Sunday, August 24, 2008

If it's Sunday, it must be Salida

Okay. WHOOSH! We are home again. No alarm clock this morning, just a languid return to something that resembles our normal routine. We wandered down to the Salida Café for tea (coffee for the DM) and breakfast and a conversation about our lives now that I'm not running out of state for a while.

The Santa Fe workshop unfolded splendidly. We stayed with friends Matthew and Mary (a climate change scientist and art teacher/potter respectively) in their fabulous digs and enjoyed their generosity of spirit, belongings, and local know-how immensely.

The only questionable part of the week was that the DM got to slack off on the Plaza while I went to work.

The workshop took place on Museum Hill, at the amazing Museum of International Folk Art. THIS place you've gotta see, that's all I have to say.

Santa Fe art teachers sketching in the shade outside the
International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe.
What could be nicer?

I spent a day and a half with the elementary (K-8) level art teachers of the Santa Fe School District, a talented and dedicated bunch facing an amazing array of challenges. On the one hand, it is exciting to see a school district that HAS art teachers at the elementary level. On the other hand, each teacher sees an average of 400 kids, one hour per student, every week. Many of these teachers are working in classrooms WITHOUT WATER, if you can believe it. Think of a room full of first graders with paint or clay and try to imagine that you have to haul water by the bucket load. It's crazy.

But we had a great time working together, sketching in and around the museum, making stab-bound books, and sharing ideas about education and educational processes.

On Friday after the workshop was over we were able to take the bus directly from the museums to downtown Santa Fe. The DM had scouted out all the cool places to visit before the insanity of the Indian Market began, so we wandered around for a bit until time to meet Mary and Matthew for dinner. If you've never been to Santa Fe in high tourist season... well... let's just say the people watching is GREAT. There is a dizzying array of over-the-top things to look at in any season... paintings, jewelry, pottery, sculpture of course... but also home furnishings and clothing. This shop was closed when we went by, but.... new boots, anyone?

I know some working cowboys who will be rolling on the floor when they see this display.

Saturday (was that only yesterday?) was, of course, market day. We've been missing our local market routine, so it was off to the Santa Fe Farmers' Market first! We had ginormous breakfast burritos, fresh organic cranberry juice, and of course coffee for the DM. We were on a quest for small, mild green chilis called shishitou (I think), which Mary had served up for us... roasted and salted and yummy. We brought home two bags of what I hope are the right thing. We'll find out at supper.

Don't you love the flower she's carrying?

From the Farmers' Market it was just a few blocks' walk to the heart of the 87th SWAIA Indian Market. Our friend Sally Paschall was one of the 1,200 artists (!!!!!) from about 100 tribes who show their work in over 600 booths. (And, hooray Sally! She won a first place ribbon in her division!) Talk about visual overload. Santa Fe more than doubles in size on Indian Market weekend... they estimate 100,000 visitors over two days.

The DM at Santa Fe Indian Market yesterday morning!

Luckily the DM and I have about the same tolerance for crowds, so we strolled street after street until we agreed we had had enough and then headed for home. That great New Mexico light came with us all the way back to Colorado, and now we're excited and revved up about getting back to our own work! Can't wait.

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