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Free Workshops and Programs

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Free Public Programming

City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department

 Community Gallery

 Offers Public Workshops for the Exhibit

“Brick x Brick: Artworks Inspired by Earthen Architecture”

June 3 – September 1, 2022


Santa Fe, New Mexico— The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission will present four public programs as part of, “Brick X Brick” an exhibit intended to celebrate earthen architecture in New Mexico. Most events take place at the Community Gallery, 201 West Marcy Street, inside the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and are open to the public. Those not held in the Community Gallery are indicated below. For more information call, 505-955-6705 or email [bot protected email address].


Addressing Adobe Architecture Poetry Workshop - FREE

Saturday, June 25, 2022, 11 am – 2 pm in the Community Gallery

City of Santa Fe Poet Laureate Darryl Lorenzo Wellington will conduct a poetry workshop on the themes of light, shade, shadow in Adobe, experiences of comfort and nostalgia surrounding Adobe, and how our experiences with Adobe houses reflect issues of race, class, and ethnicity.


Darryl Lorenzo Wellington is a poet, playwright, performance artist, essayist and journalist who has lived in Santa Fe for 10 years. Mr. Wellington has over twenty years of experience as a freelance journalist and essayist publishing magazine feature articles, political commentary, poetry, and book reviews appearing in publications such as Dissent, The Nation, The Progressive, The Washington Post, The Crisis (The NAACP magazine,) The Christian Science Monitor, The Progressive, The Common Review, Boston Review, ABZ Magazine, Drum Voices, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education N+1, amongst others. His poetry chapbook Life’s Prisoners received the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Chapbook Award. Wellington has been featured on the Travis Smiley Radio Show. He also writes a syndicated editorial column for The Progressive Media Project. Since 2016, he has been a Writing/Communications Fellow with Center for Community Change, a Washington DC-based organization that supports low-income people of color.


The History of El Zaguán and Historic Preservation in Santa Fe - FREE

Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 5 – 7 pm in the Community Gallery


HSFF Deputy Director Melanie McWhorter and Preservation Projects Manager Mara Saxer will present on the history associated with the iconic offices of the nonprofit, called El Zaguán, located at 545 Canyon Road. The building was constructed starting in 1854 by Santa Fe Trail trader James L. Johnson and his wife Maria, who added on as their family grew over the next two decades. In the 20th century, the building was used for a variety of purposes under the ownership of Bryn Mawr alum and suffragist Margretta Dietrich, whose involvement with many prominent local preservationists, including those who founded HSFF in 1961, led to their taking over its protection upon her death. Since its ownership, HSFF has maintained the Territorial Style building and utilized the space for a variety of purposes and programming. The staff and Board are currently working on the implementation of the El Zaguán Master Plan to create an interpretation and education space that uses the building and its inhabitants to tell the economic, social, and architectural history of our wonderful city through the special lens of one place within it.


For this presentation, McWhorter and Saxer will tell a brief history of the building through its owners, discuss architectural elements of the building, provide an overview of the organization, and speak about the upcoming changes to the compound through the El Zaguán Master Plan.


Historic Santa Fe Foundation (HSFF) is a nonprofit based in Santa Fe on the historic Canyon Road. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the historic properties and diverse cultural heritage of the Santa Fe area, and to educate the public about Santa Fe's history and the importance of preservation.


Build an Horno (4 week workshop, Saturdays at Southside Library from 8 am to 12 pm) - $10 Registration Fee


Week One (Saturday, July 16, 8 am to 12 pm)- Introduction/Brick Making

Week Two (Saturday, July 23, 8 am to 12 pm)- Beginning Courses/Door

Week Three (Saturday, July 30, 8 am to 12 pm)- Beginning Courses/Door

Week Four (Saturday, August 6, 8 am to 12 pm)- Test Fire/Final Plaster

Join us in the construction process as we build a traditional horno oven for the Southside Library. Enrollment restricted to 20 people and those interested MUST pre-register and pay a $10 registration fee (first come, first served). To register contact Rod Lambert: [bot protected email address]. Participants are encouraged to wear suitable clothing/footwear including sun protection in the form of both hats and sunscreen.


From Taos and married with three wonderful children, Francisco Ochoa has been working with adobe and for over 40 years. As a child, he played on his family’s horno and plastered his home and church with adobe. He worked as a carpenter and santero until his hands needed a more forgiving material. He began Art in Adobe when his daughter asked him to repair the horno at her preschool on Taos UNM Kids Campus. This quickly led to a proliferation of hornos and accompanying programs throughout the state. He has instructed groups of all ages and backgrounds  in horno construction. His work can be found at the Branigan Cultural Center in Las Cruces, the World College in Las Vegas, private homeplaces on Jicarilla Apache and Zia lands, and various Santa Fe Public Schools as part of the Hands on Heritage program, among others. He has been an Artist in residence at El Camino Real Culture Center in Soccorro and is currently completing a degree in Anthropogy at the University of New Mexico.


 Sustainability and a Smart Energy Future in Time-Honored Adobe Construction

(Abobe Dwellings & Energy Transformation in New Mexico Communities and Beyond…) with Jack McGowan - FREE

Wednesday, August 3, 2022, 5-7 pm in the Community Gallery

This talk addresses energy issues from local (adobe home) to community (Santa Fe) to global (earth).  Starting with the individual adobe structure and its energy characteristics, this presentation will broaden that discussion to the energy and efficiency interplay between homes and the community, as well as how that interaction impacts the earth.

Efficiency and Renewable Energy were born in New Mexico when the Anasazi built their Cliff dwellings from adobe, and later when the Spanish coined the term”adobe” to describe the structures they built in Spain and New Mexico, and this critical activity continues today.  This talk will begin with the basics of thermal energy flow, and consumption , in dwelling structures, with an emphasis on the benefits of adobe construction in that process. Jack lives in a Zero Net Energy adobe home in Santa Fe and will use it as an example.  Using real world examples, this talk will cover how smart energy adobe homes can be part of an energy transformation that is critical to addressing Climate Change.  Jack will use his original oil paintings, in part, to tell this story.

Jack McGowan’s artwork is featured in the “Brick x Brick:” exhibit.  He is an award winning Plein Air oil painter, and also an award winning expert in efficiency, renewable and smart energy in homes and buildings.  He is a successful energy entrepreneur and Corporate Board Director, as well as a former member of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission, Director of the New Mexico Energy Conservation / Management Division and taught energy efficiency and systems courses in the UNM School of Architecture.  He also Chaired the US Department of Energy Gridwise Architecture Council, empaneled to define a smart national electric grid, under two Presidents.  He has been inducted into three energy halls of fame.  After selling his company, he transitioned back to art and picked a paint brush up for the first time in 40 years. In his work life, He strove to deploy engineering and technology excellence in efficiency and sustainability projects. With his art, the approach to sustainability is more subtle, his goal is to create compelling landscape paintings that tug at the viewers’ heartstrings just a bit. That feeling, it is hoped, will make the viewer rethink how their energy and lifestyle choices impact the environment.  To see his work, visit:


Most events take place at the Community Gallery, 201 West Marcy Street, inside the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and are free and open to the public. For more information call, 505-955-6707 or email [bot protected email address].




The City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department is part of the City of Santa Fe municipal government, and provides leadership by and for City government in support of the arts and cultural affairs. The Arts and Culture Department also recommends programs and policies that develop, sustain and promote artistic excellence in the community. For more information, call the Arts and Culture Department at 505-955-6707 or email [bot protected email address]













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