Santa Fe’s Canyon Rd + Matilda’s Story Part 2

See, I know you think I make these things up. But then you’ve got to ask yourself how could she ever dream up the “Let’s Make a Deal Beauty Salon”, or a restaurant named Matilda’s or the Big Rock Casino and Bowling Alley? I couldn’t. So here is what happened today.

We visited Canyon Road here in Santa Fe. It is a street renowned, I suppose, around the world for its fine galleries and swanky clientele. In fact when we were on the Plaza the other day I ask one of the vendors if she wished she had a camera…yes, she replied, especially when the movie stars walk by. That is what kind of place this is.

So when I stopped into the Selby Fleetwood Gallery at the bottom of Canyon I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly and welcoming response the sales director, Andrea Nagler, gave me. I fell in love with two artists immediately. the first artist painted on wood, layering oil on until the final product was almost perfectly smooth giving it a patina that reminded me of old world painters. He was at one time a carver of stone, turning to painting later in life. He began painting farmscapes, “a useful lanscape” and he now paints water and even things that he dreams about. The frames for his painting are made by his brother and father, lovingly carved and gold or silver leafed. Kirk Tatom is his name.

The second artist, Nicholas Wilton, painted abstracts with some mixed media, including oil paint, wax, plaster, and he abused his canvas to give them a used, worn look. I am a great lover of religious artifacts, rosaries etc and his art just resonated with me. The painting of the Angel shown above is 24″x 24″and comes with a price tag of $3000. If you were interested in this or any other painting in the gallery, I am told you can take the painting home with $1500 down and the rest on monthly payments. The phone number is 800.992.6855 ( (Note: I am a retired teacher that loves to write, and travel. I will only write about the paintings.)

Then we wandered on up Canyon and stopped in at a gallery called simply Cruz Studio Jewelry. It has a small gallery in the front and a coffee shop in the back. I wanted coffee/latte (almost like yesterday at Matilda’s) and I ended up buying earrings and a print from a young man named Richard Campiglio. His jewelry has a masculine and old world feel that is so charming. He also sells collections from other artists including a collection of Pinatas that are the most charming I have ever seen. They are not to be broken for the candy I do not think but they are so childlike and grown up all at the same time that I could not take my eyes off them. His beautiful catalogue says,

“Think of Jewelry on the following pages as miniature master works,
art that allow it’s wearers to distill and showcase their particular sensibilities,
that requires no frame, except for you.”

Yes indeed! But here is where I come to the part where I could not make it up. I paid for my jewelry and print, carried on a conversation about Spain, Seville, Madrid and some religious artifacts he was selling. Then I went on my way, taking pictures as I went. I was taking a picture of the gate with it’s brass entry knocker in the upper right hand corner near the arch when I hear a voice calling my name. It was Richard Campiglio. He had forgotten to give me my jewelry. So I ask if I could take his picture since he had forgotten my earrings. Then I mentioned taking pictures at Matilda’s yesterday. Had he been in her restaurant? “Yes”, was the answer he gave after some hesitation. Then he added, “My grandfather lent Matilda and her husband some money to help them to go into business…or so the story goes. That is what my mother told me.” There was much, much more to that story I think, but after 51 years it really did not matter. It was enough to stop me dead in my tracks just to have that much. He went his way and I went mine.

I will say it once again…it is the people I meet and visit with that always leave the lasting impression. Beauty is one thing but humanity…that is what it is all about.



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