Fall Greetings from Santa Fe Creative Tourism

For me, fall has always been one of the most comforting times of year. With the changing leaves, cooler weather, and the kickoff of the holiday season, we have all these built-in reminders that the year is nearly over. The season supplies us with little mental and emotional checkpoints–we take stock, remember, anticipate . . . The hard part is when all of this gets lost in the never-ending to-do list that seems to begin in September and doesn’t subside until late January–or ever, really.

Here at SFCT we talk a lot about the power of art–how it can be a powerful means of personal exploration; how can it be a calming, meditative, mindful experience; how it can be a necessary outlet for creative expression which may be otherwise overlooked in daily life . . . All of this, and more, is very true, and frankly any reason to explore artistic and creative expression is probably a good one. But something we don’t always talk about that much are the benefits that come from the pursuit of mastery.

Sometimes we indulge in hobbies as mere distractions, a nice way to divert our attention from ordinary concerns, but they can become, in effect, mindless, of no real benefit other than keeping us from thinking out things we’d rather not think about. But dedicating ourselves to the mastery of a craft, a skill, or an art form is a pursuit that is shown to manifold benefits throughout our lives. The precision, dexterity, and attention to detail we acquire in working with our hands, eyes, and creative minds can positively affect the way we approach the rest of our lives.

In his latest blog entry, “On the Art of Practicing,” acclaimed photographer Craig Varjabedian, an SFCT artist who teaches workshops through Eloquent Light Photography, writes about the importance of staying in practice:

“So as photographers, we need to practice. A lot. I like what dancer and choreographer, the late Martha Graham, had to say about the importance of practicing. She said, ‘I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.’ “

The hundreds of talented artists and artisans who teach workshops through Santa Fe Creative Tourism are fully capable of facilitating a diversionary, entertaining time for you and your family and friends. And don’t get me wrong–sometimes that’s exactly what you need, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t forget that these artists are also masters of their respective crafts, dedicated students and teachers who have spent tens of thousands of hours developing and honing their technical and aesthetic skills, with as much collective wisdom and experience among them as any group of people in the world. So in addition to offering a diversion, some family time, or some me-time, these artists also offer the tools with which you might pursue perfection, so that you might be fully prepared and able to enjoy the fruits of your life and labor.

Too heavy for autumn greetings? I hope not. With that in mind, take a look at a bit of what’s coming up on the SFCT calendar, and don’t forget to check out our new website at :

Photographing the Enchantment Workshop with Craig Varjabedian

New Mexico is a photographer’s paradise. Georgia O’Keeffe. Elliot Porter. Laura Gilpin. Peter Hurd. Come and experience for yourself the land that influenced these artists’ ways of seeing, thinking, and creating. You’ll discover why New Mexico has been a favorite destination — the high desert land and light, the different cultures, mountain and mission — that has drawn people here for centuries.

Join master photographer Craig Varjabedian to explore the diverse culture, architecture and landscape of northern New Mexico, learning how to capture the power and beauty with your camera. While based in Santa Fe, you will travel to locations within easy reach, where you will receive one-on-one instruction in the field on technical or aesthetic issues, as they come up, to help you on your photographic journey. You will also participate in class sessions for feedback on your digital images and ongoing discussions about different aspects of the medium.

2014 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference

The 10th annual Tony Hillerman Writers Conference celebrates the craft and business of writing with three days of workshops for authors of all genres. This year’s faculty includes Anne Hillerman, Sandi Ault, John Sandford, Melinda Snodgrass, and David Morrell, among others.

Thursday evening will mark a special event celebrating a decade of teaching writing. Join us at The Screen to see clips of the PBS movies adapted from the mysteries written by Tony Hillerman, followed by a discussion about the making of the movies with series producer Jamie Redford, director Chris Eyre, actor Wes Studi, and Anne Hillerman. Get your tickets by emailing [email protected]. Seating is limited.

First Glass Fusing Class with Bullseye Glass

In this 2.5-hour class, you will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of creating glass objects in the kiln. You will make an 8” x 8” fused and slumped plate, choosing from a wide range of glasses. Plates will be fired after the workshop and available for pick-up a few days later. After completing this class, you will be eligible to participate in Bullseye’s Open Studio sessions. No experience with glass is required for this course, which is recommended for beginners.

Collecting for Willow Baskets with Dodie Nelson

Saturday, November 22
12 pm – 4 pm
Members $40 – Non-members $60
$10 non-refundable deposit to hold your place

Now is the time to collect materials for the January 2015 willow basketry class. Meet at EVFAC for a demonstration in willow basketry then carpool to a willow branch collecting location where students will be able to collect their own materials. Students will need to bring pruning shears, gloves and clothes appropriate for wet cold weather!

Visit our website for ongoing workshops.

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