The big August event is, of course, Indian Market, the world’s largest fair of Native American art and the gold standard in the Native art world. With an estimated 100,000 attendees and 1,100 artists representing more than 100 tribes, Indian Market-related events stretch through the second half of the month.
Buyers of Native American art begin gathering in Santa Fe early for the Whitehawk Shows, the largest, oldest shows of antique Native art. More than 150 dealers arrive to showcase the best in antique ethnographic art from around the world.
To sample something more quirky and contemporary, check out the first Santa Fe Show, Objects of Art. A truly different art show featuring 70 elite vendors presenting a wide range of media and historic periods. The show opens Friday, August 10 at El Museo Cultural at the Railyard.
Foodies may want to supplement their art shopping with the exclusive At the Artist’s Table dinner at a private estate. Hosts are renowned Native American artists Dan, Arlo and Michael Namingha, who will give each guest an original work of art. James Beard Award-winning chefs Cheryl and Bill Jamison will work their culinary magic. Proceeds benefit Santa Fe public art programs.
A little more down-market, the first-ever Grill & Chill at the Santa Fe Farmers Market showcases ten breweries, ten chefs, wineries, distilleries, and great local food to raise money for the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute.
Mountain men come to town each August: The Mountain Man Trade Fair brings pelts, beaded leather, hand-forged ironwork, Hudson Bay-style blankets, antique guns, and more for sale at the Palace of the Governors, with period costumes, entertainment, games, and food. Mountain men make a separate appearance at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, where you can also practice outdoor survival, pre-modern style.
If “old-time” makes you think music, check out the Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival celebrating its 38th year at the county fairgrounds. Lensic Performing Arts this month features three-time Grammy-nominated Cuban band Tiempo Libre, plus the consummate interpreter of The Great American Songbook, Patricia Racette. Tickets for premier seating and post-performance champagne and desserts with Racette at LewAllen Galleries go to benefit the Santa Fe Desert Chorale.
That chorale, Santa Fe’s premier vocal ensemble, presents Celebrating the Centenary in honor of the state’s 2012 Centennial. Enjoy the world premiere of three works commissioned from composers representing New Mexico’s three principal ethnicities.
In dance, the Santa Fe Tap Festival celebrates a uniquely American dance form to live musical accompaniment. Apart from participating in instructional workshops hosted by the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, festival artists are also featured in a performance sponsored by the Lensic, Tap into the Now at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.
Finally, don’t forget to catch performances of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the lawn at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, enjoy free concerts day and night by some of the region’s best bands on the Plaza at the Santa Fe Bandstand—plus the Santa Fe Opera’s stellar 2012 season, complete with tailgating at dusk.