View From the Plaza

Treat Mom to Travel

jennyandmomRemember all those times that your Mom took you to see and experience new things? Now it’s your chance to return the favor. One of my great joys as an adult has been travelling with my mother and creating new mother/daughter memories.  I recently returned from a trip with my Mom to San Miguel de Allende.  The bougainvilleas were in full bloom and spectacular!

Santa Fe is a wonderful place to explore with your Mom. In fact, it made USAToday’s #10Best list of memorable Mother’s Day trips across the USA. You can check out my top picks for a girlfriends’ (or Mom’s) getaway here.  Each year Budget Travel asks its readers for the list of best places to vacation with your Mom. Here’s their list.

Where have you traveled with your Mother? What’s been your favorite destination? Please share in the comments and make sure to take some time to smell the roses or the bougainvilleas… with your Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!


May In Santa Fe is a Good Time To…

Party in Santa Fe as the town sheds its winter blues for the perfect mountain days of May. Food is large on everyone’s mind as the spring produce tantalizes palates for the weeks to come. Art, of course, and dance parties help round out the early summer menu.


Food and drink

Sample the budding talents of student chefs at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy, every Thursday and Friday night through June 5. Or take Mom to the cooking school’s Mother’s Day Brunch (May 10). Local salad goddess Erin Wade of the acclaimed Vinaigrette and Modern General restaurants will hold Sunday afternoon talks including “Fearless Vegetable Gardening” (May 17, June 28). Free gardening workshops are also being offered at Railyard Park (May 2 & 30, June 6).

Spend a Sunday tasting wine and hard cider at Estrella del Norte Vineyard (May 17), or go all out with a farm-to-table luncheon and cooking class (June 27) or African-Caribbean Vineyard Dinner (June 27).

Even non-cooks can savor the fresh or artisanal baked treats (or just the festive atmosphere) at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and Tuesdays (with neighboring Artist Market), plus the Artisan Market on Sundays.


Out & about

Come party Bollywood style at the 7th annual Club Invasion Dance Party at Sanbusco Market Center (May 2), with dance classes and festive Indian food and bazaar to benefit the Amma Center of New Mexico. For old-school twirlers, there’s Santa Fe Swing at the Odd Fellows Lodge every Monday evening, with a dance lesson in one of the swing styles. Or head to the lodge on Tuesdays or Sundays for the Santa Fe International Folk Dancers, who teach folk dances from around the world to anyone with an interest.

Dress to the nines for a black-tie evening with multi-course dinner, music, and silent auction at the inaugural Black and White Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society, right here at La Fonda (May 9). Also on our plate is an elegant garden party with a spicy Latin flair at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s Summer Solstice Soiree (June 20), an event backed by La Fonda and CEO Jenny Kimball

If you’re the active sort, it’s a great month to bike Santa Fe, with a series of events targeting anyone on two wheels. The hard-core La Tierra Torture Mountain Bike Race (May 2) precedes the more laid-back Santa Fe Bike & Brew Festival (May 13-17), featuring beer dinners, guided rides, concerts, and workshops. The week concludes with the popular Santa Fe Century road ride on the Turquoise Trail (May 17), which draws cyclists from around the West. Don a costume for the Center for Contemporary Arts’ Bike Carnival (May 14), where you can enter yourself and trusty steed in competition as you enjoy live music amid a festive beer-and-bike crowd.

Horse enthusiasts can book now with trainers John and Cat Parks, who will be holding one of their horsemanship clinics in Santa Fe at the Trinity Ranch in Lamy (June 12-14). The real-deal Rodeo de Santa Fe (June 24-27) kicks off with a parade from Fort Marcy Park (June 20) and will include World Champion cowboys kicking up the fun at the rodeo grounds.

Our neighbors at the Institute for American Indian Arts are opening a new disc golf facility, and invite anyone to play a free round at the opening (May 2) by registering from 10 a.m. Join local art-lovers at DeVargas Park taking in a third year of Fantase Fest sound and light spectacles in a creative, optimistic vein (June 20).

Civil War enthusiasts can relive the event New Mexico style at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (May 2-3). The following month, the living history museum holds a Fiber Arts Fair (June 6-7) and Herb & Lavender Fair (June 20-21). For true fiber fanatics, the East Mountain Fiber Farm & Studio Tour (May 30-31) opens seven farms and studios at four locations in the mountainous enclave an hour’s drive from Santa Fe.



The organization LifeSongs puts together performances involving nursing-home patients, students, and arts professionals, which this spring is called Dancing by Moonlight, at the Lensic (May 9). Also at the Lensic, the National Theatre Live in HD presents The Hard Problem by acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard (May 1) and A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller (May 2). Later in the month, standup comedian and Grammy nominee Tig Notaro plays a night at the Lensic (May 28), and hundreds of young students at the school of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet perform their concert of ballet, jazz, and original choreography (two shows May 31).

The Santa Fe Farmers Market series, Movies That Matter, will take a critical look at urban farming in America (May 16, 20) and immigrants who sell produce on the streets of New York (June 20, 24) at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, with discussion afterward.

The Moment of Yes is a multimedia theatrical event at the Santa Fe Playhouse about communication and common culture (May 21- June 7), with a cast party and catered supper May 23. The annual festival of new media Currents 2015 showcases video, performance, installation, dome projections, and other 21st-century media at venues around Santa Fe (June 12-28).



Take Mom on an art holiday with a Passport to the Arts, a Mother’s Day weekend event on Canyon Road (May 8-10). Start with Friday night gallery hopping, then sample events such as the Artist Quick Draw and live auctions all along the art district.

Studio tours coming up include the communities of Placitas (May 9-10) and Eldorado (May 16-17), as well as Santa Fe itself (June 19-21, 27-28), which you can map out at the preview gallery at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Come celebrate the 20th anniversary of SITE Santa Fe in a day-long free celebration with music, food, and performances (May 9).

Shop for tomorrow’s priceless treasure at the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival at the convention center (May 23-24), featuring the work of more than 200 artists invited by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Profits support the museum.

Photographers, take note: The 15th annual Review Santa Fe juried portfolio review takes place June 11-14, opening with a talk by art critic Lucy Lippard and other events open to the public.


Classical music

The symphony presents its season finale, Verdi’s Requiem (May 16-17), and the English chamber ensemble Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will interpret Brahms, Shostakovich, and Mendelssohn, both at the Lensic (May 11). The New Mexico Performing Arts Society closes its season with a concert of Brahms Liebeslieder and Zigeunerlieder at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel (May 31), where the Santa Fe Flute Immersion master class plays its annual closing concert on June 28. The Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble concludes its 34th season in a joint concert with the Durango Women’s Choir (June 7) at the First Presbyterian Church


Contemporary music

American blues legend Taj Mahal will play a benefit concert for KSFR (May 24) at the Lensic. The GiG’s calendar of jazz and world music-inspired shows includes New York jazz saxophonist Tim Berne with his band Snakeoil (May 6) and fiddler Kevin Burke (June 19). Remember Art Garfunkel? He comes to the Lensic for an “intimate evening” (June 16). If you want to experience roadhouse culture in New Mexico, head out to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail for the annual Crawdaddy Blues Fest at the Mineshaft Tavern (May 16-17), with music, fresh boiled crawfish, BBQ, and Cajun specialties. At Skylight Santa Fe, the ‘90s UK band World Party plays a show (June 23) with David Duffy opening.



Actor Robert Redford makes an appearance with Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzalez in a discussion about environmental activism and the arts at the Lensic (May 5), followed by poets Claudia Rankine and Saskia Hamilton in conversation (May 6).


At the museums

The Museum of International Folk Art opens the exhibit The Red That Colored the World (May 17) with a reception, lecture, and art demonstration. Also in the citywide “Color of Summer” theme, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art opens Blue on Blue: Indigo and Cobalt in New Spain (May 8), as well as a show of Modernist photography set in Mexico and New Mexico (May 22).

The New Mexico History Museum features weekly lectures that are free with admission, including the making of the Ken Burns classic The Civil War (May 8); slavery in territorial days (June 7); weaver Elle of Ganado and Fred Harvey (May 17); the restoration of the 1785 Roque Lobato House (May 31); a political history of the New Mexico Senate (June 17); an evening with conservation writer William deBuys, who will sign copies of his book The Last Unicorn (June 19); and a virtual tour of the Alvarado hotel (June 21). Spend a couple of hours looking at archival films from early Santa Fe in the museum basement on May 16.

The Harvey Girl Twins at La Fonda

Jennifer Kimball with Harvey Girl twins, Beverly Ireland and Bernette Jarvis.

Jennifer Kimball with Harvey Girl twins, Beverly Ireland and Bernette Jarvis.

Sharing the history of La Fonda hospitality is one of our greatest pleasures. That’s why I was thrilled to have the chance to capture some of the memories of two of La Fonda’s Harvey Girls. Among Fred Heads, they are commonly referred to as the Harvey Girl Twins, Beverly Nystrom Ireland and Bernette Nystrom Jarvis.

Beverly and Bernette graciously agreed to sit down and tape an interview with us that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.  They share how they came to Santa Fe and a few secrets of their time spent as Harvey Girls. You’ll love it!

The twins have been enjoying their newfound, unexpected fame. Interest in the Harvey Girls legacy is booming. The New Mexico History Museum’s new exhibit, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy opened to great fanfare. I participated as a panelist at the New Mexico History Museum’s January lecture, History and Mystery: Uncovering the Past in Harvey Houses and the crowd was incredible. We all agreed to stay and hold an impromptu second lecture just so those who couldn’t fit in the room the first time could hear us.

The line for the "History and Mystery: Uncovering the Past in Harvey Houses" at the New Mexico History Museum in January 2015.

The line for the “History and Mystery: Uncovering the Past in Harvey Houses” at the New Mexico History Museum in January 2015.

Beverly and Bernette will be in attendance at the upcoming celebration at the KiMo Theater in Albuquerque on May 23rd, being held in conjunction with a screening of the documentary, The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound.  Beverly says about the Harvey revival, “It’s really given us old ladies some spark!”

Something tells me the twins have always had that spark. How else could they leave their family farm in Minnesota at the age of 18 and head to Santa Fe? We are so fortunate that they landed jobs here at La Fonda, working the breakfast and lunch shifts in the restaurant.

One thing they didn’t mention in the video-taped interview that I found interesting… former New Mexico Governor Tom Bolack invited the twins to be servers at a special event he held at La Fonda. For those of you who don’t know, Governor Bolack was a big game hunter and frequently brought back game from his African hunts. He held a dinner in the mid-50’s at La Fonda where he had the Chef prepare zebra and other wild game he had frozen and shipped from Africa. It was unheard of at the time for La Fonda’s kitchen staff to prepare private, exotic meats but an exception was made for him. Bolack’s ranch outside Farmington, New Mexico is now the site of the Bolack Museum of Fish and Wildlife where many animals from his hunts are on display.

Canstruction: Red or Green?

When we heard that Canstruction was coming to Santa Fe to benefit The Food Depot… how could we resist? We signed on as a sponsor. And what better team to build a “canstructure” than the team that brought you La Fonda’s renovations? Barbara Felix Architecture + Design, Bradbury Stamm and La Fonda!

To prep for the building competition our team had to come up with a design concept, a name, and go shopping for supplies.  Our Red or Green “canstructure” had to be built  out of nutritious food items.

The Shopping List

Name + Description:

Red or Green?

Did you know chile is a fruit and not a vegetable? For those of us living in New Mexico, we know that chile is much more than a fruit – it’s a way of life. It’s the perfect blend of our shared culture – Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and Anglo. It’s how we define ourselves as New Mexicans (red, green, or Christmas?) and how we come together over shared meals that are the very definition of New Mexico cuisine.

La Fonda, Bradbury Stamm, and BFA+D believe we CAN make a difference in ending hunger in Northern New Mexico by raising awareness through the creation of a simple, yet satisfying meal of spaghetti. Of course, adding a bit of vitamin C through the addition of green chile is a bonus, and unique to New Mexico.

Our team members included Barbara Felix, Sibylle Mueller and Denali Wilson from Barbara Felix Architecture + Design; Tiffanie Bradley, Adam Rael and Terra Garcia-Chang from Bradbury Stamm Corporation and Brandon Vandiver, Fermin Moran, Daniel Martinez and Avas Khan from La Fonda.


Photo by Daniel Martinez


Although our team had to do a little re-calculating during the “canstruction” phase, Red or Green went up with great teamwork and fanfare!

Uh oh. It got a little top heavy.

Uh oh. It got a little top heavy. Photo by Jayne Weiske

If you’d like to vote for our “canstructure” for People’s Choice, you can do so in person at The Santa Fe Place Mall (they’ll be on display through April 25th)  or visit The Food Depot’s website.


Finished! Photo by Jayne Weiske




Santa Fe Celebrates Summer of Color

Revisit your favorite galleries during the Summer of Color, in which museums and art galleries around Santa Fe explore the color spectrum. Visually inclined visitors are in for a treat as they feast the eyes on an artistic smorgasbord.

Red will be the theme at the Museum of International Folk Art’s Haute Flea party, opening night for the 6th Annual Folk Art Flea (May 2), a one-day bargain hunt for gently used folk art from around the world. The museum exhibit, The Red That Colored the World (May 17), will open with a reception, lecture, and art demonstration. Talks coming up at the museum include the use and significance of turquoise (April 6), and a critical look at traditional Southern pottery with ceramics critic Garth Clark (April 19).

Blue will be the theme at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, with Blue on Blue: Indigo and Cobalt in New Spain opening May 8, looking at the importance of the two dyes in the colonial era. The museum also opens a show of great Modernist photography set in Mexico and New Mexico on May 22.

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is jumping in with Monarch—Orange takes Flight, a garden container show by the horticulture staff that invites you to vote for your favorites (May 20-Sept. 13). Our own Jenny Kimball is involved with the Summer Solstice Soiree, June 20, 6-8:30. It’s an elegant party with a spicy Latin flair which sold out last year, so get your tickets now!

The New Mexico Museum of Art is showing Colors of the Southwest through Sept. 20, and will take part in a worldwide Slow Art Day (April 11). Visitors are invited to look at preselected artworks for 10 minutes each, followed by a group discussion. On April 17, the museum opens an exhibit from the Joann and Gifford Phillips donation, focusing on California in the 1950s-80s and New Mexico in the 1980s. On May 1, three new photography exhibits open with a jazz concert in the auditorium.

The New Mexico History Museum opens Fading Memories: Echoes of the Civil War (May 1) as part of free First Friday artwalk. Visitors can “Decorate the Divine” in an all-ages art event based on the exhibit Painting the Divine (May 3). Upcoming lecture topics at the history museum include Fred Harvey and American Indian Art (April 19); collaborative artwork by the couple who curated Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography (April 26); the making of the Ken Burns classic The Civil War (May 8); weaver Elle of Ganado and Fred Harvey (May 17); and the restoration of the 1785 Roque Lobato House in Santa Fe (May 31).

In-depth conversations offered at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum will include the relationship between artists Charles Loloma and Lloyd Kiva New in the 1950s (April 8), and the tensions between modernist and pictorialist photography (May 13). On April 14, you can spend an evening exploring the dimensions of American Modernism with a curator; or create your own Modernist painting in watercolor, led by an artist (May 20). Register for O’Keeffe Museum events online.


Out & about

Head down to Santa Fe Place Mall April 11-25 to check out La Fonda’s canned-food sculpture entry in the Canstruction competition. Vote for us, and we hope to compete with 150 cities worldwide! All the food in our sculpture was donated by La Fonda, and will go to the Food Depot, the largest food bank in Northern New Mexico.

A number of local Pueblos will celebrate feast days in May, including San Felipe, Taos, Acoma, and Jemez, when the public is invited to come watch traditional dances and share in feast foods. Nearly all the Pueblos will have feast days on Easter weekend (April 3-5). Call ahead or check with the Concierge Desk for details.

Missing the old South? The 141st Run for the Roses is a Kentucky Derby Day celebration benefiting Habitat for Humanity, with champagne buffet and silent auction (May 2). If you’d rather do the racing yourself, join cyclists from around the country who converge on Santa Fe every spring for the Santa Fe Century bike ride along the historic Turquoise Trail (May 17). Even slow riders can roll with the fun at the preceding Santa Fe Bike & Brew Festival (May 13-17), which has multiple options for touring breweries at various speeds.

Art adventure heads outdoors in May beginning with the Passport to the Arts (May 8-10). Stroll historic Canyon Road during a weekend of openings, receptions, and events including Artist Quick Draw and live auctions all along the art district. The Eldorado Studio Tour takes place a short drive north of Santa Fe (May 16-17). At the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival (May 23-24), more than 200 of the best and brightest Native artists invited by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture will offer artwork for sale at the Community Convention Center. All profit goes to support MIAC. And the Santa Fe Fiber Arts Festival comes to El Rancho de las Golondrinas (May 24-25).



The Lannan Foundation will host conversations at the Lensic between journalists Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic and Michele Norris of All Things Considered (April 8); playwright Wallace Shawn and Bookworm host Michael Silverblatt (April 15); author-journalist Naomi Klein and The Guardian editor Katharine Viner (April 29); and poets Claudia Rankine and Saskia Hamilton (May 6). Also at the Lensic, Father Greg Boyle will give his popular presentation on gang prevention and his organization Homeboy Industries (April 22). The Santa Fe Institute’s mind-expanding community lecture series continues with Alan Lightman, novelist and physicist currently at MIT, on whether science can prove the existence of God (May 6).



Stand-up comic John Mulaney comes to the Lensic (April 12), and Albuquerque’s Fusion Theatre Company presents The New Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh (April 26). Santa Fe’s own Wise Fool New Mexico will premiere CircAspire: The Circus of Lost Dreams, showcasing the work of its aspiring young circus performers, at the James A. Little Theater (three showings, May 1-2).

At the Lensic, Live in HD from the Stratford Festival comes King John (April 11), while Met Live in HD offers the classic double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (April 25, two shows). The Santa Fe Farmers Market series Movies That Matter will take a critical look at the school lunch program (April 18, 22), and urban farming in America (May 6, 20) at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, with discussion afterward. The Santa Fe Institute’s Science on Screen film series will show Jurassic Park at the Center for Contemporary Arts (May 3), presented by professor Liz Bradley of the University of Colorado.

Classical music

The symphony presents a concert of Sibelius, Brahms, and Dvorak (April 12), followed by its season finale, Verdi’s Requiem, with guest conductor James Feddeck and four world-class vocalists (May 16-17). Performance Santa Fe gathers Wu Han, David Finckel, Daniel Hope, and Paul Neubauer to play Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler (April 6); and the English chamber ensemble Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will interpret Brahms, Shostakovich, and Mendelssohn, both at the Lensic (May 11). The Takacs Quartet plays Haydn and Beethoven (April 16) at St. Francis Auditorium; and Santa Fe Pro Musica will have a Baroque Holy Week concert at Loretto Chapel (April 2-4). The New Mexico Performing Arts Society will close its season with a concert of Brahms Liebeslieder and Zigeunerlieder at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel (May 31).


Contemporary music

Flamenco ensemble La Juerga comes to El Museo Cultural (April 3). At the Lensic, L.A. punk band X will play a special acoustic showcase (April 7), the 15th annual Nuestra Musica showcases New Mexico folk music (April 10), Le Vent du Nord presents music from French Quebec (April 24), and American blues master Taj Mahal will play a benefit concert for KSFR (May 24). Fans of Astor Piazzolla will want to catch the Austin Piazzolla Quintet reinterpreting the tango master’s compositions at GiG Performance Space (April 18). Check out GiG’s full calendar of jazz- and world music-inspired shows, including Bay Area jazz quartet ROVA (April 23) and New York alto saxophonist Tim Berne (May 6).

Do You Know Olive Rush?

Recently, Barbara Felix and I had the pleasure of taking art historian Dr. Jann Haynes Gilmore on a tour of La Fonda in search of evidence of artwork by critically acclaimed modernist artist Olive Rush. Dr. Gilmore has been spending time in Santa Fe this month finishing research and edits on her upcoming book, a full biography of female artist Olive Rush, 1873-1966.

Rush was one of the first women artists to come to Santa Fe and live permanently. She first visited in 1914 and then purchased a home on Canyon Road in 1920. Dr. Gilmore believes Olive Rush is one of the most under-studied artists working in Santa Fe during that time period and hopes that her book will place her on her due platform as a successful and nationally known painter in Santa Fe.

Olive Rush may best be known by the general public for her mural work with the WPA in Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico. But she came to New Mexico as an easel painter, working primarily in watercolor. She was given the first solo show for a woman artist in New Mexico at The Palace of the Governors in 1914, and she exhibited all over the United States.

So what, you may ask, is her connection to La Fonda? During the research phase for La Fonda’s recently completed renovations, Barbara Felix and I collected correspondence between Mary Jane Colter, Mr. Clarkson, and John Gaw Meem. In a letter dated January 28, 1929, Colter tells Mr. Clarkson that she has Olive Rush in mind for murals in La Fonda’s New Mexico room. Colter wanted the New Mexico room (one of the largest spaces for entertainment in New Mexico at the time) to be whimsical, fun and a wonderful space for dining. And so it was that Olive Rush was commissioned to paint the murals. She completed the murals in May 1929 and a large gala was held to debut the finished work, complete with entertainment by the La Fonda Orchestra and a veritable who’s who guest list of luminaries in the Land of Enchantment. After much investigation from every angle, Barbara and I came to the sad conclusion that the Olive Rush murals in the New Mexico room had been painted over at some point and subsequently, the walls they were on had been destroyed. There are rough sketches of her New Mexico room work in the Archives of American Art (part of the Smithsonian Institute) but they are pencil sketches that have dimmed over time so it’s hard to know exactly what they might have looked like.

There are some indications that Olive Rush may have painted some of the windows at La Fonda, too. The only one that remains that might be her work is lit and displayed in the New Mexico room.  In Dr. Gilmore’s opinion, if they are her work, they have been sort of worked over and are not her originals.

Possibly the work of Olive Rush, but art historian Dr. Jann Haynes Gilmore believes that if they are, they were worked over by someone else and are not original.

Possibly the work of Olive Rush, but art historian Dr. Jann Haynes Gilmore believes that if they are, they were worked over by someone else and are not original.

Although her work is no longer at La Fonda, the opportunity that Mary Jane Colter afforded her here led to another lasting legacy. Chester Faris, the Superintendent of the Santa Fe Indian School 1931, saw Rush’s murals at La Fonda and asked her to paint murals on the dining walls of the SFIS. Rush told him that she would not paint the murals, but she would teach the Native American students to paint their own murals. Many young Native American artists at the time, including Pablita Velarde credit Olive Rush with being their first mentor. She taught some of the most successful Native artists of the early 20th century and between 1931-33, helped in showing their work in Washington DC, New York and Chicago’s Century of Progress Expo 1933.

There is one prominent place in New Mexico where you can see the work of Olive Rush and some of her students. If you stop by Skip Maisel’s on Central Avenue (Route 66) in downtown Albuquerque, you’ll see the murals John Gaw Meem commissioned for the building by Rush, Pablita Velarde and others. If you look closely, you can still see the signatures on their work.

Murals commissioned by John Gaw Meem at Skip Maisel's in Albuquerque.

Murals commissioned by John Gaw Meem at Skip Maisel’s in Albuquerque.

Dr. Gilmore plans to have her published book on Olive Rush available in 2016. If any of you have additional information about Olive Rush’s time here in New Mexico, please feel free to leave it in the comments here and I’ll be happy to pass it along to Dr. Gilmore.