Santa Fe City Hall Artist Residency

Among my (perhaps misguided) efforts to insert myself as an artist within government and politics, I convinced the mayor of Santa Fe at the time, David Coss, to let me conduct an unpaid artist residency within Santa Fe’s City Hall. I spent a summer in a vacant office adjacent to the City Manager’s office learning about the city’s operations, its people, and its culture. I met city employees who began their public service straight out of high school. They told me ghost stories about the parking lot under the convention center. I learned that the only elevator in the building wasn’t the most functional, and had caused someone to injure their neck when it dropped suddenly. I learned about the arcane forms of ticketing for improper signage on the plaza, and the incredibly detailed process required to become a permitted vendor there.

I organized classes that city workers taught each other during the lunch hour. The video above is of a dance class taught in City Council Chambers. The images are of tin working and paper flower making classes taught by other employees. A fire safety class was also offered. On my last day, I had open office hours where I offered free tarot card readings, which were popular. I vividly remember reading the mayor’s cards, and telling what ended up being a pretty accurate reading of the future.

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