Toward the top of Canyon Road, just past the public parking lot, lies Beals & Co. (830 Canyon Road, 357-0441), the brainchild of curator Bobby Beals and the host of some fairly excellent shows in 2017 from local artists like David Santiago, Nico Salazar and Reyes Padilla. For the next six weeks, however, Beals transforms his space into something a little different: the boutiquey and maker-supplied CRFT & CULTR.
Part of it is an evolving contemporary art world in Santa Fe that finds the lines between artists and artisan-makers blurred, part of it is in fashion and lifestyle trends Beals has observed on Canyon Road and elsewhere in Santa Fe; part of it was a simple desire to expand his offerings through temporary pop-ups in his gallery that shine a light on local (and not-so-local) creators that Beals admires. It's looking like an interesting direction, and his timing (gifts, y'all!) could not be better.
On the day I popped in on Beals, the space was in the kind of disarray that comes just before an opening. "I'm opening it up tomorrow," he told me with only the slightest hint of concern in his voice. "I've been doing this fine art thing for about 15 years, eight years on my own, and I kind of feel this obligation to honor traditional art and push contemporary artists at the same time; I wanted to do this store that wasn't Chico's, but it wasn't 'street' either, and curate a style that involves jewelry and clothing, handmade eco-friendly textiles and things like that."
He holds up a hand-woven vest from local maker Ghostdancer. It is stylish and clearly painstakingly crafted. Nearby, shirts from Nico Salazar's Future Fantasy Delight are piled up among hoodies designed by painter David Santiago, and beautiful handmade wooden bowls and cutting boards from San Francisco-based Mod Tribe Designs.
"I don't have it here yet, but Sarah Dallas takes skateboards and makes bracelets and rings out of them—so it's introducing that skate culture, but it looks like fine jewelry," Beals continues. "Catori Life is another jeweler I'm working with, and Stephen Paul Judd makes these things out of license plates. It's … craft, it's not fine art, or what people would call 'fine art,' but I want to introduce craft through different cultures."
All of the artists involved, a grand total of 15 for now, can be found on the CRFT & CULTR website, and Beals hopes to rotate artists in and out as he sees fit. "But I'm going to be very picky," he says.
Come Feb. 1, Beals & Co. returns to its regularly scheduled programming, and it's back to the fine art grind. CRFT & CULTR, however, will live on online. Beals further notes that he's been looking for a brick-and-mortar space to house his new idea permanently, but says he won't pull the trigger until he's absolutely ready. "Does it happen in midtown? Does it happen downtown?" he says. "I'm not in a rush to make it happen before it's time."
For now, there's a dedicated Instagram account and just over a month to pop by to see what Beals has been cooking up. Get shopping.