Thursday, May 31, 2012

Painting in O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Garden

cover of bookNow there are many kinds of O’Keeffe fans. There are those who venerate the woman. Those who idolize the painter. And those like me who look to her for inspiration in my painting, but do not have to see her clothes on display or follow her recipes to try to understand the “whole” O’Keeffe.

But a week or so ago, I had the opportunity to be one of the first artists to paint in her garden at Abiquiu. I have painted many times at Ghost Ranch and feel its draw. But to paint in her garden struck a chord, maybe like painting in Monet’s garden at Agenteuil. A special shared experience.

Only six artists took part—from NY, Texas, California and Albuquerque. For some it was a pilgrimage, some curiosity, but mostly just the opportunity to paint where O’Keeffe lived and painted. There was also the prestige of being the first to paint there, ever. Some were awestruck and some were nervous. But all entered the garden and grounds with a quiet openness and respect for the home and garden.

It was watering day, the day the acequia was opened to flood the yard and grounds. The thin spring grass sprung up through the two inches of water. The water saturated ground sparkled in the sunlight. The acequia gurgled past our easels as we set up to paint the house and old orchard trees. An acequia is a water channel that runs through a garden or farm and the landowners have shares of that water in inches or feet. When a person’s watering time is over, they divert the water on to the next plot or farm. Large flat stones acted as bridges over the acequia giving us access to the entire garden area.

Mounds of hollyhock leaves were already three feet tall against the warm, sun splashed adobe walls. Only a few iris and a lone orange poppy were in bloom. Mid-afternoon clouds popped up in the cerulean sky like popcorn above the adobe walls of the house. A window with three latillas placed vertically in it was a painter’s dream on the adobe wall.

The window with the latillas became the focus of my paintings. I do not remember an O’Keeffe painting with that particular window in it. It had full sun and as the afternoon grew late the shadows stood out deeper than the window itself. There was a signature ladder next to the window, leaning against the adobe wall. Who could resist painting it to prove I was in close proximity to O’Keeffe’s home painting ground?

It was a fulfilling experience. I think I enjoyed painting there even more than making all of my painting buddies envious. Well, if I am really truthful, maybe it was equal parts of enjoying painting there and making them green with envy.

Read more about the image of Georgia O'Keeffe at the Library of Congress.
PCH at Main

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Santa Fe Public Library hosts 2013 Southwest Book Fiesta Informational Meeting

An informational meeting on the 2013 Southwest Book Fiesta will be held at the Main Library of the Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Avenue, on June 9, 2012 at noon. Authors and publishers are encouraged to attend.
Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhetts of the New Mexico Book Co-op will speak and answer questions about the 2013 Southwest Book Fiesta scheduled at the Albuquerque Convention Center May 10-12, 2013. The talk will explain the Book Fiesta and answer questions on presentations, booth and table rentals, tips for selling books, other activities in the Albuquerque Convention Center, set-up, and hotels.

This is the first time New Mexico has had a massive book fair at the Albuquerque Convention Center and both tables and booths for authors, publishers, poets, libraries, and literacy groups are available as well as other businesses that want to take advantage of the family atmosphere and attendees. Booths and tables are discounted until September 1, 2012. It is anticipated that over 10,000 attendees will come and buy regional books over the three-day period.

Already sponsors and presenters of the Book Fiesta include: UNM Press, New Mexico Book Association of Santa Fe, New Mexico Book Co-op, SAR Press of Santa Fe, LPD Press/Rio Grande Books, Museum of New Mexico Press of Santa Fe, Sunbelt Media, SouthWest Writers, WordHarvest of Santa Fe, Printers Press, and the official bookseller for guest authors is Bookworks.

The Book Fiesta is modeled after the Tucson Festival of Books, Miami Book Festival, and the Texas Book Festival in Austin. Proceeds of the Book Fiesta will go toward the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy and the New Mexico Library Foundation. The talk is free and open to the public.

For information call 505/344-9382 or go to or contact: Paul Rhetts 505/344-9382 or

PCH at Main

Friday, May 25, 2012

Whitewater Baldy Complex fires

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I know our friends around the country like to know how we are faring in Santa Fe. Yesterday and today the smoke from the Gila Wilderness has come north to give us hazy days and smoke to breathe. A lightning bolt started the fire which last night was listed as 70,000 acres burned and zero, yes, zero contained. has good coverage of all fires in the US. 

This announcement came out today from the City:
Santa Fe, NM – May 25, 2012 – The smoke from the Whitewater Baldy Complex fires in the Gila Wilderness will continue to move into the Santa Fe and surrounding areas throughout the weekend. Avoiding exposure to the smoke will help to reduce its effects including limiting outdoor activities, closing windows and doors, and avoiding the use of swamp coolers. With limited exposure, symptoms such as mild throat and eye irritation or allergy-like symptoms are to be expected. While its effects on most citizens are expected to be minor, those with concerns should seek information or medical attention as they would in normal circumstances.
Also persons who have pre-existing medical conditions related to the heart or lungs are urged to be diligent in minimizing their exposure to the smoke-filled air. For more information contact Erik Litzenberg at 955-3111 or call the New Mexico Department of Health, 476-2600.

White House Young America Series: Live from Santa Fe

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It is not often that we find that there are chances for young people to be heard. But the White House Young America Series will be LIVE from Santa Fe on June 4, at 5:00 pm.
New Mexicans age 18 to 35.  Have your voice heard.  Attend the  White House Young America Series: Live from Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) on June 4 th, 2012 from 5:00PM to 8:30PM at SFCC’s Jemez Rooms – 6401 Richards Rd., Santa Fe, NM.

In conjunction with the Millennium Momentum Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, The White House Young America Series are regional conferences held across the country this spring. They are designed to connect Obama Administration officials with some of the Nation’s most innovative and inspiring young leaders to discuss issues critical to young Americans and identify solutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The goals for this conference are: 
·         Relationship Building—The conference will establish a space where young leaders can meaningfully engage and interact with officials from the Obama Administration on diverse policy areas that affect their community. 

·         Sharing Ideas— Participants will raise policy and programmatic areas of importance. Also, participants will identify local success stories and practices in policy areas that could benefit other communities across the country.

·         Working Together—The conference will allow participants to connect with each other and Obama Administration officials to share tools and community solutions that can be leveraged to address larger issues.  Participants and Administration officials will work together to identify and develop opportunities for collaboration between the Administration and other leaders from across their community and across the country. 

·         Obama Administration 101— The conference will ensure that participants gain a deeper understanding of the Administration’s work, learn how they can connect with the Federal Government at the local level, and plan for the work yet to be done. 

The forum in Santa Fe is one of a multi-city series designed to bridge President Obama’s vision with the needs of young people by connecting them with the local and national resources and networks they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The event is free of charge, but pre-event registration is required as space is limited. RSVP by 5/30/12 to providing first and last name, with “White House at SFCC” in the subject line.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

The Santa Fe Public Library has resumed interlibrary loan service, opening La Farge Branch on Saturdays, and has restored the Media Department to full hours. The closures and schedule changes were due to a lack of staffing following several staff retirements. The Library has filled openings in the last three months.

The La Farge Branch, 1730 Llano Street, is now open regular hours of Monday through Wednesday, 10:00a.m-8:00 pm and Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm.

The Main Library Media Department is open the same hours that the Main Library is open.

InterLibrary Loan has resumed its regular service of loaning and borrowing materials for patrons that the Library does not own.

“It was a difficult decision to curtail services for several months, but the staffing was just not available,” said Library Director Pat Hodapp. “We are pleased we can reopen these services with full staffing. Our new staff are excited to be able to serve our patrons.”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

cover of bookThirty years ago I wrote a love letter. Not to my husband, but to Maurice Sendak. At the time several of my favorite authors had died and I began to wish I had told them how much I loved their work and how much it meant to me personally and as a children’s librarian and storyteller.
Almost all parents know Where the Wild Things Are, but he wrote many other tales such as In the Night Kitchen,
It did not take long to write the letter which I remember began with: “I love your stories and illustrations, they are magical.” And then I added much more words of love for his work how children in my library and my son loved them.
I did not expect to hear from him, I had just wanted to let him know he was a beloved author. About 6 weeks later came a small, greeting card sized envelope with my name and address written in a small script. He writer had used a fountain pen. The return address was Connecticut.
Almost holding my breath I carefully opened the note card. On the cover were Wild Things devouring books under a tree. The tree had a heart carved on it and the letters J S + M S.
Opening the card I found a hand written note that began, ”Dear Pat, What took you so long to write to me?”
A year or so later he was booked at the University of Colorado’s Children’s Author festival. I wrote him that I planned on being there and hoped to meet him. The organizer of the program basically said ho-hum and no to my request when I asked what his schedule was so that I could meet him. Probably thought I was a stalker or groupie.
So I staked out the area where he would be autographing books and discreetly kept out of the way. I was not the first in line, but when it was my turn to get autographed books (yes, I had purchased about everything and brought a couple of special first editions from home), he asked to whom it should be autographed. I gave him my name and he put down his pen, stood up and embraced me. He wanted to know how far had I driven, how were things at my library and other mundane catch-up questions. Not wanting to hold up the line too long, with the Conference Director scowling at us, he said, “Why don’t you join my table for lunch. I am sure the Director can squeeze in one more place.” It was an amazing lunch, just to be in his ken, listening to him talk so lovingly about his books as if they were children, some mischievous and some good.
I shared how I would tell his story of Pierre in story times and make Pierre’s “I don’t care” answers very naughty and bold. Of course at the end of the story when Pierre was saved from the lion he said, “I care.” Sendak cared about children, truth-telling, books and what books could do to enhance a child’s life.
That says it all about Maurice Sendak. He cared.

PCH at Main

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

View the original 1910 New Mexico Constitution and other important documents of Statehood

cover of bookView the original 1910 New Mexico Constitution and other important documents of Statehood
on Wednesday May 2, between 12 noon - 5 p.m. at the State Records Center and Archives.
Many original documents from the 1800's will be on display. Chief Justice Charles Daniels will speak on the significance of the NM Constitution at a brief ceremony between 12 noon - 12:30 p.m.
The Center and Archives is located at 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, just one block off Cerillos Road and two blocks from Siringo Road. Parking is free. The 1910 NM Constitution, its signers and the changes over 100 years are featured at
The New Mexico History Museum will also have its Van of Enchantment with a traveling exhibit on Route 66.
The Historical Society of New Mexico also needs volunteers that day to greet and direct those attending to the display area. For more information or to volunteer, please E-mail Janet Saiers in Albuquerque at or 505-299-5019.
PCH Main

Interlibrary Loan service resumes

The Santa Fe Public Library is resuming our Interlibrary Loan service today, May 1, 2012.

Here are a few reminders since it’s been a while:

· Patrons can request interlibrary loans via paper form in the library or online via our website (see the ILL page at The Library does not accept phone requests.

· The patron needs to live in Santa Fe or the Santa Fe County.

· Each patron may request 3 ILLs per calendar month.

· We accept only book, article, and microfilm requests. Media (DVDs, Audio books and CDs) cannot be requested through ILL and newly published books are not available. For a full list of what typically can and can’t be borrowed, see the webpage listed above.

· It often takes 2-3 weeks to receive an ILL and due dates are set by the lending library, not us.

BM at Main

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