Time-Lapse at SITE Santa Fe 1606 Paseo de Peralta (505) 989-1199
Exhibit runs from February 18-May 20, 2012
In addition to satisfying a taste for the the artistic permutations brought to us by our Museum of New Mexico system, with its panoply of offerings from folk art to photography, a hunger for the cutting-edge can be sated without a trip to the East or West Coast. How? SITE Santa Fe, of course!
SITE Santa Fe in the Railyard Arts District
Since its inception in 1995, SITE has become a valuable resource in the Santa Fe art world. The ample layout allows for installations and large-scale works, and the curatorial staff understands their mission well. February brought the opening of the newest offering from SITE, Time-Lapse 2012.
With an aim of demonstrating the mutability of art, Time-Lapse brings together four artists whose work are specifically intended to change over the course of the exhibition. And an opening event on February 17 also gave Santa Fe art-lovers the chance to enjoy the artistic antics of the Meow Wolf collective, a loose and exuberant confederation of multi-media artists who staged a happening (for lack of a better term) in the Time Capsule Lounge. They did not disappoint!
Meow Wolf: An Old-Fashioned Overhead Projector
Flash Theater by Meow Wolf
Curated by Irene Hofmann, Director and Chief Curator of the Phillips Collection, along with Assistant Curator, Janet Dees, and thanks to much-appreciated support by our local Barker Realty, this examination of change over time features work by artists Byron Kim, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Eve Sussman/Rufus Corporation and Mary Temple.
Ms. Temple engages the viewer immediately with her Currency Series, begun in 2007, and continued with a drawing every day, inspired by the current news and headlines. She creates a portrait of a news-worthy political figure and accompanies it with text that elucidates its relevance. Laid out in a timeline, the drawings challenge us to remember what happened yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, and in so doing, remind us how quickly we consume the happenings of the day and move on. The drawings are proficient, and threads of content re-emerge as events wax or wane. A great concept, well-executed and well worth visiting, as the artist has committed to adding images throughout the run of the show!
A Familiar Face in the News
Byron Kim’s Sunday Paintings, have a similar intent, although his skyscapes have a weekly format, with a painting of the sky every Sunday in whatever locale he finds himself. The work was begun 25 weeks before the opening, and each week during the exhibition, he will send a new painting after it is completed. The skyscapes include a textual diary of his musings, and it will be interesting to see how the sky changes and to wonder where he has been.
Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is represented by two works from a body of tech-savvy pieces he calls Recorders, which invite viewer participation. While these artworks originated in the artist’s mind, the completed pieces depend on interaction from the viewers for their final content. An apt reflection of the digital world, his work asks for a commitment to engage and leave a ghost of oneself behind. Probably not for those already discomfited by the encroachment of social media!
Eve Sussman is repsented by whiteoinwhite: algorithmicnoir, the most recent of her films in collaboration with the Rufus Corporation. Highly experimental, the work runs continuously with a changing narrative that never presents the same juxtaposition of image and words. Edited in real time by a computer algorithm drawing on over 3000 film clips and assorted voice-overs and music, the film revolves around a protagonist named Mr. Holz, placed in an evocation of Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal film of 1956, Alphaville. Having seen a tantalizing tidbit from this work in NYC, I welcomed the opportunity to actually sit down and contemplate it more thoroughly. Advice: Sit in the front row of seats, in case someone tall plops down in front of you!
Look Into the Time Capsule!
The Time Capsule Lounge, comfortably outfitted with floor and stool seating and futuristic lighting, will be welcoming other public events: Musician Brian Mayhall will present a performance on March 30 at 5pm; Brendan Carn and Colin Woodford will perform a live/Skyped internet piece on May 4 at 5pm; and on May 12 at 11am, Axle Comtemporary Art celebrates a book launch for E Pluribus Unum, a composite portrait of Santa Fe. The Lounge also features a four “timely” films from the past, A Trip to the Moon (1902), La Jetee (1962), Powers of Ten (1977), and Primer (2004), organized by Jason Silverman of the CCA Cinematheque and screened continuously on a loop (thank you, Mr. Silverman, most enjoyable!).
Movies from Times Past
A final touch is added by our beloved Collected Works Books, which supplied a selection of science fiction books, curated by Cynthia Melchert, in the Time Capsule for visitors to read and ruminate on. If you don’t finish before you leave, some titles will be on sale at the SITE bookstore, so you can continue your time travel at home.
SITE Santa Fe consistently presents work that invites contemplation of modern issues that confront not just artists but all of us. I welcome these opportunities for consideration and am grateful for the free Fridays that let me return repeatedly to see such interesting work!
Free Fridays: a Great Time to Bring the Kids to SITE
Santa Fe richly deserves its artistic reputation, and summer is a season that brings many opportunities to learn why. Free Friday evenings at the museums, First Friday Artwalks at the Railyard and Last Friday Artwalks in the West Palace and GALA Arts District, right off the historic Santa Fe Plaza, may be at the end of the week, but they are just the beginning of an arts experience!
The Santa Fe Plaza: Green Heart of our Town
ART Santa Fe
Now in its eleventh year, ART Santa Fe brings contemporary artists from around the nation and the world to the attractive and welcoming Santa Fe Community Convention Center. At 72,000 square feet, with state-of-the-art amenities, what a change this venue has brought to this particular art scene! Taking place from July 7-10, the broad schedule of events includes a gala opening night Vernissage, as well as the informative and entertaining Art Santa Fe Presents lecture series that features noted art-world critics and cognoscenti.
Art Santa Fe Returns to the City Different
International Folk Art Market
Santa Fe is already renowned for the fantastic collection at the Museum of International Folk Art, and the weekend of July 9-10 brings the International Folk Art Market to the Milner Plaza on Museum Hill. The goals of economic stability and cultural sustainability for global folk arts combine to create a positive inter-cultural exchange that unites artisans and aficianados from around the world. During this festive two-day event, more than 120 select folk artists from more than 45 countries will travel to Santa Fe, where fortunate fans can peruse and purchase unique folk art direct from these diverse artisans.
Santa Fe International Folk Art Market from David Moore on Vimeo.
No summer in La Ciudad Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis (Santa Fe’s official moniker) would be complete without this annual celebration of traditional and contemporary Spanish arts. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Spanish Market has grown to include far more than the beautiful retablos and straw applique of yester-year; today, collectors can encounter La Guadalupana rendered in computer circuitry or find a pair of far-out bottle-cap earrings. Held on July 30-31, this event is a consistent contributor to the lively Plaza scene.
Santa Fe’s Spanish Heritage
Many art-lovers are already aware of the annual SOFA (Scultpure Objects & Functional Art) shows that take place in New York and Chicago, and three years ago, SOFA arrived in Santa Fe seeking western exposure. Taking place from August 4-7, SOFA West brings international, gallery-curated exhibitions of work that present the very best in contemporary fine art and design. This year, the Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art will come along for the ride with SOFA West, adding the leading dealers of outsider and non-traditional folk art to this exciting artistic mix.
If you haven’t already made your reservations, attendance at the 89th annual Santa Fe Indian Market will require some timely effort on your part and could even necessitate a stay in Albuquerque, as Santa Fe hotels frequently sell out! There is nothing quite like seeing the diverse Native faces from around the nation, all gathered in one place to celebrate their arts and culture. Silver jewelry flashes, beads jingle, and lots and lots of wampum changes hands in a very short period of time. This year’s market takes place on the weekend of August 20-21, and if you already have all your travel plans in place, include making advance dinner reservations as part of your planning – we can help!
The Many Faces of Indian Market: Photo SWAIA
The Houser Compound
If you have a car, we encourage a visit to the Houser Compound, the home of the noted Apache artist, Allan Houser. Located about 20 minutes south of downtown Santa Fe, this pristine plot showcases a treasure trove of works by the late sculptor in a gorgeous landscape setting. And it can even be reserved for private events, such as weddings and birthdays!
We Sing the Praises of the Houser Compound
For sculpture closer to town, just seven miles north in Tesuque, you’ll find the Shidoni Sculpture Garden, which holds work by many local and national artists, all arrayed in a petite river valley just minutes from the Plaza. The Shidoni Foundry also invites visitors to observe bronze pourings, typically on Saturdays, although the schedule is not always firmed up until the Friday before.
We invite you to enjoy an artistically engaging stay in the City Different!
Santa Fe may be a southwestern paradise, but we locals do leave on occasion, even if the time of year is foreboding…and even when the foreboding is borne out in fact! When the weather delays that froze up 2/3 of the country kept this Santa Fe traveler in the Big Apple with additional time to fill, a business trip bestowed unexpected pleasures that more than made up for the 30-hour return trip (which also yielded renewed appreciation for the stamina and commitment of our guests, who sometimes arrive so tired!).
Snow in the Big Apple
Since I am one of our Santa Fe Opera‘s most ardent fans, extra time meant that a visit to the Metropolitan Opera was inevitable. Waiting through the long months between seasons here in Santa Fe makes having the “opera-tunity” to see a live performance especially delightful. While I have been solaced monthly by the Met simulcasts shown locally at the Lensic Center, nothing really compares to that opening moment when the conductor steps onto the podium and the lights go down. It’s simply thrilling! Thanks to our excellent local Opera company, I had last seen Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra back in the summer of 2004, when Mark Delavan sang the title role and Patricia Racette, a Santa Fe favorite, sang the role of his daughter, Amelia.
Patricia Racette as Amelia and Mark Delavan as Simon; Santa Fe Opera 2004 Production of Simon Boccanegra
Our rapidly-changing Santa Fe weather always contributes an element of danger (the possibility of wild winds, lightning and thunder) that suits lush historical tales like this one. No fear of weather ensconced safely indoors at the Met, however, where the sense of danger came from the story, full of intrigue and big brassy horns, not to mention Dmitri Hvorostovsky‘s silver mane! It was a stunning performance, and I came away with the satisfaction of finally seeing James Levine on the podium, a long-held desire. Now that long-held desire has transmuted into patiently waiting for opening night here in Santa Fe, which takes place on Friday, July 1, 2011, with a new production of Charles Gounod’s Faust, led by chief conductor, Frederic Chaslin and director Stephen Lawless. Faust…now that’s a dangerous story!
“Full Court Press” for Simon Boccanegra at the Santa Fe Opera 2004
While waiting for my rescheduled departure, I headed for the other Met, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a photography exhibition of works by Stieglitz, Steichen and Strand was on display. Nice alliteration on that title and a very serendipitous Santa Fe sense of familiarity for a visiting New Mexican! While I have seen some of Alfred Stieglitz’s beautiful photos of Georgia O’Keeffe at our wonderful O’Keeffe Museum, in an exhibition of this size, there were naturally some exciting discoveries. Beautiful partial nudes and detailed photos of O’Keeffe’s gorgeous (and talented) hands spoke volumes about the deep connection that bound these two artists together.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe – Hands, 1919 (printed 1920-1930s) ©Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
It’s no surprise that photographer Paul Strand also spent plenty of time in New Mexico, as have so many artists of all persuasions. Interested parties can peruse the fruits of his labor with a copy of Paul Strand Southwest from our local Photo-Eye Gallery and Bookstore located in Santa Fe on Garcia Street, just a short stroll from the Inn. Even Edward Steichen has a NM connection, with the 1995 book published by the University of New Mexico Press, Picturing an Exhibition: The Family of Man and 1950s America. In this book, author Eric Sandeen presents a study of Steichen’s historic exhibit and its subsequent global influence, along the way examining the exhibit’s origins, Steichen’s beliefs and background, and the aim of his image selection, all reflected through the lens of the 1950s. Steichen’s work in the Met exhibit certainly demonstrates his broad array of interests, but there’s always something else to be learned from the back story, especially when the opportunity to learn is found so close to home.
And in a wintery, blustery city with 7-foot high snowbanks, isn’t finding hometown connections one of the comforts of travel? Now if the Big Apple only had our great green chile (an immediate visit to Atrisco ensued upon return), a lonely Santa Fe traveler would never feel far from home!
Santa Fe Opera Photographs courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera, all rights reserved. Alfred Steiglitz Photograph ©Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
The Wheelwright Museum of the Almerican Indian, International Museum of Folk Art and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture are all located on Museum Hill, Camino Lejo in Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe
New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe
Palace of the Governors is on the north side of the Santa Fe Plaza
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 217 Johnson Street in Santa Fe
BRRRR! That’s all we can say about wandering around outdoors right now. While not as challenged by winter as many destinations, Santa Fe can have frigid weather, much to some travelers’ surprise. On those winter days when the sun is not shining, cold weather does negatively impact the desire to wander in and out of Santa Fe’s many unusual shops and boutiques. So we suggest combining your visit to our wonderful museums with a visit to the equally wonderful museum shops!
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
Starting on Museum Hill, a favorite has to be the Case Trading Post at the Wheelwright Musemum of the American Indian. The museum itself is unusual in that it operates serarately from the New Mexico Museum group that includes the other major institutions in Santa Fe. Even more unusual is the fact that admission to the Wheelwright is by donation, so while the suggestion is thoughtfully observed, no actual fees are required. Currently on exhibit through April 17, 2011, is a fabulous show of Native American rugs woven by the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills master weavers. The show should not be missed, and a visit with these beautiful works of art can be followed by a walk down the stairs to the intimate Case Trading Post, where a desire to buy a rug can be easily satisfied.
The Case Trading Post
The Case Trading Post has been artistically designed to recreate the flavor of an early 20th century trading post on the Navajo Reservation, right down to the squeakiest floors in Santa Fe. The management of this little gem boasts some sharp eyes, much like the traders of yore, with a beautiful selection of old and new items that reflect the panoply of Native arts, past and present. Particular favorites for me begin at the “pawn” section in the back, where I regularly yearn for beautiful inlays and handsomely worn silver goodies. The pottery and weavings chosen by the Case’s skilled buyer offer a variety of styles and price points. I have bought some lovely little watercolors, very reasonably-priced, by Hopi painter Peter Sumatzkuku that I never get tired of seeing on the wall. There are plenty of books for adult minds and for children, and enough small affordable collectibles that you can bring the kids in without feeling like your wallet will be seriously depleted when you leave. Serious depletion here is for the adults, but when it occurs, you can be sure you’ll go home with something you love and treasure.
The Museum of International Folk Art is much praised and justly so, and its gift shop gets kudos too. After spending a few hours or a full day in MOIFA’s collection, the yen to take home a little piece of folk art can easily be assuaged in the shop located right by the entrance. Visitors have until January 31 of this year to see the exhibit, “A Century of Masters: The NEA National Heritage Fellows of New Mexico,” comprised of examples of the works of all the Fellows from New Mexico in its collections, from weavings, to pottery, tinwork, straw appliqué, retablos, and woodcarving. National Heritage Fellows must demonstrate artistic excellence and commitment to their art forms through process, technique, and subsequent transmission of the knowledge to strengthen and enrich their communities. This notion has been an ongoing tradition in New Mexico throughout the centuries, and this is an excellent opportunity to see the fruits of this heritage.
I Met ‘Em at the MOIFA Gift Shop!
The plethora of objects in the MOIFA tend to stun the mind, but there is always something memorable that stays with one. Even for those who choose to travel to Santa Fe at times other than the International Folk Art Market, desires inevitably arise: Need a calavera for Day of the Dead? Earrings made of bottle caps? Colcha embroidery? Name your fixation, and the friendly staff at the shop will help you find a souvenir or gift that accurately represents the finest in folk art traditions. And of course, if a visit makes it imperative to return in July for the Market, make your reservations now, because it is always a sell-out!
A Slogan Worth Remembering
While on Museum Hill, lovers of Native arts will want to stop in at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. History and art combine to educate and delight in the painstakingly acquired collection of this institution, and their website offers many resources, such as a Pueblo dance calendar to help you decide when to visit if this is part of your desired itinerary. Currently on display, but soon to leave in February, is an exhibition of Huichol art with the fine yarn paintings for which this indigenous culture is known. The concept of balance is central to Huichol art and culture, and who doesn’t need that in their life about now?
Inexpensive souvenirs are sometimes necessary for our wallets, but for those who want the real deal, museum shops are the go-to experience. Making a purchase at the Indian Arts and Culture Museum shop guarantees that you’ll be going home with authenticated goods, a certainty not always ensured by shopping at the many tiendas in Santa Fe. Shining silver bracelets, fine pottery and kachinas, tomes on Native art, you’ll find them there. The staff is knowledgeable about the art and the artists, and they’ll take the time to help you receive a better understanding of designs and the culture.
Huichol Yarn Paintings at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
If your Santa Fe visit is limited to downtown, you can find plenty to admire in our New Mexico Museum of Fine Art located on the northwest corner of the Plaza. A new exhibit entitled “Cloudscapes” just opened on January 14, comprising a selection of pictures from the museum’s permanent collection of works that by necessity spend much of their life in storage due to light sensitivity issues. Many of the pieces are from the mid-twenthieth century, along with more recent acquisitions, and works on display are by masters of the medium, including familiar names like Alfred Stieglitz, Laura Gilpin and Edward Weston, with more recent images by Paul Caponigro and William Clift. Following your trip through photographic history, make a stop at this museum store. Though petite in size, it will yield good postcards, always an inexpensive memento, as well as catalogues of past exhibits and a wide assortment of art books. And the art jewelry is always a delight!
The Distinctive New Mexico Museum of Art
Of course, a walk to the Plaza should include a trip to the New Mexico History Museum, where one can garner a comprehensive understanding of how the Southwest grew and changed through the centuries. Running through early April is an interesting exhibit entitled “Wild at Heart,” curated by New Mexico art historian David L. Witt of the Academy for the Love of Learning, home of the Seton Legacy Project in Santa Fe. The exhibit is a fascinating study of Ernest Thompson Seton, conservationist, author, artist, lecturer and co-founder of the Boy Scouts and includes a series of lecture programs that expand one’s understanding of Seton’s legacy and how it lives on in Santa Fe. And lo and behold, there’s more than one gift shop! Beautiful hand-crafted decor items and artistic creations by New Mexicans from all over the state will be found in the shop on the Lincoln Avenue side near the new museum, and a treasure trove of New Mexico books, archival photos and prints from the Museum of New Mexico Press will be found at the Washington Avenue location around the caorner from the Palace of the Governors.
Prints, Photos and Books Galore!
You truly can’t finish a downtown tour without a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum! Probably the most well-known name associated with the arts in our state, O’Keeffe is well-represented in this small but gorgeous museum, notable not only for the collection but also for the wonderful educational opportunities it offers to the community. The current exhibit, “O’Keefiana; Art and Art Materials” is itself an education experience, with artworks supplemented by the materials the artist used and the objects that inspired her. The exhibit runs through early May, and it is a pleasure to see the detailed notes O’Keefe made for herself regarding colors she used and the art materials she created to use, along with the art works that resulted from both.
The O’Keeffe Museum Gift Shop
The O’Keeffe gift shop is definitely postcard heaven, with the only hard part being to actually let go of the cards and mail them out! Who doesn’t want to keep these on a wall somewhere? And if you want it bigger, get a poster and frame it to have your own O’Keeffe! If you missed the movie version of O’Keeffe’s life, staring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, you can get on to enjoy by your own fireplace on a winter evening. The jewelry and clothing items are thoughtful extensions of O’Keeffe’s subject matter, and the books are definitely keepers, destined to be thumbed through repeatedly. The online store is well organized, too, so if you left without it, go online and get it!
Try making your museum hop into the museum shop, and you’ll not only go home with something uniquely Santa Fe, you’ll also know your spent your souvenir dollars to help keep the arts alive in the Land of Enchantment!
O’Keeffiana: Art and Art Materials September 24, 2010 – May 08, 2011
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: 217 Johnson Street Santa Fe, NM (505)946-1000
One of the most intriguing things about any artist’s oeuvre is the question of how it was accomplished. By the time work is hung in the hallowed halls of a museum, the creation of the work is subsumed in pure enjoyment of the artifact. From now until May 2011, however,the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum gives viewers the opportunity to encounter the materials and process that led to the end product, as well as see the final fruition of the artist’s idea.
On the River 1965: Georgia O’Keeffe
As an artist myself, when someone asks me “How long did it take you to make that?” I always answer, “All of my life!” The new exhibit at the O’Keeffe, entitled O’Keeffiana: Art and Art Materials provides ample evidence for this same truism. Throughout the museum, one can see the repetition of lines and forms that obviously held O’Keeffe’s intensely pointed interest throughout her very long time on the planet. From bones to buildings, tents to trees, her fascination for and love of nature and natural forms is on display throughout the galleries. With sketches mounted next to finished paintings, one can see just how specific and well considered her compositions and intentions were. She appears to have spent long hours studying from many angles the objects that intrigued her and then reducing them to a deceptively simple and beautifully refined abstraction. Once her conception of the essential form developed, she remained constant to this distillation of form, coming back repeatedly to the things she apparently loved the best. Returning over and over to an idea, she had the clarity of purpose and the will to perfect it to what she considered its visual ideal. And although each finished work is unique, the thread of her devotion to certain shapes and colors is demonstrated throughout this satisfying and thoughtfully curated exhibit.
Horse’s Skull: Photo by Malcolm Varon 2001
Horse’s Skull White Rose 1931: Georgia O’Keeffe
In addition to a whole raft of works I have not seen in the museum before (where DOES this embarrassment of riches originate?), the exhibit also includes some of the actual objects that O’Keeffe loved, the stones and bones, many in arrangements as she left them. To see them is to have a tiny window into a walk she may have taken on the Pedernal, or a dry riverbed on which she trod; to see them is to see the natural glory of northern New Mexico that brought and then kept Georgia O’Keeffe in the horizontal river valley of Abiquiu rather the the vertical heights of New York, where most “famous” artists ply their trade.
The art materials are also a revelation, with hand-tailored brushes and chunky hand-made pastels, along with a whole box of white flake oil paint that she bought when she knew it would be phased out because of the lead content. Her patient attention to developing just the colors and mood she wanted is evidenced in personal paint swatches with their exact compositions of elements detailed carefully on the back, so that she could use her chosen hues again. This thoughtful display of art materials provides a glimpse into the discipline and dedication that fostered such a long and satisfying career.
O’Keeffe’s Painting Materials: Photo by Malcolm Varon 2001
A series of photographs, many by photographers whose names also resonate, show both the playful side of O’Keeffe as well as the perseverance of an artist who would paint while ensconced inside of a car if the weather interfered with a scene before she gathered what she needed from it. From youth to old age, this was an artist who knew what she wanted and went after it with tenacity and determination!
Georgia O’Keeffe after Return from New Mexico, 1929: Alfred Stieglitz
I benefitted from a docent tour of this exhibit and would recommend it, as it helped to flesh out the progression of this significant artist, her work and her career. Without a docent, I would never have known, for example, that at almost 90, O’Keeffe painted her last large canvas while strapped into a chair mounted on a scaffold! Docent orientations take place at 10:30 am on the days the museum is open, and a state-of-the-art audio tour is available. The museum is open Saturday through Thursday from 10am to 5pm and Friday from 10am to 8pm; admission is free from 5-8pm on the first Friday of each month. In keeping with the museum’s mission to expand appreciation of the arts, there is an ongoing series of public programs that provides artistic insights and educational opportunities throughout the year.
Just as Georgia O’Keeffe was a unique jewel among American artists, so is the O’Keeffe museum a real gem in the heart of Santa Fe, and we are so lucky and grateful to have it in our midst!
All images courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; all rights are reserved.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, my grand-daughter and I were crafting some beads and charms for her to use in creating a hand-made gift for her mom. As we looked through my high-school-vintage jewelry box for ideas, we came across a pair of Huichol earrings that I bought on a visit to Mexico for her parents’ wedding back in the 1990’s. The seed beads were so tiny and the craftsmanship so precise that it’s downright embarrassing to recall that I paid only $3 for this delicate work! If you admire this sort of exquisite artistry, then it’s time to get over to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture on Museum Hill to see the Huichol exhibit currently on display there.
Maidu Creation by Harry Fonseca