New Mexico’s top tourism draw, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta attracts crowds from around the world for a week of colorful skies, making Santa Fe the quiet alternative for a change!
October is also a time when New Mexico artists step outdoors with easel and canvas. Las Vegas, N.M., hosts a three-day plein-air Paint-Out with competitions, quick draw, mystery house find-and-paint, and art reception and sale. Historic Canyon Road holds its own 2012 Paint Out with more than 100 artists honoring a tradition that began with the fabled road; music and refreshments should be plentiful.
In town, the centennial exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art covers 14,000 Years of Art in New Mexico, while nearby at the New Mexico History Museum, the sacred landscape has been a theme all year, with the photography shows The Contemplative Landscape and Altared Spaces: The Shrines of New Mexico.
Entertainment this month includes the musical version of Studs Terkel’s play Working by Santa Fe REP, with an opening-night fundraiser at a private home. Comedian Will Durst and friends blur the traditional boundaries of comedy and theatre in their performance, Elect to Laugh, offering a fun take on the presidential election through monologues and commentaries. And the New York-based Acting Company brings John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men to the stage in the first performance of a 44-city tour.
In dance, the internationally acclaimed Robert Wood Dance Company will premiere Coreografia, a full-length, 17-section performance, encompassing dance, live and recorded music, and theatrical artistry. Meanwhile, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival presents Funeral Kings and Tiger Eyes.
More serious fare includes talks at the Lensic Performing Arts Center by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan, touring the country with their new book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance and Hope. Also at the Lensic this month are poets/playwrights/activists Nathalie Handal and Naomi Shabib Nye. Rabbi Martin Schwab lectures on How the Maccabees Set the Stage for Christianity, covering the period between the end of the Jewish Scriptures and the beginning of the Christian Scriptures at the Spanish Colonial Arts Society.
La Fonda is hosting a book release with the founder of NM Wild, award-winning landscape photographer Michael Berman. Enjoy a traditional New Mexican buffet lunch and preview Gila: Radical Visions / The Enduring Silence from the Museum of New Mexico Press. Berman just received a New Mexico Centennial 2012 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Another wilderness-related benefit is a concert by the internationally renowned classical pianist Hélène Grimaud, to benefit the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Wolf Conservation Center; VIP packages include a reception and post-concert dinner with the artist.
Also in music, New Mexico’s own Ryan Bingham, who won a Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe for his song “The Weary Kind” from the film Crazy Heart, performs with his band the Dead Horses.
The music of Duke Ellington gets a workout by virtuosos Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway. The Santa Fe Symphony presents Fall Fantasy, and the Santa Fe Concert Association hosts The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. An unusual event uniting the worlds of music and art will feature violins transformed by more than 50 renowned artists into unique works available at the symphony’s benefit Gala & Auction.
Top American designers will be in town to dialogue at the Eighth Annual Design Santa Fe 2012, with the theme “Unleashing Creativity.” The weekend events include a home and garden tour and free Design Crawl around town.
The Santa Fe Farmer’s Market Institute’s Fall Fiesta promises an evening of food, music, and auctions to benefit the institute; special guest is Santa Fe Opera director Charles MacKay. Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity also hosts a benefit, the 8th Annual Mayor’s Ball, with dinner, music, dancing, and auctions under the theme “Raise the Roof.”