Santa Fe Roadtrip

Checkin’ out the fine art scene


The trip to Santa Fe with the Bridge Academy was a blast.  Sean Diediker and Tracy Fjeldsted (spelling, Tracy?) were our guides -Sean being the leader at the Bridge and Tracy the art curator.

Most surprising to me was the number of amazing paintings I saw hanging in small, though handsome, galleries.  Coming from New York, usually I only saw paintings from masters such as Picasso, Pino, Fechin, and Weber in museums.  But in Santa Fe, several galleries held such paintings only feet from the street.  What a great introduction to what is the second largest gallery scene in America.

We moved through events and galleries at an adagio, taking our time in whatever gallery we liked.  I was surprised to discover in a small town called “Taus” a recondite gallery known as “Total Art Gallery.”  It was there that I was able to view an original painting by David Leffel for the first time – David is one of my long time hero painters (you can see the iPhoto I took of it below, it’s the photo of the man in the hat).  Total Art Gallery also holds work by Burt Silverman – another long-time hero, and whom I had the pleasure of meeting years ago.

On our return, we stopped by a small church known as “Santurio.”  The town was founded by a priest who, while traveling, saw a burst of light coming from a hill.  He went to the spot to investigate, dug a hole, and found a crucifix.  He took the crucifix out and established a church in its location (you can see the hole in the photo of a circle of dirt with two spades in it – that’s the spot in the foundation of the building where the crucifix was found).

The hours spent in the van started with us reading a popular list of Chuck Norris Facts and eventually ended in the traveling artists coming up with a list of our own, headed by Sean, a few of which I recall –

• Chuck Norris doesn’t believe in Ultramarine Blue

• Chuck Norris burnt Sienna

• If Chuck Norris stares at a traditionally painted landscape, the painting will shriek with terror and become abstract.

• Chuck Norris’ self-portrait can, and will, break your neck.