View From the Plaza

Every Night Feels Like the Weekend in Santa Fe in August

It’s the Indian art extravaganza of the year: Santa Fe Indian Market has grown to attract more than 150,000 art buyers and art-lovers, eager to see the latest from 1,100 of the best Native American artists. The week’s events include the Native Cinema Showcase, the first annual pre-party, the much-anticipated Best of Show Ceremony and Luncheon, Indian Market Fashion Show, and Auction Gala (at La Fonda!).  For tickets to the Auction Gala call:  505.983.5220.

Another iconic Santa Fe celebration takes place two weeks later: the Fiesta de Santa Fe on the Plaza. The weekend’s events include mariachi performances, the iconic Burning of Zozobra, historical re-enactments, parades, processions, and the Gran Baile (costume ball).


The annual Wheelwright Museum 38th Annual Benefit Auction will include both silent and live auctions of contemporary and historic Native American art, plus artist demonstrations. Proceeds benefit the Wheelwright, the state’s oldest independent nonprofit museum.

Like gardening and art? Viva Flora! an exhibit in the Santa Fe Convention Center’s Community Gallery, features artwork by three dozen local artists inspired by New Mexican flora, to celebrate the recent opening of the new Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill.  When visiting the new garden, take note of the main walkway, proudly underwritten by La Fonda and our C.E.O.

Long known for its Indian and traditional Western art, Santa Fe increasingly hosts cutting-edge contemporary art as well. Current exhibits include Enrique Martinez Celaya at SITE Santa Fe; two multimedia exhibitions at the Center for Contemporary Art; and three contemporary Native artists at the Center for Contemporary Native Arts. The Santa Fe Art Institute has a yearlong program of visiting artists working on the notion of “Contested Space.” And video artist Peter Sarkisian will give a free talk on his exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art.


The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival wraps up its six-week run in August with a program featuring top performers from around the world, including emerging young talent. One evening is devoted to contemporary music by Tiempo Libre, a three-time Grammy-nominated Cuban group playing timba—an intense, sophisticated mix of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s 31st season offers a fresh crop of eclectic concerts performed in choral venues throughout the city. The Santa Fe Symphony opens its 2014 season with a Showcase of the Stars featuring the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist. The Santa Fe Opera season continues through Aug. 24. Opera stars also perform individually in the Festival of Song from the Santa Fe Concert Association, which is opening its fall season in August with a concert of Wagner and opening party.

Modern music fans get their own nights at the opera with Robert Mirabal, Melissa Etheridge, and Blondie and X performing at the breathtaking venue throughout the summer. And don’t forget free concerts on the Plaza, one of Santa Fe’s best entertainment deals. If you like to rock in the sun all day long, the 39th Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival takes place at the county fairgrounds.


The Festival of Dance brings American ballet stars to Lensic Performing Arts for a two-night program. Tap into the Now is this year’s showcase of tap stars from film, concert, and stage. For its season finale, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will present retiring dancer Katie Dehler in a program that highlights her talent, eloquence and artistry.

Do it yourself

Upcoming one-day workshops include powder-printing on glass coasters, an introduction to glass fusing, enhancing photos with encaustic (tinted beeswax), and intuitive painting. If survival is more your craft, practice your outdoor skills in a frontier weekend at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, the living history museum.

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