View From the Plaza

Summer in Santa Fe: The Art Destination of the Southwest

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market has become the largest market of its kind in the world. By giving master artisans access to a global marketplace, the market has played a pioneering role in empowering traditional communities while preserving historic art forms. More than 150 invited artists from 54 countries participate in a weekend of food, demonstrations, and performances.

Now in its 13th year, Art Santa Fe brings top contemporary galleries to town for gala events, speakers, and artist demonstrations. And for traditional New Mexican artwork, there’s the 62nd annual Spanish Market, attracting some 700,000 visitors and collectors annually to sample the best of Spanish Colonial art. Along with the concurrent Contemporary Hispanic Market, it wraps up a week-long celebration of Hispanic heritage, including a luncheon and reception with the artists, a members-only preview party and weekend cooking demonstrations.

Eagerly anticipated by collectors are the twin Whitehawk antique shows, now in their 35th year, featuring more than 150 dealers each and a gala preview event. If you don’t have quite that much to spend, the third-largest market on the Plaza each year is the Girls Inc. Arts & Crafts Show, featuring the work of 125 juried artists in a range of media.

At the museums

Cuban artist Enrique Martinez Celaya opens his new project, The Pearl, an installation using all 15,000 square feet of exhibition space at SITE Santa Fe for an immersive experience of painting, sculpture, video, waterworks, and olfactory interventions. Also for contemporary art fans, showing now among four exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is Stands With a Fist, multidisciplinary artwork by contemporary Native women.

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is celebrating a gala opening of its Meadow Garden on Museum Hill with a program of music, lectures, and garden tours. And the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in addition to daily tours of the  artist’s home and studio in Abiquiu, is offering a special evening tour with “behind the scenes” visits, every Wednesday evening through August 8.

Classical music

No summer visit to Santa Fe is complete without an evening at the Santa Fe Opera, with its dramatic location, sunset tailgating, and internationally acclaimed performances. This year’s repertoire includes a world premiere, a new production of a rare Rossini masterpiece, an Offenbach comedy, classic Mozart, and a beloved opera by Verdi. Come for a preview buffet dinner with wine, dessert, and guest speaker, or pick up a tailgating picnic from Bon Appetit.

Internationally acclaimed soprano Christine Brewer will perform solo at Lensic Performing Arts to honor the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner and the 100th of Benjamin Britten, accompanied at the piano by the Santa Fe Concert Association Executive Director Joseph Illick.

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale presents an eclectic 31st summer season of five programs, plus a renewed collaboration with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, which this month presents Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart & Brahms, and Handel & Stravinsky, and Mendelssohn, among other performances.

Contemporary music

The best shows in town are free all summer long at the Santa Fe Plaza, featuring local and national acts ranging from indie and classic rock to mariachi, world, country, jazz, and Americana. Download the full schedule here. Also complimentary is St. Johns College’s Music on the Hill series, which invites you to picnic on the lawn until the stars come out.

The New Mexico Jazz Festival begins its Santa Fe run with Stanley Clarke, best known for his work with Chick Corea; continues with five-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard with special guest Lionel Loueke; and concludes with Latin jazz titan Eddie Palmieri. Check the schedule for a full slate of Albuquerque shows.

A special event for a troubled region, the Caravan for Peace Concert Tour begins its U.S. run in Santa Fe. The exiled version of Mali’s famous, Festival in the Desert, will perform at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on July 10. Another special evening, this time for cabaret-lovers, will feature Hollywood and Broadway legends Kaye Ballard and Liliane Montevecchi in an evening of song, dance, and comedy in a benefit for the Lensic Performing Arts Center artistic presentation series, Lensic Presents. Tickets include a CD, poster, and dinner with the stars.

Theater, dance, and lectures

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet opens its season locally with a program of innovative new work, including Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto, the buzz-worthy Norbert De La Cruz, and Trey McIntyre’s cheeky “Like a Samba.”

Frequent Santa Fe visitor Sam Shepard will have his play Kicking a Dead Horse performed by Albuquerque’s Fusion Theatre Company.  The play is about the midlife crisis of a former art dealer whose horse unexpectedly dies in the desert. Also on stage this month is C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, set in hell and among the novelist’s most influential works, is adapted for theater by Fellowship Performing Arts.

Upcoming artist presentations include glass artist Narcissus Quagliata discussing his large-scale installations; Rodrigo Lara Zendejas and David Hicks on their ceramic sculptures; and Steven Hill on his pottery. Gallerist Dr. Rey Montez offers advice on collecting santos at his gallery in Truchas.

Workshops and outdoors

Practice painting or drawing on the patio at the New Mexico Museum of Art on Sundays, when admission is free for state residents. Try making a solar photograph as part of the museum’s free family activity program.

The Santa Fe Garden Club continues its home and garden tours with optional lunch, and private tours for smaller groups. The Santa Fe Wine Festival takes place at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, also the site of ¡Viva Mexico! The festival is a celebration of culture, cuisine, and crafts, as well as the annual summer mountain man festival. Enjoy a Cajun Carnival Vineyard dinner this month at Estrella del Norte vineyards, which offers cooking classes and weekend getaways and dinners prepared by local chefs.

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