Galleries downtown and on Canyon Road open their doors
CHANCES ARE you won’t be eating Twinkies, Hostess CupCakes, or a stack of pancakes slathered with butter and liberally doused with Aunt Jemima syrup during ARTsmart’s annual Edible Art Tour, which takes place on Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13. You probably won’t be getting any crispy bacon, either (sorry). The restaurants and caterers paired with downtown and Canyon Road galleries for the event offer higher caliber cuisine than that, the point being that gourmet food and art go hand in hand. Art, however, isn’t necessarily food, at least not of the edible variety — food for thought and food that nourishes spirit and soul is another matter. But food and drink have been a subject for art for thousands of years, whether it’s prehistoric depictions of bison at Les Trois Frères in France; goblets of wine in the art of the ancient civilizations of Assyria, Persia, and Egypt; or juicy pomegranates in the still lifes of Dutch Masters. Contemporary artist Pat Hobaugh, one of the featured gallery artists at Canyon Road Contemporary during the event, continues the still-life tradition but with a twist. The floral arrangements, cakes, and bowls of fruit so typical of the genre are mostly gone from his compositions, replaced with items such as plastic action figures, a Mr. Potato Head, and, yes, Twinkies, cupcakes, pancakes, and bacon. “A lot of the objects used in the still lifes are from my own childhood, such as He-Man, Star Wars figures, army men, etcetera,” Hobaugh told Pasatiempo. “Consumerism is the overall blanket on the work and how we define ourselves through what we own or the movies we see or the politicians we elect. So, there is that connection with the junk food/sweets I show and the action figures with regard to marketing towards kids and trying to form lifelong habits for things not necessarily good for us.”
Hobaugh’s still lifes are rife with pop culture references, many of them derived from the films and television shows that were a part of his youth. “Also, part of the paintings deal with generational differences, so I often have two or three representations of the same character/object from different time periods. For example, I have 1970s, ’80s, and 2000s versions of the Lone Ranger, Superman, and Star Wars action figures. I’ll put those characters in conflict with one another in a painting, basically to show the struggle with growing old and not wanting to hand the reins over to the next generation.” Hobaugh’s grandmother was a still-life painter and he’s always been attracted to the genre, even though, in the hierarchy of painting in art history, as he explained, “History painting is at the top and still lifes are at the bottom, and it’s still that way to some extent since still lifes are the first thing you paint in a painting class and then people want to ‘move on to something better.’ ”
Canyon Road Contemporary participates in the Edible Art Tour on Saturday evening, where the focus is on the galleries along the historic art route (downtown galleries are featured on Friday night.). If you go, you may want to follow the map, available from ARTsmart New Mexico’s website (www.artfeast. org/artfeast-events/summer-edible-art-tour/), along with a list of gallery/restaurant pairings. If you’re not usually a gallery tripper, the tour is a terrific way to introduce yourself to two of Santa Fe’s most vibrant art scenes. Not every work of art you’ll see is foodthemed, but among them are porcelain works by Heidi Loewen, who creates objects such as apples and fried eggs. Loewen’s Porcelain Gallery and School is open for the first night of sampling. Her work is complemented by selections from the Swiss Bakery Pastries and Bistro. Lacuna Gallery, another Friday night venue, presents traditional still lifes by Anthony Ryder, abstract compositions by Pietro Piccoli, and Marc Esteve’s hyperrealist paintings of still lifescum-seascapes, where bountiful spreads are arranged on tables by a rocky shoreline. Esteve’s Extravagant
Affair even has the requisite pomegranates, along with a bowl of grapes, coffee cup, and saucer. Lacuna is partnered with Walter Burke Catering. Visitors can see the gallery’s current exhibit Wavelengths, a threeperson show of works by Sandra Duran Wilson, Phil Lichtenhan, and Carlos Carulo.
Food might be the temptation to attend, but be prepared to encounter art that ranges across all mediums and genres. At the Owings Gallery, which focuses on 19th- and 20th-century art, the current show is Establishing Collections, an exhibit mainly comprising works on paper. Owings is paired with delectables from Del Charro Saloon. Pop Gallery’s Decadence II: The Art of Bob Doucette and Geoffrey Gersten is a surreal selection of darkly comic paintings which should go well with treats from Sweet Lily Bakery. Across the avenue, Blue Rain Gallery’s must-see glass invitational, curated by renowned glass artist Preston Singletary, is made that much more appetizing with the addition of edibles from Buffalo Thunder Resort’s Red Sage restaurant. For a complete list of venues, visit the ARTfeast website.
Saturday evening boasts a larger selection of sites, if only because Canyon Road has little else besides art spaces. Start at the bottom of Canyon and visit Charles Azbell Gallery for an eclectic mix of paintings and sculpture. Like Owings, Charles Azbell pairs with Del Charro. Farther up the road, you can view the glass, metal, and stone sculpture of Pippin Contemporary’s Greg Reiche, the 2015 ARTfeast honorary artist. Each year a distinguished New Mexico artist is chosen by ARTsmart to work with high school students in art-making workshops that culminate in a collaborative work of art sold at auction to benefit the students and their schools. Pippin hosts Jambo Café, which offers a fusion of African and Caribbean-influenced foods. Continue up the road to Ventana Fine Art to see
Kinetic Color, an exhibit of vibrant impasto paintings by landscape artist Frank Balaam and the rich-toned paintings of Angus, reminiscent of Post-Impressionist and Fauvist works. The gallery offers selections from
the Pink Adobe. Farther up, Vivo Contemporary, pairing with nearby local hotspot El Farol, features 14 of its gallery artists in Pattern and Rhythm. The exhibit explores movement and repetition through the mediums of sculpture, book arts, paintings, printmaking, and collage, among other art forms. In keeping with the food/art theme, Vivo artist Ann Laser transforms used tea bags into surprisingly colorful mixed media pieces, part of her ongoing Tea Bag
Project, in which people from around the world donate tea bags for inclusion in her work. At Winterowd Fine Art, joining with Hotel Santa Fe’s Amaya restaurant, the exhibition Harmonic Spirit continues with art from Annell Livingston, Susan Pasquarelli, and Suzanne Wiggin. Pasquarelli’s linear, abstract watercolors, reminiscent of landscapes, strike a nice balance between Wiggin’s lush and moody landscapes and Livingston’s hard-edge, geometric abstractions.
The industrious art- and food-lover may choose to hit every location on the map. For the cost of a moderately priced meal, you can hit 18 locations downtown, 24 along Canyon Road, or cover the whole event and do both nights. It all depends on how hungry you are.
Pat Hobaugh: Destroying Stereotypes, 2015, oil and latex on board; courtesy Canyon Road Contemporary; above left, Marc Esteve: Luxurious
Meal, 2014, oil on canvas; courtesy Lacuna Galleries; right, above, Sangita Phadke: Bananas, 2015, pastel; courtesy Waxlander Gallery; below, Anthony Ryder: Peaches, 2013, oil on linen; courtesy Lacuna Galleries