El Prado Art Walk: buy local, have fun

Originally published in Tempo, Taos News

Brandi Jessup has only been in Taos since September 2013. She took over Taos Clay in April this year and now offers classes, workshops and residency opportunities at the community studio. She is also the organizer of the first annual El Prado Art Walk that will take place on December 13th, when a number of businesses and galleries will feature new work and have all sorts of specials, snacks and beverages available.

Among the participating businesses are Taos Clay, Elevation Coffee, Red Arrow Emporium, Blue Fish Clothing, Nature’s Emporium Soap Company, Farmhouse Cafe and Bakery, Overland Sheepskin, Magpie Gallery, and Envision Gallery.

Michelle Lewis, owner of Nature’s Emporium Soap Company, plans to take ten percent off the merchandise in her store. She has soaps, candles and lotions with Christmas-y names like Cookies for Santa, Hot Cocoa and Gift of the Magi (naturally, made of frankincense and myrrh).

Red Arrow Emporium will also serve drinks and snacks. The full design center, famous for its custom furniture, has “something for everyone,” owner Phyllis Tutor said.

Jimmy Murray, owner of Envision Gallery, will have hot cider and “something sweet” ready for the visitors.

“This event is a great idea,” he said. “It will give people the opportunity to buy art as a gift. Art is the kind of present that lasts forever.”

Edible art

Elevation Coffee, that won the first place of the 2013 People’s Choice Awards for Best Cuppa Joe, will also have all the art on the walls for sale. It features the work of local artists like Jon Sorghum, Terry Wolfe, John Fulbright, Gary White, Robert Fitch and Janet Boccelli.               “We will be serving complimentary coffee and cookies from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.,” said owner Janet Boccelli. “And anyone purchasing a latte or mocha will be treated to a latte art design.”

Make your own ornaments

Georgia Gersh, owner of Magpie, will serve cookies and have a table set up so visitors can make their own holiday cards and decorate Christmas ornaments. Cards are free and ornaments can be purchased for five dollars and painted there. There will be sales throughout the store as well.

“If you are looking for Christmas gifts and decorations, I have everything from handmade paper Lady of Guadalupe and wooden hearts decorated with tin and copper to locally made papier mache and felted birds.” Gersh said. “I also have a beautiful collection of ceramic juicers, cups and pitchers for holiday margaritas…the perfect decorative and functional centerpiece for any gathering.”

Taos Clay Studio will offer free throwing and raku firing demos.

“Raku is a quick firing process,” Jessup said. “People can make a small piece and take it home right away. They are around three inches tall and three inches wide and can definitely be used as Christmas ornaments. Some of our resident artists will be here helping visitors create their pieces.”

There will also be a gallery event featuring the new work by Abby Salsbury, Carole Epp, and Ian Connors.

Jessup will serve free sugar-free cookies and coffee from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The gallery will be open until 8:30 p.m.

Candles, cookies, carrot cake and more

Micah Roseberry has several activities planned for the Farmhouse Café.

“We will make beeswax candles and decorate cookies,” she said. “There will also be a fun and colorful trunk show with The Kangaroo Girls, who make beautiful scarves with pockets.”

The restaurant will showcase its new winter and holiday menu that includes dishes like pozole made with corn from Santa Ana Pueblo and a bison red chile stew.

One of the featured items is Farmhouse Café’s carrot cake, made with locally grown carrots (harvested by the UNM-Taos Sustainable Farming class), New Mexican organic pecans and flour from the Sangre de Cristo Wheat Co-op.

“We will have free samples of food and lots of hot chai,” Roseberry said. “You can stop by for a quick dinner and go on visiting other businesses.”

Holiday cookies, frosted pecans and raspberry cheesecake will be available too.

“We hope to show the community all the wonderful things we have here in El Prado,” said Jessup. “In the end, this is a good excuse to meet people and have fun.”

For more information about the event, call Brandi Jessup at 307-272-8388 or email her at taosclay@gmail.com