Tasting notes with:
Founder and owner of Santa Fe Art Tours.
Gruet Tasting Room, Santa Fe.
Recommended food pairing:
Almost anything, really, but let’s say a picnic. Cornichons, fresh strawberries, lots of cheese.
Film/art/music pairing recommendation:
Pluche, or the Love of Art by Jean Dutourd. A friend sent this little-known book to me, and I found it really amusing. A good springtime read.
Ready for longer, warmer days.
One thing you want to see happen in 2019:
More tenderness and empathy.
What is the biggest challenge you face this year?
Balancing growth with vision. And making time to pursue new (but related) projects.
What was your first job:
What did it teach you? That kids are incredibly insightful. And that I have a lot of patience.
What is most rewarding for you about owning and operating Santa Fe Art Tours?
Giving people an opportunity to speak and to be heard through the practice of looking at art. It’s amazing to witness that moment when someone who was previously unsure and reserved speaks excitedly, freely, and confidently about a work of art. It’s also wonderful when someone who is already knowledgeable about art tells me that I’ve encouraged them to experience it in a new way.
One thing you wish more people knew about spending time with artworks in museums and galleries:
I wish more people knew that looking at art is a skill that can be learned and practiced. There’s more to art than just “getting it” or not, or liking it or not. There are techniques for using art to spark conversation, critical thought, and mindful reflection—and spending time with art can be more fun, engaging, and accessible than a lot of folks realize.
What does “visual literacy” mean to you?
The ability to make sense of an image. More expansively, it encompasses an entire process of deciphering the visual world that involves observation, analysis, and interpretation. It’s a valuable skill set that can be applied to many aspects of life, and looking at art is a wonderful way to practice.
Teach us how to engage with an artwork in three steps:
Don’t look at the wall label.
Intently look at the artwork itself for several minutes, noticing subtleties and details, colors and textures. Revel in the experience of looking. (People typically spend less than 30 seconds looking at a work of art!).
Based on what you’ve observed, consider what the artwork means to you; then try to decipher the artist’s message. (And yes—now you can look at the label for more clues.)
What comes next?
This year, I’m working with Atlas Obscura on a couple of immersive, art-centric trips in New Mexico. That’s been very exciting, and a lot of fun. After that: art trips abroad. Anyone want to come?