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ARTFeast, La Familia’s chocolate contest and the Masquerade Ball

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Dracula and the Countess Varela were among the guests at the Masquerade Ball.

Dracula and the Countess Varela were among the guests at the Masquerade Ball.

Back in the fun old days on Canyon Road, up until two or three years ago, Friday nights were jolly and educational.

Porcelain diva Heidi Loewen poses at ARTfeast.

Porcelain diva Heidi Loewen poses at ARTfeast.

Folks from here and there wandered up and down Canyon Road on balmy evenings traipsing among opening parties.

Gallery-hopping, enjoying the artists and the artworks, choosing art (some in their dreams and some for real), strains of live music wafting down the road, visiting with old friends and making new over a delicious tidbit, and a soupçon of crispy Chardonnay … oops! Pas de vin, nada vino anymore! The party’s over … it’s just dry business.

On Feb. 21, Canyon Road went back to those golden years with ARTfeast’s Edible Art Tour, the annual fundraiser party.

Santa Fe’s finest chefs and Canyon Road’s trendiest galleries collaborate each year for ARTsmart, an organization that exposes schoolchildren (both through learning and participation) to the visual arts.

Thirty-five chefs and galleries participated, and more than 1,000 people attended, raising $35,000 for our potential Naminghas and Kapps, Phyllis Kapp being this year’s honoree.

Executive chef Patrick Kline and Corey Fiddler of Amaya visit during ARTfeast.

Executive chef Patrick Kline and Corey Fiddler of Amaya visit during ARTfeast.

Like Friday night openings, you meandered from one gallery to the next wearing a big orange ARTfeast button as your entry ticket, munching on special, succulent hors d’ oeuvres prepared by gourmet food artists, while admiring your favorite artist’s latest creations … with a flute of Moët.

Everyone said this was a blast. Please new City Council: Bring back the good old days of opening nights!

Afterwards, at the Scottish Rite Temple, the fabulous “Fashion Feast” fashion show featured Project Runway designers – Season 8 all-star winner Mondo Guerra (now on Tim Gunn’s “Under the Gunn”) and runner-up, our own Taos designer Patricia Michaels.

Got to artsmartnm.org for news.

Tisha Sjosfrand and Fernando Olea of Epazote share a moment in the Greenhouse at ARTfeast.

Tisha Sjosfrand and Fernando Olea of Epazote share a moment in the Greenhouse at ARTfeast.

Chocolate raises money for health

More than 200 lovers of chocolate and lovers of La Familia came to sample every different chocolate dessert ever invented, made in-house by many of the same Santa Fe illustrious restaurants that had just done ARTfeast and Restaurant Week.

Who should know how to judge the delicacies but celebrity chefs Brett Sparman, Rocky Durham and Johnny Vollertson? They chose Joe’s Diner, Zia Diner and Grand Prize winner SantaCafe, which offered a smooth chocolate mousse in a slick chocolate shell, resting on a memorable and indescribable citrusy, seedy sauce. Bobby, Judy … put it on the menu!

The sweets and the paddle fundraising by Paul Margetson (“you don’t have to take home a thing!”), raised more than $25,000 for La Familia Clinic, the largest public health and dental clinic in New Mexico, serving all, including the homeless, regardless of ability to pay.

Dr. Larry Cohen and Helen Cerletti tried all the chocolate desserts at the La Familia fundraiser.

Dr. Larry Cohen and Helen Cerletti tried all the chocolate desserts at the La Familia fundraiser.

Fundraisers like this make the difference in covering the expenses at this vital clinic!

Go to lafamiliasf.org to learn more or help out.

Nonprofit helps schools engage kids

Here’s a big secret: Most schools today do not have enough money to pay for “extras” like science, art, music or physical education.

So nonprofit Dollars4Schools raises money to purchase new and innovative programs that hook a kid’s interest: scintillating science series and mesmerizing math games that entice them, and make these scary subjects fun and friendly; art projects in which the teacher doesn’t have to be an artist to share the subject; and infrastructure for PE, like new tracks.

Rave reviews and statistical success support this model, so the Santa Fe Association of Realtors chose Dollars4Schools as the 2014 beneficiary of our Masquerade Ball.

More than 100 professional Realtors and affiliated friends disguised themselves as other things at the silent auction and dinner dance at the Club at Las Campanas to contribute to this worthy cause!

Check out dollars4schools.org.

A chic Dr. Julie Bohan of Albuquerque was at the La Familia fundraiser.

A chic Dr. Julie Bohan of Albuquerque was at the La Familia fundraiser.

Annadru and Richard Lampert were at the Zaplin-Lampert Gallery during ARTfeast weekend.

Annadru and Richard Lampert were at the Zaplin-Lampert Gallery during ARTfeast weekend.

Marcie and Steve Shaw were winners at the Masquerade Ball benefiting Dollars4Schools.

Marcie and Steve Shaw were winners at the Masquerade Ball benefiting Dollars4Schools.

La Familia development director Gloria Mendoza, event chair Joanne Smorgor and board member Barbara Kastmer celebrate all things chocolate.

La Familia development director Gloria Mendoza, event chair Joanne Smorgor and board member Barbara Kastmer celebrate all things chocolate.

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