Event Spotlight | 15th Annual ARTfeast

The events and dishes are coming together for ARTsmart’s 15th annual ARTfeast, a three-day series of art- and food-related events to whet the appetite and raise money for art programs for Santa Fe’s youth. ARTfeast begins on Friday, February 24, and wraps up on Sunday, February 26. Weekend highlights include the Edible Art Tour on Friday night, the gourmet dinner and auction on Saturday night (underwritten by Southwest Art), and the champagne brunch and auction on Sunday morning.

On Friday night beginning at 5 p.m., collectors and food lovers sample the art and cuisine of Santa Fe during the Edible Art Tour. This ARTfeast favorite teams up 40 local restaurants and caterers with more than 30 downtown and Canyon Road galleries to tempt participants with their specialties.

A multicourse gourmet banquet and auction with honorary artist Poteet Victory begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday night. In conjunction with ARTsmart programs, Victory is working with local high school seniors exploring facets of his Abbreviated Portrait Series, in which he reduces iconic images of celebrities to a few basic elements. “The idea [for the series] occurred to me as I watched people text messaging with abbreviated words and sentences,” Victory explains. “As I thought about a person, I asked myself what shapes, lines, and colors I saw in my mind’s eye, the triggers that would spark a viewer to ‘see’ the person.” Beginning with Marilyn Monroe, Victory has finished 10 abbreviated portraits of such legends as the Beatles, Howard Hughes, and Elvis Presley. Victory encouraged the local students to create their own abbreviated portraits, and these works are for sale at the banquet along with Victory’s painting HIGH DESERT EARTH.

ARTfeast weekend closes with a champagne brunch and live auction on Sunday morning. Artworks by professional artists and local high school art students are up for bid as well as travel and spa packages.

Many galleries have announced their plans for the Edible Art Tour. Here is a sampling.

For the fifth year, Pippin Meikle Fine Art teams up with Al and Laurie Lucero, owners of Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen, to bring their famous margaritas and New Mexican cuisine to the Edible Art Tour. On Sunday, gallery owners and artists Barbara Meikle and Aleta Pippin are the featured artists at their table for the Champagne Brunch, and each artist is donating a piece to the silent auction.

Canyon Road Contemporary hosts a special February group show titled I Know What Love Is, which features new works by Tanner Lawley. For the Edible Art Tour, the gallery hosts Mariscos Costa Azul, serving up Mexican style seafood cuisine, and artisan chocolatiers C.G. Higgins Confections, plating up chocolate-covered strawberries.

Guadalupe Cafe is again Ventana Fine Art’s restaurant partner for the Edible Art Tour. The gallery hosts both a display of amateur entomologist Ollie Greer’s extensive insect collection (on display February 23-28) and an art show of works extolling the beauty, delicacy, and utility of “good” bugs. These works were created expressly for this event and remain on exhibit through March 15.

At Mark White Fine Art, chef David Sundberg from Blue Corn Café and Brewery is designing a bite-size entrée and dessert to pair with beer brewed specifically for the Edible Art Tour. The gallery is also donating a large, kinetic Mark White wind sculpture and a painting by Charles Veilleux for the art auction.

On Friday night, the staff from Jambo Café serves African homestyle cuisine at Meyer East Gallery. Featured in the gallery this month are works by resident artist Ali Launer, who is attending the weekend events. Launer begins with iconic animal skulls (such as buffalo, ram, or bull), then creates one-of-a-kind artworks with intricate hand beading and applied semi-precious stones and exotic skins.

For more information about ARTfeast: 505.603.4643 or www.artfeast.com.

Featured in February 2012.