Best of Santa Fe 2017

Reader's Choice

You hold in your hot little hands the latest and greatest iteration of SFR’s annual Best of Santa Fe issue—a veritable treasure trove of beloved local people, places, things and icons. Congrats to you, dear readers, for making your choices and skyrocketing the winners found herein into places of fame.

But for real, though, you seen that cover art? It's gorgeous and comes to us directly from the mind of one Nico Salazar, the founder of clothing/lifestyle line Future Fantasy Delight, a consummate Meow Wolfer and a native Santa Fean who told us the commission gig was "a dream come true."

Salazar was born here, but after his father joined the military he spent time in Hawaii and Southern California, where he would hone his anime-meets-pop-art signature style. He returned to Santa Fe in '97, where he excels at working in regional details.

"It was challenging because I wanted to do something really cool, but not super over-the-top—like, if you lived here, you'd recognize it but you don't have to live here," Salazar says of the piece. "I tried to use food since everyone loves food here, but it's ... not one culture; it comes from different cultures and everyone can enjoy it because it's not super-specific."

Salazar says the future holds potential sculpting gigs, a vinyl toy collaboration with a German builder and commission work for private collectors.

So read on, knowing you've helped choose the very best of Santa Fe, and warm your heart knowing you've supported local art.

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