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Innkeeper's Blog


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The Life and Art of Tony Da

Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn will want to set aside time for a visit to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture to view "Creative Spark! The Life and Art of Tony Da". The exhibition, which is up now through December, is the first comprehensive retrospective of pottery and paintings by Da. Incorporating traditional motifs (his favorite being prehistoric Mimbres designs) with his own contemporary ideas, Da created some of the most innovative and varied art of any Native American artist of his time.

Tony Da came from a long lineage of talented potters from the San Ildefonso Pueblo. His father, Popovi Da, was one of the first pueblo potters to break the tradition of creating only black-on-black pottery. His very famous grandmother, Maria Martinez, was also a ground-breaker. Rather than work exclusively with the traditional polychrome pottery that was the style in the 1900's, she is actually credited with creating the black-on-black pottery we now associate with San Ildefonso.

Unfortunately Da's exciting career was dramatically shortened after a motorcycle accident in 1982 left him with severe head injuries at the young age of 42. He did some work between the time of his accident and his death in 2008, though the bulk of his work occurred before the tragic incident. With such a brief career, the work of Tony Da is rare and becoming quite valuable.

The exhibition showcases about 40 pieces of pottery - red, black, and polychrome pots, jars and plates, along with some sculptural animal pieces. Also on display are about 20 paintings, both abstract and representational. This retrospective includes work done from the 1950's through the 1980's.

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
710 Camino Lejo (Museum Hill)
Hours: 10-5 Tue-Sun (open Mondays during the summer months)
Admission: $6 for New Mexico Residents
  • $9 for non-residents
  • FREE for children under age 16

Wine Tours of New Mexico

Most people do not immediately think of New Mexico in conjunction with fine wines, but there are actually twenty-five noted vineyards in New Mexico, six of which are in the vicinity of Santa Fe. Many of our guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast have enjoyed tours of at least one of these vineyards, though I don't know of anyone who has toured all six at a time. Perhaps hiring a driver would be in order if you had such a plan. It is important to remember that alcohol is two to three times more potent when you are at 7000 feet above sea level, as we are here in Santa Fe.

The first New Mexico vineyards were planted from cuttings brought by Spanish missionaries about 400 years ago. Along with these colonists came Franciscan monks who needed wines for their daily mass. Initially they were forbidden from producing their own wine, however since it was such an arduous and lengthy journey to get wine from Spain, the Church finally relented and began allowing the monks to produce their own wines.

The six wineries in and around Santa Fe are the: Estrella del Norte Winery, Santa Fe Vineyards, Wine of the San Juan, Vivac Winery (currently getting certified as organic), The Black Mesa Winery and La Chiripada Winery. These vineyards are generally open for tours and tastings from 10-6, though you will want to check, as hours can change during the winter months and Sundays. For something unusual, you may want to check out The Falcon Meadery for a taste of mead, a wine made from honey, said to be 'the nectar of the Gods'.
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Hacienda Nicholas • info@haciendanicholas.com • (505) 986-1431 or 1-888-284-3170 • 320 East Marcy St, Santa Fe New Mexico 87501