What recession? New galleries open in Santa Fe

Santa Fe Mariachis (pastel, 27×27) by Lori Snable was selected to be on Santa Fe’s 400th anniversary poster.

Mark Greenberg steps up to greet me with a welcoming handshake and good news about several artists in his gallery, including Lori Snable, who was recently named poster artist for the celebration of Santa Fe’s 400th anniversary. “She was one of the first artists I wanted in the gallery,” Greenberg says enthusiastically of the New Mexico pastelist. Near the poster piece depicting mariachis is Story Writer (right; pastel, 33×27), another painting by the artist featuring a couple nesting at a table in a downtown Starbucks.

Greenberg Fine Art, perched at the base of the gallery-laden Canyon Road in Santa Fe, opened in August. Greenberg is one of a trio of local gallerists taking a leap of faith in this arty enclave and throwing open their doors in the midst of a recession. “I had been director of a gallery on Canyon Road for five years and built up a clientele,” he says. “The space became available, and I felt like it was fate. It was the space I always wanted.”

A few blocks off the plaza, Evoke Contemporary also opened earlier this year and is currently displaying expressionistic landscape works by Louisa McElwain on its walls. And just around the corner, Skotia Gallery, another new gallery, represents more top western-based artists, including Montana figurative painter Steve Huston, who is known for his moody, muscular portraits of fighters in the ring.

For Greenberg, with three months under his gallery belt, optimism reigns supreme. Business has been better than expected. “I believe things are going to turn around and I will be well positioned for the future,” he says.

—Bonnie Gangelhoff


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