There's something shifting in Santa Fe as our local arts collective scene continues to explode. And we can now add another space to the growing list of collectives who got sick of waiting around and took fate into their own hands: La Escuela y Galleria del Cuervo Azul aims to be a workspace and resource center for fledgling or longtime artists not interested in the blue chip gallery game who instead want to just get down to business.
"We're trying to create—we will create—a co-op," says co-founder W Azul la Luz. We're sitting in the space, once Cocina de Balam, once Cuba Fe, now a sunny, open room with paintings dotting its walls. Beside la Luz sits Jo Ann Garcia, a former master printmaker who has since gotten into painting. Her series, Dancing on the Clouds, hangs nearby. It's a reaction, Garcia says, to a mysterious illness that claimed one of her feet earlier this year. La Luz' paintings can be found on the opposite wall, a mix of cubist and abstract elements that feature the birth of Christ or Gestas the impenitent thief.
"We don't want it to be like other places," la Luz continues, "so what we're trying to decide is, how do we do it? And we're looking at other co-ops around the US—they'll usually charge a fee, but we haven't decided what that fee is. We'd like to draw in artists who can't afford to be anywhere else."
Garcia says it will probably come down to a percentage split between the artist and space. "We're trying to keep it at 15 percent," she says, pointing out that such a split would skew in favor of the artist.
La Luz also envisions workshops in topics like CPR and hypnotherapy, both with small costs of admittance. He's got a doctorate in medical sociology from UNM, where he formerly taught pre-med.
For now, La Escuela y Galleria del Cuervo Azul consists of five core members, but it will officially open up to the community this weekend with a public conversation about the future. All are welcome to attend, inquire about membership or try to set up time to show their work.
"We'll collect information," Garcia says. "How much of a long-term commitment they can make, for example—we need their ideas, we need feedback. We're new, but we want this to survive."
Grand Opening and Community Conversation:
6 pm Saturday Dec. 8. Free.
La Escuela y Galleria del Cuervo Azul,
1406 Third St.,
The After Hours Alliance's annual maker's fair, String of Lights, returns for the third year with a streamlined experience and, somehow, even more vendors. According to AHA visual art coordinator Ginger Dunnill, who co-organizes each year, the third iteration is all about addressing what has or hasn't worked.
"We curate 50 percent [of the vendors] so we know there's going to be a strong representation for Indigenous, queer, local artists who are giving to the community in a strong way," Dunnill tells SFR. "We have an open call for the other 25 spots or so, and we have a jury that selects them."
Dunnill says that she and co-organizer Lisa Evans received around 100 applications for this year's market, and that in addition to long-standing String of Lights vendors like Izzy Squared Productions, we'll see booths from jeweler Todichiinii Rudeboy, ceramics from Whiskey and Clay, artwork from Bang! as well as clothing, self-care services and more. Throw in alcohol sales from Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery, a photo booth, food from Madre Foods and The Clarified Kitchen—plus a carefully curated DJ Miss Ginger playlist—and you've really got a party going.
"We take the time to represent some real, true makers," Dunnill says. "I really don't want people to miss it."
String of Lights Holiday Market:
5-9 pm Saturday Dec. 8. Free.
Farmers Market Pavilion,
1607 Paseo de Peralta,
Eye on the Mountain Art Gallery hosts its fifth annual Guadalupe Group Show on Saturday Dec. 8—definitely the most popular show the Agua Fría Street gallery hosts each year. We're talking 20-plus artists working with the imagery of Santa Fe favorite Guadalupe in mediums like painting, carving, textiles and beyond.
"The theme of the show is the sacred feminine," says gallery manager RevAWL Jones, "because [Guadalupe] is a symbol, and probably the most ubiquitous symbol through the Americas of the sacred feminine."
While visiting Eye on the Mountain earlier this week, SFR caught the show mid-installation. Jones' work in stainless steel with programmed colored LED light strips was particularly captivating, though we also viewed intricate woodwork, abstract but recognizable interpretations, sacred plant sculpture and other styles. The jewel of the show, however, may just be a hybrid painting and carving from Los Angeles-based artist Paz
Winshtein. Winshtein is no stranger to controversy, having received criticism for his provocative depictions of Guadalupe before, but his piece in the upcoming show—a representation of three goddesses, Guadalupe, Shiva and Isis—is a stunning testament to the powerful imagery at play. The Guadalupe group show isn't about staid iconography or adhering to ancient narrative, though those elements are certainly a piece of the puzzle. It's about new avenues and a broader understanding of the subject.
"What's beautiful about the world is that we can have different perspectives," Jones says. "This has been a way to celebrate an archetype."
Guadalupe Group Show:
5 pm Saturday Dec. 8. Free.
Eye on the Mountain Art Gallery,
614 Agua Fría St.,