POP pilgrimage

justin Art, Awesomeness, Popular Culture, Vice, Vinyl 2 Comments

For the past couple of years, squeezle and I have spent our Memorial Day weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are big fans of Santa Fe (read that as “we like to drink and eat a lot in Santa Fe, NM”), and we try and make a trip at least once a year to relax, throw the munch at some of our favorite restaurants on the planet, and spend money on art that one would usually not expect to be showcased in Santa Fe.

In fact, the Memorial Day Weekend is when we travel to Santa Fe for a very special event. No, it’s not Pancakes on the Plaza (which falls on July 4th and is pretty damn awesome), rather, it’s POP Gallery’s POP Femme Sugar Coated Strange opening and reception. Squeezle and I have been incredibly impressed with Michael and Sharla McDowell’s little shack of wonders since they opened it back in 2007. We had known both of them from their work with the Chuck Jones Gallery in Santa Fe, so we were both delighted that they cut out on their own to showcase artists and works that were more in line with their own tastes, and, subsequently, ours.

One of the best things about the Sugar Coated Strange show is that it really bucks the mentality of a typical art gallery “opening.” Sure, there are loads and loads of fabulous pieces of art, patrons swigging back glasses of champagne, but where it differs is that it really seems to be more like a reunion than an opening.

While this year’s show is just the third, it seems like it’s been going on for just about forever. Squeezle and I have been fortunate enough to meet a gaggle of very talented artists and really get a better feeling of where their art really comes from.

One of my favorite things about this show is that it involves artists who do an incredible amount of “crossover” work into the realm of vinyl and resin toys (one of my other obsessions), as well as other media. See if you recognize some of these names: Kathie Olivas (and, by proxy, Brandt Peters), CJ Metzger, Miss Mindy and (former Dallasite) Marie Sena.

Squeezle and I have purchase multiple pieces from each of these artists and consider ourselves very lucky to have had the opportunity to have met them and spent some time chewing the fat.

All-in-all, it’s a party with just about everything I love about a nice chill weekend. It’s got booze, it’s got green chile, it’s got art, it’s got friends and it even has tattoos (Marie is an incredible tattooist as well as an incredible artist). If you throw in a soccer match, I’d think I had died and gone to heaven.

What I’m saying is that you should go to Santa Fe and definitely go to POP Gallery. At the very least, spend some time with their website and pick out a piece or dozen you’d like to add to your collection. What, you don’t have a collection? Well, it’s high time you got in touch with Michael and Sharla to get one started for you.

If you’re there on Memorial Day Weekend, let me know and I’ll buy you a beer.

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