Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Holidays


by Wolf Schneider

Holiday decorations along Canyon Road (Zaplin-Lampert Gallery)
Street posts in downtown Santa Fe are wrapped in green pine garlands, and Christmas lights are glowing on Canyon Road. Artists, skiers, and spiritual seekers are all here for the holidays, reveling in this winter’s great ski conditions.


Seekers have always come to Santa Fe and especially Taos, chef extraordinaire Joseph Wrede recently pointed out to me while I was having a fabulous tuna-steak sandwich with coleslaw at The Palace. Taos is even more removed from the rest of the world than Santa Fe.

Somebody who famously dropped out in the forties and moved to Taos was Millicent Rogers. Taos-based author Cherie Burns (www.cherieburns.com) recently wrote Searching for Beauty, a perceptive biography of that Standard Oil heiress and fashion trendsetter who popularized the Southwest socialite look of a white blouse, long black skirt, and lots of silver and turquoise jewelry.

I interviewed Burns recently over coffee at Collected Works Bookstore, and told her my favorite section of the book was the Taos years. Burns said, “I had to explain what Taos is, and what it was to Millicent and to women then.” Which was? “It was in some ways like what it is now, but more of a frontier. The Anglo population making a life for themselves there – – the artists and the prosperous Anglo women – – came for a certain kind of experience. It was a smaller and wilder place.” Which influenced Millicent how? Burns replied, “There was a profound shift for Millicent from looking for beautiful things that could be bought like fine clothes and Faberge eggs – – she had a real eye for beauty and quality. When she came to Taos, she was reset to appreciate a whole different palette of beauty – – like starry nights in the dark and being led by torchlight after dinner parties.” To all my blog readers: wishing you light in the darkness too in these final days of 2011!
                         
Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Becomes Winter


by Wolf Schneider

Purple-blooming cabbage outside Agua Fria Nursery

Fall is turning to winter in Santa Fe. Aspen leaves are browning and there are glorious purple-flowering cabbages – – a fall/winter outdoors plant – – looking profuse and gorgeous outside Agua Fria Nursery. At the Santa Fe Farmers Market, there’s pumpkin pie chevre from The Old Windmill Dairy. With bracing temperatures ranging from the 20s at night to the 40s during the day, Santa Fe is hopping.

A big, big welcome to Santa Fe Studios, which opened this week with 175 people at the ribbon-cutting, complete with mariachis and a champagne buffet. The first phase has opened with two 18,000 sq. ft. soundstages and 24,000 sq. ft. of production offices. Studio representatives from Warner Bros., ABC, Fox and Sony were on hand for the opening, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican. We’re glad to have Lance, Jason, and Conrad Hool here bringing more filmmaking!

The Tony Hillerman Writers Conference is taking place at the Hotel Santa Fe from November 10-12. It kicks off with a writing workshop with the vivacious mystery writer Sandi Ault. Other highlights include a panel on Building Tension with the talented Jo-Ann Mapson, the lively sounding Friday night Flash Critiques with David Morrell and Ault, and Saturday’s seminar on Queries to Seduce an Editor/Agent. Day passes are available (www.wordharvest.com).

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn Hikes & More


by Wolf Schneider

Inside Restaurant Martin

Just hiked at the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, up near the Randall Davey Audubon Center on Upper Canyon Road. We saw plenty of lemony autumn leaves, bright yellow-blooming chamisa, and purple asters. October is my favorite month in Santa Fe – – the scent of wood-burning fireplaces on cool mornings, the glow of yellow and green leaves swaying on still-full branches, and afternoons in the 60s and 70s. What could beat that? It’s a wonderful time to be out and about. This weekend feels like the absolute pinnacle of autumn, with green chile and marigolds at the Saturday morning farmers market, Saturday’s artists-out-everywhere Canyon Road Paint Out, and the Galisteo Studio Tour where the vistas go on forever.

I had a fabulous dinner this week at Restaurant Martín – – you haven’t lived until you try their delicate Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare with avocado, jalapeno oil, soy, vinaigrette, pickled pineapple, and buttermilk pancakes! And you have to have the Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Cake with sweet and salty caramel and toasted cinnamon ice cream.

Coming up: I’m looking forward to Santa Fe’s Tony Hillerman Writers Conference (www.wordharvest.com) from November 10-12, with Sandi Ault and Jo-Ann Mapson both on panels! Especially popular, I’m going to predict, will be the new Writing with the Stars flash critiques on Friday night, where the opening page of manuscripts-in-the-works will be dramatized out loud, then authors Ault and David Morrell will be on the spot to spout instant critiques. Think: “Dancing with the Stars” morphs into a literary salon! I developed the concept with Ault and Wordharvest, so I’ll see you there.

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Thursday, September 1, 2011

End of Summer


Firefighters and Mayor Coss


The Atalaya Firefighters—a group of handsome hard bodies--got a round of well-deserved applause at the Santa Fe City Council meeting this week. Then the mayor recognized the winners of the Santa Fe App Challenge, including the app/website I co-created and co-founded, Backstory Santa Fe. As I stood on stage with the commissioners and lanky Mayor David Coss, it was a mix of formal (the Pledge of Allegiance, saluting the NM flag) and informal (I saw one commissioner casually refreshing her lipstick).

While developing the app, I’ve gotten to know some particularly smart and sophisticated folks, like Marie Longserre from the Santa Fe Business Incubator (www.sfbi.net), Kate Noble from Santa Fe’s economic development division, and Eric Renz-Whitmore from the NM Tech Council. With a population of around 100,000, Santa Fe is the perfect size city – – a place where anybody can go to the city council meeting and you might even do some social networking with the mayor online.

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Indian Time


Monte Yellow Bird Sr. at Indian Market

Pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the Indian art world was in Santa Fe this weekend for the 90th Indian Market, the largest Native American arts festival in the world. Pickup trucks filled with jewelry, sculpture, and pots wrapped in blankets covered with plastic streamed into town from the rez. Big-deal artists like Darren Vigil Gray and Michael Horse held gallery shows, while other prominent painters, sculptors, and jewelers like Mateo Romero, Presley LaFountain, and former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell could be found in the thick of the Indian Market throngs among more than 1,000 booths surrounding the Plaza.

Heavy thunderstorms let loose, prompting power outages and in a single weekend doubling Santa Fe’s rainfall for the year to date. My Anglo friends said, “What a shame, everyone’s getting wet,” but my Indian friends marveled, “It’s a blessing,” and, “I came here from the Texas drought and this is great.” Driving home late Friday night in the rain, I got capsized by a flash flood when an impromptu foot-deep river thick with tree branches crashed across Rodeo Road creating a makeshift arroyo. I lost control of my SUV, but luckily regained it. The next morning the car was coated with mud, even on top.

Favorite things? Ledger art paintings by California’s Horse, beadwork by Oklahoma’s Les Berryhill and Choctaw artist Elena Pate, and jewelry by the Navajo and Zuni artists. Best conversations? Laughing with painter/jeweler/actor Horse (http://www.michaelhorse.com/) over the casting director who recently told Horse he should play three decades older than he is in a film, and then how that movie shut down, and a more serious moment with jeweler Coreen Cordova (http://www.coreencordova.com/) commenting, “Whether you believe you can do something or you can’t, you’ll be right.”

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Pinnacle


by Wolf Schneider

August garden in Santa Fe
The green chile roaster is spinning at Santa Fe’s DeVargas Center, the Whitehawk jewelry shows are on, and a bear was just relocated from South Capitol. August is the height of the Santa Fe season, the momentum mounting for Indian Market on August 20th. Creative types will want to consider entering the Tony Hillerman/New Mexico Magazine Mystery Short Story Contest (www.wordharvest.com). The deadline is August 15 and the prize is $1,000. Yes it would be nice to have more time, but consider that the year Craig Johnson won, he wrote his story in a single day!

Want to spiff up your wardrobe this weekend? The Fifth Annual Designers Estate Sale is at 328 Delgado between Canyon Road and Acequia Madre on Saturday morning, August 13th—look for the cow! Expect Southwest jewelry, shoes from Manolos to Donald Pliner and Bruno Magli, rhinestoned denim jackets, even new stuff. Canyon Road is Santa Fe’s quintessential art lane—it’s where Tommy Macaione used to paint and the ‘hood where Los Cinco Pintores settled.
                        
Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garden Party


by Wolf Schneider

Gathered under the portal

Santa Fe is said to be a Cancer city according to astro-cartography, and so a place where those born under the sign of Cancer or with significant Cancer influences in their charts feel immediately at home. Take my friend Amy Hoban, who just celebrated her Cancer birthday with a girls’ garden party given by her friend Judy Talbott. We gathered under Judy’s portal for a convivial afternoon and fabulous lunch of champagne, iced tea, chicken salad, cucumber salad, blueberry muffins, and lemon birthday cake – – all homemade by Judy! We welcomed fashionista Jane Smith (looking fabulous) back from Alabama, and helped Sheila Ellis plan a Napa trip. With many of us being sometimes Los Angelenos, we traded intelligence about Carmageddon. I brought a bunch of books that I’d recently read to pass along, and the most popular ones were Alan Arkin’s memoir and “Pie Town.” As for Amy’s gifts, everyone coveted the Tarte makeup set and Dry Bar certificates. There was also a good bit of oohing over Steven Tyler’s autobiography.

Summer is always Santa Fe’s most social time. The Pink Adobe patio has been filling up for lunch every Friday, what with the Origins fashion shows there and the $16 lobster salad (which costs double that at dinner). There’s Spanish Market in late July, Indian Market in late August, and the Canyon Road art shows every Friday night. It’s been a hot summer so far, and we’re all hoping the monsoons will get cranking soon with those big, booming evening thunderstorms that cool things down.
                          
Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Great Timing


by Wolf Schneider

Luminaria's red-chile biscotti and blue-corn muffin

We got a wonderful five-minute summer shower in Santa Fe this evening that made everything feel fresh again, just at the same time as Stevie Nicks and Javier Colon were performing that beautiful rendition of “Landslide” on “The Voice.” It was such great timing! For a few minutes, everything felt so right in the world.

Summer is Santa Fe’s high tourist season, so restaurants and hotels are bringing out their best now. Consider Luminaria at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, with a summer menu sporting a Blood Orange Mojito and house-made Sangria, flavorful blue-corn muffins and red chile-pumpkin seed biscotti, a light and tasty Green Goddess Caesar Salad, and a luscious yet not-too-caloric dessert of Seasonal Fresh Berries with Marsala Marscapone Chantilly Cream (http://www.innatloretto.com/new-mexico-dining/santa-fe-dining.php). Shrugging off the calorie issue entirely, I recently split a fabulous wood-oven, thin-crust pizza and Caesar salad dinner with a friend at Pizzeria da Lino on Guadalupe (http://www.pizzeriadalino.com/). It only cost us $15 each including a generous tip!

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Santa Fe Season Starts

Summer starts June 21st according to the calendar but the gallery summer season is in full swing.  Gallery openings occur every weekend with Canyon Road leading the pack.  Every Friday at 5pm when most galleries close down the fun is just beginning. For those who are not familiar with this yearly ritual, let me explain how it unfolds.  Canyon Road gallery art openings start at 5pm and end at 7pm, occasionally spilling over to nearly 9pm. 

If you’re a visitor you can start at either end and work your way up or down the road.  If you start at the bottom, park in the lot at 225 Canyon (visit canyonroadarts.com for maps) where you will find lots of good artwork from galleries like Manitou, Meyers and McClarry Fine Art.  If you start at the top and want to work your way down there is a public parking lot, which has plenty of room (you do have to pay).  There is also some limited parking on Canyon Road (my last choice) and its side streets Delgado or Camino Escondido. Most Friday nights you will find at least 40 openings and many of the galleries will have food and drinks and of course lots of great art.  A list of all the gallery openings can be found in the New Mexican’s Pasatiempo on Friday if you’re looking for a specific gallery or artist.

Francis Livingston, Kachina Harmony, Oil on Panel, 36" x 36"

You can expect to see hundreds of locals, artists and visitors alike walking up and down Canyon Road and live music as well. This routine continues all summer and in many galleries through the fall.

In July the Opera season opens which adds another dimension to the fun.  Medicine Man Gallery will be having 3 openings in July: Francis Livingston July 8th, Veryl Goodnight July 23rd, and Dennis Ziemienski July 29th.

Veryl Goodnight, Ready to Ride, Bronze Edition of 30, 24" x 9" x 9"

We start with Francis Livingston who will be bring a group of new paintings with his well known traditional Native American imagery and also this year his abstract and modern works including collages incorporating antique Navajo weaving remnants.  Veryl Goodnight, a well known sculptor who’s book “No Turning Back” just came out, will be having a show, exhibit and book signing. Finishing out the month will be acclaimed California artist Dennis Ziemeinski who will be doing a show dedicated to Route 66.  A well sought after illustrator, his imagery has been used for numerous magazine covers and I have included this one to tease you.

As August approaches I will give you another blog of the happenings around the City Different, till then…

Dennis Ziemienski, Fill'er Up?, Oil on Canvas 48" x 24"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where There’s Smoke…

by Wolf Schneider
Tesuque horses endure fire-scented air

My plan for the day was to be outside walking early in Santa Fe’s cool morning air, but as soon as I woke up my eyes were tearing from the smoke. Arizona’s massive Wallow Fire is 200 miles away, yet it’s suffocating Santa Fe with gauzy skies of hazy smoke instead of our usual sapphire blue mountain skies. Cars are covered with ash, eyes sting, and we’re being advised to stay indoors. Afternoon highs are hovering around 90 as the drought persists here.

The giant Wallow Fire is said to be bigger than New York City and 0% contained right now. It is likely to spread into New Mexico. Our New Mexico fire fighters are on their way to help out at the inferno. So far, Monday night’s burning smell and smoky skies were the worst I’ve ever experienced in Santa Fe. Tonight my eyes still sting and a severe weather advisory is in effect for most of the state, with visibilities reduced to below three miles in Santa Fe, and less in other western and central swaths of New Mexico. The whole issue of fire control is a complicated one, with environmentalists, government, and communities often at odds about when and how to squelch a wildfire: for more on that, read Philip Connors’ excellent book “Fire Season,” which I wrote about in an April blog.
                     

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.



Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva