Holidays

TAOSFOLK is back

Annual pop-up store returns with vivid array of handcrafted gifts

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The highly anticipated TAOSFOLK pop-up store returns for its annual holiday run. TAOSFOLK opens Friday (Nov. 24) (the day after Thanksgiving) and closes Sunday, Dec. 24. It is open everyday during this 30-day period from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located in the Stables Gallery, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

TAOSFOLK offers a range of handcrafted items for sale. Gift buyers, home decorators and art lovers alike can find an astonishing ­­– yet, impeccably displayed – array of personal care products, books, music CDs, food, jewelry, candles, trinkets, fiber products, leather items, pottery, ceramics, hand-painted pieces, gift cards, woodworking, photography, glass, accessories, terrariums, dolls, clothing, home décor items and more.

While prices vary, the TAOSFOLK tagline is “Affordable gifts made by Taos hands.” Therefore it’s not surprising that the holiday pop-up store has a high number of devotées ­–– locally and from out of town.

Cathleen Lambridis, the creative director of TAOSFOLK, explains: “Last year, on the very first day we opened, we had 40 people lined up at the door. Some had seen the ‘colander lamp’ that was on the cover of Tempo and they came in saying they want to get it before it goes away. That’s because everything here is handmade and one-of-a-kind.”

Indeed, there will be many treasures to seek out this year. TAOSFOLK is showcasing 70 artists and authors, 24 of whom are new to TAOSFOLK (and in some cases, new to Taos).

Through a robust application process, Lambridis personally selects the TAOSFOLK artists each year. She personally interviews each artist and has a signed contract with them. The relationship is symbiotic. Each artist who signs up with TAOSFOLK gives two days of their time to either set up the pop-up store, (it takes 10 days to set up) or take down the store.

Some artists sign up to work in the store. “They wear an apron that says TAOSFOLK. I encourage the artists to be over by their work and talk about their process and answer any questions,” says Lambridis.

Lambridis recently returned from an extended stay in Barcelona, where her son and his family are living, to pop up TAOSFOLK. She says, “I like to think I bring a ‘world’s eye view’ to the store in how it’s presented and curated. I get my inspiration from the world and the artists get their inspiration from Taos.”

Given the handcrafted nature of all items, it is particularly exciting that the artists and authors draw on Taos for their inspiration – and even for their processes and materials.

For example, one artist has crafted “solar-powered pillows.” First, she painted the owls she sees on her property on the mesa. Then, using an early alternative form of photo printing, she uses sunlight to expose the image. Lastly, she transfers the print onto re-purposed cotton to make pillows.

“This artist is using all that Taos has to give in every way ­­– the inspiration of the owls, the sunshine, the beauty,” Lambridis said.

Other artists follow suit. One artist has created “live edge” bowls, in which he keeps bark on the edge of his bowls. Another artist has collected the natural items on her property, such as leaves, twigs and pine cones, and has crafted them into assemblages with twine. “They’re really special,” Lambridis said. “They are of the earth. They’d make great centerpieces.”

One stained-glass artist is using her art to reflect her Taos heritage. She has crafted a steer’s head in shades of pale turquoise, pink and lavender. “It has 27 pieces of glass, yet it’s small,” Lambridis said. “The artist has a fantastic sensibility in translating her love of Taos and its earthiness into stained glass.”

Different beekeepers are included in TAOSFOLK and their bee products range from personal care to candles to household products.

“I coordinate and manage TAOSFOLK for the people who live in Taos. The website has every artist’s picture and contact information so they can be contacted throughout the year. I think the caliber of work that comes out of Taos is superb and how it’s displayed is worthy of worldwide attention,” Lambridis said.

For more information, call (773) 595-8065

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