February 2018 in Todos Santos

February gets off to a great start with a lot of fun events in and around Todos Santos. Here are a few of the upcoming events.

Thursday, February 1, 3 pm, Todos Santos Writers Workshop Roundtable. “Inner and Outer Landscapes: Nature Writing in the First Person, with Christopher Merrill and Ellen Waterston, moderated by Jeanne McCulloch, at Casa Dracula on the otro lado. Open to public for a donation to the Palapa Society of Todos Santos.

Sunday, February 4, Catch the Superbowl LII at Chill N Grill in Todos Santos, The Oasis and Cerritos Beach Inn in Pescadero.

Friday, February 9 & Saturday, February 10, 5 – 8 pm, The Baja 100 Art Walk
The Art Walk will take place on Friday and Saturday afternoon/evening with live music from Zoe and the Mischief plus a raffle of 13 original pieces of work donated by The Baja 100 artists. Don’t miss your chance to win a painting or original work by local talented artists. This event is free of charge to attendees. We are also an event that is walkable. Park your car in town and start new Hotel Casa Tota where you’ll find Galería Jardin Alquimia and all the works for the raffle to benefit The Palalpa Society.

February 10 & 11, 10 am – 4 pm, The 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour
Have you ever yearned for a glimpse into the private world of artists where ideas and inspirations are translated into dazzling creations of color, texture, shapes and forms? If so, the Todos Santos Open Studio Tour is designed to satisfy your curiosity. The 9th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio will be held the weekend of February 10 and 11, from 10 am to 4 pm. Once a year during this special event, a community of artists opens the doors to their studios, inviting you to explore down rambling dirt roads and discover what’s hidden behind their walls. The experience of visiting an artist’s studio is completely different from viewing the artist’s work in the formal setting of a gallery. It’s a chance to connect more intimately with the artist, ask questions, discuss observations, see his or her tools of the trade and even gain insights into the artist’s personal working process.

If this sounds intriguing, come and discover what attracts and sustains so many diverse artists from Mexico, the Unites States, Canada, South America and Europe to come and settle in Todos Santos! Over the years, artists have been influenced by many or all of the elements of their surroundings: the Baja desert landscape, the vast and dynamic ocean, the majestic Sierra de La Laguna, the distinctive quality of light and air and clouds. However, essential to all artists who have made Todos Santos their home is a pervasive, almost tangible, sense of artistic community.

For artist Steve Thurston, who has participated in every annual tour since its inception in 2010, establishing himself in Todos Santos has been total immersion into an “art world,” which exists in only a very few places. Encaustic artist Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz never imagined she would find such a supportive and curious community as the one here in Todos Santos. She describes the first Todos Santos Annual Artists Studio Tour which took place on March 10th, 2010: “The tour was created and organized by ARTS (Artists of Todos Santos), an informal group of artists and art lovers dedicated to the development and support of a vibrant, inclusive arts community and to inspiring and growing the visual arts talent in Todos Santos. Amongst these friends were Diane Knight, Vic Kirby, Michael McAllister, Steve Thurston, Tori Sepulveda, and Roxanne Sparks.”-Most of whom remain actively engaged and thriving in their artistic endeavors in Todos Santos today. Another painter, Peter Holden, loves being in such an idyllic location and creative community. He finds this context has been a great motivator to propel his work, encouraging him to explore open-ended artistic directions as well as focused work.

Now nine years later, approximately 40 artists participate in the Annual Open Studio Tour including painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramicists, encaustic and cold wax artists, jewelers, printmakers, mixed media artists, woodworkers and more. The spaces in which they work are as uniquely different as their type of craft. Some of their studios are well-established, others are more improvised or temporary, some expand into the outdoors or are entirely outside and some showcase a group of artists. At Marsha Dahlquist’s studio, a group of five to six artists have been meeting every Thursday for the last three years. According to Marsha, “we paint mostly from photo references–our own individual photos. We paint, laugh, drink coffee and encourage each other. It’s more than painting. We’ve all become such good friends. For me, it’s been a blessing. I love each and every one of these amazing, wonderful women.”

On the tour, you’ll find emerging artists as well as artists who have been working professionally for many years. It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand your familiarity beyond the collection of more-established artists, as well as learn about new and exciting directions evolving in the work of artists with whom you’re already well-acquainted. To find artists who are participating in the Todos Santos Open Studio Tour please visit www.facebook.com/todossantosopenstudiotour.

Now that you’ve chosen several artists’ studios to visit, the fun begins! You will need a car (or carpool with a friend) and the map provided with your ticket to lead you on a self-guided tour through the various neighborhoods of Todos Santos. Along the way, large colorful signs painted by the artists will help direct you to their individual studios. It has become a tradition amongst the artists to create their own distinctive and delightful signage. Don’t be concerned if you make a wrong turn. Most likely you’ll enjoy encountering an artist who was not on your original list. All artists will be pleased to discuss their work and will be displaying work available to purchase at various price ranges.

Your entry ticket will provide you with a map and a wristband that will be good for two days. Most participants appreciate the flexibility to wander about in different neighborhoods each day or return to their favorite studios a second time–perhaps to acquire something that caught their eye the day before. All proceeds from the sale of artwork go entirely to the individual artist, while all proceeds from ticket sales benefit the children’s art programs at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C.

The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C., founded in 2003, is a multi-cultural non-profit Mexican civil association. Its mission is the development and administration of scholarship, educational, and environmental programs for the benefit of local children and their families. Visit www.palapasociety.org for more information.

Advance ticket sales begin January 28, 2018 and are $10 USD or $200 pesos. They can be purchased in Todos Santos at the El Tecolote Bookstore on calle Juárez, ordered online at ts.studiotour@gmail.com or purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased on event days from 9 am to 3 pm at La Cocina de Cleo in Las Tunas and The Palapa Learning Center (PLC) on calle del Huerto in town. The PLC will feature a sampling of the studio tour artists’ work for sale and children’s art on display.

See you with the new Spring 2018 issue of Journal del Pacifico soon!

GastroVino Baja Food & Wine Festival

Gastrovino Baja Food & Wine Festival 2017 adby McCandless K. Sutton

The gastronomical paradise of Todos Santos encompasses the abundance of the Baja California peninsula in every way possible. We revel in our beloved backdrop of mountains, beaches, sunsets, and the energizing catalyst they provide for such a vibrant multi-cultural community. And then there’s the food and wine, of course.

The land of the chiles, mangoes, avocados, bananas, basil and limes blends with the abundance from the sea—the snapper, shrimp, scallops, oysters, clams, sierras, tuna and more. Combine this bounty with Mexico’s best wines and you have a perfect pairing in paradise. Crisp bubblies, refreshing whites, versatile rosés and a diverse range of structured reds all will be on display for your palate’s pleasure at the 6th annual GastroVino, Baja Food and Wine Festival!

On Sunday, May 7, in the Todos Santos plaza, Mexico’s best winemakers will be on hand explaining about and showing off their wonderful creations. Some of Baja Sur’s best chefs will be featuring their culinary creations, including Tadd Chapman, Dany Lamote and Javier Plascencia. Five of Todos Santos’ notable artists will paint live in the plaza on Sunday: Jill Logan, Tori Sepulveda, Robert Wood, Brian McGuffey and the one and only Carlos Díaz Castro. The musical entertainment is sure to impress with the rocking soul of the beautiful Samantha Rae Band, of La Voz México fame, coming to town.

It is hoped that thousands of dollars will be raised at the 100% benefit silent auction for the Palapa Society of Todos Santos’ programs and for the restoration of the children’s park, el Parque del Misión de San Juan, which is by the original Jesuit mission in barrio San Juan at the north entrance to Todos Santos. Last year over $8,000 USD was raised and over the past five years, the GastroVino Festival has raised $32,500 USD for a variety of local organizations, including los bomberos, Hogar del Niño, the Internado, DIF and more. This year, a wide variety of artwork, dinner certificates, hotel getaways and more will be auctioned.

GastroVino Champagne Girl by Kate Turning

GastroVino Champagne Girl by Kate Turning

Friday night’s kick-off event on May 5, the Blanco Ball, will be a wonderfully elegant evening featuring dancing wine nymphs, sexy souvenirs, great music, lots of bubbles, premium wine raffles, a white carpet with fashion photographers, a delicious selection of tapas, and winemakers mingling and discussing their various nectars.

The GastroTour takes place the evening of Saturday, May 6, and allows for a gastronomical adventure around the centro histórico of Todos Santos. A winemaker is paired with the chef of each restaurant to create the best maridaje possible. After receiving your commemorative glass and a map you’re encouraged to follow tour leaders or head out on your own downtown food and wine adventure.

Also during the day on Saturday, the BCS Wine Tasting Challenge takes place and is hosted by the head winemaker of Freixenet México from Querétaro. GastroVino artwork photographer Kate Turning and husband Steve Jacobi will be defending their shared-crown as reigning Blind Tasting champions!

The 6th Annual GastroVino Festival is sure to be the best yet and the gastronomical paradise of Todos Santos will be showcasing why Baja California Sur is an international destination for Baja food and wine lovers. ¡Salud!

See Events in the Spring 2017 issue of Journal del Pacifico for more information. Tickets for all events are available at: La Bodega de Todos Santos and El Tecolote Bookstore in Todos Santos, GotBaja store in La Paz, and Pez Gordo Gallery at The Shoppes at Palmilla. For more information visit: Facebook: Gastrovino Baja Food & Wine Festival / Gastrovino Fest Baja or www.gastrovino.mx

Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

8th Annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour

by Jill Mollenhauer

Anne Hebebrand, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Anne Hebebrand

Every year it’s the talk of the town. The Todos Santos Open Studio Tour draws hundreds of people curious to see working art studios, meet the artists, and perhaps have a personal dialogue with them. Stories are exchanged; laughter flows and smiles glow on the faces of those who find something that seems to have been made especially for them.

At its inception in 2009, the then one-day tour boasted a mere handful of amazing talent. For 2017 the number of participating artists has grown to over 40, necessitating its extension to a two day event.

Benito Ortega, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Benito Ortega

The 8th annual Todos Santos Open Studio Tour will be held on the weekend of February 11 and 12, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm both days. All proceeds benefit the children’s art programs of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. Advance ticket sales begin January 28, 2017. Tickets will be $200 pesos each and can be purchased in Todos Santos at El Tecolote Bookstore on Calle Juárez, or ordered online at ts.studiotour@gmail.com. Tickets can also be purchased at Cafélix in Todos Santos from 9 am to 3 pm both event days. Maps are included with purchase and plenty of signs are posted to streamline the self-guided tour.

Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz, Todos Santos Open Studio Tour, Baja, Mexico

Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz

The choices of what to see are practically endless: paint, mixed media, encaustic, wood carving, metal sculpture, stone work, jewelry, fibers, photography and more. The hardest part might be deciding which studios to choose from and if it is possible to get to them all in two days. From the south end of town all the way through the north end of el Otro Lado, there are artist studios tucked away that hold treasures undreamed of.

To help plan your tour, browse the Facebook page Todos Santos Open Studio Tour to see some samples of the different work. Seasoned veterans of the tour often make a list of names to help plan a route, making sure to visit their favorite artists along with some new ones. Others prefer to just wing it, leaving it open to the serendipity of the moment.

Besides spending the day immersed in creativity, the tour is a chance to explore what it is like to be an artist in the beautiful pueblo mágico of Todos Santos. It is the personal interaction with the artists that makes this tour so special. What inspires them? What brought them here and why do they stay? How did they begin and what story do they have to tell?

Sculptor Benito Ortega was drawn to Todos Santos eight years ago by ‘a vibration in the air.’ Nine year resident, encaustic artist Gloria Santoyo Ruenitz stays because life is simple and she can spend the mornings lost in the passion of creativity. The positive energy of the light and the people is just part of what keeps painter/teacher Tori Sepulveda enthralled with Todos Santos, even after 10 years.

As a kid flipping burgers at the foot of the Newport Beach pier Peter Holden probably never imagined himself living and painting in Baja California Sur for over a decade. Did Anne Hebebrand envision herself  experimenting with diverse tools such as spatulas, rubber shapers, paint rollers, and palette knives on canvas when as a young girl she was a waitress at a Mexican restaurant?

Susan Doyle says, “My favorite part of painting is the point when you think it is awful and you’re about to give up and then some magical accident happens and it clicks.” For Nanette Hayles she loves all parts of the creative process but “getting ‘lost’ in a piece when time ceases” is her favorite. Steve Thurston says that the best painting is always the one he’s currently working on.

Landscape artist Marsha Dahlquist is entranced with street scenes and the challenge of painting architecture, while Jill Mollenhauer expresses emotions with vibrant colors and mixed media.

Whichever studios you visit, you are sure to find both talent and heart. Between the well-known galleries in town and the numerous hidden gems in the barrios there are delights and surprises waiting just for you.

Here are a few helpful tips to make it even more enjoyable: Some studios are clustered near enough that parking and walking is viable. Perusing the neighborhoods is a wonderful way to get a feel of the community. Or consider carpooling–everything is more fun with friends. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat and don’t forget the sunscreen! Cold drinks and delicious meals can be purchased in town and for even more fun, consider staying the night at one of the area boutique hotels.

For more information: ts.studiotour@gmail.com

Holiday 2016/2017

Journal del Pacifico Holiday 2016/2017 cover by Bruce Herman

Journal del Pacifico Holiday 2016/2017 cover by Bruce Herman

Feliz Fiestas from Journal del Pacifico! In our Holiday issue, we have some great feature stories as well as lots of exciting things happening with our advertisers.

Once again, Bryan Jáuregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures has provided us with a feature story, this time about the largest animal on Earth, who is also a visitor to our Baja waters. Richard Jackson and Carlos Gajon Bermudez shared their stunning Blue Whale photos, some taken within three miles of Loreto.

Many thanks to Bruce Herman for all the beautiful traditional Mexican photographs that are on our front cover and throughout this issue. If you’d like to see more, be sure to stop in the Luz Gallery on calle Topete in downtown Todos Santos.

Just around the corner, México Gourmet has moved next door to Chocolates La Laguna, behind the El Tecolote bookstore. Now it’s even more convenient to stock up on handmade chocolates from La Laguna and spices, seasoned salts, vanilla, organic coffee and more at Mexico Gourmet!

Discover the true flavors of Mexico at El Refugio Mezcalería, Todos Santos’ first mezcal bar. They serve artisanal agave distillates and cocktails, along with prehispanic foods such as pozole, mole, and traditional dishes from Guerrero and Oaxaca. Visit their Facebook page for happy hour specials and events, or contact them to schedule a private mezcal tasting.

Local, organic fresh veggies and herbs are now available from Sueño Tropical Farm at Pura Vida Health Food Store in Todos Santos.

Rumi Garden, the popular Asian cuisine restaurant in Todos Santos is now open again for the season. Stop in for their daily lunch specials, vegetarian, vegan and organic friendly dishes.

Cositas para la Casa has just opened on the otro lado of Todos Santos. It is based on a vision of all locally handmade products for the home, all the way up to but not including furniture. Stop by and see the mastery in knitting, sewing, crocheting, and embroidery.

La Cocina de Cleo is open again on the otro lado serving up Mexican breakfast and lunch and staying open late for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Looking for a place to stay on the otro lado? Casa Las Tunas has charming cabañas and rooms with full kitchens, in a beautiful garden setting. It’s close to town and the beach too!

Day passes and memberships are now available for the lovely El Faro Beach Club & Spa. For information, please call Boutique Hotel Guaycura at (612) 175-0800.

Sra. Alma, with 15 years’ experience as a pharmacist, has now opened Farmacia San Benito in Todos Santos. She and her husband, Raul also own the Farmacia San Benito in Pescadero. Both locations stock brand name and generic medicines, controlled and oncology prescriptions and an extensive selection of orthopedic, personal and items for babies.

Congratulations to Cerritos Beach Inn on their first year anniversary. They are now offering home delivery on to go orders in the Pescadero and Cerritos area.

The all new, Oasis Bar & Grill on the highway in Pescadero is getting rave reviews on their menu. If you are looking for that classic American meal you need to check this place out–their Reuben sandwich is delicious!

Mini Super Munchies, near Rancho Pescadero and the beach, is a delightful corner market filled with local products, delicious snacks, beautiful crafts, wine, beer, and much more. Make sure to check their Facebook page for special guest chef and music nights!

Dra. Alejandra Peña Salguero has expanded her offices near the Pemex in Todos Santos. Dra. Alejandra is a completely bilingual, community primary care physician, available by appointment. The Padrino Children’s Foundation office is also at the same location. The Foundation and Dra. Alejandra are working to provide medical services for economically disadvantaged children in Todos Santos and the surrounding area.

Two exciting Palapa Society of Todos Santos events are coming up—their Open House for the all new Palapa Learning Center in early January and the return of the Palapa Carreras de Todos Santos 5k/10k in March—It’s bigger and better!

Todos Santos Music Festival message from Peter and Chloe BuckYes it’s true; there will not be a Todos Santos Music Festival this January. After five years, Peter and Chloe Buck are taking a break this winter. The Journal del Pacifico is proud to have been a founder member of this amazing festival. But don’t worry; there are still a whole lot of live music events happening throughout Todos Santos and Pescadero—at La Esquina, Chill N Grill (check out their new location), Restaurant Mi Pueblito 3 and more! Check out our events listings in our current issue for more information.

Pick up a copy today or  view the entire issue online. Make sure to reserve your space early for our next issue, featuring the incredible places to live and stay in Pescadero! Deadline is January 10, 2017.