Posts Tagged ‘Zane Fischer’

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?

Santa Baby: Santa Fe Hangs its Stockings at Mayor’s Economic Forum

The Mayor’s Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth was held last Friday morning at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, in downtown Santa Fe.  The forum, moderated by Santa Fe Reporter columnist Zane Fischer, began with a panel of local economic players followed by community input.  The choice of Fischer, an independent voice from an alternative weekly rag, provided an interesting counterpoint to the more establishment face of the panel.  As moderator, Fischer did a commendable job containing the public’s nervous, angry and diffuse energy into two minute bitstreams, gently “tasering” those who exceeded their time with humor or a touch of tough love.

Jon Hendry, business agent at IATSE local 480, the local union branch of employees in the film and television, caught our attention with compelling numbers and stories of immediate employment opportunities through the film and TV industry. “These are jobs for our young people,” Hendry said, and pitched the urgent need for a studio in the Santa Fe environs. Michael Halsey and Santa Fe Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem, Rebecca Warzburger, both cited the need for affordable housing. For highlights from these and other panel members (Marie Longserre, Fidel Gutierrez–Randy Grissom was present, but not filmed due to a technical glitch) check out Joshua Maes’ video below.

Suggestions from the citizenry ranged widely in their usefulness, clarity and relevance. Some sought to create a greater whole by interlinking several sectors of the community.  Others had a more narrow agenda.  And then there were the odd, out there and occasional “dangit, it’s my moment to rant” folks. Indeed the need to vent made me think that perhaps a Truth and Reconciliation Commission style opportunity might be in order as a way to clear the way for dialogue and cooperation.

Many people are frustrated and rightly so.  But as Fischer noted at the outset, what was most needed and most likely to be effective were ideas “that inform policy.”  As it was, good points and suggestions landed like multiple balls on a playing field–usable, but unclear which one to kick towards the goal.

Mayor Coss’ Vision of Santa Fe’s future economy, projected on a screen at the start of the forum, defined an ideal Santa Fe with the following terms: creative center; high wage jobs; strong middle class; vibrant youth culture; leadership in sustainability; innovation center for environmental and other technology, art, cultural and science capital.  Happily, many of these aspirations already apply, although they cry to be expanded.

“Business, banking, and our not-for-profits can very likely make something magic happen here in Santa Fe.  We’ve seen it before; we know we can do it again,”  said Coss in his opening statement.  We, too, believe in Santa Fe’s magic it and look forward to more.  Meantime, we’ll do our parts to swell Santa Fe stockings through our support of local artists, musicians, business owners and other creative and entrepreneurial lights who work to make the City Different such a great place to call home. We hope you’ll do the same.

This week in Santa Fe’s alt/indie/emerging cultural scene….

A couple of weeks ago, we attended the REAL closing night of MeowWolf’s GEODEcedant exhibition (extended run) at which we met Benjie who gave us a guided tour of the exhibit.  Benjie’s a hurdy gurdy of creative intelligence churning out brilliance, curiosity and buoyant good nature. This coming Saturday, from 5-9 and again Sunday, from 2-7, the boys at Meow Wolf will be spinning another experiential wonder with the opening of OmegaMart. “…bringing quality affordable art product to the citizens of Santa Fe just in time for the 2009 holiday shopping season…” If GEODEcedant is any indication, you will grin like a kid at OmegaMart.  Meow Wolf is raw, catch-it-while-it’s-local-and-affordable talent.

Just discovered Fraction Magazine, “an online venture promoting and exploring emerging photographic artists” conceived in an Albuquerque coffee shop by Joshua Spees and David Bram and sustained by Bram and Melanie McWhorter.  Bram’s blog offers thoughtful words and pics from a photographer, dad and reflective human. Check out Fraction’s recent post on the future of photography books and the Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale.

Friday, December 18th, is the last night to catch the musical wave at Annapurna Restaurant on Alameda. Hear Monsoon 6, featuring Dave Decibel, from 6-9 tonight. Steve Brisk writes, “Hopefully a new venue will be found soon.  Lets end this series with a bang!”


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 talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. Currently displaying work by Mark Frossard, Laird Hovland, Jonathan Tercero at 133 Sombrio in Casa Solana, downtown Santa Fe. To schedule an appointment, call: 231.7598. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.

Sights and Sounds: Changing Gallery’s May 2 Event

By the time the evening was over, we could see our breath, but hours of damp and chill didn’t quench the warm afterglow from Sights and Sounds, Changing Gallery’s recent mix of art and music. Rising talent, Phillip Vigil, plastered Unit Seven with his energetic pastels. Jennifer Joseph had two paintings in Unit Six and Elizabeth Mesh displayed her richly dyed eggs in Unit Eight. Enveloping all, from the shelter of a garage under Unit Four, were the sounds of Bundobeats, whose free flowing musical blend gave the event cohesion and flow.

This past Saturday, May 2nd, marked the fourth art opening of Changing Gallery, a locus of emerging and independent creative talent being shown at the real estate listings of Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes. Its driving spirit is the desire to unite community through the creation of a sort of Stone Soup where each diner puts what s/he can comfortably spare into a common pot from which all may feast. Unrepresented artists get a free venue and all proceeds; the real estate gets viewed by fresh eyes; and those who love art get to see something they probably would not otherwise have a chance to see: in some cases, breaking talent; e.g., Phillip Vigil.

Since he first reached out to me on Facebook, I’ve been fascinated by this earnest young artist and the dynamic pastels that pour from his heart and hands. “Vigil’s bold pastels on paper are a treat to those who hunger for something new and powerful from young ndn artists…Fresh and original, Phillip Vigil is an artist to watch” says artist Charleen Touchette in her One Earth blog. Vigil’s heroes are William de Kooning, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Murray and Diane Arbus, among others. His work shows these influences and an assemblage of images from his daily life, community and mental divings. The well is deep. This is a kid who knows art history and is poised to make his mark.

In the April 29th-May 5th issue of the Santa Fe Reporter, Zane Fischer spoke about the disjunct between the results of the city’s recent poster contest representing ” a generalized, gauzy impression of an unremarkable place” and Santa Fe’s actual creative character. “…what makes Santa Fe an engaging community for those of us invested in it…is everything that lies beneath that surface. The soul of the city–and its enduring attractiveness–lies in the real activities of its people.”

With the occasionally awkward gait of a newborn, these events intend to be soapbox and megaphone for real activities of a sector of the city’s people: emerging and independent artists. Here’s to the creation of a real and relevant space and voice for an ever expanding chorus of creatives.

Changing Gallery is currently located at the Bella Donna condominiums: seven beautifully restored units, including a 1912 Pueblo Deco style dwelling, located at 111 East Santa Fe Avenue, in the South Capitol area of downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. To learn more about the condominiums, and for full access to the MLS, visit: **Access the MLS from your smartphone:

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