With Santa Fe’s 400 year Spanish history, The City Different is a bona fide flamenco town. Flamenco celebrates the culture and passion of Spain. Flamenco is Spanish folk music that is accompanied by singing and dancing. It began in Spain’s southern coastal region of Andalusia and developed over centuries, taking its current form in the 18th century. Fast forward to The City Different….
Santa Fe is known to showcase some of the best flamenco talent in the world. A big nod goes to Maria Benitez, Vicente Romero and Jose Greco––a few of the early U.S. flamenco pioneers who made their home in Santa Fe. The spirit and passion of flamenco still burns hot today. Here are few suggestions to make your flamenco experience in Santa Fe a memorable one!
There’s no shortage of things to see, do and eat in Santa Fe. You could spend days here just visiting museums and soaking up the scenery. If you’ve spent some time exploring the city and are ready to see more of Northern New Mexico, consider a day trip to nearby Chimayó. Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the village of Chimayó, New Mexico is just 40 minutes from Santa Fe along The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway. This special place has known for its historic church also features several weaving shops and delectable food. Read More
Drawn to the artistic? I know the feeling well. Watching the talent on parade at Canyon Road’s Passport to the Arts last weekend left me with an appetite for more. Fortunately, Santa Fe delivers a mighty dose of the artistic every single month. There’s so much happening this summer that it’s taken me two weeks to share it all with you. (You read last week’s post, right?) Rest assured, my soul — and yours — won’t go hungry.
Let Your Eyeballs Lead You on an Artful Tour
Summer’s arrival brings long shadows. Around here, we call that time of day “legend light” and the magnificent landscape has been inviting paintbrushes, pastels, and photographers for centuries. Many artisans call Santa Fe home, and revelation arrives when these artistic residents open their doors to welcome us to the Santa Fe Studio Tour June 27-29.
A Friday night preview at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design kicks off the excitement. On Saturday and Sunday, it’s time to work the map. The Santa Fe Studio Tour offers the opportunity to visit with 58 artists in 37 studios across the city. Chatting with the artists and seeing their creative spaces always gives me more context, deeper insights into their work. Plus, I get to see whose space is the quirkiest.
From Cutting Edge to Classic at Weekend Warp Speed
The Downs at Santa Fe may have morphed from a racetrack into a flea market, but the City Different is way out ahead of the field with this summer’s Art Trifecta. From July 12-14, three stellar organizations join forces to create a winning triplet of artistic expression. Two are storied annual festivals, Art Santa Fe and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and they share this summer weekend with SITE Santa Fe. Santa Fe’s year-round destination for the avant-garde, SITE is revered by locals for showcasing radical re-evaluations of what art means in the 21st century.
The Friday, July 13 opening for The Pearl proves the point with a multi-media exhibition of works by Cuban artist Enrique Martinez Celaya (who also trained as a physicist – now that definitely piques my interest).
Art Santa Fe — Three Words That Say It All
While Santa Fe has a justifiable reputation as the art capital of the Southwest, the art is by no means all Western-style. We have our share of cowboy painters —and darn good ones, too — but cutting edge work shows up all the time. And nowhere is this more evident than at Art Santa Fe.
Kids rebelling against the idea of another museum? Turn their eye-rolling into the eye-opening with a trip to Art Santa Fe. The international, contemporary art fair July 10-13 brings the newest, boldest, most original works in its 14th show. My little artist anticipates seeing what’s new every summer and participating in a number of the event’s special sessions, like Korean papermaking I know where I’ll be spending a lot of the weekend.
Globally Yours in Santa Fe
Just as the quickly as Art Santa Fe has transported me to unimagined other worlds, a quick jaunt over to Museum Hill to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market sends me back to the past, to traditions, and to the far reaches of the globe.
With over 150 folk artists from more than 60 countries collected in the space (the expansive Milner Plaza), on same weekend (July 11-13), I can watch a Guatemalan master gourd carver at work, while munching on Indian samosa and listening to Kenyan music. The best part? As I load up my new, handmade basket for Farmers Market shopping or adorn myself with some great new ethnic jewelry I’ve picked up at the market, I’ll do it in good conscience: Artists take home roughly 90% of all proceeds to support their families—and traditions– back home. I’ve already purchased my ticket!
Santa Fe’s Historic Art Heritage Hits the Plaza
It’s no surprise that Santa Fe boasts the deepest roster of traditional Spanish artists in the country. Many of the artisans who show at Spanish Market are direct descendants of the Spanish settlers who, when packing for their trip across the ocean into the new world, decided against packing easels and paint brushes. (No room on the burro!) Without any of the Old-World gold-leaf for decoration, the settlers turned instead to gold-colored straw, crafting intricate straw inlay to decorate their homes and churches.
And without any oils or paints, they mixed natural pigments still used by traditional retablo artist to depict and honor their favorite saints.
It’s not just the divine that’s sublime, though. After popping into the St. Francis Basilica, I like to head over to the Contemporary Hispanic Market for some twists on tradition.
Pack Your Comfortable Walking Shoes for Indian Market
Santa Fe’s renowned SWAIA Indian Market turns 93 this year but hardly shows its age. In fact, it seems to get bigger and stronger every year. No wonder, since this is the country’s premiere Native American Arts Festival. (Note to self: Don’t forget the comfy footwear!)
Indian Market is a sell-out occasion, so make hotel reservations in advance. That way, you can hit the stalls early before the best pieces are whisked away by proud new owners.
I appreciate how the entire town–locals and visitors alike–turns out in their finery for Indian Market. No doubt, we’re stimulated by the variety of colors and textures on display. And if you mosey over to the Bandstand, you might see how all the elements of a Native costume work in unison when the person on stage does a hoop dance.
Indian Market covers not only the entirety of Santa Fe’s Plaza but the gamut of native art as well. And it’s not all pottery and turquoise.
Artistic traditions vary from region to region, with Pima baskets and Haida carvings, Pueblo pottery or Navajo weaving. Contemporary artists are also on display, giving us a generous peek at the next generation of tradition. Simply put, Indian Market is on my Must List!
From Far and Near, the Art Comes Here
I know, lucky me, I live here. Sorry if I’ve made it hard for you to choose. That’s why my own visitors come back again and again … and again. All these wonderfully artistic events return annually, too, so pick what you’ll be doing in Santa Fe this summer and next summer — I know you’ll be back!
Walking and talking, shopping and sunning. These activities definitely make up part of the itinerary when my friends and family come to visit. But there’s always at least one buddy who wants to get her hands covered with paint or dusted with flour. And I am always thrilled to oblige since it means I can re-discover Santa Fe through a hands-on experience that brings my hometown to artful life.
Scenery Comes to Life in Full Color
Sending home postcards and snapping pictures are certainly enjoyable ways to remember a getaway to somewhere as memorable as Santa Fe. But take the time to wrap your fingers around a pencil or get coated with pastel. This gives you a unique, creative reminder of your time in the City Different and it also imprints the destination in your mind’s eye in an indelible way. Jane Shoenfeld’s Sketching and Painting Santa Fe workshops offer an easy introduction to seeing Santa Fe with your hands and your eyes.
No experience is necessary, all materials are provided, and you’ll work in the forgiving and sensuous medium of pastel, perfect for capturing the bold colors and long shadows of Santa Fe. A 3-hour Friday morning session, at a spot close to the heart of downtown, is a golden opportunity to discover your hidden talent with the guidance of a working artist.
Santa Fe + Self-Expression = Santa Fe Creative Tourism
Sometimes I have to move beyond my daily routine to re-discover something I may already know, but have somehow forgotten. That’s when Santa Fe Creative Tourism steps in to fill the creative gap for me. A collection of intriguing artistic experiences is curated into a one-stop website for the creative-curious to browse. Digital filmmaking or encaustic painting, pastel sketching or Chimayo weaving, monotypes or Monday night swing dancing at the Odd Fellows Hall — it’s a deep and entertaining catalog of creative vacationing.
For moving past the familiar, I currently have my eye on a specific two-day workshop listed on the site: Beyond Knowing: An Intuitive Painting and Movement Experience, September 14-15. Co-facilitators Julie Claire and Josephina Santiago, designed the weekend to help participants break free of preconceptions about the creative impulse by means of playful exercises in movement and artistic expression.
Make Your Pictures Truly Worth a Thousand Words
The advent of the digital camera and smartphone makes my photos look better. But when I see what a little education can do for a picture, I want to learn as much as I can. Then it’s time for the expertise of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. Celebrated for helping turn a good eye into great photos, the workshops boast a stable of professional instructors, who can guide you through the maze of information involved in creating a memorable image.
Autumn is a feast of light and color in Santa Fe. The Photographic Workshops take full advantage of the season, with a whole host of opportunities. Perhaps learning how to harness the qualities of light is what thrills you, so consider Marc Muench’s High Desert Light workshop September 30-October 3. If you want to get back to the basics, George DeWolfe’s The Black-and-White Master Print might be for you.
The campus is located on the serene grounds of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat and Conference Center. Classrooms, a studio, labs, housing, and the dining room are a mere 2 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza.
Get Your Hands into Some Masa Harina
Real creativity often comes out in the kitchen. You will get inspired here in Santa Fe, where time shared together with friends or strangers can be paired with the delicious ingredients that comprise our famed cuisine. The Santa Fe School of Cooking has been welcoming foodies to the table for over 25 years, and its 2012 move to a new and larger facility made the taste of a cooking class that much better.
This family-owned and -operated business, with founder Susan Curtis and director of operations Nicole Curtis Ammerman at the helm, offers a wide roster of classes. The classes start straightforward with the most-popular Traditional New Mexican demonstration class and go all the way to an utterly hands-on 3-day Southwest Culinary Bootcamp. Whatever your culinary pleasure, you can learn about the flavors that create the taste of Santa Fe and bring them home from the onsite or online market. I get hungry just thinking about all those different salsas!
Moving in Time to the Santa Fe Beat
Tap into Southwestern rhythms with a class at the NDI NM Dance Barns. The City Different got city-lucky in 1991 when renowned dancer Jacques d’Amboise introduced the National Dance Institute methodology to Santa Fe dance students. In 1994, NDI New Mexico was incorporated and the spacious Dance Barns facility has the dial turned to fabulous.
Visitors can don ballet slippers for a drop-in ballet class Monday through Thursday at 10 am. Tappers bring the noise Tuesday nights at 6 pm; Wednesday night at the same hour is dedicated to jazz. If your movement skews to the exercise end of the spectrum, head for cardio belly-dance Tuesdays at 4:45 pm. Friday 4:45 pm Zumba class will burn enough calories to let you enjoy a subsequent margarita without guilt.
The Write Way to Enjoy Santa Fe
Chances are you’ve read a novel or two set in Santa Fe before you got here – and at least one of them was by Tony Hillerman. The late author was so adept at distilling all the memorable parts of Southwest – the look, the feel, the flavor – and so beloved by anyone who ever wandered down to the Santa Fe Plaza to spend an hour with his gripping mysteries.
The annual Tony Hillerman Writer’s Conference, a 3-day workshop covering topics on all things writing, returns November 7-9. Hosted by WORDHARVEST, an organization founded in 2002 to “support authors and encourage great writing,” the conference offers time to learn how to publish an e-book or polish your skills in a word-rich atmosphere of like-minded souls. Opportunities to network with other writers, get feedback on a current project, and meet literary agents and editors can all be accomplished in one place. And no mystery about it: essayists, memoirists, fan fiction writers — you’re all invited!
Crafting a Hands-On Vacation Creates a Lasting Memory
When we take home a skill from vacation, somehow that moment in time is crystallized forever. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of laying out a complete enchilada dinner for 12 or hanging an iconic photograph taken with your own camera on the wall. Do both and more by planning your Santa Fe vacation calendar around some of these hands-on adventures. Expand your horizons and enrich your life back home with the results of your artistry.
With its formidable, winding alleys, stately adobe facades, and love of all things chile, Santa Fe could justifiably be accused of exuding a somewhat manly – dare I say macho –air. But hold it right there, bro-meisters. Being Women’s History Month and all, I not so humbly draw your attention to just a few of the women who shaped Santa Fe. I’m talking about genre-defying artists, social advocates, nationally recognized preservationists, and legendary rabble-rousers who left their indelible footprints in our beloved city.
Santa Fe women embody the best of both frontier spirit and cultural élan-presiding proudly in that place where local color meets Louboutin. Let’s celebrate their cultural legacy by proudly sharing their stories, and inspiring the next generation of history makers.
Confession moment: not too long ago my grasp of women’s cultural history went about as far back as Mary Tyler Moore. A coffee-talk with Dorothy Massy of Santa Fe’s Collected Works Bookstore encouraged me to dig deeper. “Santa Fe has a long history of nurturing creative thinking,” she says. “To this day Santa Fe is a mecca of creative expression not only for women, but for all individuals.” I was intrigued. And burrowing into a stack of non-Kindle volumes in our surprisingly charming public library, founded by the Women’s Club and Library Association 1896, I quickly discovered an inspiring truth: the legacy of Santa Fe’s most influential women is alive and permanently on display all across the city I love.
With a few fascinating field trips under my belt, I offer you this nonacademic guide to doing Santa Fe right – that is, enjoying this colorful city through the lens of landmarks and icons Santa Fe’s monument-worthy women literally put on the map. Much like Santa Fe women’s history itself, this guide is a work in progress. Read it, share it, add to it. Before you know it, you’ll be that interesting dinner party guest who starts a conversation about Santa Fe County’s first living history museum–hint: founded by a woman. Or the colorful character who invokes the name of Santa Fe’s most notorious gambler at your next game night–fyi: she charmed priests and judges alike.
SANTA FE CELEBRATES NOTABLE WOMEN AT EVERY TURN
Santa Fe’s most famous visual artist was actually born and educated in the Midwest. Early in her career, however, O’Keeffe discovered the spiritual allure of Santa Fe and the surrounding landscape. For more than 20 years she visited the area to work, explore and seek inspiration. Today, Santa Fe proudly boasts the only museum in the world dedicated to an internationally known American woman artist–The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Stroll to the eponymous Museum, just steps from the historic Plaza to enjoy the single largest repository of O’Keeffe’s work in the world. The Museum is open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM, and on Friday evenings until 7 PM.
Born at Santa Clara Pueblo, Velarde is an internationally acclaimed painter considered one of the founding mothers of Native American art.
Ansel Adams called Gilpin, “one of the most important photographers of our time.” Dramatically capturing photographic images of Southwestern cultures and landscapes, her pioneering use of platinum and palladium printing earned international recognition.
Let Gilpin inspire your Santa Fe journey. Awaken your creative spirit, and enhance your photographic or printmaking skills at one of Santa Fe Photographic Workshops’ weekly instructional seminars. Novices welcome. (Take it from a novice.)
Maria Gertrudis Barceló – AKA Doña Tules
A noted gambler and courtesan, Barceló operated a gambling house and saloon on Burro alley. She traveled up El Camino Real from Sonora, Mexico in 1815, and ruled the social set with a golden fist.
Trace Barceló’s adventurous footsteps in downtown’s Burro Alley, a charming, European-flavored walkway just three blocks West of the Plaza. Grab what many locals (including me) consider Santa Fe’s most decadent pastries in Burro Alley Café, and imagine yourself in untamed 19th century Santa Fe.
Mary Cabot Wheelwright
Transcending barriers of class and culture, Boston art heiress Mary Cabot Wheelwright adopted Santa Fe as her home, and devoted her life to the preservation of Navajo spirituality. In honor of southwestern native culture, Wheelwright created the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.
Wander just 2 miles South of the Plaza for a cultural journey unmatched in authenticity and quiet power. Experience what the Museum describes as “…an opportunity to sense the beauty, dignity, and profound logic of Navajo religion.”
Mother Magdalen and the Sisters of Loretto
The Sisters of Loretto arrived in Santa Fe in 1852. In January, 1853 they established Our Lady of Light Academy, later known as the Loretto, the first school for young women in the Territory of New Mexico.
Do the Sisters proud by thinking global and reading local. Visit Collected Works, Santa Fe’s oldest independent, woman-owned bookstore, located just blocks from the plaza on the corner of Galisteo & Water Streets. Browse an extensive collection of books on local travel, Southwest and Native American culture and much more, then relax Santa Fe style in the local-is-better coffeehouse featuring organic, locally-roasted coffee and tempting treats.
Sisters of Charity
Enduring a hardscrabble environment and unstable living conditions, the first Sisters of Charity arrived in New Mexico Territory in 1865 with the mission of serving all peoples regardless of race, religion or ability to pay. Today’s St. Vincent Hospital and Orphanage and St. Elizabeth Shelter for the Homeless endure in testimony to the power of their spirit.
Live the Sisters’ mission in Santa Fe by embracing our multicultural roots. Visit Museum Hill, a cultural “neighborhood” housing the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.
Celebrate Santa Fe Women Every Month of the Year
Santa Fe celebrates our most prominent women’s cultural contributions every day of the year. Discovering the deep-down influence Santa Fe’s notable women have had on our city, I am humbled by their ingenuity, dedication, heart and love of Santa Fe, a town that’s never been afraid to show its feminine side.
Mom, Abuela, Daughter, Sister, Girlfriend, we celebrate YOU this Women’s History Month. And for all you who happen to be in this colorful corner of the world, I hope you’ll let the richness that is Santa Fe inspire your journeys – near and far.
If there’s one tradition that captures the vibrant spirit of Santa Fe, it’s our city’s annual celebration, La Fiesta de Santa Fe–a colorful, historic feast unlike anything you’ve experienced. With parades, dancing, concerts, and a 30-foot effigyof gloom built every year just to be burned to the ground, La Fiesta de Santa Fe is truly a feast for all the senses.
As thousands of fiesta-goers who return year-after-year will attest, celebrating Santa Fe style means more than just revelry. Legendary food, music and the pageantry of 300 year traditions provide the perfect celebration. Crowds discover and rediscover a bounty of authentic local cuisine and regional wines at gourmet restaurants and traditional food booths lining the Plaza. Streets spill over with music, parades and cries of “Viva la Fiesta,” with festivities pausing only for a majestic, time-honored Catholic ceremony.
Ask any local, and you’ll discover that Fiesta de Santa Fe has a special place in the hearts of Santa Feans. Beyond its fun and pageantry, it offers a unique blend of ancient culture, modern art, and longstanding community traditions. ¡Viva La Fiesta!
A Celebration of Peace
With a name that means “holy faith” in Spanish, it won’t surprise anyone to learn that there’s a lot of Spanish colonial heritage in Santa Fe. In fact, Santa Fe was considered the capital city even when New Mexico was still the “Kingdom of New Mexico” under the rule of the King of Spain. La Fiesta de Santa Fe is a celebration created by the conquistadors who helped establish colonies here.
It might be hard to get excited about celebrating colonialism in the Twenty First Century, but Fiesta de Santa Fe has survived since 1912 because it was never a celebration of Spanish conquest. La Fiesta de Santa Fe has survived so long because it celebrates cultures coming together in peace. After years of conflict between colonists and native tribes, Don Diego de Vargas successfully re-occupied Santa Fe without conflict or bloodshed. It was such a profound step toward peaceful coexistence that De Vargas attributed it to divine intervention and insisted that a feast be held in reverence of the Virgin Mary.
Conflicts did not completely disappear, but the tradition of celebrating a peaceful marriage of differing cultures remained, an attitude that characterizes Santa Fe even today. Visitors can celebrate culture and history by retracing the actual steps of the city’s ancestors through the center of town, or by joining a candlelight procession on the last day of the Fiesta.
A Celebration of Art
In 1924, before Burning Man, and comparatively new to the rest of Fiesta celebrations, the burning of Zozobra began as a creation by artist William Shuster. A member of a group known around town as Los Cincos Pintores (the five painters), Shuster was among the first Anglo artists to discover Santa Fe’s unspoiled beauty and natural splendor. By then, La Fiesta de Santa Fe was over two hundred years old and had seen better days.
Not content to let the tradition die, Will Shuster and several of his friends hatched a plot to stage a fiesta of their own in an empty lot behind City Hall. Shuster adapted a tradition with roots in Roman Catholicism as well as the cultural ceremonies of the Yaqui Indians to create a huge marionette personification of gloom that would be burned into cinders.
This year Fiesta de Santa Fe celebrates its 300th anniversary, proving that partying in peace can be a lasting tradition. So join Santa Fe in watching your troubles and gloom go up in smoke. “Viva La Fiesta”!