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Food, Art and Culture

Living in Santa Fe allows me the opportunity to experience new things even after living here for twenty plus years. This week has been a perfect example of the uniqueness that Santa Fe has to offer.

Site Santa Fe’s current exhibition is Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. I attended two of the events, one being “Artisanal Sake Night” and then “The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art by Tom Marioni.” Both were well attended and enjoyed by all. I have to say that I really enjoyed the Artisanal Sake Night, in the large open gallery, in the back of Site. Two large tables allowed about 40 of us to experience the world Japanese “Nihonshu” which is the so-called “Sake” in English. Guest speakers from Artisan Sake imports and Izanami’s Debra Fleig were passionate as they described the painstaking process of the presented artisanal sake creations. I have learned so much about the quality, the grade, the varying strains of sake rice - the list goes on and on. Thank goodness for the handout to later refresh my memory. Each tasting was paired with a small bite of yumminess. My favorite food was the kinpira gobo (burdock root, carrot, sesame soy dressing) which I’ve had at Izanami before and my favorite sake was the Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjo (tones of licorice, fresh herbs and Asian pear). The event lasted one hour and left me with a desire to have some sushi to end the night. I headed to Shohko (which was just three blocks from the event), but I highly recommend Izanami, too (read here on my experience at Izanami); which is just a fifteen minute drive up the mountain. Let Debra know I sent you.

While I was at Site Santa Fe, the front desk advised me that on Friday they would be having “The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art by Tom Marioni” during the Last Friday Art Walk; a Railyard Art’s District’s monthly event. This is a wonderful way to experience the community of Santa Fe enjoying the various art venues of the Railyard from 5pm-7pm. My hubby and I started at Site Santa Fe, tasting a beer with other local art enthusiasts and then proceeding through the current exhibit. The current exhibit, Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, includes art, documentary materials and new public projects by over 30 artists. A must see before it closes on May 18. You can also attend the special events with Lee Mingwei on April 22 and David Robbins’ Ice Cream Social on May 10.

Not to end the evening too early, we then crossed the street to take in a couple of the many galleries on Guadalupe Street in the Railyard District. First on the walk was the TAI gallery known for featuring the art of traditional Japanese bamboo art and pairing with contemporary Japanese photography. This is one of our favorites due to the stunning pieces of bamboo baskets and sculpture. We ended the evening with most of our time spent at the nearby Evoke Gallery. Santa Fe University Art & Design music students were playing in the background and the place was abuzz with locals and tourists alike. If you have a chance, stop in and experience the beautiful portraits by artist, Daniel Sprick, before mid-June as they will be going to the Denver Art Museum. Described as “still life paintings that blur the line between realism and abstraction”, they are a beauty to behold. The Denver Art Museum’s exhibit of Mr. Sprick’s work opens June 29 and includes over 40 pieces. I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to also experience local artist, Nicholas Herrera’s modern twist on traditional folk art. Mr. Herrera’s folk art is in permanent collections in over 30 museums, so I encourage you to stop in and experience the bright colors and stories told through his carvings while you are in Santa Fe.

There’s a reason that Santa Fe has consistently been named as a top destination in the United States for art and culture and I invite you to come, view the art, experience the city and share your memories with me. Safe travels, Deb Swanson

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