Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate

It Snowed Last Night

It snowed last night, and for just a bit of time, before the dirt and the slush and the traffic, the world was transformed.

Quan Yin

Canyon Road #1

Canyon Road #2

Canyon Road #3

Mardi Gras Parrot




Snow Poems Project

A candle burns
upside down
break: light turns.
by Lauren Whitehurst

Months ago, I noticed a poem pop up on the window of a local coffee shop. The poem is stenciled in temporary spray snow. Then another one popped up on yet another business. And another one. And another one, all over Santa Fe.   I got curious. 

Seems “Snow Poem 2013 in Santa Fe” is a community art project sponsored by Cut+Paste and the Santa Fe Art Institute. These are original poems written by locals in Snow Poems workshops, in schools, and from open submissions to the Snow Poems website.

Today, February 22, is the closing ceremony for the project called Night of Illumination. The event, from 6-8 P.M. at the Santa Fe Community Gallery on 201 W. Marcy Street, will include walking tours, refreshments and Snow Poem Hear Here Choir with Molly Sturges.

“The poems will be washed away as light begins to signal spring at the end of February,” according to the brochure. We are approaching the end of February, so go to the website www.snowpoemsproject.com, copy the map and wander around Santa Fe to enjoy the poems written by Santa Feans for your enjoyment.

Floating from
the heavens
wildly dancing ’round.
by Mateo Martinez

are the morals
of the feud.
by Jesse Wood


This is the day that decides by itself to be beautiful.
The field is a bride. How are we to say goodbye?
by Henry Shukman

Slurp in a heart of foam.
by Teresita Gonzales

Santa Fe Events: Restaurant Week and ArtFeast

We have reached the end of February. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that means it is time for Santa Fe Restaurant Week and ArtFeast.

During Santa Fe Restaurant Week from February 24 to March 3, you can enjoy a three course meal at discounted prices. The prices range from dinner for 2 for $25 to meals ranging from $25-$40 per person. A slew of restaurants sign up to participate. I have heard La Boca, Bistrro, Coyote Cafe, Jinja Bar and Restaurant Martin, to name a few, are on board. You can find the complete list at santafe.nmrestaurantweek.com.

You can also indulge in a feast for both your eyes and your stomach while supporting art programs for the youth of Santa Fe during ArtFeast weekend February 22-24. As they say on their website: ” Now in its 16th season, ArtFeast is heralded as one of the most inspired reasons for a getaway. The weekend of festivities celebrates the City Different’s world-class chefs and restaurants, an international array of vintners, original designer fashions and unique homes, along with nationally and regionally prominent artists represented by Santa Fe galleries. All of this fun and food helps young people develop the skills needed to creatively respond to life.” For information, contact info@artfeast.com or call 505.603.4643.

So come on out and support our local restaurants and a good cause.


Let Your Inner Muse Run Free!

True confession: I have slacked off  writing my posts for Under Santa Fe Skies as I complete my manuscript for Macon: A Memoir, A Murder.  I have never written a bucket list of things I want to accomplish before I pass into the great beyond, but if I did, the only material project on the list would be “finish and publish Macon.” People, it is time. 

For  those of you living in Santa Fe or visiting soon, I present to you today two opportunities to bring forth your very own inner muse in a relaxed, never competitive, always supportive environment. 

First up is my new memoir writing class which begins Wednesday, February 13.  Writing Your Memoir: One Vivid Story at A Time will meet from 3-4:30 for 6 consecutive Wednesdays. Each class has its own personality. This one, so far, has a professional photographer, a bestselling author and a man who has been scribbling down ideas for years and is finally ready to write the book. I have vetted the group and can assure you each has a sense of humor. Please contact me via Contact Susan if you would like to join our merry group starting a week from today. There is still room at the table. 

The second opportunity is a workshop titled “A Pilgrimage Home” which will be held February 26 from 6-8 pm at the O’Keeffe Museum’s Museum Education Annex located on 123 Grant Ave. in Santa Fe. The workshop is offered in conjunction with the new exhibit of Annie Leibowitz photographs from her book Pilgrimage that opens February 15. 

During a challenging time in her life, Annie Leibowitz embarked on her own personal pilgrimage, focusing her camera on objects, rooms, and landscapes which held meaning for her. The resulting collection of photographs in Pilgrimage offer, in her own words,  ”a meditation on how to live.” 

In this workshop you will gain insight into your own vision of the meaning of home and a life well lived. Through writing prompts, art examples, and demonstrations, you will be guided on your own personal pilgrimage to create both a written reflection and a collage-and-mixed-media work of art on panel board. I will co-lead the workshop with Catherine Trapani, visual artist, printmaker, and teacher. The workshop is part of the Museum’s Art & Leadership for Adults. I should add, the workshop is free! To learn more, please click here.

Silence your inner critic. Join a class. Let your little muse run free.

Listening Horse Therapeutic Riding

Zorro and Ian ©Jack Hicks

The old man gently, quietly grooms his horse. As a young man in World War II, he faced the unspeakable horror of entering Dresden to save US prisoners of war after the bombing, so many soldiers were so severely burned. The sights, sounds, and smells are still with him, but once a week his focus shifts to the bond he shares with his horse.

A sweet twelve year old girl rides tall on her horse. She is diagnosed with selective mutism. She is withdrawn, does not speak and rarely makes eye contact with others. Her mother says this once a week riding session carries her daughter’s spirits all the week long.  After just a few sessions of riding, the girl is more confident.

This is the magical, transformative bond of horse and human fostered by Listening Horse Therapeutic Riding and its PATH International Equine Services for Veterans and Military Program. Gus Jolley, the founder of Listening Horse and a veteran himself, explains it this way: “I wanted to give back to military veterans and people who are looking to improve their way of life. What the horse has given me to help create a positive outlook, I wanted to give to others. I didn’t start this program alone. Friends and program volunteers have made Listening Horse the success it is today.”

Each participant is assigned a horse, an instructor and a volunteer. The participant begins with grooming and groundwork, which establishes the human as the leader and creates a bond of trust between the two. These exercises foster living in the moment rather than remaining rooted in the past or in fear or pain. And of course, the horseback therapy gets people out in the fresh air, working their muscles as they calm their minds.

“Winter Grass” by James Roybal

Since it started in 2008,  Listening Horse has served over 145 people, ages 5 to 88, facing the challenges of PTSD, autism, traumatic brain and physical injury, cancer treatment and recovery, issues of at risk youth, and an array of emotional and physical challenges. Listening Horse has over 50 volunteers and 10 instructors trained to work with people with disabilities; all give their time freely and for free. Operated from March through November, the program is free to participants who may participate in the program for as long as they wish. Listening Horse provides therapeutic riding to the big brother and sister matches of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New Mexico and works with many veterans organizations in Santa Fe.

The nonprofit organization relies on generous donations from individuals, fundraisers and grants to continue and expand the program. There is a waiting list. This is where you can help.

by McCreery Jordan

Listening Horse is holding a raffle of the art shown here, generously donated by McCreery Jordan and James Roybal  of Santa Fe. Tickets are priced at 1 for $10 and 3 for $25. The drawing will be held at 7 p.m. on December 19 at the Santa Fe Brewing Company in Eldorado. You need not be present to win. For further information, to purchase a raffle ticket or just write them a big fat check, call 505.670.3577.  Mailing address: Listening Horse, Box 8960, Santa Fe, NM 87504. The participants thank you, Listening Horse thanks you, and horses Sugar, Zorro, Doc, Promise and Jack thank you, too.

“New Mexico Treasures” by James Roybal


Autumn on Canyon Road

Santa Fe is either the second or third largest art market in the United States, depending on the latest poll and who polled. Without question, Canyon Road, with its historic adobe architecture, historic homes, and views of the mountains, provides one of the most beautiful settings in the world to peruse over 100 galleries and unique shops. If you do not appreciate art, go anyway. You will enjoy the scenery, and it is a painless way to get a little exercise to walk off the breakfast burritos.

You will find a wide range of art, including Native American, contemporary, early 20th Century, traditional representations, and, I have to say, a few pieces which I think you could probably skip and head for coffee, tea or a meal at one of the great restaurants, but taste is subjective.

Any season is lovely for a walk on Canyon Road, but autumn and winter right after a light snow are my favorite times. Recently photographer Ann Murdy enjoyed a walk down Canyon Road with her camera on a crisp fall morning, just to let you see a few of the galleries and the sculptures sitting outside. Add the sound of crunching leaves and you are there.

FOOTNOTE: I had to remove Ann’s photos given the fact people have been lifting them in violation of her copyright.


Maria Benítez’s Flamenco’s Next Generation

Born in Taos, New Mexico, Maria Benítez is a legendary dancer, teacher and an internationally recognized expert in Spanish dance and flamenco. Without one wit of exaggeration, she is a beautiful, passionate, fiery flamenco dancer. Fortunate for us, she and her nonprofit organization, the Institute for Spanish Arts (ISA), call Santa Fe home. The mission of ISA is to “preserve, strengthen and disseminate our rich and diverse artistic Hispanic heritage as expressed through music, dance, visual arts and other art forms as they relate to the New World.”



Now in its 10th year, ISA’s youth company of local dancers called Flamenco’s Next Generation danced on the Plaza stage last Sunday. What a gift to Santa Fe.   PHOTOS removed.