Tag Archives: El Prado

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

Taos: a cultural potpourri

Taos Plaza

Originally published in Enchanted Homes

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, crowned by Wheeler Peak, enclose the town of Taos in a magical protective ring. Located in the New Mexican desert, the city contains a mix of Native American, Spanish, Anglo, mystical, artistic and hippie ingredients. The roots of this cultural potpourri arise fromTaos’ unusual history, that began a long time ago.

The Taos Pueblo, built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., was chosen as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Christmas Eve at the Pueblo attracts hundreds of visitors every year. It often features Los Matachines, a representation of the conquest drama in which El Toro, la Malinche and los Abuelos, all wearing elaborate costumes, perform a lively dance. It is followed by a procession, when a statue of the Virgin Mary is paraded around the plaza. Hispanic and Native American elements are present in this dance, and they are representatives of two key cultural and ethnic influences inTaos.

The Spanish roots can be traced back to 1540. Legend has it that when Hernando de Alvarado, a Spanish conquistador, saw the sun rays shining on the Taos Pueblo adobe houses, he thought he had finally arrived to one of the mythical Cities of Gold. As for the Anglo presence, it didn’t begin until the late 19th century after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. OnceNew Mexico became a territory of theUnited States, slowly, but steadily, more Americans started traveling on theSanta Fe Trail and searching for new homes in the Southwest.

Though New Mexico didn’t become a state until 1912, American artists began to settle in Taos as early as in 1899, attracted by its impressive landscapes and the quality of the desert light. The Taos Society of Artists was created in 1915 with Ernest L. Blumenschein and Bert G. Phillips among its founders. In the 60’s and 70’s a wave of hippies in search of a bucolic life discovered the area and their communes gave Taos a distinct psychedelic touch.

Downtown Taos

A sculpture of Padre Martinez by Huberto Maestas ofSan Luis,Colorado, presides over Taos Plaza, at the heart of the town. It is a thriving center where you can hop from a restaurant to a gallery to one of the many gift shops. Local musicians and touring artists often perform on the stage under the covered gazebo. An easy stroll from there will take you to the John Dunn House Shops, a charming, block-long pedestrian walkway lined by independently owned stores. Coffee Cats, with an adobe fireplace and a cozy atmosphere, offers a long list of espresso and chai drinks as well as smoothies and gelatos.

The Kit Carson Park, just 2 blocks north of the Plaza, is a great place to go for a walk, play tennis or volleyball or simply breathe in fresh air.  The Solar Festival in June and the Wool Festival in October are held there and the park also hosts other fairs and events throughout the year.

If museums are your thing, there are plenty in the downtown area. The Harwood Museum of Art, the second-oldest art museum in the state, is home to collections of well known artists like Larry Bell, Agnes Martin and Ken Price. The Blumenschein Home and Museum contains a great collection of the Blumenschein family’s art, plus works by other famousTaosartists, and European and Spanish Colonial style antiques.

Taos Canyon

Several trails of varying difficulty course through Taos Canyon. On highway64 East/Kit Carson Road is the Camino Real Ranger Station. Those interested in hiking can go to the Devisadero Loop Trail, which is located right beyond the Ranger Station. It has peaks to climb and an inspiring landscape full of green, red and golden hues. Hikers will enjoy panoramic views of the town and its surrounding mountains.

El Prado

A charming suburb located about 2 miles north of the Taos Plaza, El Prado is a combination of meadows and ranch lands with small shops, restaurants and coffee houses.Orlando’s, a popular restaurant that has been voted “Best Mexican Food inTaosCounty” since 2005, is famous for its smothered burritos and homemade flan. The Millicent Rogers Museum has an impressive collection of Native American jewelry, textiles and collections of southwestern art.

Hondo/ Seco

Located at 7,634 feet of elevation, Arroyo Seco is a small and somewhat eccentric village of galleries, shops and cafes. Its Fourth of July parade is a beloved tradition, full of color, music and food. The Taos Cow, voted one of the top ten ice cream shops in American by Bon Appétit Magazine, sells a delicious, all-natural ice cream. It also serves breakfast and lunch.

Arroyo Hondo has well preserved century-old adobe homes. The historic John Dunn Bridge is located right there. And Manby Hot Springs, with two sand-bottomed rock pools (clothing optional), is a hidden gem in the desert.

Ranchos de Taos

It is home of the most photographed church in the country, dedicated to San Francisco de Asis, that inspired works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams and many other artists. Right up the hill from the church is the historic Trading Post Café, where acclaimed Chef René Mettler works in his open-air kitchen. The Taos Country Club, with manicured greens and four sets of tees, is only a few minutes from Ranchos.

Taos Canyon