Posts Tagged ‘Changing Gallery’

Changing Gallery Presents “Practical Nonsense”

a Mercantile of the Bizarre and Unusual in the Spirit of Dadaism and Mad Humor

Victorian Skateboard

On April 16th, from 4-8 PM, Changing Gallery hosts the Opening for “Practical Nonsense: a mercantile of the bizarre and unusual.” This solo exhibition by artist Esteban Bojorquez features “assemblage and readymades in the spirit of dadaism and mad humor.” Many pieces were crafted specifically to play off the special character of Changing Gallery’s current venue, The Palace Grocery Store.

Practical Nonsense is a Mom & Pop convenience store in the Twilight Zone, an emporium of delightful oddities and witty wonders. Look for the * Alien Space Helmet and Assorted Ray Guns * The Dutch Disco Shoe * Expired Goods –100% off! * Money Hungry Bank (with teeth!) * Golf Ball on the Moon (a victim of extraterrestrial forces) * The Do-it-Yourself Series, including * “You Can Be a Space Cowboy * the Vampire Kit (complete with mirror, mallet and silver tipped bullets.) * and an unforgettable freezer display, “Joe the Butcher and His Calvacade of Meat.” All this plus, The Frolic Room….


Saturday, April 16th, 4:00-8:00 PM

Sunday, April 17th, 1:00-4:00 PM

Saturdays, April 23rd and April 30th, 1:00-4:00 PM, and By Appointment.

As Changing Gallery, real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography and music of local, independent and emerging creative talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale.


Check out this short Video of the Show


The Art of Upcycling


Upcycling is “the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value,” says Wikipedia.  Where recycling converts plastic bottles into microfiber jackets, upcycling turns newsprint into notebooks, or broken skateboards into hip, colorful benches. For the smartest elucidation of the difference I’ve run across, read this post on Intercon.

Trazzlers’ Turning Trash into Visionary Art is a fun tour of “the mind-boggling things people make with junk.”  From an oceanside pipe organ made of cemetery detrius to the tire, bottle, can and scrap metal-composed Earthships of Taos, the article celebrates extraordinary eventualities that come about when trash falls into the hands of manic humans with vision.

I found the post, Fabulous Furniture Made of Unusual Upcycled Objects on the sharp-minded culture-sifter BrainPickings, the blog committed to “curating eclectic interestingness from culture’s collective brain.” If the idea of a coffin couch gives you the creeps, how ’bout one made through a marriage of old-style leather car seats and vintage refrigerators?

Recently, we were introduced to the work of independent artist Esteban Bojorquez who “[collects] and [reconstructs] the discarded refuse of our throwaway society” into dynamic, tactile delights. Bojorquez’ studio is a brilliant fun house chock-a-block with cheerful, burnished castoffs carefully conjoined into visually pleasing, balanced compositions.  (Watch for a future studio visit.)

Alien Skull, by Esteban Bojorquez

The piece that hooked my interest was “Alien skull:” a metal doppleganger of that overworked Western icon, The Cow Skull. His guitars made of 5 gallon gas cans and other found materials dazzle with wit and whimsical appeal. Bojorquez’ work seemed a perfect match for Changing Gallery’s current venue, the old Palace Grocery Store, near the heart of downtown Santa Fe, so we were thrilled when he consented to a show. If you’re in town on April 16th, come see Bojorquez transform the Palace into, in his words, “an environmental installation, a mercantile of the bizarre and unusual, incorporating [his] assemblage art and creating new products in the spirit of dadaism and mad humor.”


The art of Esteban Bojorquez was featured on CNN’s My City, My Secret.  Professional Skateboarder Terry Kennedy shared his favorite haunts in the San Fernando Valley, including a trip to Cal State Northridge art museum. Watch the video here.

Wee OK: Documentary Photographs of New Orleans

Wee OK, by Grace Berge

Sprayed across the door and siding of a home abandoned after Katrina is the message, “Wee OK” plus three names and a phone number. The extra “e” is blurred, perhaps half erased, perhaps just a burp of the spraycan, an unconscious error and unwitting double entrendre. “Wee OK.” Not fully or grandly okay. Just a wee little bit okay, but enough. Don’t worry. Here’s our number. You can call.

Katrina remains New Orleans’ indelible shadow, the top note and backbeat to any discussion of the city. But New Orleans is a city of deep, rich, dimensional culture, and a wellspring of American music. Changing Gallery’s next exhibition offers two photographic perspectives on life in New Orleans: the dark destruction post Katrina and the enveloping joy of the music scene.

Grace Berge’s documentary photographs of post-Katrina devastation will be projected within an installation that mimics the environments in which they were shot.

Marc Malin, photographer, musician and long time contributor to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic (NOMC), will show photographs of musicians and musical events in New Orleans. Malin describes his work as “impressionist documents:” uncontrived, “captured moments” shot documentary style, but using equipment and processing techniques that “[convey] the feeling; and or energy present.” Head to Main’s website to see the astounding gallery of musical talents– Dr. John, Buddy Guy, The Neville Brothers, Toni Bennett, Brownie McGhee and so many more– Malin has captured on film. A portion of proceeds from the sale of prints and cards will be donated to NOMC.

Social Aid & Pleasure Club Parade, by Marc Malin

Musicians Marc Malin, Mike Handler, Larry Diaz, Janice Mohr-Nelson, Vin Kelly and Arne Bey –The Country Blues Revue– will play a set. Read more about the band, on the bill for this summer’s Thirsty Ear Festival, at their Facebook page, Marc and Mike’s Country Blues Revue


As Changing Gallery, real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography and music of local, independent and emerging creative talents.  Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale.



Tilting at Wankmills

Visiones del Quijote, Octavio Ocampo

Visiones del Quijote, Octavio Ocampo

Yesterday, I read an old (October, 2010) but still relevant post by Rob Hahn (The Notorious Rob) on SEO, the Real Estate Blog, and Competition By disposition and vocation, Hahn is an industry gadfly. Plus, he has the mental and verbal muscularity to deliver his perceptions with lucidity and punch. Not saying this to flatter, but to point up something that gets lost in the scrabble for rank: quality thinking and writing endure.

Discussing the impact of SEO on organic search results, Hahn says,

“if you believe that all or some of these things do make a difference, then it’s hard to understand why you believe an individual real estate agent can make SEO a cornerstone of his/her business strategy…. Because from where I sit, they all look like fighting on the opponent’s chosen battlefield, using tactics that the opponent is really good at, and trying to out-Walmart Walmart.”

Hahn concludes his piece with the questions, “What is the advantage that the individual agent or the small broker has over the Big Boy or Big Guys? How can that advantage be exploited systematically?”

To the first question, I offer a December, 2009 post by writer/blogger Jay Hathaway (Cold Content Farm) that remains my blog manifesto. Responding to the question of whether he “does content,” Hathaway says,

“Content: that most formless, most beige, most indifferent of nouns. You’re comfortable with “content,” because what’s actually contained is irrelevant to you. You don’t wonder whether it’s writing, because you don’t intend to read it. You don’t care whether anyone else reads it, either. Words aren’t for reading; they’re for indexing, clicking on, optimizing…. I want writing with skinned knees.”

Linger on that one for a moment.

If the little guy has any chance against The Machine, perhaps it is through quality thinking and writing. Hathaway’s aspiration is to write “deftly and honestly.” He does. So does Hahn. So does William Reichard, author of the blog Technoagita, whose post, Wherein Some of Your SEO guilt is Absolved, was the inspiration for this post.

The little guy’s only advantage may be intelligence, authenticity and soul. But it’s an advantage that keeps the poems of Rumi fresh centuries after they were written, or on a humbler scale, causes old posts by all of these writers to resurface long after their publication date. Still, in the end, we have to address Hahn’s second question, “how can that advantage be exploited systematically?” For that I do not have a response.

I do, however, have my trifurcated slingshot: my blog, our business,, and Changing Gallery. And the commitment to support individual excellence wherever I encounter it. This much I know:

“Life’s too short to dance with ad hucksters, get-rich-quickers, bot-feeders and human acronyms” (Jay Hathaway). Confine your dances to partners with skinned knees. And go read those posts.

Creating the Perfect Santa Fe

Solemates, Acrylic on Canvas, by Mark Frossard, 2010

A great deal of ink and shutter snaps have been expended by writers and photographers in their efforts to capture the vivid allure of Santa Fe. The latest effort we ran across was “Celebrate Santa Fe” a piece published in Destinations Travel Magazine.

I’m a bit wary of outsiders’ assessments of Santa Fe, or of any city I know well.  Example: a recent Wall Street Journal piece labeling the Albuquerque area near Gertrude Zachary’s “Castle” –an area which includes the Elements Urban Townhomes, a desirable Green Development– as “Skid Row” and “derelict” is an egregious example of the distorted lens of distance.  But Darlene Perrone’s piece rings true in the main. As she says at the start, “There is no place on earth like Santa Fe….”


A little over a year ago, Zane Fischer, writer for the Santa Fe Reporter (Zane’s World), wrote a column entitled Mirror, Mirror.  In it, he said:

“On the whole, it appears the time is right for Santa Fe to head into the New Year understanding that accolades from travel magazines are nice, but clear-eyed assessments of how to move into the future are nicer. All of us need to consider the short- and long-term paths to maintaining the city’s integrity and character while positioning it as a genuine center for creative innovation.”

Accolades are nice.  We get a lot of them. But what’s more important than plaudits based on surveys and dreamy sketches by swing-through visitors is a healthy self regard.  Santa Fe isn’t perfect, but it is genuinely and deeply creative. Entities such as the Santa Fe Complex, a matrix of interdisciplinary cross-pollination, show this small town’s remarkable reach for innovative action.

On Monday, I read a piece Creating the Perfect City is About Illusions, Such As Shorter Blocks about a grassroots urban planner working to make his city more vibrant and liveable. Anthony Lyons, the planner, and David Green, an urban designer from Perkins+Will, have teamed up “to re-imagine how we address the challenges cities face in the coming decades.”  They started with the simple question, “What kind of city do we want to be?”

So how ’bout it Santa Fe: what kind of city do we want to be? Through Changing Gallery and this blog, I regularly cast my votes in support of emerging and independent artists and musicians.  Joshua Maes and I are also, through lifestyle, affiliations and advocacy, supporters of sustainability and Green initiatives. There’s a hot debate about incentives for the film industry, and bills under consideration covering education, energy, marriage and many other issues core to our civic identity. What do you think?

Polymorphic Polymediac: Artist RosS Hamlin

things i’d love to do: …play kick-the-can with the pharcyde and pooh sticks with tom waits…. –RosS Hamlin on MySpace

When I approached RosS Hamlin, musician, artist and director of Little Wing Performance Space, to ask if he was game for an interview, his response came through Facebook mobile as four vertical quadrangles. I thought it might be an artist thing. Turns out, it was and it wasn’t. RosS wrote “game” upside down which flummoxed my App. But RosS isn’t a vanity artist, posturing obscurity to emphasize originality. Thoughtful, articulate, polite and professional, RosS knows that to get all that wild-minded, perspective-changing creative brilliance before the world, you have to be functional, albeit with a flourish.

“Santa Fe’s newest and most open-minded music and art space,” Little Wing is a bonanza for emerging and independent artists and musicians.  We hear nothing but love for this place and much of that because of the man behind the shows. When I asked RosS how he attracts those who want to use the space, he said, “I don’t have a set criteria. Bands of every genre are welcome here, as are any workshops, clinics or classes that want to rent the space out. If they have the money, they can do whatever they want here,” citing just one incident where he’s turned away a potential renter and speaking with charity about a single workshop that bombed. “We’re all learning.”

We met RosS at a meeting of the After Hours Alliance, “founded in 2010 by a group of music and arts promoters under the mission of connecting the younger people of Santa Fe to meaningful and relevant after-hours events.” (I spoke about AHA in an earlier post, The Care and Feeding of Santa Fe’s Creative Class.) Hamlin’s participation in the all-volunteer organization is emblematic of his generosity. That generosity extends to his financial arrangement with acts who book Little Wing (60/40 split in favor of performers; 70/30 split in favor of gallery artists) and his efforts to make the venue accessible. Indeed, this is a guy spinning with talent –musical, visual and verbal.  He could probably keep the place booked showcasing his own work and personal picks.  But that’s not his way.

Drop in on Hamlin’s website to check out his round robin of abilities, affiliations and inspiration. In addition to arting, composing and music-making, he is also a guitar, electric bass, voice, composition, and music theory teacher through his school, Full Circle Guitar. When he claims that his approach “emphasizes full-brain creativity [and his] style is patient, detailed, innovative and most importantly, fun,” I believe him.  Hamlin’s sincerity and humility are solid and palpable.

Be sure to savor a few tracks on Hamlin’s site on Reverbnation.  I admit to a pedestrian resistant to present day Jazz, which “The Mustache who loved Me” –an engaging fusion of jazz and funk– quickly set straight. Or better yet, treat yourself to an evening’s entertainment at Little Wing Performance Space. Hamlin’s ever-evolving artistic intelligence and expansive inclusivity –a recent event united the potent forces of Meow Wolf and Red Cell’s The Process with out-of-town talent –ensure a bounty of cultural experience that is truly the wellspring of Santa Fe’s “robust art scene,” to quote the New York Times. All Hamlin asks is that you pay your pittance and pull up a chair.

Watch Joshua Maes video of our visit to Little Wing

Past as Presence: Joanne Lefrak at Box Gallery

Joanne Lefrak is lovely and charming, with a warmth and gentle spontaneity that disarms.

Given the potent mystique of the brooding artist, you might think niceness would be an occupational detriment, or at the least, irrelevant.  But if you’re in the business of brokering relationships and gathering stories, it helps to be the sort of person who invites engagement the way a puppy invites touch.

Surely that effulgent loveliness serves her work at SITE Santa Fe, where she works as education and catalogue manager and runs the Young Curator’s Program. It also enabled her to entice ghost town raconteurs to unfurl the old family stories she pairs with the delicate drawings in her show, Past as Presence, currently on display at Box Gallery.

Like any good works of art, Lefrak’s pieces unveil in layers. The fact that she scratched her drawings onto plexiglass is an immediately appreciable neat trick, especially for anyone who has ever tried NOT to scratch plexi and knows just how touchy a medium it is.  And it’s also quite cool that wall-mounting and front-lighting these scratched plexi panels reveals pallid but precise images in shadow. What follows is what you feel: the haunting resonance of powerful times past–at the Trinity Site, testing ground for atomic bombs, and in the faint, memory-bent remnants of a vigorous family life echoed in a present day ghost town.

Head down to Box Gallery, downtown in the Santa Fe Railyard, and spend a half an hour absorbing these etheric wonders.  Slip on a set of headphones, and listen to the words of the ranchers Lefrak befriended. Share the fresh, direct sense of something not there made real and present by the humble, receptivity of this gentle artist.

Exhibition runs August 27 – October 2, 2010 at Box Gallery “[one of] a dozen galleries … that the serious collector and the discerning tourist would not want to miss.” — Mimi Avins, Los Angeles Times, Travel

Box Gallery is located at 1611-A Paseo de Peralta, across from SITE Santa Fe. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 5; Tel: 505.989.4897


Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent artistic and musical talents.

Activate or Deteriorate: Avoiding ‘Spectrum Syndrome’ in Santa Fe

Activationism Indoors is practiced at the New Central Nightclub in Provincetown, 1948

About six weeks ago, I found myself in a time trough between appointments, looking for shade and coffee in a part of town not known for its cafes. I stumbled upon Spectrum which won me over with its excellent coffee and commitment to community.  While doing a final fact check last week prior to giving them a plug in my blog, I called their number. Disconnected. Like some crazed EMT-wannabe doing CPR on a cold corpse, I redialed four times. Finally, I called neighboring Pizzeria Espiritu and learned from the friendly voice on the line that, in fact, the cafe had closed the day before.

I shouldn’t have been shocked.  When we spoke to Shalene Dailey, who co-owned Spectrum with her husband Nathan, we detected the ozone of exhaustion, centered on the challenge of finding professionally-minded staff.  But what heartened me was to hear Shalene frame this challenge as a big picture service to community.  She wanted her employees to learn life skills they could later apply to their own passions and to model the same for her own kids. She wanted the cafe to serve as a locus of community.


Last week, at the urging of Red Cell, we met with Dan Werwath and Shannon Murphy who were collecting info for the next MIX Santa Fe from locals-in-the-know about Santa Fe nightlife. I’m hardly one to tap on that subject, but Changing Gallery–our endeavor to support emerging and independent artists–has made occasional contributions to the downtown night scene. So we talked about common ambitions and perennial problems. If you haven’t heard, MIX Santa Fe “is a public/private collaboration that [uses] creative micro-stimulus initiatives, job resources and regular networking to [attract] new ideas, business growth and energy to Santa Fe.” That’s the short version. Visit the Mix website for the full bio on this local effort to make Santa Fe a better, more economically-friendly home for the city’s young professionals. MIX even caught the camera-eye of CNN.

Every month, MIX poses a question with a prize for the winner. May’s “Mix Pays Revenge of a Question” was, “What, besides money, do you need to launch an entrepreneurial idea or business?”  The responses pointed up both the sandpits and fairways of launching new venture, including a rant about how the city is controlled by a small cabal of status quo players with longstanding ties (here termed a “gerontocracy.”) Positive suggestions included assembling a group of taste makers to vet and bless new ventures, and providing a gathering place for entrepreneurial folk to share ideas.

Member of an old Boston Family... expresses Activationist Joy

Whatever it doesn’t have, Santa Fe has no lack of talent.  The challenge is how to interlock that talent to make it go further.  I was going to propose that the wished for groups of tastemakers and entrepreneurs make Spectrum their meeting place, and that Spectrum tap the pool of young professionals for ideas and action to create a full scale entrepreneurial “factory,” but Spectrum didn’t make it.

So what HAVE we got? Changing Gallery uses on-market real estate to showcase the work of emerging and independent artists.  Sure, I’d love a large warehouse with walls into which Jennifer Joseph could hammer her gorgeous installations, where a day cafe could make way for a nighttime performance space for indie musicians.  But what I have are listings and artwork–both of which need to be seen in order to be sold. Through intersecting needs, everyone wins.

Last month’s Mix Pays winner was Rob DeWalt, who suggested “extending the Santa Fe Trails bus service to 3 a.m. on limited routes on the weekends for a 3-month trial period…. “In order for it to work, though, people will have to put their money where their mouth is and actually use this new public transportation option during the trial period.” (italics mine) “We’d like to try to put Rob’s idea in motion but we need your feedback…,” said Mix. “What would it take to get you and your friends to ride it? What routes would be most important? Leave it in the comments or show up at the next MIX event (every third Thursday) to tell us in person.”

As of this writing, there wasn’t a comment in the box.  This is what I’m calling “The Spectrum Syndrome”: the passive belief that somebody will give feedback; somebody will set up the program; that if it’s a good idea, it’ll happen. I know I’m guilty of this; Spectrum’s my witness. Are you?  Here’s hoping that those whom the talented creatives behind Mix are seeking to serve will offer what they can easily spare–opinions and support for a good idea–lest the fine potential that is Santa Fe Mix become just another case of Spectrum Syndrome.

**Answer August’s $200 MixPays Survey on the issue of public transportation in Santa Fe and earn a ticket toward a free drink and a chance to win $200 if your answer smokes the competition.

This Week on Santa Fe’s Creative Scene–8/13/10

I’m the luckiest kid, I get to do what I love to do everyday. – Phillip

Phillip’s been counting: Ten days, four days and now one. On Saturday, August 14th, Phillip Vigil will have the Opening at Shiprock Santa Fe that he, and we, have been looking forward to since he was invited to join the gallery last October. We met once emerging artist Phillip in the Spring of ’09, when he reached out to us (and a thousand others) via Facebook.  We gave him space in several of the Changing Gallery group shows, (described in the posts Sights and Sounds and See and Be Scene) because we were impressed by his knowledge of art history, his huge curiosity and his hunger to grow. We also got to know his generosity of heart–a generosity in evidence when he suggested I use a piece by Matthew Chase-Daniel as the visual for the blogpost. “Matthew Chase-Daniel is Amazing!” he wrote. And a few minutes later, “Use the profile photo!”

Matthew Chase-Daniel’s photo-assemblage portraits “[draw] on the traditions of photography, painting and cinematography to capture the dynamic activity [of seeing.]”

“I do not photograph only one moment in time, but rather a group of moments, selecting the most essential details of a place.”

In the photo to the left, he effectively captures a fleeting bit of Phillip: the focus, the intensity, the polygamy of culture, color, medium and technique. We know who and what we know in the aggregate of our acquaintance, as a moving point of moments, experiences, pictures. As artists do, Chase-Daniel helps us to see what we fail to notice.

Shiprock Gallery is located on the Plaza, at 53 Old Santa Fe Trail, 2nd floor,  in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. Tel: 982.8478 The opening for Phillip’s Exhibition will run from 6:00-8:30, Saturday, August 14th.

Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their real estate listings, where appropriate, to showcase the work of emerging and independent artists. Check out our website at

Passing Greatness: a Paean to Musician Bill Hinkley & the Giving Spirit

“I’m quite sure that it will take the angel band just a short time to get over the shock of ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ in 5/4 time or ‘Amazing Grace’ to the tune of ‘Gilligan’s Island’.” –Van Mertz

“Bill’s reggae version of the Ballad of Jed Clampett was one of my favorites…” –Mike Tonder

He could sing, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame, backwards.” –Rick Haps Hofacre


This past Tuesday morning a musical genius slipped away. Bill Hinkley, musician, teacher, and former member of The Sorry Muthas and, with his wife Judy, the house band for the first season (’74-’75) of A Prairie Home Companion, succumbed to the blood disorder that had hammered his body for some five years.  I knew Bill from the time he lived in our home.  I recall him as skinny, quiet and a bit skittish, a memory that would likely amuse those who knew him as a performer. But I think Bill found his harmony in the world, as many artists do, through observing and responding to what he saw with his medium of choice. And, music, in turn, served as his web of life through which he gave and received generously and joyously.

So what  does the death of a Minnesota musician have to do with a blog on downtown Santa Fe?

Beyond my fumbling grief, I write to celebrate an artistic light and the generative life force that each of us brings to the world. Losing Bill just drives me harder to preserve, extol and uplift the creative spirit that feeds and arguably, defines, the Santa Fe community. And to give where I can: in my profession, in Changing Gallery, our effort to support independent and emerging artists and musicians, and in the face of the needs that confront me.

Whatever you have, offer it up with passion and faith that it matters. Need inspiration?  Check out the Facebook Wall that celebrates the lives and music of Bill Hinkley and his wife, musical companion and conspirator in delight, Judy Larson

“Well, they all went out upon the lake ~ Rocks, strop, Bye, Mr. Gamble

Got Swallowed up by a cottonmouth snake ~ Rocks, strop, Bye, Mr. Gamble

Bread and cheese upon the shelf ~ If you want anymore, you can sing it yourself….

–Froggie Went a Courtin,’Traditional, as sung by Bill on the album, Out in Our Meadow


On Friday, June 11th, I will walk the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to raise funds for cancer education, treatment and research.  If you’re in the vicinity of Santa Fe High School that evening, stop by.  Check out the ring of farolitos lining the track.  If you’re there before dark, you can get a good look at the names and the spirited drawings and decorations that celebrate the many lives touched by cancer.  After dark, the bags form a glowing ring of comfort and inspiration. Quite the sight.


Thanks to my fabulous donors, I was recognized as the Top Participant in this year’s Relay for Life event in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Actually, I think Barbara Blackwell raised more overall–I was the online leader– but without question, Prudential was the Top Team. I = You who supported me and the work of the American Cancer Society. Thank You.

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