Haute in Here
Haute Enchilada Gallery Dos gives Moss Landing a funky new art venue.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Kim Solano has seen changes to Moss Landing occur right before her eyes. And she welcomes them.
“In the past,” says Solano, whose parents have built local businesses including Whole Enchilada and the Moss Landing Inn, “[Moss Landing] had been a commercial fishing village and an antique village. But over the past five years we’ve moved to eco-tourism, native plants, marine research, bird watching, biking, restaurants like the Sea Harvest. We feel bringing art and culture here tie into that.”
When Solano relocated her Haute Enchilada Café last November, she opened Haute Enchilada Gallery Uno on the same lot. This Sunday, Haute Enchilada Gallery Dos will debut with a soft opening/artist reception.
The three spaces straddle Moss Landing Road, the sleepy main artery of what Solano and other residents call “Moss Landing Village.” Gallery Uno sits behind the busily decorated Café. Its rustic façade, rectangle interior supported by rows of beams and cement floor present a humble, utilitarian and frozen-in-time look that, like much of Moss Landing, alludes to a different era.
“Gallery Uno belonged to Shell Oil at one time; this space was part of their warehouse,” says Solano. “We’re going to leave that space alone. We’re really happy with the way it is.”
Preserving that funky, flawed character, Solano adds, helps distinguish Moss Landing: “In Carmel, for instance, everything is so… perfect.”
Across the street, the still-unfinished Gallery Dos is even more eclectic, a funhouse of crude, improvised invention: Its 3,000 square feet are made up of seven rooms, built (as Solano says) “hodge podge” off the main space, each with its own materials, style and execution.
Light from outside peeks between the boards that make up the thin walls. Flooring consists of short-nap carpeting, stone tile and aged floorboards. On one interior wall, a service window lined with wrought iron bars looks like a former bus ticket counter – a room was subsequently built around it. Another room is an attached trailer. An enclosed outdoor patio – which will be used to host workshops by various artists – houses a stark rock garden.
The pieces Solano is assembling for Sunday’s show represent a dizzying array of styles, including photographer Tomas Spangler’s colorful and meticulously composed photographs of Mexico; Debra Delatour’s award-winning marine photography; floral watercolors by Teresa Brown that look like Georgia O’Keefe done with a Japanese aesthetic; Allyson Malek’s Egyptian encaustic paintings; Amy Glover’s seaside watercolors and more. The mediums stretch over mosaic-laid furniture, brushed copper that refracts with color, jewelry, glassworks, folk art, pottery and acrylics.
“Whatever has style,” Solano says.
The dozens of artists who show at either gallery comprise a collective and are committed to work at either space at least twice a month, placing them face-to-face with customers. There is so much art that the walls of the Café have been recruited to display art, primarily pre-Columbian Renaissance, Pop Art and Sub-Realism.
“The art is going to rotate every three months, so it’s constantly changing,” says Solano. For the soft opening, she is aiming to show about 30 artists between the two galleries, which will function as a single entity.
“We will be hanging art even on [opening day] Sunday,” says Solano. “We will be drinking and eating and saying, ‘Make it happen.’”