June 6th, 2012

If you can find a beautiful town with more art per inch than Santa Fe, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. In the mean time, the (relatively) high altitude town of Santa Fe, New Mexico brings us a plethora of artists and studios, haunting adobe structures, margaritas by the pitcher, and galleries, galleries, galleries.

It’s the art that brings me every time, but the flavors of the food and the surprisingly well-curated clothing stores that fill in the spaces in between. If you’ve been, then of course you’ve heard it before. But the best stops for eats are easily Cafe Pasquals and The Shed. Neither will disappoint. Venture away from the square (on your way to the Railyard galleries) to Cupcake Clothing for your (non-art) shopping fix.

The lovely Jennifer Carr (previously of Gallery MAR) joined me for this recent venture. We spent a sunny day strolling through the galleries on Canyon Road and another one casing the galleries on and around the town square. It wouldn’t be fair to reveal my favorites, but in truth there are too many to list. I found some fantastic new artists to bring to our collectors this summer. And I think just about anyone would find inspiration there too, art lover or not. If you’ve never been, just remember to pack comfortable walking shoes and re-caffeinate early and often.

The highlights of the trip was visiting two of our Gallery MAR artists’ studios, Michael Kessler and Jamie Burns.

Michael Kessler is working diligently after a terrible ski accident (in Park City, no less) offered him a short hibernation from his studio. We were able to see his studio, along with his shipping and crating rooms, separated from the (third) resin room. This is a packed studio, folks. Every inch is organized– hangers for tools, slots for paintings, and shelves for paint that seem to extend to the heavens. There’s a few thousand dollars in supplies alone in this space, right off of his (self-built) adobe home. And the views from said home? Stunning. Kessler left us with a final view from his rooftop, extending West  to Arizona and down to the mountains near Albuquerque. And the promise to send new work to the gallery, soon.

I believe that Jamie Burns may have been more excited to see the rain (than he was my car driving up his dirt road) but the feeling was not mutual.  I was fascinated to see his studio (read: barn-meets-garage) and home out in the rolling hills of Santa Fe. Cranes, vast panels of steel, carved tree trunks, and a well-used flatbed truck all greeted me. No cell service out here. But Burnes doesn’t need much more than his raw materials (and of course his beautiful wife Frida and new son Nelson) as he keeps busy every day working on his mixed media sculptures. At the time of my visit, Burnes was working on a larger-than-life sculpture of a Bison. And get this… it’s headed for Gerald Peters Gallery. It wouldn’t fit through our front door, but that didn’t stop me from being a little jealous.

Visit our Park City Gallery‘s website for available works by our artists. And who knows? Maybe a few new artists will be swinging by Gallery MAR in the next few months too.