Trail Mix: A Trail Drive to show off county’s art, culture and heritage

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Art is everywhere.

It’s in our homes, in our businesses and weaved deeply in Valencia County’s culture and history.

Clara Garcia-News-Bulletin photo: Miguel Chavez shows off two of his photographs that will be on display during the Trails and Rails: Arts and Heritage’s Trail Mix: A Trail Drive on Saturday, June 8. Chavez, along with painter Gerald Armijo, own the Old Valencia Gallery. It is one of the 28 stops on the all-day tour.

Residents and visitors alike will have an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the rich variety of arts and heritage this weekend during the Trails and Rails: Arts and Heritage’s Trail Mix: A Trail Drive throughout Valencia County.

From Bosque to Bosque Farms, artists and business owners will open up their homes, studios and stores for a taste of what they have created and, in some cases, experience in person how they do what they do. Beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 8, more than two dozen locations throughout the county will invite the public in for the day-long event.

Over the past several years, artists Jan Pacifico and Heidi Snell, of Tomé Art Gallery, have administered several New Mexico Arts grants to promote arts and heritage in Valencia County. The self-guided tour started several years ago when Pacifico and Snell went to the Roundhouse in Santa Fe and learned they could receive grant funding to promote art in Valencia County.

“We decided Valencia County needed an arts trail, so we formed Trails and Rails: Art’s and Heritage in Valencia County,” Pacifico said. “With the money we received, we have been able to advertise the trail in several New Mexico magazines.

“This year, we will have people travel the trail and follow the trail drive and have people go to each of the locations that are participating,” she said. “They will have special events and demonstrations to bring people in.”

Pacifico said the idea is to get people to know the arts and heritage sites in Valencia County, and learn a little more about the artists. While there is no starting or ending point, the organizers hope art and history enthusiasts will pick and choose as many of the 28 locations on the tour to visit.

Snell said there may be more sites added to the trail this year, as local artists get excited about the event and the opportunity to be involved in the collaborative effort.

“New Mexico Arts is putting a lot of money this summer into advertising the trails in national magazines such as U.S. News and Time,” Snell said. “They will be telling people to go to their website and direct them back to our website.

“We’re hoping this year will be better than ever,” she said. “We got twice as many as we did last year for the Trail Mix, and we lost a few from the year before, but we gained more than we lost.”

Some of the events at the Trail Mix: A Trail Drive include:

• Pacifico Clay Works and Tomé Gallery: There will be hands-on pottery demonstrations and firings. There will also be a silk painting demonstration by Cheri Reckers and lots of other surprises.

• Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts: The museum currently has a pictorial history of the village of Los Lunas, celebrating the 85th anniversary of the village’s incorporation. Most of the illustrations and panel pages are from historian B.G. Burr’s book, “Los Lunas.” There is also a separate exhibit featuring all the mayors of the village, including that of Antonio Archuleta, the first mayor of Los Lunas.

• Lodie Beads: The Bosque Farms bead shop will feature make-and-take bead demonstrations all day

• The Center for Ageless Living Spa and Bistro: The bistro, in Los Lunas, will be cooking fresh from the garden all day. At 11 a.m., there will be a free cooking class, demonstrating pasta making and how to use fresh garden produce in your pasta dish. Their special lunch entrees, grilled organic beef burgers or brats, garnished with garden greens served with dilled potato salad and ice tea, $9. Tours of the organic gardens and community gardens will also be available.

• Inn of the Phoenix: A tour of the Tomé inn will feature World War II and Pearl Harbor memorabilia along with light refreshments. The inn is a tribute to the parents of Karla Barela, the owner. The memorabilia throughout the house is provided by her father, Gerald A. Wheaton, a survivor seaman who was on board the U.S.S. Phoenix at Pearl Harbor.

• Old Valencia Gallery: In this historic house in Valencia, near the “Y” in Los Lunas, the owners, Miguel Chavez and Gerald Armijo, will hold a photography, painting and metal art exhibit.

• The Little Store: This quaint store in Peralta, housed in a 100-year-old building, will be exhibiting various artwork, including inspirational and religious. Some of the artwork has been shown at Expo New Mexico the Hispanic Market. Light refreshments will be served.

• Cowboy Camelids: This alpaca ranch in Bosque Farms will be demonstrating spinning and drop spindles with their alpaca wool. Bill Richardson, the owner, said the gift shop will be open.

• The Luna Mansion: The historic restaurant will be hosting a champagne tour of the mansion and will be offering a special brunch menu at noon. The tour will include showing the original artwork and an oral history of the mansion.

• Teofilo’s: The restaurant will have special menu items, and all meal checks will be entered into a drawing for $100 gift certificate to the Luna Mansion.

• Gift’s Galore: This Bosque Farms store, with 36 different vendors, will exhibit arts and crafts of all kinds, including metal art, stained glass, jewelry and more. They will also have a drawing for $20 off the total price of anything sold that day. Light refreshments will also be sold.

• Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area: The conservation area will hold National Get Out Doors Day beginning at 8 a.m. Organizers are inviting everyone to start the tour at 8 a.m. with a walk through the conservation area. No dogs, cars, bikes or horses are allowed. This is an opportunity for the public to get outdoors, go for a healthy, peaceful, quite and meditating walk.

• Carrie’s Sew and Sews: This vintage fabric store in Peralta will have 10 to 50 percent discounts on all of their fabrics. They also have a wide assortment of trims and buttons for sale. They will have a couple of demonstrations, including tatting, an old art form of decorative stitching, and make-and-takes for children. There will be a raffle for vintage clothing, all of which are 50 years or older.

• The Branch: Stop by the Branch in Los Lunas for a free cup of gourmet coffee, and put your name in the raffle for a basket of gourmet coffee items.

• Harvey House Museum: The Belen museum will open its latest exhibit, “All Things Railroad.”

• The Dustbowl House: The historic house in Bosque Farms off the South Loop will be open for tours.

Galeria del Rio Abajo: World class santero Charlie Sanchez, along with his wife, Irene, and daughter, Vanessa, will be showing their artwork in Tomé. Irene will also have her cookbook, “Comida Sabrosa,” available.

Duncan Studios: Duncan Studios, on 130 North El Cerro Loop, will hold and open house demonstrations by Stephen Johnson, animé and cartooning; Eileen Williams, painting; Carmen Gallegos, charcoal drawing; Isaiah Abeyta, graphite drawing; Annalee Massagee, acrylic painting; and guest artists will include Leonardo de Vinci, Jackson Pollack, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt, Norman Rockwell, Jeff Koons and Michelangelo. There will also be face painting. For information, call Terry at 866-6076.

Other sites on the one-day tour include:

Belen Art League, Camino Real Winery, Country Herbs and Teas, Jan’s High Mt. Leather Art, The Blue Door, The Girls Backdoor Emporium, The Porch, Thomé Dominguez Community Center and Museum and Valencia Community Gardens.

For more information about the Trail Mix: A Trail Drive, call Jan Pacifico at 866-0582, or visit www.ArtsAndHeritageNM.com to see a list and map of all the locations of the tour.


-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.