Mar 112009
 

On the first day, Andrea and spent the day checking out galleries on the Plaza: Joe Wade Fine Art, Sage Creek, where we saw an absolutely stunning painting of Native American horseman by artist, Ed Kucera — I wish I could show it to you, but I can’t find an image online, Manitou Galleries, Wadle Galleries, Peterson-Cody Gallery, where I was most impressed with the landscapes of Peter Holbrook. We took about an hour’s break to spend on an orgy of embroidered-blouse shopping in a wonderful store, Natural Fashions (hint: you can shop online, link provided). Andrea had already bought four and bought two more with my encouragement. I bought a sun dress and two off the shoulder blouses. Andrea was able to sport hers in Santa Fe, but I will have to wait for warmer weather to wear mine. From there we walked to Canyon Rd. and had delicious salads at Cafe des Artistes. A bonus was listening to the proprietor’s French accent — I’m inclined toward things like that — after which, the Gerald Peters Gallery and Nedra Matteucci Gallery. Both of these were more like museums, as their collections were by vintage Southwestern painters, often deceased. The Nedra Mateucci had the most beautiful sculpture garden I’ve ever seen. (Hint: Just click through the views of the garden to see the pool and fountain.) I wish that was my backyard.

On the second day, we took a break from Gallery hopping and went exploring ruined pueblos. Our first stop was Bandelier National Monument in the Frijoles Canyon, dating from the 12th Century. The picture above is a Kiva, a subterranean chamber in which the natives held religious ceremonies and village counsels. The top would have been overlaid with wooden beams and covered with clay. A hole served for a ladder to descend and a flu for smoke to escape, the fire pit being situated on that end of the kiva floor.

The walls of the canyon are composed of basalt and “tuff” — I’m more familiar with the term, “tufa” –rock made of accumulated ash from an ancient volcano. It must be similar to the conical “mounds” of Cappadocia, Turkey, in which a warren of ancient domiciles and churches were carved into the rock in the early centuries (5th and 6th) of the Christian era. You can see the man-made holes in the cliff in the picture above.

A closer look at the cave-rooms, accessed by ladders.

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