Hear ye, hear ye! Canyon Road print-focused gallery Hecho a Mano (830 Canyon Road, (505) 916-1341) shall shutter its doors following business on Tuesday, Dec. 26 and soon after find itself rolled up into owner Frank Rose’s Plaza-adjacent gallery, Hecho—and both shall operate under the Hecho a Mano moniker thereafter. After just under five years at the very top of Canyon, Rose says, the change is bittersweet but rife with possibilities. So while you’re gearing up for the openings of two new exhibitions at Hecho Gallery (Max Lehman: Cosmodrome Adastropopolis Lux on the Planet Wild Clairos Nueve X and the Regalos group show featuring dozens of artists; 5 pm Friday, Dec. 1. Free. Hecho Gallery, 129 W Palace Ave., (505) 455-6882), we called Rose to lob some Qs his way. We know two galleries with similar names can be confusing, but this might clear things up. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. (Alex De Vore)
Give us the scoop, Frank—what’s going on with your Canyon Road space Hecho a Mano?
The impetus was not really our choice. Our landlord decided not to renew the lease. But it has turned into something we believe is going to be really good for us. The idea of having all price points: high and low; functional work; non-functional work; and...I’m not a fan of the term ‘fine art,’ but fine art and craft—these distinctions we make to categorize hierarchies of art. I‘ve always wanted everything under one roof. Like, when we were trying to have painting shows on Canyon, it just didn’t work. We needed more room. The smaller space didn’t hold that work as well as a large space could. So as much as I love what we’ve been able to do here, something has felt like it’s missing—let’s say a wider spectrum of art. So now that will be the case. And it will be closer to my vision than it ever has been.
On a practical level, what does merging two galleries with not entirely similar ethos look like?
I’ve tried to make the vibe of both of the places very similar. I’ve wanted them to be welcoming, I’ve wanted them to be places where people can come in and don’t feel like they don’t belong or are excluded, because a lot of art spaces can feel that way. That’s one thing that won’t change and that will be easy to navigate. We’ve done that successfully. The challenge will be that, in a way, we’re almost starting a new gallery. The audience that comes in downtown is a little different from Canyon, so there’s gauging how people interact with the space, and that ends up transforming and forming the space.
I think we’ll have a nice even split between New Mexican and Mexican artists. Everything that’s up there [on Canyon Road] is going to be down here [on Palace Avenue], and everything down here will stay. The mix of what will be on view is the main sort of shift. Right now we don’t have functional work or jewelry downtown, so we’ll be putting out jewelry cases, print racks. I think it’ll be a lot more dynamic with a lot more to look at and browse.
Then it’s making sure the message is out there that we’re downtown only now.
There have been some pretty cool galleries popping up on Canyon that I’d call disruptive, like Sun & Dust, CURRENTS 826 and smoke the moon. I’d count Hecho a Mano as part of that. Do you have any parting thoughts on Santa Fe’s artsiest street after your own time spent there?
Ohhhhhh, yeah. We’ve definitely been in a unique position at the top there, where there’s a different sort of flow of traffic, in part because of The Teahouse and because Palace Avenue crosscuts right there. It’s a bit of its own ecosystem up there, and I’ve loved being a part of that. Canyon is…a lot of different galleries and things, and I think my ultimate hope is that all different stories can succeed, that all different visions can succeed within a place.
We’ve obviously seen a very long period of time with a lot of one kind of thing. And that’s fine, but that doesn’t need to be 90% of what’s visible. I guess the fact there is a smoke the moon, and Hecho—that there are galleries like that—gives me hope. There is a place where stories like that can exist. I feel optimistic, and I know shit’s fucking weird in the world for a lot of reasons, but I’m glad Hecho a Mano will continue existing and that there are people who resonate with what we do.