TOME — It’s the perennial question in New Mexico: “Red or green?”
While the debate on what is the correct answer could fill a novel, one local art gallery is taking the query as a call to art.
The first ever Red or Green Show is kicking off at the Tomé Art Gallery this weekend, with an opening reception featuring a bevy of chips and an array of homemade salsa, from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 10.
Show organizer Nei-Nei Freeman said the inspiration for the show comes from so many artisans moving to the area wanting to understand what New Mexico truly is all about.
“New Mexicans love their chile,” Freeman said. “Anything that has to do with chile, they come out.”
Show submissions are expected from about a dozen artists and artisans, she said, and can be anything red or green with an emphasis on chile, of course.
“I’m not sure exactly what everyone is going to submit, but I know there will be a lot of ornaments and magnets, bowls,” she said. “I’m going to be bringing faux ristras. We had some potholders out earlier but they’ve sold, so I’m hoping the artist will bring more.
“People around the community really look for utilitarian things — things they can use every day. At the same time, they want the beauty and ambiance of New Mexico.”
Freeman is a multi-faceted artist herself, working primarily in clay, sculpting Native American women, making Native American and Mezo-American pottery, and recently creating nugget necklaces.
“I’ve been dong a lot of wood work for the chile ristras,” she said. “I’m really excited. I love my state.”
When asked for her answer to the state question, Freeman pauses and chuckles.
“Greeeeen! Even though it can be a bit hot — I love it. Of course I’ll eat red if it’s served,” she said.
The Red or Green Show will be at the gallery from Sept. 10 through Nov. 10. The gallery, 2930 N.M. 47, Tomé, is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.