Interesting Facts On Fashion’s Favourite Rebel Vivienne Westwood

Largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave into the mainstream, not only is Dame Vivienne Westwood a fashion designer, activist and businesswoman, but also most certainly a fashion mastermind.

Punk pioneer Vivienne Westwood is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most recognizable living icons and has left a clear mark in the fashion world, as well as in other areas. Her contributions to modern times are not only creative, but also political and cultural.

Get to know the fashion world’s favorite rebel with these interesting facts of her life and career.

1. She was born Vivienne Isabel Swire

She became Vivienne Westwood when she married Derek Westwood. The marriage only lasted 3 years.

2. Vivienne is a war baby.

She was born during World War II on April 8, 1941 to working class parents in Tintwistle, Derbyshire, England. She lived in a part of the country that had grown up in the Industrial Revolution. She didn’t know about art galleries, seen an art book, nor been to the theatre.

3. She almost gave up fashion and art

Vivienne started sewing clothes for herself at the age of 12 and studied fashion and silversmithing at the University of Westminster’s Harrow School of Art at age 17. But after only 1 term, she left to study at a teacher-training college and eventually became a primary school teacher. Reason why she left the university – she didn’t know how a working-class girl like herself could possibly make a living in the art world.

4. Fashion still calls for her.

Even as a teacher, Vivienne still was able to create her own jewellery, which she would sell at a stall on Portobello Road. She even made her own wedding dress for her wedding with Derek Westwood. After her split with Derek, she met art student and soon to be music business maverick Malcolm McLaren and he became her business partner and lover for 10 years.

5. Vivienne Westwood is the Godmother of Punk

Malcolm opened doors for her in the fashion and art world starting by dressing up the punk rock band that Malcolm managed, the Sex Pistols. The partners soon opened a boutique on King’s Road in Chelsea and called “Let It Rock”, later known as “Sex”, then as “Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die”, “Seditionaries” and lastly “Worlds Ends”. When it opened, the shop proved to be an important fashion and cultural centre for the punk movement, which began in the 70’s in the UK, then spread around the world, and is still very much alive today.

6. A Fashion Mastermind continues to evolve

After the punk era, Vivienne experimented with other themes in the early years of her career starting with her main women’s ready-to-wear line entitled “Pirate” that offered a romantic look which burst onto the fashion scene of the British capital and ensured the collection’s place in history. Her following collections took inspirations from diverse sources such as the film ‘Blade Runner’, the desert landscape, undergarments and Tokyo’s neon signs. She dubbed the period in her career from 1981 to 1985 as “New Romantic” and the one from 1988 to 1992 as “The Pagan Years”. During the latter period, Vivienne’s heroes changed from punks and ragamuffins to ‘Tatler’ girls wearing clothes that parodied the upper class.

7. She does the unexpected

Fast forward to present day… 2014 was a big year for Westwood. She designed not only the new Virgin Atlantic uniforms but also beloved pop culture icon Miss Piggy’s wedding dress for the Disney film ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. The highly anticipated wedding of Miss Piggy and her groom Kermit the Frog took place at the Tower of London where the bride walked down the aisle in a Vivienne Westwood long ivory court wedding gown, with corset detailing and paillettes made from recycled plastic bottles.

8. She’s a Rebel with a Cause

Vivienne often uses her catwalk shows, especially for her menswear and Red Label lines, as platforms to campaign about issues that she supports, such as climate change and Scottish independence. During London Fashion Week in September 2014, for her Red Label Spring/Summer 2015 collection, she sent her models down the runway wearing ‘Yes’ badges, proudly showing her wish for Scotland to break away from the UK. So it is no surprise that Vivienne was inducted into the Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame for consistently used Scottish textiles and fabrics within her collections as well as for the significant impact she has made for campaigning for human rights and environmental issues.

Vivienne Westwood’s distinct point of view and passion are very much unique and worthy of praise, as she has shown throughout her career which so far spans over five decades. To this day, she remains as one of the most sought-after and influential designers, inspiring other brilliant and creative minds such as Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano. She has dressed everyone from the Sex Pistols, to the Princess of Wales and many of today’s most iconic celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Marion Cotillard, just to name a few.

We cannot wait to keep witnessing what Dame Vivienne Westwood will do next.

“My clothes have a story. They have an identity. They have a character and a purpose. That’s why they become classics. Because they keep on telling a story. They are still telling it.”
– Vivienne Westwood.

Picking the Best Hairstyles for Fashion Events

Have you ever had to attend a local fashion event only to realize that not only do you not have the right clothes, but you are not sure of the right hairstyle? For many women the decision on how to do your hair is often as important as the decision of what to wear; the difference being you may spend as many as 6 – 8 hours doing your hair versus only a few hours picking your clothes. When wondering what hairstyles to wear for a fashion related event, there are certain clues that one can look to for help on what works. Mainly the environment will help to determine what works and what doesn’t. A local hair and beauty product firm has a few suggestions on how to determine what hairstyle you should have during your next fashion event.

Picture Anyone?

One of the fastest ways to determine what type of hairstyle is acceptable at the fashion event is to look at previous event images / galleries (particularly if this is an annual or repeat event). Galas, Fashion Shows, Conferences, and Fundraisers are typically repeat events that are very picture heavy, particularly before and after the event for the audience or during the show for the host parties. Pay special attention to the hosts during these kinds of events as that is the ideal hairstyle and possibly the host was styled by the hosting organizations. Additionally, much of the audience will take pictures against the event backdrop. Celebrities will often wear the most appropriate hairstyles during these events as suggested by their publicists and stylists. Looking at these images should give you a great idea of what hairstyles to wear. At the Victoria Secret 2013 show, the majority of the models had a Kinky Straight hairstyle. What do you think would have been appropriate for an attendant?

Location / Location…

Equally important to the type of event is the location of the event, easily one of the biggest indicators of what is appropriate. Wearing your ‘fuzzy curls’ or your I just woke up hairstyle to McDonalds will not be quite so appropriate as if it was worn to the Council of Fashion Designers of America 2013 Young Designer Accolades at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. More importantly, location helps when considering where and what surrounds the event. If your event is at a local bar surrounded by a pool hall and chicken shack, it serves that elegant hairstyles such as buns and bouffant may be a tad much. Similarly, wearing frizzy hair or dirty bobs to the aforementioned Council of Fashion Designers of America event would be paramount to fashion suicide. It’s pretty apparent how location affects not only your dress but also your hairstyle. Think of the different of attending an outdoor fashion show in Union Square Park versus the fashion shows at Lincoln Center.

Guestlist Maybe

Yet another easy way is to examine the guestlist, made much more possible through online ticketing and registration services such as EventBrite. As always, the target here is the host of more popular celebrity or industry figures attending the event. Once you have the name or even nickname of the host or celebrities, it’s equally easy to Google them and most likely recent information from other events they have attended, conferences / functions they have spoken out or general news and information on their behaviors should become apparent. If Eva Longoria or Katie Perry are attendees at the event, but sure to look at their hairstyles for similar events as a clue.

If one thing has become apparent ( supposing you have been following the links ), there is no “right” hairstyle for any event, but many wrong ones. Sticking with your generic Kinky Straight or Loose Curls may work for most events, but learning how to make it more upscale or jazz it up for the occasion helps as well. So whether you are attending a Gala or Ball or a fashion show at a local bar or even just going to a Showroom, knowing how to wear your hair for your next fashion event is important.

48 Hours Shopping in Manhattan New York City

An undisputed fashion capital, New York is the shopping hub that never sleeps. Choc-full with every spending opportunity under the sun, this vibrant city is the place to be, whether it’s for high-end glamour, quirky finds or everyday objects. And with its spectacular January sales fast approaching, what better excuse to make a flying visit?

But where to splurge? Sandwiched between Central Park and Rockefeller Center, iconic thoroughfare Fifth Avenue remains the twinkling jewel in Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side crown, with revered jewellers Tiffany and Co. and Cartier situated alongside opulent department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel.

For those lighter of pocket, Midtown Manhattan, encompassing the blinding lights of Times Square, appeals to the masses, with giant department store Macy’s drawing in the region’s crowds. If 10 floors of merchandise doesn’t tickle your fancy, be sure to check out the store’s houseware section, The Cellar, thought to be the best in the city.

Head West for a real bargain though, and a taste of gritty New York charm, to Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, a fast-expanding fair boasting 170 vendors selling everything from clothes to furniture to antiques. Located near to the Hudson, the area was once home to several of the Irish American Mob, though is now more likely to house the city’s actors, due to its proximity to Broadway.

Another area of gentrified cool, SoHo plays host to the young and fashionable. Having experienced a flourishing art scene in the 1970s and 80s, the one-time ‘industrial wasteland’, and neighbouring Tribeca, now cater to the creative tastes of their residents and visitors, with a plethora of art galleries and book shops. Dip into The Mysterious Bookshop for a fantastical read, or visit O K Harris to experience artist Ivan Karp’s Super-Realist work in one of SoHo’s oldest galleries. For a piece of SoHo retro-cool, try much-loved vintage store What Comes Around Goes Around, a favourite with magazine stylists.

Home of a cutting-edge music scene during the 20th century, West Village (or Greenwich Village) is still a relatively progressive part of the city – music, poster and T-shirt shops denote the Village’s colourful history. While you’re here you can have a bop in the House of Oldies, a vinyl-only record store, or find your way into Generation Records, which sells used and new music, focussing on hardcore, metal and punk. On an entirely different note, a Saturday visit to Murray’s Cheese Shop will get you a free tasting of some of the store’s impressive 300 cheeses.

And there are, of course, a veritable encyclopedia of world famous stores in the city, from Bloomingdales to Saks, Century 21 to Prada. And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite for a bite of the Big Apple, just think of the January reductions.

What Are the New Features in Adobe Photoshop CS6?

Adobe Photoshop is the leader in the computer graphics, photo editing and digital painting arenas. It has historically offered a wide range of essential features that make it the industry standard almost everywhere. Adobe’s newest release of Photoshop, CS6, will be no exception to the longstanding rule of Photoshop quality. It introduces a number of brand new features and tools that can help make your graphics work easier, streamline the process, and produce breathtaking images.

Content-Aware Patch

The new content-aware patch allows you to remove undesirable content from a photo or other image, replacing it seamlessly with the background. The tool allows you to remove figures, vehicles and a wide range of other images, then show Photoshop the areas from which you’d like to sample. The program then automatically creates a new, seamless patch. This tool provides a considerable improvement in matching quality compared to Photoshop CS5’s content-aware fill tool.

Mercury Graphics Engine

The Mercury graphics engine keeps you from having to wait to see the results when you’re using warp, liquefy and other distortion tools. You get to see the changes in the image and adjust your settings nearly in real-time. That provides a high level of responsiveness and gives your work flow a much more fluid feeling.

Blur Gallery

Adobe Photoshop CS6 also offers a new blur gallery that lets you choose the perfect blur effect for your image. Instead of going through filters one at a time, you have the ability to work from a single panel, blurring whole areas, then sharpening a focal point, varying blurriness by choosing more than one focal point, or creating “tilt-shift” effects. The blur gallery relies on the Adobe Photoshop CS6 Mercury graphics engine, producing immediate results.

New Crop Tool

The crop tool in Adobe Photoshop CS6 offers a big change from the old-fashioned one found in CS5. The new tool automatically selects the whole image and gives you a wide range of presets, including “rule of thirds” and other popular image composition tools. It also allows you to quickly and easily straighten and modify the image from within the tool and still provides access to legacy controls.

Easy Video Creation

Since Adobe Photoshop CS6 is an invaluable product for video creation, the team has worked to make it even more effective at enhancing this medium. Video tools are available both in the standard and extended versions of the program, unlike in CS5. They also allow quick and easy trimming, addition and removal of audio, image adjustment, preset transitions and multiple export formats.

Adaptive Wide Angle

The adaptive wide angle tool in Adobe Photoshop CS6 allows you to easily straighten objects in panoramas or wide-angle and fisheye photos when they appear to be curved. On canvas tools can account for the physical characteristics of a specific lens, making the modifications based on the camera used to shoot the picture.

Background Save

Photoshop CS6 now allows you to save images in the background while you continue working. That means no more work flow slowdowns while you wait for large files to write to disk. You’ll find that your productivity increases greatly and that you always have an up-to-date copy saved.

Arm Band Tattoos – Hottest New Tattoo?

Arm band tattoos are the hottest new craze in the tattoo world. Are you considering getting a tattoo? Arm band tattoos are a great choice for your first piece of body art. Inspired by several cultures, these tattoos come in a wide range of designs. Simplistic to incredibly detailed, you’ll find a design that reflects you personally.

Arm band tattoos are generally found across the upper arm, or around the wrist. The benefit of having an arm band tattoo around the wrist is that it can easily be covered with a simple watch. fashionable bracelets and bands also work well in concealing a tattoo when the situation calls for it.

Wondering where you should look for a decent tattoo? Thousands of arm band tattoo designs have already been created, many tattoo studios in your local area will have these designs in their books. You could take one of them home and redesign it for a unique and personal tattoo. Don’t fancy leaving your home to search out a design? You could take a look on the search engines, just beware of amateur artists selling below par designs on their websites. Online professional galleries hold a vast collection of well designed tattoos, but there is usually a small fee to pay.

Getting a piece of body art is for life, so following the latest fashions might not be in your best interest. Saying that, you can’t really go wrong with an arm band tattoo, although they have recently become very popular. Arm band tattoos have been around for generations and have always been admired as an art, and always will be..

The Arts and Fashion Scene in Beirut

A bustling and hectic city, Beirut is subject to high temperatures in the heat of summer, reaching over 35 degrees on a typical day in July. So, which better way is there to combat the heat if you’re visiting this gorgeous city than to get inside into the cool depths of an art gallery? There are plenty of them scattered around the city, and art fans can be sure that these incredible collections are at the very pinnacle of their field.

Beirut prides itself on being a city of the arts; housing hundreds of art galleries within the city itself and throughout the suburbs, and with good reason. If it is not the Lebanese artists themselves working to create incredible new pieces of art, painters and designers from all around the world flock to this country thanks to its reputation as an artistic hub.

In Beirut, the art and fashion scene is particularly lively, with artists and designers coming from all countries, tastes and backgrounds to combine or clash in their various ventures, creating an arts community that is vibrant and often explosive in its diversity.

Beirut’s universities are filled with hundreds of students of the fine arts who go on to utilise the many workshops that this creative city is packed with. Meanwhile, Beirut is no stranger to making space in its hundreds of galleries for all of the new art it is producing – or building new ones entirely once collections get too large.

If you are an artist yourself, there is no better place to meet like-minded people for inspiration than Beirut. Discuss techniques and ideas with fellow artists who understand all too well what it’s like to create for a living, or for pleasure. You may find your own work will invigorate itself following a trip to this artistically rich city, something that many artists welcome with relish as it breathes new life into their work.

For those on the fashion side of the rails, Beirut is a fantastic opportunity to get up to date with the latest global trends. From the Gucci and Versace fashion stores adorning the streets to the city’s position as home of many of the world’s great fashion designers, the city is as cutting edge as they come and fashion shows are almost as numerous as the city’s art galleries, meaning fashion fans will always have some fresh new trends to chase after.

Plus, with Beirut airport serving as a central hub for a wide range of air carriers, there are plentiful flights to Beirut available to and from many major cities in both the Middle East and the western world, and so opens other avenues for tourists to explore further. But, if Beirut is your sole destination, then prepare to be swept up into a world of ever-changing art and fashion from the moment you step off the plane, creating an experience that will be difficult to forget.

Review of the 2010 BP Portrait Award at London’s National Portrait Gallery

The question of whether or not photography has robbed the painted portrait of its reason for existence has been fiercely debated almost since it’s invention in the nineteenth century. Photography contributed to the decline of figurative painting, and figurative portraiture is now perhaps the least fashionable type of art with modern art critics. Whilst the public flocks to the BP Portrait award at the National Portrait Gallery every year, the critics from most of the national papers don’t even bother to review it. Those who do wonder in print what the point might be of those portraits in which every clothing fibre, every vein and even every hair pore is faithfully reproduced, which tend to dominate this competition and take home the prizes. This is a shame, as amongst the hyper-realist images which actually mimicked photography to the point where they exhibited ‘blurred’ backgrounds (for example the second prize winner David Eichenberg’s ‘Tim II’ or ‘Sentinel’ by Lyndsey Jameson) there were some interesting works on display.

Granted the majority of the works still handle the paint in a fairly conventional way, but you often have to admire the beautiful way they do so. There are two excellent portraits of children – Alex Hanna’s ‘Sandy Watching’ and Thea Penna’s ‘Lila Pearl’ – which manage to convey an unsentimental yet acutely sympathetic sense of childhood through their formal construction. In particular Hanna’s work displays lovely muted colours reminiscent of the Danish artist Hammershoi. In this work his son is depicted in profile sitting alone on a sofa watching a television which is off-canvas but suggested by the blue glow reflecting back on him. Just returned from his first day at school and in a new school shirt, the portrait implies his move away from the security of the home by an architrave behind him, subtly implying an open door. Penna’s portrait of her daughter Lila similarly captures the child’s vulnerability by the use of an overhead perspective which seems to trap the little girl in a corner, defiantly looking back from behind a toy chest. Every notch and line of the wood of the toy chest is carefully observed, suggesting a child’s familiarity with every aspect of their familiar toys and possessions.

A truly exquisite little portrait that must be admired for it’s sheer virtuosity is ‘Geneva’ by Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco. Completed in one day and with its limited palette of reds, blues, pinks and black it manages to convey so much yet so briefly, in an absolute minimum of broad brushstrokes. The painting is of Geneva Rosett-Hafter, a professional dancer who has sat for del Turco on several occasions and del Turco perfectly captures her elegance and delicate beauty. The painting’s profile (side) view that deliberately excludes the viewer was apparently inspired by Italian Renaissance profile portraits where the head is placed following geometrical principles. Perhaps it is this contrast between the upright and formal pose and the fresh modern paint handling that’s so appealing.

Many of the portraits, seemingly aware of portraiture’s inability to escape from it’s label as an old-fashioned genre, played deliberately with different traditions of the historical portraits. For example ‘The ‘Finger Assisted’ Nephrectomy of Professor Nadey Hakim and the World Presidents of the International College of Surgeons in Chicago, or, The Wise in Examination of the Torn Contemporary State’ by Henry Ward, mimics Rembrandt’s very well-known painting ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicholaes Tulp’. It shows Professor Nadey Hakim performing his pioneering new procedure.

Mark Jameson’s ‘That Sinking Feeling’ is a playfully humorous, modern take on the traditional ‘memento mori’ portrait which sought to remind the viewer of the temporality of existence and urged them to guard against worldly vanities. Set in the Paris catacombs the artist is depicted in leather jacket, self-consciously smoking and drinking against a backdrop of skulls and bones, the artificial light reflecting sepulchrally on his own face.

A number of portraits followed the traditional placement of symbolic objects – telling of the inner life and intellectual or spiritual interests of the subject. They did this sometimes quite straightforwardly, in the case of Tony Noble’s ‘Love Painting – Portrait Of My Wife Jackie And Our Cat Amy, Redbrick Mill Studio’ which is, he says, a self portrait without himself actually being present and in which he is represented by everything important in his life. In others the allusion to this type of symbolic painting style was more self-consciously referenced such as in Wendy Elia’s ‘The Visit V (Mary)’ in which Elia’s eighty-seven year-old mother, Mary, is shown holding a baby and surrounded by significant objects from her life. There is an odd air however of very deliberate artificiality in the formal arrangement, bright lighting and rather odd looking baby which is really an ‘amalgam’ of Mary’s two real grandchildren.

Oddly enough, three of the paintings feature birds in a symbolic yet rather more oblique manner, which worked quite successfully. I especially liked Tom Dewhurst’s ‘Laurie and the shed’ which depicts Dewhurst’s now grown-up son helping in the garden he grew up in, in front of the worn and dilapidated shed. A red and blue underpainting allowed to come through at the edges of forms creates a deliberately slightly odd colour palette underlying the damp leaves and grass. Out of the window a pigeon or dove is caught, mid-flight, coming out of the shed with a leaf in it’s mouth where it seems to have been nesting. Is this an incident from Laurie’s childhood, a ‘fixed’ memory, or does it represent Laurie himself?

Even more mysterious is Robert Bagnell’s ‘Self Portrait’. Not likely to be a favourite with visitors due to it’s unsettling imagery, I found this one of the most interesting works in the exhibition. Painted on at Bagnall’s parent’s home in Scotland to where he had relocated he is depicted against a dark and ominous looking sky in front of a row of trees diminishing to two perspective points either side of his head, a deliberately odd construction. Bagnall’s finger points to a blackbird singing on a branch near his shoulder and behind him small birds cluster in a hedgerow with whom we feel a strong sense of him affinity. There’s something almost medieval about it and pleasingly undecipherable.

New Mexico – Land of Enchantment

Nestled in the foothills at the Southern tip of the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of seven thousand feet is Santa Fe– New Mexico’s state capital founded in 1610. The mystique of native American culture is extremely powerful and apparent throughout the numerous pueblos (native community villages) located around Santa Fe. Coupled with abundant Spanish and adobe style architecture amidst the mountain landscape, this creates a romantic atmosphere perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries or an escape with that special friend.

Cultural legends, mystique and traditions have been handed down through generations by the Native American tribes via their unique languages, colourful dances, plus distinctive handicrafts. From one end of the State to the other, New Mexico offers a treasure trove of culture, arts and crafts.

No wonder New Mexico has been dubbed the Land of Enchantment.

This year-round, multi cultural vacation playground with recreational activities as diverse as the four seasons themselves, has recently been discovered by the gay and lesbian tourist. During the four seasons outdoor activities include skiing, snow boarding and ice skating plus mountain biking, horseback riding, golf, fishing and river rafting. Or simply browsing the craft boutiques and art galleries-ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

It will be more than the high altitude which leaves you breathless on this holiday.

The Santa Fe town site is located in a region known as North-Central New Mexico- North to Adventure and Central to Everything. Undoubtedly it’s the perfect place to call home during your New Mexico adventure and from here it’s easy to explore the various mountain ranges, pueblos, national parks, lakes, natural attractions and surrounding small towns.

The narrow, winding streets and the old town Plaza make strolling around Santa Fe an historic journey and a perfectly relaxing activity at any time of the day or night.

The Plaza has been the center, the very heart, of Santa Fe since its design was laid out by the Spanish in 1610. Just on the edge of the Plaza is the Saint Francis Cathedral built in the European Romanesque style under the direction of French Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy after he arrived in 1853. The renowned landmark La Fonda Hotel, just outside the perimeter of the Plaza, was recreated in the Pueblo Revival style in 1922. A short walk along Old Santa Fe Trail brings you to the San Miguel Mission built in 1710 which today contains numerous stunning examples of antique Hispanic religious artworks. Just a little further along this Trail is the State Capital known as the Round House which was designed embracing the shape of the Zia sun symbol. It houses not only the Governor and state legislators, but also an extensive art collection. The Historic Railyard is a little further from the Plaza but worthy of a visit. From the historic station building The Santa Fe Southern Railway runs excursion trains-some with entertainment and catered meals— to Lamy. In the summer months (May-September) gourmets will love the adjacent Farmer’s Market which offers home-grown chiles, produce, flowers, herbs and more.

The Santa Fe art scene is one of the most dimensional in the world and Santa Fe is the third largest art market in the United States. The city is an eminent center for contemporary art, while traditional work still flourishes. Folk art, tribal art, photography, animation art and fine crafts abound especially on Canyon Road. Originally an Indian trail this is now the hub of the art world with over forty galleries, boutiques and restaurants making their home in a short six block radius. One could easily spend a whole day or more enjoying the diversity of artworks, sculptures and crafts-in fact many art lovers or collectors come to Santa Fe just to experience Canyon Road. As you walk along the narrow street surrounded by visual feasts, both inside the buildings and along the street, the feeling is overwhelming. It’s the most impressive open-air art gallery you are ever likely to encounter in North America. It is estimated that one out of every six people living in this city is associated with the art community and very quickly one assimilates into their world.

Wherever you wander around in this city you are sure to come face to face with the past and Santa Fe is its past. However, the present and the future are evident in this modern day environment.

This historic capital city is also the birthplace of Southwestern cuisine and is also renowned for excellent gourmet dining with specialties from around the world in a multitude of cosy restaurants. Some of the world’s best chefs come to town in order to open restaurants, write cookbooks, appear on television shows and generally make their own mark in the realm of innovative food preparation. In a town with such an artistic soul the culinary arts are equally important and presentation is an art form unto itself in all of the finer dining establishments. Prepare yourself for an unparalleled gourmet experience.

Shopping in Santa Fe is an inevitable pleasure. In addition to arts and crafts there is a strong international presence for leather goods, jewelry, home furnishings, fashions and antiques. With a rich history dating back to the native American trading posts, the Spanish importers and local artisans, wonderful goods have always found their way here. That tradition continues today creating a diligent shoppers’ dream world.

A very useful guide to planning your trip is Inside Santa Fe which can be easily found in many local establishments. Or you can visit online InsideSF.com before you leave home and prepare your itinerary in advance. The Santa Fe Gallery Association also publishes an Art Map which is an extremely informative guide to the arts venues and is available online for advance planning at santafegalleryassociation.org or in many local galleries upon your arrival.

Planning your vacation accommodation will present many options. There is a wide selection of charming gay-friendly hotels, inns plus bed and breakfasts throughout the state. However, staying gay in New Mexico presents some accommodation challenges depending on which towns you are visiting but Santa Fe offers some excellent choices.

The best gay experience tends to be making Santa Fe your home base then traveling the countryside for sight-seeing day-trips. We recommend the gay-owned and operated Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B. Originally the home of Witter Bynner, a prominent gay citizen active in cultural and political life, the building dates back to the mid 1800s and is considered one of the most historically significant buildings in town. Bynner lived here with his companion of thirty years Robert Hunt and their guest list included D.H. Lawrence, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth and Thornton Wilder just to name a few. The current owners Ralph Bolton and Robert Frost have lovingly restored the property to its former glory and now their guest list includes numerous discerning gay travelers from around the world. The rooms are beautifully decorated in southwestern style with wood burning kiva fireplaces which come in handy on the cooler evenings at the high altitude or simply for a romantic atmosphere. The main house is perfect for a quiet time in the living room or breakfast in the dining room with a view of the city. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful with advice to help you find your way around gay friendly Santa Fe. It’s conveniently located just a few minutes walk to the Plaza, Canyon Road and most of the city’s attractions. With only ten cosy, well equipped rooms it is important to plan in advance and make your reservation early to avoid disappointment.

Other gay-owned establishments include The Triangle Inn with seven casitas offering high-end amenities, the Four Kachinas Inn with six rooms, El Farolito B&B Inn offers seven romantic rooms with private entrances and the Inn at Mountaintop provides cabin rentals with a view from high up in the mountains above the city. Each of these accommodations offer a range in prices to suit every budget.

Worthy of mention is the gay-friendly Inn Of The Five Graces a new twenty-three suite inn with a wide selection of room choices. This is no ordinary inn— it is a fantasy woven from the arts and crafts of the Orient and assembled in a warm adobe setting making the rooms as beguiling as walking through a souk. The ceilings are thatched or hand-carved and the bathrooms have Gaudi-inspired mosaics made of shattered urns. Part of the charm here, is that it borders a lane of courtyards where flowers bloom and fountains sparkle. Located within walking distance of the town center this is a very convenient hotel.

Travelling to Santa Fe usually means a flight to Albuquerque and a car rental for the pleasant one hour drive to the capital city. Your car rental will be essential to enjoy the many sights around New Mexico.

One of the most enjoyable day trips is the circular tour on the “high road” which takes you through the mountainous countryside and small villages to Taos north of Santa Fe. This is a small town with quaint and winding streets, adobe architecture and the legacy of famous past residents including D.H. Lawrence and Kit Carson. A few miles west of the town is the Rio Grand Gorge suspension bridge where you can take in a breathtaking view of the snake-like river 650 feet below. On your return journey the Taos Pueblo is a must visit. This is the largest surviving multi-storied pueblo structure and a living community which has welcomed visitors for over one thousand years. Just inside the entrance is the St. Jerome Church built in 1850 which is a National Historic Landmark and is named after the pueblos’ patron saint. The states highest summit Wheeler Peak is visible in the distance and there is an eerie feeling of calm and peace in this aboriginal village.

Other attractions worthy of a visit include the Bandera Center Ice Caves, the Bisti Badlands, the Santa Rosa Blue Hole for scuba diving, Cimarron Canyon, Chama Valley, Christ in the Desert Monastery, Carlsbad Caverns and the International UFO Museum in Roswell-just to name a few popular destinations.

The Interview – What Impresses a Gallery Director?

It’s hard to go past the old one: ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression.’ Private galleries have to make a profit to stay in business. A new artist who presents in a business-like way is halfway towards being accepted into the gallery’s ‘Stable.’

If you’re not serious about making a career in Art, go ahead and turn up without an appointment or late for the one arranged. Arrive stoned and un-bathed, lacking footwear but laden with metal in every piercing you’ve ever had done. You get my drift by now, I’m sure.

What ‘business-like’ does not mean: a suit, white shirt and tie, do not ‘maketh the man or woman’ in this instance. Just dress in whatever you’d normally wear for a day in town. Before you leave home, check in the mirror that you look neat, so that you can forget about your appearance and concentrate on the more important parts of the upcoming interview.

If you mailed your Profile ahead of the interview and arrive with your Portfolio, you have the Director on-side from the start. So, let’s recap those definitions:

What is a Profile?

A typed document with your vital details: your name, place of residence, date of birth, the medium and style you work in, any exhibitions you’ve had, any awards earned, and a one-sentence Mission Statement. Avoid the mistake of using Art School language, just be clear about what you do and what you aim to achieve.

What is a Portfolio?

Any portable collection of samples of your artwork. Best for a busy gallery director is an album of photos that s/he can flip quickly through. Don’t worry – gallery staff are used to assessing the true quality of work from even the poorest photos.

What are the most important parts of the interview?

Presenting your art.

Of course you will bring some actual artworks to display on the day. Enlist a friend if needed to help carry them in. Do this with as little disruption to the gallery’s staff and customers as you can manage. Simple good manners are never out of fashion.

TIP. Park as close to the gallery as possible and leave the works in the vehicle until you’ve checked with the director that it’s convenient to bring them inside.

You’re passionate about Art, your own art in particular, of course you are. But for today, go softly on the emotive ideology. Better to let your philosophy unfold along with your personality in the natural course of getting to know each other over time.

Finding out what the gallery is offering you.

In the next article, I’ll discuss what the artist needs to know about the exclusive contract.

New Mexico – Land of Enchantment

Nestled in the foothills at the Southern tip of the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of seven thousand feet is Santa Fe– New Mexico’s state capital founded in 1610. The mystique of native American culture is extremely powerful and apparent throughout the numerous pueblos (native community villages) located around Santa Fe. Coupled with abundant Spanish and adobe style architecture amidst the mountain landscape, this creates a romantic atmosphere perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries or an escape with that special friend.

Cultural legends, mystique and traditions have been handed down through generations by the Native American tribes via their unique languages, colourful dances, plus distinctive handicrafts. From one end of the State to the other, New Mexico offers a treasure trove of culture, arts and crafts.

No wonder New Mexico has been dubbed the Land of Enchantment.

This year-round, multi cultural vacation playground with recreational activities as diverse as the four seasons themselves, has recently been discovered by the gay and lesbian tourist. During the four seasons outdoor activities include skiing, snow boarding and ice skating plus mountain biking, horseback riding, golf, fishing and river rafting. Or simply browsing the craft boutiques and art galleries-ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

It will be more than the high altitude which leaves you breathless on this holiday.

The Santa Fe town site is located in a region known as North-Central New Mexico- North to Adventure and Central to Everything. Undoubtedly it’s the perfect place to call home during your New Mexico adventure and from here it’s easy to explore the various mountain ranges, pueblos, national parks, lakes, natural attractions and surrounding small towns.

The narrow, winding streets and the old town Plaza make strolling around Santa Fe an historic journey and a perfectly relaxing activity at any time of the day or night.

The Plaza has been the center, the very heart, of Santa Fe since its design was laid out by the Spanish in 1610. Just on the edge of the Plaza is the Saint Francis Cathedral built in the European Romanesque style under the direction of French Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy after he arrived in 1853. The renowned landmark La Fonda Hotel, just outside the perimeter of the Plaza, was recreated in the Pueblo Revival style in 1922. A short walk along Old Santa Fe Trail brings you to the San Miguel Mission built in 1710 which today contains numerous stunning examples of antique Hispanic religious artworks. Just a little further along this Trail is the State Capital known as the Round House which was designed embracing the shape of the Zia sun symbol. It houses not only the Governor and state legislators, but also an extensive art collection. The Historic Railyard is a little further from the Plaza but worthy of a visit. From the historic station building The Santa Fe Southern Railway runs excursion trains-some with entertainment and catered meals— to Lamy. In the summer months (May-September) gourmets will love the adjacent Farmer’s Market which offers home-grown chiles, produce, flowers, herbs and more.

The Santa Fe art scene is one of the most dimensional in the world and Santa Fe is the third largest art market in the United States. The city is an eminent center for contemporary art, while traditional work still flourishes. Folk art, tribal art, photography, animation art and fine crafts abound especially on Canyon Road. Originally an Indian trail this is now the hub of the art world with over forty galleries, boutiques and restaurants making their home in a short six block radius. One could easily spend a whole day or more enjoying the diversity of artworks, sculptures and crafts-in fact many art lovers or collectors come to Santa Fe just to experience Canyon Road. As you walk along the narrow street surrounded by visual feasts, both inside the buildings and along the street, the feeling is overwhelming. It’s the most impressive open-air art gallery you are ever likely to encounter in North America. It is estimated that one out of every six people living in this city is associated with the art community and very quickly one assimilates into their world.

Wherever you wander around in this city you are sure to come face to face with the past and Santa Fe is its past. However, the present and the future are evident in this modern day environment.

This historic capital city is also the birthplace of Southwestern cuisine and is also renowned for excellent gourmet dining with specialties from around the world in a multitude of cosy restaurants. Some of the world’s best chefs come to town in order to open restaurants, write cookbooks, appear on television shows and generally make their own mark in the realm of innovative food preparation. In a town with such an artistic soul the culinary arts are equally important and presentation is an art form unto itself in all of the finer dining establishments. Prepare yourself for an unparalleled gourmet experience.

Shopping in Santa Fe is an inevitable pleasure. In addition to arts and crafts there is a strong international presence for leather goods, jewelry, home furnishings, fashions and antiques. With a rich history dating back to the native American trading posts, the Spanish importers and local artisans, wonderful goods have always found their way here. That tradition continues today creating a diligent shoppers’ dream world.

A very useful guide to planning your trip is Inside Santa Fe which can be easily found in many local establishments. Or you can visit online InsideSF.com before you leave home and prepare your itinerary in advance. The Santa Fe Gallery Association also publishes an Art Map which is an extremely informative guide to the arts venues and is available online for advance planning at santafegalleryassociation.org or in many local galleries upon your arrival.

Planning your vacation accommodation will present many options. There is a wide selection of charming gay-friendly hotels, inns plus bed and breakfasts throughout the state. However, staying gay in New Mexico presents some accommodation challenges depending on which towns you are visiting but Santa Fe offers some excellent choices.

The best gay experience tends to be making Santa Fe your home base then traveling the countryside for sight-seeing day-trips. We recommend the gay-owned and operated Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B. Originally the home of Witter Bynner, a prominent gay citizen active in cultural and political life, the building dates back to the mid 1800s and is considered one of the most historically significant buildings in town. Bynner lived here with his companion of thirty years Robert Hunt and their guest list included D.H. Lawrence, Errol Flynn, Rita Hayworth and Thornton Wilder just to name a few. The current owners Ralph Bolton and Robert Frost have lovingly restored the property to its former glory and now their guest list includes numerous discerning gay travelers from around the world. The rooms are beautifully decorated in southwestern style with wood burning kiva fireplaces which come in handy on the cooler evenings at the high altitude or simply for a romantic atmosphere. The main house is perfect for a quiet time in the living room or breakfast in the dining room with a view of the city. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful with advice to help you find your way around gay friendly Santa Fe. It’s conveniently located just a few minutes walk to the Plaza, Canyon Road and most of the city’s attractions. With only ten cosy, well equipped rooms it is important to plan in advance and make your reservation early to avoid disappointment.

Other gay-owned establishments include The Triangle Inn with seven casitas offering high-end amenities, the Four Kachinas Inn with six rooms, El Farolito B&B Inn offers seven romantic rooms with private entrances and the Inn at Mountaintop provides cabin rentals with a view from high up in the mountains above the city. Each of these accommodations offer a range in prices to suit every budget.

Worthy of mention is the gay-friendly Inn Of The Five Graces a new twenty-three suite inn with a wide selection of room choices. This is no ordinary inn— it is a fantasy woven from the arts and crafts of the Orient and assembled in a warm adobe setting making the rooms as beguiling as walking through a souk. The ceilings are thatched or hand-carved and the bathrooms have Gaudi-inspired mosaics made of shattered urns. Part of the charm here, is that it borders a lane of courtyards where flowers bloom and fountains sparkle. Located within walking distance of the town center this is a very convenient hotel.

Travelling to Santa Fe usually means a flight to Albuquerque and a car rental for the pleasant one hour drive to the capital city. Your car rental will be essential to enjoy the many sights around New Mexico.

One of the most enjoyable day trips is the circular tour on the “high road” which takes you through the mountainous countryside and small villages to Taos north of Santa Fe. This is a small town with quaint and winding streets, adobe architecture and the legacy of famous past residents including D.H. Lawrence and Kit Carson. A few miles west of the town is the Rio Grand Gorge suspension bridge where you can take in a breathtaking view of the snake-like river 650 feet below. On your return journey the Taos Pueblo is a must visit. This is the largest surviving multi-storied pueblo structure and a living community which has welcomed visitors for over one thousand years. Just inside the entrance is the St. Jerome Church built in 1850 which is a National Historic Landmark and is named after the pueblos’ patron saint. The states highest summit Wheeler Peak is visible in the distance and there is an eerie feeling of calm and peace in this aboriginal village.

Other attractions worthy of a visit include the Bandera Center Ice Caves, the Bisti Badlands, the Santa Rosa Blue Hole for scuba diving, Cimarron Canyon, Chama Valley, Christ in the Desert Monastery, Carlsbad Caverns and the International UFO Museum in Roswell-just to name a few popular destinations.