Spot of Tea—John Cacciatore, owner of Dartmouth Street Gallery, takes tea-time seriously. Recently, at his home just west of Downtown, I sat down with him at a table specially designed for serving tea. He let me sniff a beaker full of oolong that he got on a recent trip to Asia, informing me that it's quite possibly the best tea to be had anywhere in Albuquerque.
Then he dove into an elaborate preparatory process involving boiling water, steeping leaves in a ceramic pot, pouring the tea through a special funnel into a glass beaker, pouring the beaker back over the ceramic pot and the cups, then resteeping the leaves, and so on and so forth. It was freakin' complicated, let me tell you. Anyway, eventually I ended up with a tiny but delicious cup of oolong, the color of sunshine with an ethereal blossomy scent.
I'd made the trip to his home because of rumors that Dartmouth Street Gallery was closing. As it turns out, this is far from the case. Cacciatore simply sold the building where it had previously been located in Nob Hill, and he and his partner, artist Nancy Kozikowski, moved the art and staff into their spacious home. So now, although Dartmouth Street Gallery isn't located anywhere near Dartmouth Street, it still sells the same high-quality contemporary art to collectors around the world.
If anything, the new digs are more impressive than the old ones. Furthermore, in an effort to better represent his core artists, Cacciatore says his new set-up will allow him to focus more on sales, while wasting less time on Nob Hill gawkers who treated the old gallery space like a museum.
Not that he has anything against gawkers, per se. But his new home gallery won't be accepting any unannounced walk-through traffic, mainly because it's, well, his home. The space is open for appointment, though. Call Cacciatore at 266-7751 if you want to arrange a private tour. For more information on the gallery, go to www.dsg-art.com.