Archive for New Mexico

Innovation and Tradition Shine at 60th Anniversary Spanish Market

Posted in Art, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by Jenny Kimball

It’s always a treat to step outside the doors of La Fonda and wade into the crowd of Spanish Market artists and visitors.  This year was no exception and the market provided a surprise in the form of a new category – Innovation Within Tradition.  The new category allows traditional artists to introduce some contemporary themes into their work. The guidelines are stringent – requiring the techniques or processes the artist uses to remain traditional but allows exploration within the content of their work. Gustavo Victor Goler, a traditional bultos and retablos artist added some whimsy to his work this year to the delight of visitors and the Spanish Market judges. His San Cristóbal won first place in the Innovation within Tradition category depicting San Cristóbal on a surf board. San Cristóbal (Saint Christopher) is commonly known as the patron saint of travelers, but in digging deeper, Goler found that surfers claim him as the patron saint of surfing.

"San Cristóbal"

"San Cristóbal" by Gustavo Victor Goler

Another interesting phenomenon that many artists noticed this year was a change in crowd activity. Over the years, it was not uncommon for crowds to descend on the market at 8am on Saturday and buy up the most popular and/or award-winning artists’ work.  Over the last three years, however, the economy has influenced buyer behavior.  Collectors are being choosier and taking their time in buying pieces.  This has allowed many artists the ability to have inventory for the entire weekend, relax and enjoy talking and selling for the full two-days of the market instead of the frenzied and chaotic couple of hours at the market opening. Lorrie Aguilar-Sjoberg, an encrusted straw artist,  lowered her prices this year in response to the slow economy. Lorrie would rather have patrons be able to afford the piece they really want and take it home and enjoy it. She’s fortunate to have low overhead – buying the wood she uses for her crosses in bulk and growing her own straw.

Encrusted Straw Artist Lorrie Aguilar-Sjoberg

Just down the row from Lorrie, devotional artist Tim Lucero displayed his retablos. Tim showed his work for many years in the Youth Market and was mentored during that time by Lorrie’s father, santero Filimón Aguilar, now retired. The Youth Market is another fun element to Spanish Market and allows the youngest generation a way to not only learn from experienced artists, but also display their work – going through a similar jury process as their Traditional Spanish Market elders.  This is Tim’s second year showing as an adult. Last year Tim won third place in the Small Retablo category. This year he won an honorable mention in the that same category.  He’s inspired by the work being done by other artists in the Innovations Within Tradition category and looking forward to exploring it more in his work for next year.

Retablo Artist Tim Lucero

Retablo Artist, Tim Lucero

Spanish Market offers art lovers a chance to explore the evolution of an art form – from youth learning traditions to a new generation of artists expanding the definition of traditional Spanish art to the masters creating exquisite pieces of devotion. We are fortunate to have it all unfold right outside our door every summer.

The Midnight Ride of Steve

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by Jenny Kimball
Steve Wimmer

Steve Wimmer, La Fonda on the Plaza's Chef Concierge

Today’s post is written by guest blogger and La Fonda’s Chef Concierge,Steve Wimmer who has been with us for more than twenty years.

The wildfires near Santa Fe and Los Alamos are making me neurotic and have disturbed my sleep cycle, so what did I do? I took a midnight ride. But, to what purpose? I remembered my early years in New Mexico when I was studying to be a shaman. So I circled my beloved spaces, the Santa Fe Opera that was glowing brightly as there had been a dress rehearsal for kids; Angelika’s house just to the north-east of Black Mesa; Black Mesa and my friends at San Ildefonso Pueblo. Then I rode on to Santa Clara – who when they dance, can really make it rain. Why weren’t they out at midnight dancing? If anybody can save us surely they are the ones.

I completed my ride by driving by Angelina’s in Espanola -home of the best lamb burritos in New Mexico. Finally I stopped at McDonald’s to get an iced tea.

Then I rode past Chimayo Trading Post and our old friend Leo Trujillo. Did it do any good? I have to believe a bit.

Today the winds are blowing heavily as they were last night. During my drive I could see only a pale orange glow in the distance – nothing frightening and dramatic as the first night. Only one fire vehicle passed me on its way to the scene. There was very little traffic out, but boy, the casinos were busy.

The radio says it’s up to 60,000 acres. The road 502 is closed into Los Alamos. The fire is close to town burning on the Pajarito ski hill so it’s only a half a mile from a house. The great fear is it will get into the Los Alamos canyon that did not have fire in 2000.  Oddly no one says boop about the Pacheco Canyon fire.

I believe that Cochiti Pueblo is being evacuated. I am afraid to tell you the fire went into Dixon’s Apple Farm, home of the delicious and much-loved Champaign apple. News reports say the family lost the house and 150 of the trees.

Yet as I drove last night, the most frightening thing was all of the temporary tents selling fireworks. Is there any limit to man’s stupidity?

So there, that’s my tale.

Over and out.