When you're walking down Palace Avenue in Santa Fe you don't expect to see a fifty-five foot copper dragon draped over a rooftop looking as if it is about to  leap/fly onto the sidewalk and do what dragons do...

But said dragon is permanently affixed to the roof of the ELLSWORTH GALLERY and its' curvaceous claws and bristling  snout pose no threat, but it definitely caught my attention when I walked by and I set out to meet the artist.

Courtesy of Ellsworth Gallery

 I L A N   A S H K E N A Z I 
"When I left Israel a friend told me to go to Santa Fe, he said I would find my people there. I trusted him as a messenger and I came here with all my heart."

Originally from Tel Aviv, this multi-faceted artist found his way to Santa Fe nine years ago and has been successful in creating art and building a community of friends.  He is both a  religious scholar - studying for many years at the prestigious Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem - and  a sculptor - learning ceramics and classical figurative sculpture from masters. His passion for both religion and art imbue his life and work.  

"My art is not a burst of powerful emotions which strives merely to be beautiful; it is a process of evolvement, bringing spiritual
ideas into the material world."

One of his beautifully-balanced mobiles hangs inside the Ellsworth Gallery and I couldn't resist photographing how it moves and plays with light and shadows.

His home & studio are filled with his sculpture.

But, his most recent work 

I L L U M I N A T E D   S C U L P T U R E

 takes center stage.

S H A P E   &   L I G H T

Steel rods and Kozo (mulberry) paper are elegantly manipulated, shaped and lit from within by LED lights that change color via remote control.  "It's participatory art," explains Ilan. "The viewer becomes involved with the sculpture."  

While I photographed each work. Ilan  played with the remote choreographing a  range of soothing, soft colors. 

T H E   S T U D I O

A large sculpture in progress...

An open panel reveals the LED lighting...

All his work begins with a sketch and calculations.
"The trick," says Ilan," is to see the volume and manage to transfer two dimensions into three."

And in his library two walls are filled with religious books. "I've read each one," notes Ilan.

 Q U E S T I O N

Q. If you could do an illuminated light sculpture anywhere in the world, where would that be?

A. I'd love to collaborate with architect Frank Ghery and create either an illuminated  wall or ceiling for one of his buildings."

I L A N   A S H K E N A Z I 



A perfect name for a perfect little shop filled with INDULGENCES...

Owner, Misha Hesse - born and raised in Taos - wanted to create a  shop in Santa Fe where you would immediately feel joyful, relaxed and inspired,  and I think she's done that perfectly.

Walking in is a visual treat - pale, painted  walls, crystal chandeliers, vintage tables and armoires, and a taupe-chocolate ceiling set the stage. The shop is filled with conscious products - charming hand-made children's clothes and toys, organic makeup and skin care products, beautiful lingerie, jewelry, wonderful bags from India, and paintings.

And, who could resist this KIDDIE corner? Perfect for kids and grandkids, and I wouldn't mind sitting for awhile!

And the vibrant, contemporary portrait/paintings that grace the walls are by Misha's equally-talented Mom - Lydia Hesse.

 Come Spring a side room will be turned into a charming cafe serving healthy desserts, tea, coffee and elixirs.

Stop by and tell Misha that CHASING SENT YOU and ask about their scheduled classes on health, wellness and mini facials.


317 Aztec St - Santa Fe
around the corner from THE COWGIRL




I live in Santa Fe because it is a candy box - there's always something delicious waiting to be savored - especially on weekends. This weekend was no exception.  I watched in awe as saffron-robed Tibetan monks - from the Drepung Loesling Monastery - created a beautiful Mandala from single grains of colored sand.


Then I grabbed an amazing hamburger with pulled pork/BBQ and equally amazing French Fries ( they're cooked in bacon/duck fat & vegetable oil)  at BANG BITE. This bright orange food truck - parked on the corner of Paseo de Peralta & Old Santa Fe Trail - offers street food personified.

Go to their FACEBOOK page and drool. Clearly, Chef Enrique Guerrero   below is the Julia Child of HAMBURGERS.

And,Mac & Cheese...

Food photos courtesy of Bang Bite


Next I took in the 16TH ANNUAL RECYCLE SANTA FE ARTS FESTIVAL which is always fun.


And all this made me hungry again...so off to CHEZ MAMOU - on Palace Avenue - for my favorite - Eggs Benedict.


Next stop?  The beautiful Ellsworth Gallery - just next to the restaurant.

Look up and you'll see a magnificent 55-foot copper dragon peering down at you...

And, as chance would have it, the sculptor of said dragon -  ILAN ASHKANAZI - was sitting outside the gallery as I walked by.

I took his photo and he invited me into the gallery. 

Recycle Artist William Dubby Fuqua's work was on the walls and he was there, showing his work to fellow  artist, Bob Richardson  who had just dropped by.  How could I resist - alone in a gallery with three amazing artists and a camera at the ready. It quickly spiraled into a camp portrait session. 

lft. to rt.  Fuqua, Ashkenazi & Richardson