The first of this year’s planned Art Matters events, sponsored by the Santa Fe Gallery Association, begins on Friday, Jan. 31, with Art Matters: Collections. “The strategy is to focus on the connoisseurship, knowledge, and expertise within the art professionals and establishments of Santa Fe, through lecturers, artist talks, panel discussions, or simply a gallery walk and talk … that places an emphasis on content and critical dialogue about the fine art and artists,” said Kathrine Erickson, director of the Santa Fe Gallery Association.
Evoke Contemporary (130 Lincoln Ave., 505-995-9902) kicks off the series with a 5 p.m. reception and viewing of realist portraits by Daniel Sprick on Jan. 31 (the show runs through Saturday, Feb. 1). Events continue at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1, with a panel discussion held in conjunction with the exhibit Oli Sihvonen: In Motion — Rhythmic and Optical Paintings From 1988 to 1991 at David Richard Gallery (544 S. Guadalupe St., 505-983-9555). Panel participants include artists Lilly Fenichel and Allan Graham and gallery director David Eichholtz. At 3 p.m on Feb. 1, Pippin Contemporary (200 Canyon Road; 505-795-7476) hosts The Joys and Challenges of Collecting, a discussion with Santa Fe-based author Eric Gustafson.
On Feb. 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. Casweck Galleries (203 W. Water St., 505-988-2966) hosts staged readings based on the book Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier, directed by Janet Davidson of For Giving Productions. Tickets for the readings cost $15; call Casweck for reservations. Following the reading on Feb. 8, author and graphic designer Wiz Allred presents a talk on collecting, also at Casweck. Allred repeats the talk free of charge at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9.
David Richard Gallery presents two more Art Matters events on Feb. 8. The first is a 1 p.m. gallery discussion on the exhibit Select Works on Paper From the June Wayne Private Collection, followed by a 2:30 p.m. talk on the show Gesture Then and Now: The Legacy of Abstract Expressionism, with artists Fenichel, Phillis Ideal, and Eugene Newmann.
At 2 p.m. on Feb. 8, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art (702½ Canyon Road, 505-992-0711) hosts a talk by gallery director John Addison.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (217 Johnson St., 505-946-1000) offers Collectors, Dealers, and Museums: A Shared Future, presented by Cody Hartley, the museum’s director of curatorial affairs. The event takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 and is followed by a reception and a drawing, with a chance to win either a curated library of art books, a private tour of a prominent New Mexico-based artist’s studio, or a tour of a private art collection. Tickets for the O’Keeffe event cost $75; ticket sales help fund the Santa Fe Gallery Association and can be purchased online at www.okeeffemuseum.org/sfga.
Art Matters: Collections events are free unless otherwise stated. For information call 505-982-1648 or visit www.artmatterssantafe.org.