Combining a love of art and travel

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By Kirsten Laskey

People can travel to places across the globe just by looking at a piece of art. Now, art enthusiasts can literally explore the world and its art through a new business, ArtXcapes.

The business, which is based in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, has been open for a month.

"We are a company that takes people who enjoy art to exotic and unique places throughout the world," director Kelly Foster said. "(Our) workshops inspire and provide a rich cultural experience for all our participants."

The company transports people to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico and Africa. Additionally, it provides tours of Santa Fe.

The tours or workshops address a variety of mediums such as painting, sculpting, tinning and stained glass. Workshops are geared toward beginners through advanced art enthusiasts, Foster said.

These workshops are done in different countries, she said, "so they can experience different cultures."

She explained when people travel aboard, they are taken out of their comfort zone, as result, they are more creative and less inhibited.

During a workshop, artists will paint in the morning and go on a group excursion during the afternoon. These excursions can be anything from horseback riding in Mexico, to whizzing down a zip-line in Costa Rica to going on a game drive in Africa.

Foster said on international workshops, the cost of food, lodging and day trips are included in the price.

The costs of the workshops vary, depending on what the workshop is and who the instructor for the program will be, Foster said.

Workshops can run one, three, six or 10 days.

International workshops will begin in January. Currently, the business is offering one-day intensives in Santa Fe and Los Alamos every month.

For instance, there will be a one-day chalk and pastel intensive from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 3 at 2160 DP Road. The instructor, Kevin Bowers, will show students how to gather reference material, combine elements and create a beautiful composition painting. The cost is $135 and includes all supplies.

Foster said she created this business based on her own experiences as an artist and traveler.

"I was born and raised in South Africa," she said. "I lived all over southern Africa, traveled all over the world and lived in many different countries around the world. I have a passion for all kinds of art forms, so I thought I would combine my love of art and love of travel, and create a business that (includes) the two."

She added she thought the area would be a great location for the business because of all the artists who live here.

This type of traveling should appeal to vacationers, Foster said, because people no longer want to just sit on a beach, they want to indulge in the local culture and learn something about it.

She added participants would be able to visit other countries and bring back a piece of art "they can hang on their wall and be reminded of their wonderful adventure."

For more information about ArtXcapes, go to www.artXcapes.com or call 661-9712 or 505-577-2839.