Fine arts

Millicent Rogers spikes winter doldrums with art, food and chocolate

Annual small works show is centerpiece for three special events

By Virginia L. Clark
Posted 2/7/19

The two galleries are packed every year with excited local artists and collectors, everyone eager to see, buy and vote on art that well-known and emerging Taos artists have entered in the show.

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Fine arts

Millicent Rogers spikes winter doldrums with art, food and chocolate

Annual small works show is centerpiece for three special events


Just when everyone else is snugged-in deep for winter, Taoseños are busy getting artwork ready to show for the miniatures exhibit held every February at Millicent Rogers Museum. But this year's annual exhibit is one of three events planned for this weekend - two hosted by the museum, and the third being a Heritage Inspirations dinner with 10 percent of proceeds donated to the museum.

"Millicent Rogers Museum will host three events at the museum that relate to the museum's collection of Southwest art," said MRM Director Dr. Caroline Jean Fernald last week. Namely, these are:

  • The 17th Annual Miniatures Show and Sale opening Friday (Feb. 8) from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • "Chaco Choco," a lecture and tasting about Mesoamerican chocolate happening Sunday (Feb. 10) from 2-4 p.m.
  • "Manko! (Come Eat!)," a dinner and cultural event by Heritage Inspirations, celebrating Puebloan culture, also on Sunday (Feb. 10), from 7-9 p.m.

Fernald notes that all three events are fundraisers for both the museum and participating local artists and businesses.

Annual Miniatures Show and Sale

This is one opening reception you don't want to miss. The two galleries (the former great room of the original house and Gallery 9) are packed cheek to jowl every year with excited local artists and collectors, everyone eager to see, buy and vote on art that well-known and emerging Taos artists have entered in the show.

"The sale is a 50-50 split between the artist and the museum," Fernald said, with the artist setting the price. Artists must live in Taos County, all works must be "miniature" or up to 100 square inches. Paintings, drawings, photography, prints, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and more are acceptable - video art is not.

"Work must be original, less than a year old and not have been shown in any other exhibit," Fernald said. "This event is a local favorite and shows the museum's commitment to supporting the local arts community of Taos, while also fulfilling its mission of sharing and celebrating the arts and cultures of the Southwest."

More than 200 pieces were submitted for show and sale. Jewelry is under glass in the great room gallery - but be forewarned, it will probably be push and shove to get close during Friday's opening reception. Hors d'oeuvres by Karen Todd's Dragonfly catering will be served, but no alcohol.

"Competition can be fierce on opening night," Fernald said with a smile. "This event presents a unique opportunity to purchase a modestly priced artwork by popular Taos artists, while supporting Millicent Rogers Museum."

The museum's board of trustees will award a Best in Show piece and opening-night attendees can vote for the People's Choice Award in the categories of 2D, 3D and jewelry.

Participating artists include: Wiz Allred, David Anderson, Michael Archuleta, Mark Asmus, Luís Barela, Robert Cafazzo, Sheena Cameron, Peter Chinni, Angie Coleman, Terry Davis, Michael and Causandra Dukepoo, Debbie Lujan, Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Anne Forbes, Jacqueline Gala, Gail Golden, Gustavo Victor Goler, Valerie Graves, Larry Herrera, Ann Huston, Peggy Immel, Inger Jirby, Melinda Littlejohn, TJ Mabrey, Clarence Medina, Jocelyn Martinez, Chris Morel, Margaret Nes, Giovanna Paponetti, Daniel Rael, Alissa Ritchie, Holly Sievers, Allegra Sleep, John Suazo, Ryan Suazo and David Vedoe,

Fernald said several artists donate the full amount from the sale of their artwork to the museum. After opening night, art can be viewed and purchased online at The show continues until March 3.

'Chaco Choco'

A fascinating lecture by Dr. Patricia Crown on the connection between Mesoamerican and American Southwestern cultures is Sunday from 2-4 p.m. A University of New Mexico archaeologist, Crown is one of the researchers who discovered traces of cacao, or theobromine, in Chaco Canyon pottery - establishing a previously unknown ancient connection between Mexico and the American Southwest.

Crown's lecture will be followed by cacao and chocolate tastings, truffles and other goodies provided by Chokolá, a delightful "bean to bar" chocolate establishment located on Juan Largo Lane, connecting Taos Plaza and the John Dunn Shops in town.

"Chocolate was important in ritual and exchange in Mexico over a millennium before the Spanish entered the region," MRM's Fernald writes in press materials. "Far from its tropical home, chocolate spread through Europe becoming a status symbol of the European elite … but the discovery of cacao residue in drinking vessels at Chaco Canyon has opened up many more discoveries about the cultural exchange between the two regions."

This event will be held at the museum Sunday (Feb. 10) from 2-4 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $15 for museum members, and are available on the museum's website at, by phone at (575)758-2462, in person at the museum store or at the door.

Millicent Rogers Museum winter hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (November to March), closed Mondays; and open daily from April to October. Taos County residents get free admission on Sundays (special events not included).

'Manko! (Come Eat!)'

Taos Pueblo, Heritage Inspirations and Millicent Rogers Museum present an evening of Puebloan culture and cuisine called 'Manko! (Come Eat!)' Sunday (Feb. 10), 7-9 p.m.

Partnered with Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Heritage Inspirations offers customized, all-inclusive guided experiences "highlighting adventure, art, culture and heritage across New Mexico," according to their website. Their Taos Day Tours are offered in collaboration with Taos Pueblo Tourism.

Because of Taos Pueblo's "Quiet Time," when the tribe closes its doors to visitors for a few weeks of sacred observances, Heritage Inspirations and Taos Pueblo Tourism created a special evening "to offer an insider view of Puebloan life at the world-renowned Millicent Rogers Museum," press materials state. "As a proud partner of Taos Pueblo, the Millicent Rogers Museum is excited to host this collaborative event," where attendees will taste traditional foods, meet local Native artisans and "learn about the historical and present relationship between the people who contribute to the unique story of Northern New Mexico and all its beauty."

A 25-year culinary professional, Santa Clara Pueblo Chef Ray Naranjo will create a traditional meal for diners. Naranjo's work has ranged from being executive chef to food- and-beverage director. He's distinguished with several awards for modern New Mexican cuisine, with a particular focus on New Mexican chile. Naranjo says in his native Tiwa: "Manko," or come eat with him, because he "is specially preparing an opportunity for you to taste Native foods, learn about Puebloan ingredients and help honor traditional tribal foods." (Incidentally, Taos Pueblo tribal members speak the Tiwa language.)

Besides great cuisine, diners will get "a historical primer on Taos Pueblo and dive deep into their artistic heirlooms." Taos Pueblo artisan, storyteller and author Jonathan Warm Day Coming will talk about his work and his personal life-story within the Pueblo during the dinner. Tickets are $99 plus tax per person. Purchase deadline is Friday (Feb. 8) and available only at

For more information about Heritage Inspirations, call owner and guide Angelisa Espinoza at (575) 779-5516 or see

Each event is at Millicent Rogers Museum, 1504 Millicent Rogers Road in El Prado. Miniatures reception and "Chaco Choco" tickets available at, in the museum store, at the door or at (575) 758-2462. Puebloan dinner tickets only available through Heritage Inspirations.


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