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SANTA FE ART DIALOGUE by KC Moore 8-17-12

August 29, 2012

There is a common discussion in the artist community about galleries and selling art.  While many artists try to be represented, others are reaching out on their own.  I spoke with an artist in Santa Fe who experienced the frustration I’ve heard from many others.  Here, as everywhere, the market has tanked, leaving emerging artists in the void.  I remember the closing of many significant art galleries in Sacramento after the 2008 stock market debacle.

Micaela Gardner says as a matter of fact, galleries are closing or not taking on new artists.  Tall and slender, her dark, straight hair frames her expressive face.  Intelligent and quick is she, so our discussion was fun.

Micaela is our bartender and we discuss many subjects.  Her background is dance and bar management.  I comment that it is not a combination I’ve encountered but I’ve realized that artists have to have survival skills.  That means having a job that covers expenses because ‘you just can’t count on the art selling’.

We discuss the local area and ask for her recommendations for lodging and restaurants because we intend to return next year.

I ask to see some of her work but she only has a poor quality picture on her phone. (Artists, take note and be prepared!)   She says her new style is softer, not as bold as it once was. She says her work is in large format panels.  Her website posts 2007. 2008 and 2012.  Between that time her work sold faster than she could document it.

Our discussion pivots and pirouettes, but returns to the art world.  Micaela (pronounced MakIla) talks about how her work was gaining traction in San Francisco and was ready for the next step up in the art world only to be left in the void.

During our conversation, she mentions Billy Soza War Soldier, a prominent and controversial, local Indian painter (read future blog entitled ‘Coincidence and Controversy’).   Before we wander on she tells us to check out the 5th floor of La Fonda for the best view (unknown to tourists) of the city plus a few other gems.

Micaela’s website can be viewed here: micaelagardner.com

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