There are many celebrities who live in Santa Fe or have a second (or third or fourth) home here. But there are many more non-celebrities who are potters, painters, sculptors, musicians, and writers who also live here. Even though they may not be household names, many of these artists are well known in their respective circles. They have clients from all over the world.

Recently, I have had a chance to get to know some of these very interesting people almost accidentally. My father was a wood carver. He worked in various woods and carved representations of many wild animals in natural settings. I inherited his collection, and one of the prizes was an elk head carved from walnut. The antlers were elaborately and intricately carved, so much so that it was difficult to figure out how my father was able to carve them. I took the carving off its resting spot on the wall in my study to show a friend. When I returned the piece to its hangar, it fell to the floor, and the intricate antlers were smashed into a dozen pieces. Fortunately I was able to find an expert in art restoration, Matthew Horowitz, who works with his father, David, at their gallery, Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe. Matthew also has his own place, Revive Art Restoration. He has skills beyond his years and was able to restore the elk without a trace of the disaster. During my visits to the shop, I also got the opportunity to see some of his and his father’s work. They use gold leaf in extremely creative and beautiful ways. Some of their notable pieces are a gold-plated napalm bomb (real but deactivated), a giant roll of dynamite held together with gold barbed wire, and a gold-plated Kalashnikov (You might have concluded they are very much anti-war believers).

The restored wood carving

The restored wood carving

Matthew’s skill inspired me to find someone to repair a 1920s Santo Domingo Pueblo pot that had been broken during one of our moves. I found Heidi Loewen, who turned out to be a potter – really a ceramicist – of great skill as well as a porcelain restorer with experience in Europe and New York City. Heidi agreed to take on the project even though she is working on many commissions for her own original and beautiful pieces. During the repair process, Heidi has kept me apprised of her progress through a series of images sent by text message. After only a couple of weeks, Heidi let me know that the pot had been repaired. When I got to her studio to pick up the pot, my jaw dropped. The restoration was beautiful, and the many shards had been brought back together with the cracks completely hidden and the original charm of the bowl preserved. Just as with the elk, I was thrilled that I had discovered an artist who was clearly a professional. I visited Heidi in her gallery several times during the project. That gave me a chance to see some of Heidi’s work. She has beautiful pots, enormous plates, and many are finished in breathtaking gold. She also has a series of women’s shoes in all sizes ranging from Lilliputian to Brobdinagian. She clearly enjoys life and art.

Restored Santo Domingo bowl

Restored Santo Domingo bowl


My other encounter with visual artists was working with Vincent Faust, a sculptor whose medium is industrial metal. He shows his work at ViVO Contemporary Gallery on Canyon Road. Each year, the gallery sponsors a show in which local poets are teamed up with members of the gallery co-op. The poets write works inspired by the creations of the visual artists. Then there is the festive opening with the added touch of the poets reading their contributions. This year, I was fortunate to be teamed with Vincent. I wrote a poem about his bold and colorful piece made from industrial iron and coated in a brilliant metallic powder. The sculpture and the poem are both entitled, “Excision.””


Cut from steel.

Hammer, anvil, fire.

Pounded, twisted,

bent into a skeleton.

I gaze through ribs, thorax.

Chrome yellow, it will not

melt into the desert floor

like faded bones of

a frightened deer

or iris arc into the ochre cliff.


It stands firm, strong,

defiant against soft hills

forged in fire

on their own ancient anvil,

now dissolved into the arroyo

with each cool summer rain

or garlanded under velvet

of new snow until both

cascade – rivulets destined

for some faraway place.


It tests my strength:

I cannot lift it,

turn it in my hands,

capture hidden glints;

only look from a distance,

ponder meaning

hidden in

a lifeless shell

created by

a sentient being.



Filed under Photography

4 responses to “SANTA FE ARTS

  1. Lynne

    I always enjoy your posts and your love of life!

  2. Wow how fortunate for you to get those two pieces restored so beautifully!

  3. Such beautiful work 🙂

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