining room, Greeley’s cosmic universe and carefully curated chaos reigns. Amid a maze of paintings and collage works are 3-foot-tall, clear plastic bags filled with magazine and art catalog images alongside shelves and tables stacked with art books. Greeley also works with paint, clay, and collage, but the similarities to his wife’s work end there. His abstract paintings are highly refined graphic tapestries where design motifs interweave with seemingly doodled details. Ancient symbols, Celtic knots, double wedding ring quilt patterns, and decorative Victorian calendar imagery hide in plain sight. Periodically Greeley likes to take a break from painting and work in other mediums, including clay and paper collage. “I’m interested in creating mesmerizing patterns that become meditative in execution,” he says. “Alternating between painting and paper landscapes provides me with a fresh viewpoint, opening up a new world because of the relative ease of working with paper as opposed to paint,” he says. “When I am making a paper collage I feel like I’m painting with paper.” A New Year’s Day tradition for Tobias and Greeley is to make something totally different from anything they have done before. Recently, while looking for trans-

parencies from the 1980s, Tobias came across graphite drawings from 1966 that she made while living in San Miguel de Allende. “I love the idea that I had come across something so old.” The resulting project for 2020 is a group of airy paintings with floating organic shapes. Greeley’s New Year’s Day endeavor included technicolor fish, prompted by the dire impact of climate change on the oceans. As independent as their artistic processes are, both are fueled by a daily ritual of late-morning coffee in Greeley’s studio. “We constantly inspire each other by looking at different images together, talking about what we see, and also by going to see museum and gallery exhibitions,” Tobias says. “It also helps that we really love each other’s work,” Greeley adds. “We gift each other with pieces that we know the other one loves. This way a few of our favorite pieces get to stay in the family.” The French word collage—to glue or stick together by using different forms to create a new whole—is an apt metaphor for Tobias and Greeley’s approaches to art, both individually and in tandem. By erasing the boundaries between disciplines and metamorphosing objects and ideas, these two continue to craft a creative existence. “The day I met Bunny was the luckiest day of my life,” adds Greeley.” R


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Home Now

As the world adapts to the pandemic, “shelter in place” has assumed new meaning for all of us. Whether we live in a studio apartment in Brooklyn or a pitched-roof adobe farmhouse in New Mexico, we’ve all been home more than ever. One might assume that such circumstances would curb the enthusiasms of a self-described “extreme, pathetic extrovert,” but such is not the case for Larry Keller, owner of Design Warehouse, a contemporary home furnishing store in Santa Fe. r A visual combination of Albert Einstein, Christo, and Pee-wee Herman in a Thom Browne suit, Keller is on the cusp of celebrating 40 years in business, but due to the coronavirus, his shop has been shuttered. Instead, he’s been fielding calls from home, spending high desert mornings thick with the fragrance of lilacs chatting with customers from Palo Alto to Europe, as well as with his colleagues now working remotely. r So how did a guy whose passions include art, food, film, and fashion come to own a furniture store? “I love art so much,” Keller says, “but I’m also passionate about the democracy of good design and the accessibility of utilitarian objects that bring people pleasure.” He further muses, “I like to think of a chair as art that you can sit on. And I love the practicality of a French jelly jar glass or the beauty of a perfect kettle. I’m never driven by how many I could sell of something. I’m motivated by the thrill of the hunt for things I love and would have in my own home.” r As our own homes have become more lived-in and worked-in than ever, Keller’s mission couldn’t be more important. In the surreal context of this unprecedented communal experience, Keller shares his thoughts. 166

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LARRY KELLER of Design Warehouse gets real about interior design

Interior of Design Warehouse. Opposite: Larry Keller in his Thom Browne suit, next to an Eames Lounge Chair, designed for the Herman Miller furniture company in 1956 to achieve the receptive look of a well-worn baseball mitt.

Q: You had stints working for the Palace of the Governors and New Mexico Magazine. What motivated you to open a housewares store in Santa Fe in 1981? A: When I was in my 20s, I always equated entrepreneurs with losers—they couldn’t get hired in corporate America, so they had to start something on their own. I soon realized that by owning my own thing I could work hard and vacation hard too. I’m a wanderer and I live to travel—with one carry-on, a fave T-shirt, jeans, and the one book I’m reading. Q: What drives your creative spirit and continues to inspire you? A: I’m obsessed by things French and have visited Paris nine times—also Mexico, Japan, Bali, Thailand, England, Spain, Italy, and over one hundred trips to the Big Apple, my favorite place on the planet. Travel inspires me. I’m a good detective and I’m always on the hunt for the cool object.


Q: To quote artist Donald Judd, “It’s hard to find a good lamp.” How would you describe the Design Warehouse aesthetic? A: I’ve always considered Design Warehouse a design store. Actually, I’m a furniture merchant who doesn’t like furniture stores. Furniture is so important for the business—but so are the smaller items, which I’ve always thought of as low-hanging fruit. Not everyone is in the market for a sofa, but it is lovely when a customer leaves with a bag, or maybe a great bar of soap or a kettle or a cool Noguchi lamp. Q: Four decades later, what do you still love about your business? A: I’m probably an extreme extrovert, and every day at Design Warehouse I get to talk about things I’m passionate about, what I call the three Fs: food, film, and fashion. And when my customers insist, furniture. I’m a minimalist at heart. I don’t care for rooms where the furniture overpowers the space and the people. My colleagues in other markets would never touch the brands of Knoll or Herman Miller. They laugh at their thin profit margins

for any retailer. But I couldn’t bear not having them in my portfolio. When I go to market in North Carolina and New York, I try to focus on what I’d enjoy and value in my own living room rather than trying to guess what’s going to be a big seller. It’s worked. Q: What’s the Design Warehouse mantra? A: Witty windows, cool chairs, great tunes. We want the store to be like singer Sophie Tucker! Sexy, warm, cool, clean. There’s no chrome, no black except for an iconic office chair or two. How does a room give a person pleasure? That’s the question I ask when I source product for the store. Q: What else might you love to do? A: I wish I were a painter. I wish I could have been Frank Stella or Marlene Dumas. I love paint on canvas. Oh well, next life. R


photography : Š Wendy McEahern | Architectural Design and Construction : Woods Design Builders | Interior Design : Violante & Rochford Interiors



CONSIS T E N T LY T H E BE S T Designing and building the finest homes in Santa Fe for over forty years

WO O DS D E S I G N B U I LD E R S 302 Catron Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501



Architect Richard Martinez at his renovated historic adobe home in Pecos, New Mexico, which he inherited from his great-grandfather. Martinez added a double adobe addition with a Northern New Mexico–style tin roof to the original house of stacked stone, which was built around 1912. Martinez maintained its historic aesthetic with mud floors and milk paint.


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Coming Home

For architect Richard Martinez, it was his New Mexico homeland that ultimately gave him a voice.



ichard Martinez grew up in Albuquerque, and when he left to study architecture at Princeton, thoughts of coming back were nowhere in his mind. After graduation, he went on to complete postgraduate studies at Columbia before joining an architecture firm in New York city and settling into life in the Big Apple. “It was the 1980s and I loved the energy of what was going on there,” he recalls, “but as time went on, I could see that going out on my own would be a challenge, and I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that.” As he was pondering his next move, his great-grandfather passed away, leaving him a small house in Pecos, New Mexico. “It obviously had great sentimental value,” he says, “but I also knew that it needed a lot of upgrades and TLC. I finally decided to take a year or two off, work on the house, and then go back to New York. Well, as you can see, I’m still here!” As it turned out, it took Martinez about ten years to finish fixing up that house because he ran out of money along the way and had to take a break to find a job. DeWindt & Associates, an architectural firm in Santa Fe, took him on board and, from that point on, everything changed. “I really began to feel part of this community,” he says, “and before long, people started asking me to design houses for them. The gay community, in particular, was especially supportive and gave me my first five commissions. Their aesthetic sense and appreciation of creativity gave me the courage to try and make it on my own—something I hadn’t been able to do in New York.” He has now had his own firm, Martinez Architecture Studio, for over 25 years, designing buildings from residential to commercial and historic to contemporary. Several have won awards, including the renovation of the renowned Hotel



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Martinez discussing drawings for the proposed new spa at Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe with colleague Yusuf Coffman. Built in 1910 in a mission style, the hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. At right: Built in the Mexican hacienda style with a central courtyard and carved stone detailing, the Tano Norte residence just outside of Santa Fe incorporates antique elements from the American Southwest, Mexico, Italy, and South America. Susan Dupepe designed the interior. The main portal has views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the home’s hillside setting.


St. Francis in downtown Santa Fe, which won the Associated General Contractors of America Best Buildings Award in 2011, and a home on Acequia Madre, which won the city of Santa Fe’s Heritage Preservation Award for Compatible New Construction in 2015. He also designed the much-loved Plaza Cafe Southside in Santa Fe and the recently completed lobby of the Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque. This impressive project, put together with mud, plaster, vigas, and stacked stone, is intended to evoke the feeling of being inside an ancient Native American kiva with a contemporary flair. “My job is to do as much as you can with what you have,” Martinez says. “In other words, to preserve the history, while at the same time realizing possibilities that may not otherwise be thought of.” In his free time, Martinez still enjoys working on his greatgrandfather’s house, where he lives and now shares with his husband, Ron James, an estate manager and a member of the Navajo Nation. Over the years, he acquired two neighboring properties as well, both previously owned by family members. One, basically a log cabin but with the unusual distinction of now being recognized as a historic structure, was built by his grandfather and was the place where his mother grew up; the other he acquired from an aunt. Neither has been fully restored, although the log cabin has been a work in progress for quite some time. “Everything I do has to be approved by the Historical Review Board,” Martinez points out, “and that can take a while.” He is well acquainted with that process, having served for a number of years as a member of the board of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation. If it seems contradictory that Martinez is now known for is predominantly contemporary architecture—very much in contrast to his homegrown influences—he credits Princeton and Columbia for introducing him to the world of Modernism. “Both were schools with roots in Modern design,” he says, “and they definitely informed and influenced the contemporary feel of architecture at the time. Don’t get me wrong—I still love adobe, stone, and very primal, organic elements—but now I can comfortably work with both.”

Whatever basic materials or style of architecture, his main concern is how people experience the space: how it feels as a person moves through it and how it engages with the environment. “I really like working with the energy of different materials and how they come together,” he says, “and we’re lucky to have such a range of great artisans here. Whether I’m thinking of incorporating stonework, plaster, cabinetry, doors, ironwork, steel, I know there are master craftsmen I can turn to, to make the vision a reality.” Green building and the impact on the environment are, of course, very much on people’s minds these days, and Martinez is no exception. “We all need to be concerned about that,” he states categorically, “and I always make a point of taking environmental considerations into account when I start working on a project. That means installing solar panels whenever possible, making sure everything is well insulated to reduce energy costs, and basically using the least amount of natural resources possible. While upfront building costs may be higher, outgoings are much lower in the end, so there’s definitely a good return on the initial investment as well.” One element that his architectural designs all have in common, whether classical, contemporary, or adobe, is clear-cut, clean lines. Each one is also a reflection of how natural light, surroundings, and views are incorporated, resulting in spaces that are dynamically human-centered. “I love drawing all the elements together and coming up with new ideas, pushing boundaries, if you like,” he says. “And I think this is the perfect place to do that.” Having been involved with the city’s architecture for so many years, Martinez is firmly of the opinion that Santa Fe needs to think more creatively about the possibilities of what could be, rather than repeating the styles of the past. “You see the same old expressions over and over again,” he points out. “It’s definitely time to tap into the creativity of looking at things in new ways and I think the younger generation is ready to move in that direction.” Martinez can definitely take credit for showing them the way. He envisages one day putting together an exhibition with sketches and ideas brought to him by clients before the start of a project alongside images of how buildings turned out in the end. “You would be amazed at the difference,” he says with a smile. “It just shows you what can happen when you throw out ideas and see where they go.”




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The Tano Norte living room leads into a dining room that incorporates stone antiques from Mexico. It has a fireplace mantel from Italy and wood trusses with wrought iron brackets by Helmut Hillenkamp. Top: The home’s central courtyard has an arcade of Mexican travertine, a central fountain with a statue from Mexico, and a large glass skylight. This nuclear courtyard leads to all major rooms of the house. Opposite: Martinez renovated the Hotel St. Francis lobby in 2011, reviving the entrance to one of the first hotels built in Santa Fe. Martinez strove to express a calm, monastic interior with plaster arches and stone detailing, working with interior designer Kris Lajeskie.




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For Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque, Martinez worked with Kris Lajeskie to create a kiva-shaped lobby with mud-plastered walls with stacked stone bases, bancos, and a ceiling that supports backlit glass with a design by Tammy Garcia of Santa Clara Pueblo. Joe Cajero of Jemez Pueblo created the central sculpture in the room, Oneness.


In the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this Tesuque home has spectacular views and incorporates Santa Fe–style materials such as raw plaster, stacked flagstone, and stained wood beams. The living room looks out to the Jemez Mountains, and the interior design is by Lisa Samuel of Samuel Design Group. Top: The entry follows the home’s elongated design, which echoes the ridge and hill below. Landscaping design is by Clemens & Associates.




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The main bath of this Tesuque home has backlit onyx panels from Italy, with the same stone used for the floating vanity. The stone floor includes etched details. Top: The living and dining rooms with wood-beamed ceilings open into an entryway, separated by warmly lit steps. Opposite: The home, owned by collectors of Native American art, incorporates stone floors and plaster walls. R


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VIOLANTE & ROCHFORD INTERIORS Violante & Rochford Interiors is a full-service, boutique design firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Known for creating spacious, light-filled, chic, and casually elegant interiors that fulfill client visions and lifestyles, the firm blends practical issues and aesthetic requirements, from traditional to contemporary or a mix. Principals Paul Rochford and Michael Violante have been working together for over 20 years and they are also a married couple. Their experience creating luxurious interiors has made them the choice of a sophisticated clientele. The firm is located in two historically significant Arts and Crafts structures on Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe. One has a notable showroom and one of the largest fabric libraries in the area. The second building is THE STORE—the perfect complement to the core interior design business, stocked with unique pieces from around the world. Violante & Rochford work with a diverse group of creatives to offer their clients the best and boldest resources available, from custom homebuilders and furniture fabricators to antique and art galleries (the duo is known for their brilliant curating), handmade rugs and carpets, landscapers, and more. Photo by Wendy McEahern

401 and 405 Paseo de Peralta

| Santa Fe | 505-983-3912 |

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ARREDIAMO Moroccan rugs are colorful bursts of joy and energy that symbolize the daily lives of the individual tribes who make them. These pieces can be found anywhere, from the humblest of nomad tents to the most magnificent of palaces, and they reflect love, tradition, stories, drama—all that human beings live through! Traditionally, Moroccan tribal weavings were made exclusively by women and solely for personal use. Dense pile rugs served not only as floor coverings but also as mattresses, seating, and even blankets in the winter months. Crafted from hand-spun shaggy goat wool, the vibrant colors of the rugs are achieved with natural vegetable dyes, and, when making a rug, each woman would weave in the story of her life. They are filled with symbolism and vary greatly depending on where they were woven. In modern times, nomadic tribes have been scattered throughout multiple continents, and the traditions and lifestyles of the people that once produced these magnificent rugs are fading and being forgotten. But in Kabul, Afghanistan, these traditions are being revived with the same spirit and joy, and their magnificent, collectible, genuine Berber rugs are available in a variety of sizes at Arrediamo.

202/D-214 Galisteo Street

| Santa Fe | 505-820-2231 |


K.O’NEAL First-time visitors to the K.O’Neal storefront are often overwhelmed with the explosion of color and eye candy that its Railyard District venue has brought to the Santa Fe retail scene. Furniture, decorative accessories, and an array of gift items, largely designed and created by a Texas-based team, are found nowhere else. The store was born of owner/designer Kelly O’Neal’s already thriving wholesale entity Design Legacy. O’Neal has been visiting Santa Fe for over 30 years, and its unparalleled, vibrant cultural influence has shaped his whimsical, colorful repertoire. At the core of K.O’Neal’s offerings is an extensive textile collection, a treasure trove of color, style, and naturebased imagery. These elements combine to make the most inventive fabric collection available anywhere. Each pattern begins with O’Neal’s handwork or bits and pieces from his extensive collection of period prints. O’Neal has collected antique bookplates and prints since childhood and that collection forms the basis of his natural history patterns. O’Neal’s eponymous atelier also exclusively represents two textile collections made in collaboration with design heavy-hitters Michelle Nussbaumer and Denise McGaha. The collection is available by the yard or as finished upholstery, pillows, and bedding that can be made to specification to be designed, printed, and assembled in O’Neal’s Texas studio. Items are shipped internationally under the more than 30-year-old brand Design Legacy, and O’Neal’s work has appeared in a who’s who roster of magazines. His original artworks are also exhibited.

insta/k.oneal_santafe | 340 Read Street | Santa Fe | 505-772-0153 |

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SLEEP & DREAM LUXURY BED STORE During these hectic days of modern technology, don’t we love to “get away from it all” and yearn for the peaceful, restful, stress-free joy of nature? At Sleep & Dream Luxury Bed Store, we believe that the simplest natural materials are the best for rest and relaxation. Whether it’s the bed you sleep on, the pillow on which you rest your head, or the sheets and comforters you cuddle with, nature’s ingredients stand the test of time. Some of the natural ingredients in our products are cashmere, Moosburger horsetail hair, alpaca, mohair, silks, various types of wool, organic cotton, goose and duck down, natural latex, linen, kapok silk, and bamboo. These materials never off-gas and are simply scented by nature! From calico-encased vanadium coils to natural exotic elements, we feature two-sided mattresses and bed systems that provide support and comfort, as well as toppers that help customize the feel of any bed. Our natural latex beds from Posh+Lavish, Royal-Pedic, and Shifman provide a buoyant, weightless sleep. We can also create custom designs for unique shapes or antique sizes, including round beds from Hästens and Vispring. Your pillow is the “bed for your head,” and it is also an important element for a good night’s sleep. If you’ve never been fitted for a pillow, this is a must! The most comfortable and supportive pillow depends on your sleeping preference, neck arch, and shoulder width, and ours come in different shapes, ingredients, and sizes. We help curate nighttime sanctuaries. You owe it to yourself . . . experience the rest!

510 W Cordova Road

| Santa Fe | 505-988-9195 |


GLASSplash From INSPIRATION to INSTALLATION GLASSplashŽ is an exciting new company utilizing cutting-edge technologies to transfer images onto heat-resistant, tempered glass for use in all your living environments. Collaboration is our forte, as is evident in this Santa Fe installation. Tasked with updating the kitchen island, the GLASSplash design team found inspiration in the homeowner’s art collection. Utilizing a Plains Indian parfleche box, we took the design, color blocked it, and then had it digitally printed on tempered glass. Illumination by an LED light panel takes this traditional design to the next level. The laser-etched design on the cabinet door window is sourced from an African tribal tent curtain while the geometric pattern derives from carved leather strips. The result is a stunning work of art that stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the folk art collection in this unique home. We love working with designers, artists, and homeowners to bring their visions to life on glass. We invite you to visit us in our showroom or online at Photo by Chris Corrie Photography

1512 Pacheco St., A102

| Santa Fe | 505-333-9096 | |

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SANTA FE BY DESIGN Good-bye toilet paper Hello to the ultimate in personal hygiene Water transforms us. It gives us a sense of vitality and vigor. It has the power to heal, restore, and rejuvenate. We shower in the morning, bathe at night, and wash our hands in between. Feeling clean is a part of our everyday lives and is as natural as breathing itself. Why then, do we give much less consideration to how we cleanse ourselves after we use the bathroom? Introducing AXENT.ONE C Plus—the hygienic way to stay exceptionally fresh all day. This award-winning shower toilet brings you all the luxury that technology has to offer. Slim design and features like a sensor that recognizes you and automatically opens the toilet lid when you enter the room make for an unforgettable bathroom experience. AXENT.ONE C PLUS also features rear wash, front wash, warm-air dry, deodorization, night-light, Vacuum V Flush, proprietary Easy Clean glaze, auto flush, a convenient remote control and seat heating. This toilet features a 12� rough-in dimension.

1512 Pacheco Street, D101

| Santa Fe | 505-988-4111 |


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Michael Austin Wright applies principles of art and design to his construction and restoration work. From the build to the fine detail work, Wright is versed in Santa Fe style and interested in its contemporary iterations. An acclaimed metal and stone sculptor, Wright brings an artist’s perspective to his design work. As a youth, he often traveled with his parents and was influenced by classical architecture. From the Taj Mahal to the streets of Epheses, Turkey, ancient culture affected his consciousness early on. He went on to study architecture and furniture design while maintaining his interest in the classical arts. Drawn to the simplicity of American Craftsman–style architecture, he also appreciates how the Art Nouveau movement chipped away at the distinction between applied and fine arts: he sees no separation between pleasing design and its functionality. Equally attracted to Frank Lloyd Wright’s emphasis on nature in architectural design and the bold patterns and colors of Memphis Style, Wright has shaped a contemporary aesthetic rooted in classical influences. Over 25 years ago, Wright’s first project in Santa Fe was to restore an old adobe building once occupied by the mayor of Santa Fe. Since, he’s restored and renovated many homes and businesses, working closely with clients to synchronize aesthetic and function. Under his guidance, a ranch-style adobe home can take on a spacious, sky-lit pitched roof supported by columns, bringing light and space into a contemporized home that retains its historic style. From new construction to home improvement, Wright brings the eye of an artist and the knowledge of a builder to the table. Always marrying form and function, he enacts his clients’ visions with exquisite results. Photo: Old Winch House in Madrid, New Mexico

2785 NM-14, Los Cerrillos

| Madrid | 505-577-4907 |

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Ritual Hair, Skin & Nails Suite A201 505.820.9943 Santa Fe Pro Musica Suite D201 505.988.4640

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1512 Pacheco St, Ste D206 • Santa Fe, NM 87505 505.660.9939 • • @pachecoparksf ache



ose Varela, owner of Artistic Gates, crafts custom metal gates and steel sculptures that conjure the surrealism and undulating forms of Salvador Dali. In stunning ranch and estate entrance gates, side pillars, walking gates, garden doors, and fencing, Varela’s is a functional artistry, marked with unique patinas and textures. “I’ve always been fascinated with the psychological tensions represented in doorways and gateways,” he says. “There’s a preternatural anticipation of what lies beyond the threshold, the potential act of forgetting once a threshold is crossed, and the definitions of memory sealed with a door’s closing.” Born in Mexico, Varela migrated to the U.S. in 2000 and launched his business four years later. His steel sculptures—which began small-scale and have progressed to large-scale abstractions—have been featured in a number of local and state exhibitions as well as in various publications. Both his art and custom metal work are sought after throughout the Southwest, where he makes his home in Bernalillo, New Mexico. | 505-261-9732

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Garden Gate 3’ x 7’, steel and flagstone (2017) Top: Caballos Relinchandos, 16' x 12', steel, wood and flagstone (2010) Opposite: Magnificent Gate, steel, 20' x 9' (2018) 36" x 36" x 7' 6", base 36"

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yan Montaño and Mick Jagger share something in common, and it’s not just their profession. Like Jagger, Montaño possesses ample lips, the kind that some women pay thousands of dollars in Botox injections to create. But while Jagger uses his to enthrall a crowd, pouting and sneering through, say, “Under My Thumb,” Montaño’s smackers are an extension of his instrument. “I think they give me an advantage,” he says, sitting in the living room of the small Rio Rancho home he shares with his girlfriend, a Miles Davis poster hanging a few feet away. In marrying control and feeling, Montaño’s lips can evoke a languid lament one moment and an acrobatic crescendo of joy the next. Montaño, whose career has seen a steady climb since his first official radio single was released in 2014, has been putting brass to lips since he was 12 years old. Growing up in Tijeras, the second youngest child in a large musical family, Montaño’s parents and siblings encouraged him to pursue music. After years of daily practice, local and touring gigs, and a detour into acting and a videography career—Montaño was the University of New Mexico’s videographer for a time and still freelances as one—he now makes a living almost entirely from music. Over the past six years, two of his singles, “I’d Like That” and “Honey Girl,” reached the top 15 on the Billboard jazz charts, establishing Montaño as a national artist, and his live performances—most notably a buzz-worthy performance at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Florida in 2015 and, more recently, as musical director of a local ensemble he handpicked for the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce event La Noche Encantada in February—have made him a sought-after live act. “I’ve always believed in myself,” he says. “If I look back, even like three years ago, it’s terrible. Why would I think I could do that on a national or international level? But I guess I’m a little bit crazy.” Montaño, who is loose and playful on stage and

Albuquerque’s Renaissance Man One of the city’s top brass ascends to the national stage

Ryan Montaño’s original song “Soulfully” is his latest single and first collaboration with Grammy-award winning producer Darren Rahn since their 2015 hit “Honey Girl.”


serious, polite, and contemplative offstage, attributes his success not only to his musical skill and confidence but also to his adeptness at self-promotion. Every day after practice, he’s on the computer, reaching out to promoters, bookers, radio programmers, and potential collaborators. “For every 20 emails I send, I get one response,” he says. “It’s usually a ‘no.’” But every now and then it’s a “yes”—and some of those yeses have made a crucial difference in his career. One of them came from Darren Rahn, an accomplished producer based in Denver. Montaño’s high school band director knew Rahn, a connection he mentioned in his email. After listening to Montaño’s music, Rahn agreed to collaborate, and a few months later “I’d Like That”—a playful, funky tune with a melody just as earworm-worthy as that of any pop song—was born. The single was Montaño’s second professional release. Since then, the two have collaborated on two other singles.

Ryan Montaño and his band have headlined the main stage of Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta for several years. 200

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“He’s got a pretty complex musical mind, he has a very fine ear, and he has very distinct taste, so my job as a producer is to bring that into focus,” Rahn says. While some musicians need a lot of direction, Montaño requires little guidance, he adds. “Ryan is a very, very capable musician. He plays at a pretty high level, so I think my job is to let him express himself. I focus on letting him come through, because he’s a good enough musician for that.” Reflecting on his career so far, Montaño says he feels a certain satisfaction in having been his own boss. “What I’m most proud of is that everything I’ve accomplished has been through my own hard work,” he says. “I’m not beholden to anybody, I’m not with a record label.” Montaño’s laser focus is now aimed at songwriting—he cites John Mayer and Norah Jones as recent influences—and strengthening the Albuquerque music community. “Whatever success I’ve had, I feel it’s my professional and social responsibility to pay it forward,” he says. That can include encouraging an up-and-coming musician to negotiate a higher rate for a gig, connecting one artist with another, or using his video

skills to help another musician create a professional video. “That’s really, really important to me,” he says. In the age of the internet, musicians can build a successful career anywhere, he adds. “You don’t have to live in Los Angeles or New York. I really want to show people that it’s possible, through believing in yourself and hard work.” In the coming months, Montaño will play the Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival in South Carolina in October and will release his second album, Truth Journey. It chronicles his experience trying to find his way to his own musical truth while also attempting to bring his music to as many people as possible. Montaño can do anything he wants to do, and that includes crossing over into other genres, Rahn says. “Ryan is a very wellrounded musician, so I think even though Ryan has been making a name in the smooth jazz industry, he’s capable of playing far beyond smooth jazz,” Rahn says. As for Montaño, he’ll keep playing his trumpet, writing songs that challenge him, and sending out those emails. “I hope I’m in the middle of an ascension, and my goals now are to not take it for granted and not f---k it up.” R



221 Shelby Street, Santa Fe NM 87501 505-983-8604 Monday - Saturday Dinner Service 5 pm until closed | Bar opens at 4 pm

Photo by Kate Russell, courtesy of Atkin Olshin Schade Architects

Set amongst 25 acres of lush formal gardens, stunning architecture and a working lavender farm, Los Poblanos embodies the elegance of New Mexico. Designed in 1932 by famed architect, John Gaw Meem, the Inn is one of the most prestigious historic properties in New Mexico and is located in the heart of the Rio Grande River Valley. Be captivated by the unique history, transcendent beauty, curated Farm Shop artisanal selections and award-winning, farm-to-table cuisine at Campo. A visit to Los Poblanos is a serene, enchanting escape at one of the most beautiful destinations in the Southwest.


Wild salmon with herbed farmers market summer vegetables topped with horseradish and beet crème fraîche at 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar PHOTO BY DOUGLAS MERRIAM


Passion of thePalate

Tipping Point says Yashoda Naidoo, founder of Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café, which has locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe as well as an affiliated school of Ayurvedic cooking. Naidoo, who’s of Indian ancestry but was born on a boat off the coast of South Africa, was an accountant for years. She never planned on starting a restaurant, but when she settled in Albuquerque, she couldn’t convince anyone to open what she thought New Mexico needed: the state’s first vegan and organic restaurant based on Ayurvedic principles. So in 2002, she did it herself. It’s a common story among women restaurant owners here. Kadimah Levanah of Apothecary Restaurant at Santa Fe Oxygen & Healing Bar did previously run a café in Madison, Wisconsin, but she was also an intuitive healer who provided wellness sessions from her home before opening a downtown spa/lounge. Erin Wade, of Modern General and Vinaigrette in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Austin, started a 10-acre farm in Nambe, which produces an abundance of vegetables through non-industrial methods.

In preparing our Passion of the Palate cuisine section, we spoke with these three entrepreneurs about how they see food and drink as critical not only to physical health but also emotional well-being. Naidoo’s cuisine is based on the ancient Indian Ayurvedic principle of balancing the body’s biological energies, or doshas: kapha (earth and water), pitta (fire and water), and vata (space and air). Each meal must also include the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent), and the menu changes to be appropriate for the season. In summer, for instance, Annapurna’s serves food with fewer pitta qualities. Naidoo is a believer in vegetarianism as the healthiest and most environmentally conscious diet, though she’s quick to say that even just eating less meat is a step in the right direction. Even soy, a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets, is not something she espouses. It was first used thousands of years ago in China as a nitrate-heavy fertilizer to grow other food, she explains, and though she serves Om-Mani Phad Thai with tofu, she does so reluctantly. “I think we’ve moved away from awareness of our own bodies. It’s about slowing down and noticing how your body reacts.” While Levanah and Wade offer dishes heavy on vegetables and fresh food, both offer a variety of meat and seafood as well. Wade looks at the health of a farm, for instance, as a good model for the body. The land mostly provides produce, but it can become unhealthy from doing only that. The presence of some livestock and other animals better reflects nature’s balance. “You’re not Avocado Toast with green onions and Himalayan salt is a simple classic at Apothecary Restaurant. Top: Vinaigrette’s I Yam What I Yam salad with baby greens, pancetta, pomegranate seeds, and maple-glazed yam shoestrings


“I only serve food that I’ve tried out on my own body,”


Yashoda Naidoo. Left: During the pandemic restaurant closures, Erin Wade invited her employees to work on the farm.

really doing the environment any favors if you’re buying organic vegetables out of season from Whole Foods,” she points out. The key, she claims, is eating local. Eventually, regional food supply systems could take advantage of different climates to provide variety within a reasonable carbon footprint. At Apothecary, Levanah thinks of her cuisine as “alchemized comfort food.” One of her most popular dishes is Yucca Crust Mandala Pizza with fresh vegetables (vegan cheese optional). Yucca, she explains, lowers glycemic levels in the blood. Dishes often include herbal tinctures and medicinal spices while infusion cocktails may include a boost of chlorophyll to oxygenize the blood, ginger to aid digestion, or kava root to induce euphoric calm. Yet despite the diverse innovation and success of local restaurants, Wade is concerned that the industry is getting overrun by monoliths like Uber Eats and Grubhub, who slice a hefty profit margin off every order and detract from the ceremonial nature of a good meal. Indeed, if we’re at home in pajamas watching Netflix, waiting for our phones to ping at the arrival of food in plastic containers, we’re not exactly engaging in mindful consumption. As meat factories close and victory gardens make a comeback, it’s possible that more people are becoming aware of what it really takes, for instance, to grow a salad’s worth of spinach. “It’s hard to see these beautiful plants just packed up in a to-go box,” says Wade, observing the impact of the pandemic on our dining habits. As the world teeters on a tipping point of profound change, we bring you stories of resilience and collaboration. Mark Oppenheimer illuminates how restaurant owners and other industry leaders plan for some hopeful changes post-pandemic,

and Nancy Zimmerman explores filmmaker and connoisseur Scott Andrews’ collaboration with mezcal makers in Mexico. What is clear is that there is not one way forward. As people are torn between sheltering in place and demonstrating in the streets, our future hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, the local food industry is raring to go. —Christina Procter

Apothecary Restaurant’s Temple Thai Coconut Curry is made with kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger, carrots, snap peas, napa cabbage, mung bean sprouts, and medicinal mushrooms. 205


Saveur Bistro

“That is what Saveur offers. Above all, it is the experience of people for whom feeding others is an art, not simply a business.”

“You see, cooking and feeding people is an art of the highest level. It is one of the few mechanisms we have that can bring people together. To eat surrounded by people that care about your food, who care about your happiness, is a wealth and a form of love that should not be so hard to find to afford or to dispense.” Ana R. Klenicki, Taos News, 2018

204 Montezuma Ave., Santa Fe 505.989.4200



aveur Bistro owners Dee and Bernie Rusanowski’s delightful restaurant in the heart of Santa Fe caters to carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Established more than 17 years ago on the corner of Montezuma Avenue and Cerrillos Road, the restaurant was awarded recognition by the House of Representatives of the State of New Mexico in 2018. Dee and Bernie have been in the restaurant business 50 years. Saveur offers a wide selection of dishes made daily from the freshest ingredients. Quality matters, so eggs are all free-range and organic, salmon is flown in daily from Alaska, and everything—including soups and salad dressings—is made from scratch. Furthermore, all fruits and vegetables are treated to an anti-bacterial wash before use. With its rustic tiled floors, expanded patio seating, and gleaming copper plates, the restaurant has a French country charm that is cozy and inviting. Saveur is open from 7:45 to 10:30 for breakfast and lunch service until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you don’t have time to relax over breakfast or lunch, the restaurant also offers takeout. Desserts are inventive as well, ranging from decadent to refreshing—such as crème brulée, pot de crème (pure chocolate delight), queen’s lemon and mocha cakes, and pie selections.

Take-out-safe buffet with patio dining available outdoors

Passion of thePalate


Craft-distilled mezcal from Mexico’s small producers adds an earthy sophistication to what was once considered an unrefined pleasure


elsewhere were doing: they came to the United States to find work as bussers, dishwashers, and waiters so they could send money home to support their families. As some 1,400 people of working age (out of a population of around 2,200) headed north and the town emptied out, the local culture became fragmented and the people’s music, legends, spiritual beliefs, and arcane knowledge quickly lost ground. Today, however, the culture and economy are being revived, and the key to the village’s success is mezcal. In the early 2000s, San Cristóbal native Édgar González was working in San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and bars when he began to notice that Americans, always up for enjoying the latest trends in cocktail culture, were slowly warming to the idea of mezcal as a drink one could sip, like a fine cognac or a single malt scotch. Although he had never distilled the liquor himself, he decided that producing mezcal might be a good way to employ people and give local residents a reason to return to or remain in their town. González sent

Scott Andrews films Manuel Salcedo as he loads his above-ground horno with agave lechuguilla. Top, from left: Raicillero Manuel Salcedo next to his distillery; Roberto Contreras Junior at his family’s distillery; Bacanora distilled by Beto and Francisca Heredia; Édgar Gonzáles takes a break near his condensing vat; Gonzáles’ donkey-driven stone mill; Gonzáles uses an in-ground conical horno to cook agave; cooked agave at Finca Tosba, resulting in the smoky flavor of mezcal 208

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eep in the densely wooded mountains of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca lies the tiny village of San Cristóbal Lachirioag, a mystical place where Zapotec Indians have lived and worked for centuries. The region is littered with tree-shrouded ruins of palenques, the primitive stills that once converted maguey (agave) into mezcal, the alcoholic drink used by the villagers’ ancestors for the spiritual ceremonies that formed a significant part of Indigenous life. Unfortunately, much of the town’s ancient knowledge of how to create the heady quaff has long since faded, along with San Cristóbal Lachirioag’s connection to its agricultural roots. Farmers there traditionally grew corn for export, but the rewards were slim. Always a poor village, its financial fate was sealed with the passage in 1993 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, as local farmers were no longer able to sell their corn at prices that could sustain the growers and their families. The hardworking villagers thus did what so many of their counterparts

some money back to his father to purchase some land where together they could begin growing agave to reestablish the craft of distilling mezcal and, along with it, the fading culture it represented. Around the same time, Santa Fe–based winemaker and filmmaker Scott Andrews, then residing in Northern California, became interested in mezcal, not only for its growing appeal as a sophisticated sipping spirit but also for its Indigenous roots and fascinating history. Andrews has a master’s degree in visual anthropology from Temple University and the Anthropology Film Center in Santa Fe, as well as a PhD in education, anthropology, and film from Stanford University. Through The Wisdom Archive, his nonprofit organization, Andrews produces, directs, and shoots award-winning documentary films about disappearing traditional cultures and their collective knowledge. The subject of mezcal appealed to him in particular because it combined his three passions: winemaking, ethnology, and film production. Andrews had been seeking traditional producers to supply him with mezcal that he could age himself and then sell in the US, and González was an ideal candidate because he adhered to traditional growing and distilling methods. He cooked the maguey the time-honored way in an underground oven made of stone and adobe, then crushed it with a stone wheel called a tahona that was rotated by a horse walking in a circle. González had only found limited distribution for his mezcal, which he calls TOSBA, and Andrews saw an opportunity to help. “I bought four barrels of a special blend made for me by Édgar,

shipped it un-aged to Santa Fe, and then aged it in a variety of French and American oak barrels for anywhere from 18 months to more than three years,” Andrews says. While waiting for all the necessary import and production permits to come through, Andrews spent his time collecting used barrels from makers of chardonnay, cabernet, port, sherry, bourbon, and brandy. He then broke them apart and cut them into six-inch-long sticks that he used to “age” different spirits in the bottle. Blind tastings with friends led him to the barrel choices he uses in his barrel-aging program today. Andrews works with other mezcaleros throughout Mexico as well, always traditional distillers who hew to the ancient ways, which produce a clean, unadulterated product with a tantalizing smoky, earthy quality. “People often ask what the difference is between tequila and mezcal,” he says. “In fact, all tequila is mezcal, but not all mezcal is tequila. The difference is that tequila, originally produced in the Mexican town of Tequila, is made exclusively from the blue agave plants that grow in several states, and the name was restricted by law to apply only to mezcal produced from blue agave in those regions.” The blue agave used for tequila, he says, is grown from baby shoots that are replanted. It’s a monoclonal product—a plant that reproduces asexually from a single cell—so it’s susceptible to insects and plagues, which often necessitates widespread spraying of pesticides and herbicides. “As with all agaves, the center, or piña, of the plant is mostly starch, which doesn’t ferment unless it’s cooked,” Andrews explains. “In the industrial world of tequila, 209

Passion of thePalate

cooking usually is done with steam produced by burning fuel oil in huge stone or stainless steel ovens, and there is no contact with wood, smoke, or the earth. It’s also usually made with commercial yeast developed in a lab and accelerants that are added to speed fermentation. By law, producers of aged tequila are allowed to add caramel for color and glycerin to improve the mouth feel, as well as oak essence and sugar. The small producers of mezcal use none of that.” Mezcal goes by different names throughout Mexico because in 1995, a “Mezcal Denomination of Origin” limited official mezcal production to only eight of Mexico’s 32 states and required a costly certification process that excluded many small artisanal producers. “These unregistered producers, and those outside this strictly defined region, suddenly, after 500 years, could no longer call their product mezcal,” Andrews adds. “For this reason, all our products are simply labeled as ‘Spirits Distilled From Agave, Made in Mexico.’” Another of Andrews’ sources is mezcalero Manuel Salcedo, who distills lechuguilla agave into a brew called raicilla in the mountains above Puerto Vallarta. It has a much more herbal, mineral flavor that’s less smoky because Salcedo uses an aboveground horno that bakes without much smoke, unlike the in210

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ground ovens. “The herbal characteristics really come through,” Andrews says. Andrews named his aged mezcal Doña Tules in honor of Santa Fe’s legendary saloon owner, who purchased liquor in Mexico and brought it up the Turquoise Trail to her establishment, just as Andrews does today. Although he is not legally allowed to open a tasting room for his products because they are not distilled locally—“I’m a craft ager, but not a distiller,” he explains—he does sell to select restaurants, such as Sazón, Geronimo, El Farol, and Paloma in Santa Fe. Fans who want to enjoy the mezcal at home can join Andrews’ online club, For Sipping Only. As a means of further assisting the people who actually make the mezcal, Andrews gives 50 percent of his profits back to cultural organizations and projects in each mezcalero’s village. The other 50 percent goes to The Wisdom Archive to help fund films about disappearing traditional cultures in New Mexico and around the world. “I want to honor the people who make this,” Andrews says. “I’m in awe of their art, and I want it to be known.” R View a short film about Édgar González at Check out Andrews’ online mezcal club at


From left: Doña Tules Single Barrel Añejo Espadin mezcals; oak pieces cut from 11 different barrels are used to determine the most appropriate aging for each lot of mezcal in the barrel; Andrews barrel tasting to check flavor progression in his mezcal aging “cave” in Santa Fe, New Mexico

MUSEUM HILL CAFÉ Celebrating 10 years with a view custom events available Lunch 11-3 7 D a y s a We e k 505.984.8900 w w w. M u s e u m H i l l C a f e . n e t 710 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Passion of thePalate

Rebuilding From Within

New Mexico restaurants and food organizations pivot creatively and hope for a better post-pandemic industry

Clockwise from top left: Hue-Chan Karels of Open Kitchen; Louis Moskow of 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar; Martin Rios of Restaurant Martín; Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen; Fernando Olea of Sazón 212

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“Every time we have a problem, we also have big opportunities,” says Chef Fernando Olea of Sazón restaurant in Santa Fe of the COVID-19 crisis. “Everything is going to change . . . unfortunately many restaurants are affected and only some will survive.” According to the New Mexico Restaurant Association, at least 3 percent of the state’s 3,500 restaurants have permanently closed. Two-thirds of all restaurant employees, 47,000 people, have been laid off or furloughed. Restaurants also reported a 61 percent decline in sales for those that remained open. Matt Yohalem, chef and owner of Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen in Santa Fe, raises concerns about reopening, which restaurants were permitted to do at 50 percent capacity in early June. “To recreate the theatrical experience of hospitality in masks, how’s that going to work? We’re not just selling food, we’re selling an experience . . . .  I’m here looking for light at the end of the tunnel, and I see a distant flicker.” Many owners, though, have experienced an unexpected boon from forced time off, which, even as it has crippled profits, has led to profound personal reflection that might benefit restaurant and food organizations going forward. “We’re calling it a pivot,” says Louis Moskow, chef and owner of 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar. “I’ve had a fantasy project for some time to do a global line of frozen dumplings: kreplach, pot stickers, empanadas, ravioli, turnovers, pierogi, and gnocchi.” These are now available to go. “Moving forward, I’ll probably open earlier in the day and in the afternoon for an early dinner or cocktail hour. This would provide service to people who want to go out with less people to deal with.” He also says that the ramifications of the pandemic have inspired a reconnection to the values that give meaning to his life. “I love the solitude. It’s been a welcome change. Competing in the rat race for 30 years solid, this break has given me the opportunity to live my life again and put things into perspective for the life that I want to live. I’m no longer going to be occupied mentally or physically with my career, and know that I can actually go away and let things be, whatever is going to happen is going to happen.” Annamaria O’Brien, chef and owner at Dolina, has similarly been drawn to the disruption brought on by the virus. “It forced me to slow down, to eliminate unimportant things that you get in an nonstop loop of ‘doing.’ This time has reminded me to see what is important in my life and what balances me to be a better person, inside and out.”

From top: Jennifer Hart of Love Apple; Andy Lynch of Common Fire; Annamaria O’Brien of Dolina 213

Passion of thePalate

Clockwise, from top: Sazón’s guacamole with green onions and jalapenos; seasonal wild edibles at 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar; seasonal spread at Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen, including house-cured salmon and squid-ink ravioli, squash blossoms, teardrop tomato salad, and house-cured smoked ham with peach and basil 214

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Jennifer Rios, general manager and co-owner of Restaurant Martín with her husband, Chef Martin Rios, concurs. “In a lot of ways I enjoyed the closed times,” she says, noting that they’ve had a chance to regroup in the quiet setting of their Tesuque home. Now, they’re open for dinner, luring customers back with the charm of their outdoor dining area in the patio. Like Chef Moskow, others have also changed their menus to accommodate those who might not be comfortable dining in at this point. At Sazón, Chef Olea came up with something he calls Street Food of Mexico, “casual” items like tacos, tostadas, and flautas. “Something easy to take home,” he says. “Basically, comfort food.” John Haas, executive chef at the M’tucci’s restaurant group in Albuquerque, had been working on a home meal replacement program even before the new coronavirus struck. “It’s a way we can supply food to people who don’t want to go out to eat, but still want to put a great meal


Clockwise, from top left: Patio dining at Love Apple; the restaurant is tucked into a nature-filled Taos setting; interior dining room; owner Jennifer Hart also runs Manzanita Market, an all-organic community cafĂŠ; Manzanita Market remains a family favorite during the pandemic 215

on their table,” he explains. “So, I think we probably adapted a bit easier to this situation than most.” Even so, he says, “I hope customers will be understanding. It’s going to require open-mindedness from operators and from consumers . . . it’s going to be a roller-coaster and it will be filled with some surprising, good things, and a lot of frustrations as well.” Others aren’t so quick to revamp. Jennifer Hart of The Love Apple restaurant and Manzanita Market in Taos says, “I’m not going to completely rebrand my restaurant. The Love Apple is about ambience and the experience of being there. I’m not going to become a to-go restaurant.” Instead, Hart has rallied Taos restaurant owners to form a group that can pool resources and information. “We have no idea what is going to happen,” she says. “Thinking too far in the future doesn’t seem beneficial, because it just seems dark.” Andy Lynch, owner of Common Fire in Taos, says that this is a chance to “take a closer, slower look at what we’re doing with our lives,” and to generally improve the food industry. “Why should 216 TREND art + design + architecture + cuisine 2020

there be an elaborate matrix of bad jobs in the food business? Farm workers, truck drivers, and grocery store employees are all being punished. So, it’s like, okay, let’s hurry up and put this thing back together. Or, no—let’s not.” As with many profound inequities that have been laid bare by the pandemic, the restaurant industry’s razor-thin margins, systematically low wages, and lack of health insurance for staff are finally getting attention. Lynch, for one, hopes we can rebuild for the better. He says he feels “radicalized by COVID,” and questions, “can I create a food production service phenomenon? An entity run by a small group of people with real jobs? If we’re going to reopen, I want to reopen with positions at $52,000 a year.” He says he hopes that consumers gain a new appreciation for the food industry and will be willing to pay more to allow for sustainable jobs. Other alliances in the food industry are looking at the impact of the COVID-19 crisis not just on restaurants, but on food access as a whole. The nonprofit Reunity Resources, founded in 2011, has been


Passion of thePalate


Clockwise from top left: Hue-Chan Karels; Matt Yohalem; Nina Yozell-Epstein of Squash Blossom; John Haas of M’tucci’s. Opposite: Restaurant Martín 217

Late-night happy hour on the sidewalk patio of Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen

collecting food waste from schools and restaurants to create highnutrient compost used on a community farm that donates healthy food to local hunger efforts. Program director Juliana Ciano explains that the closing of restaurants has impacted many players in an interconnected food system. “There is a newly heightened awareness about local food and the realization that the most secure food is the food we’re growing in our own backyards, or that local farmers are growing. We’re seen how supply chain interruptions and heightened demand have thrown off distribution systems. So I think that’s where the value of local food has come into play for a lot of people.” For Reunity Resources, this means building new collaborations. 218

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“It’s all about connecting. We’re working more closely than ever with other nonprofits, farmers, and businesses in town. I think historically a great many of us operate in a little silo. Moving into the future means how do we connect the dots as efficiently and meaningfully as we can?” Meanwhile, Nina Yozell-Epstein of Squash Blossom in Santa Fe has rebranded her restaurant wholesale produce business into a retail subscription service for people in the community. A lead distributor of local produce, Squash Blossom works with over 25 small family farms that practice traditional, low-impact farming methods. The organization’s pivot has helped maintain an income stream for farmers. “We never could have seen this coming,” says Yozell-Epstein, a former farmer herself. “We started to do home delivery. I’m just thankful that here at Squash Blossom we were small enough to be able to adapt quickly. Our tight network of farmers allows us to be really flexible. We were one of the first businesses to say, ‘Okay, we’re here for you. If you need a source for healthy fresh food, we’ll make it happen.’” And she sees hope for New Mexico, given the strength of its local farms and markets. “Our local food system is more intact than in a lot of other places.” “As a community it’s important that we stick together by increasing our awareness of how we are all interconnected,” says Hue-Chan Karels, chef and owner of Open Kitchen, which throws culinary events that foster community connections while sharing Asian and internationally inspired local cuisine. “Making the effort to know and appreciate where our food comes from, who grows and harvests the food, who tends the livestock, and how it’s reaching the customer is more critical now than ever before.” As chefs and owners struggle to revive, it can be hard to keep essential spirits alive, never mind adaptable. Historically, pandemics have caused us to reimagine urban spaces and recalibrate social norms. Yet even as six feet becomes the new standard for personal space, restaurants, farms, and food markets anchor our communities. The question the food industry is asking now is one we must also ask ourselves: Who do we want to be when this is over? Hart does envision new possibilities. “Hopefully now we can begin to work together as a community and create new solutions—vibrant solutions—for our community and not just for us as individuals. The time to create new solutions is when things fall apart. The solutions can be good or bad, but basically what we should be creating is more interesting solutions. That’s my hope.” Ciano echoes the sentiment. “You know, with something like the pandemic that is completely out of your control, it’s so heartwrenching. First there is this disorienting feeling. I look around and ask myself, ‘What are we going to do next?’ I find a moment of quiet and I think that the image of becoming a seed and just dropping down and waiting for the rain to fall is so beautiful. It’s all about that flexibility, shape-shifting. This is the new moment. How do we meet it?” R


Passion of thePalate

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 O’Keeffe Museum 505-982-6734

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It's Time to Renew You! 4111 Barbara Loop SE, Suite C-2 Rio Rancho, NM 87124 Call for FREE Consultation: (505) 404-9555



Arrediamo 505-820-2231...................................................................BC

Acosta Strong Fine Art / Yvonne Mendez 505-982-2795..................................................................192 Adobe Gallery 505-955-0550....................................................................16

Casa Nova Gallery 505-983-8558...........................................................2–3, 13 GLASSplash 505-333-9096.................................................6–7, 184–185 K. O’Neal insta/k.oneal_santafe 505-772-0153....................................................................59 Pandora’s 505-982-3298....................................................................56 Rugman of Santa Fe 505-339-8585, 505-988-2393.........................................8–9 Santa Fe by Design / The Accessory Annex 505-988-4111...................................................44, 184–185 Sleep & Dream Luxury Bed Store 505-988-9195....................................................................14 Traveler’s Market 505-989-7667....................................................................58 Victoria at Home 505-365-2687...................................................12, 184–185 Violante & Rochford Interiors 505-983-3912...........................................................4–5, 11 Xanadu 505-982-1001..........................................................136–139

Candyce Garrett 575-937-1486..................................................................IFC Casa Nova Gallery / Ronel Jordaan 505-983-8558...........................................................2–3, 13 Charlotte Shroyer 575-751-0375 ..................................................................21 Christopher Thomson 505-470-3140....................................................................52 Ed Sandoval 575-770-6360....................................................................75 Inspire Gallery 505-316-4445...................................................................85 La Mesa of Santa Fe 505-984-1688....................................................................26 Larry Bell 575-758-3062....................................................................65 Mark White Fine Art 505-982-2073..............................................................34–35 Mary Stratton 575-770-0760.............................................................61, 68


Meyer Gallery 505-983-1434....................................................................25

Annie O’Carroll Interior Design 505-983-7055..........................................................184–185

Palaski Fine Art / Christina Procter 575-770-7675....................................................................66

Archeo Architects 505-820-7200..........................................................184–185

Patina Gallery / Claire Kahn 505-986-3432....................................................................37

Clemens & Associates, Inc. 505-983-0130....................................................................44

Patricia Carlisle Fine Art / David Pearson 505-820-0596....................................................................19

Design Connection 505-982-4536..........................................................184–185

Ron Larimore 575-770-4462....................................................................67

Kenneth E. Foote Design 707-479-8586....................................................................24 Santa Fe By Design 505-988-4111.....................................................44,184–185 Victoria at Home 505-365-2687...................................................12, 184–185 Violante & Rochford Interiors 505-983-3912...........................................................4–5, 11

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Sally Hayden Von Conta 505-466-0174..................................................................190 Somers Randolph Susan Schuler Ventana Fine Art / Rebecca Tobey 505-983-8815..................................................................IBC

Xanadu 505-982-1001..........................................................136–139 BUILDERS, LIGHTING, FIXTURES & MATERIALS Counter Intelligence, LLC 505-988-4007 ........................................................184–185 Custom Window Coverings 505-820-0511..........................................................184–185 D Maahs Construction 505-992-8382 ........................................................184–185 Form + Function 505-820-7872 ........................................................184–185 H and S Craftsmen 505-988-4007 ........................................................184–185 Santa Fe Door 505-345-3160....................................................................46 Sara Dean Plaster Color 505-919-9108....................................................................23 Woods Design Builders 505-988-2413....................................................................10 EDUCATION, MUSEUMS, EVENTS & BOOKS Santa Fe Pro Musica 505-988-4640.................................................156, 184–185 Weird News 505-660-0704..................................................................187 EYEWEAR, FLORAL, BEAUTY, PETS & HEALTH Bad Moon Apothecary 505-670-6659 ..................................................................42 Barton’s Flowers 505-982-9731....................................................................54 The Beauty Bar 505-983-6241....................................................................43 Body of Santa Fe 505-986-0362....................................................................15 Botwin Eye Group / Oculus Optical 505-438-2020, 505-982-2020..............................................1 Kure 505-930-5339..................................................................183 Ritual Hair, Skin & Nails 505-820-9943..........................................................184–185 Teca Tu 505-982-9374...................................................................56

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I wished to make a map for those who would climb through the hole in the sky. . . . For the soul is a wanderer with many hands and feet. —FROM “A MAP TO THE NEXT WORLD” BY JOY HARJO






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Pixelated Pueblo - Mixed Use Redevlopment Concept for Midtown - Santa Fe, NM

Community Thoughtful design can create places that bring us together

Village in the Bosque - Affordable Housing Community - Bernalillo, NM

222 E. Marcy St. , Suite 19

Santa Fe, NM 87501


Elliott McDowell, Boots & Wurlitzer




505 954 9500

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