A little over a year ago, my business partner and I held our first art opening at our listing at 123 West Santa Fe Avenue. We knew a few artists without gallery representation in Santa Fe; I’d been the co-director of a contemporary art gallery in Santa Fe; we had open walls and a killer location–made sense. We decided to give 100% of the proceeds of any sale to the artists themselves: a gift through which we have gained immeasurably.
Since our first show, we have held three more events, showcased the work of 17 artists in total, and are proud to report a total of seven sales. Over 100 people have seen the listings who might not otherwise have known they existed. And we’ve met scores of terrific, creative talents.
Take Mark Frossard, a painter who stopped by to see Phillip Vigil’s drawings and will be featured in our upcoming show. Mark’s soothing southwestern palette and cartoon-like representations belie their emotional power.
Or Keiko Ohnuma, also in the upcoming show, who described her style as “elevated kitch” and said that she was finding that she was even less well-understood here than in Honolulu. I confess I was a bit taken aback when I opened the first jpeg. But it didn’t take long to decide that was exactly why we should give her a venue. Not every piece needs to challenge the viewer, but challenge is definitely an important aspect of art.
Then there’s Todd Scalise: painter, designer, textile artist, muralist, and more whom we met, again, through artist and social media’s man-about-town, Phillip Vigil. Todd has terrific ideas for public art in Santa Fe and is looking for a wall to paint. Driven by the look of his latest piece, and excited by the possibilities, we are working to find him a wall.
Todd graces every visitor to his studio with the opportunity to select a drawing to take home. Four of us stood over a pile of drawings like a pack of kids eyeing the Halloween basket. With art, you don’t just acquire a pretty or interesting thing; you connect with the creator. As artist and gallery owner, Anthony Corso recently shared on his FB Wall,
Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Buy a piece of art, and get a side of soul.
As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not entirely sure what I am doing, but I am absolutely positive it’s the right thing to do. Santa Fe ranks among the top three art markets in the country with over 300 galleries that enjoy enviable walk-in traffic. Yet there are holes in the Santa Fe art scene. With rents so high, gallery owners are often forced to choose art that will sell and sell for the highest price over showcasing a emerging talent or mid-career artist in flux. Many a fine painter, sculptor or photographer lacks a regular venue. I’ve also heard artists and art brokers alike complaining about the lack of dynamism, risk and interplay on the local scene. Yet the talent is there as Meow Wolf, the former Bang Gallery, and scads of individual creatives attest.
As a REALTOR involved in the sale and purchase of homes, I feel a duty to support and enrich my community, indeed, to do my part to build the healthiest, happiest most economically and socially vibrant community I can. Showcasing art is one way I choose to do it. Some may see these realms as unmixable. But I look for common ground. Artists want an audience for their art. People selling property similarly want people to come see it. Putting art into homes puts a simultaneous spotlight on both.
On June 26th, take the opportunity to see and be seen at one of the hottest, new, whatever-it-is-art events in the city: Changing Gallery’s latest show at the Bella Donna– our listings and ad hoc galleries at 111 East Santa Fe Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Alt gallery PennBrick will be beaming its brilliance from a garage a block away. Bundobeats will be spinning the tunes.
Are you an artist looking for a place to show? Introduce yourself. No promises, but let’s connect. Are you a homeowner wanting to list and find a novel way to get buyers to see your home in a market chock-a-block with listings? Let us put our experience to work for you. Or are you new to town, interested in unearthing the richness Santa Fe has to offer? Stop by the Bella Donna, give us a little time and attention. The return on your investment might surprise you.
Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their real estate listings, where appropriate, to showcase the work of emerging and independent artists. Their current location is the Bella Donna, nine beautifully restored condominiums located on East Santa Fe Avenue, just one block from the State Capitol. Check out our website at SantaFeDowntownRealEstate.com