The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art chronicles 500 years of influence on the culture of the American Southwest with more than 3,000 pieces collected to date, from the first days of the conquistadors up through 20th-century Hispanic art. Currently on display through Labor Day is a retrospective on Cady Wells, a prolific modernist painter and collector of New Mexican art who amassed a stockpile of retablos, paintings, bultos, tinwork, and textiles as part of his unfulfilled dream of founding the great state of Newer Mexico. Along with unlimited visits for themselves and their immediate families, members get free admission to many of the museum's ongoing lectures, classes, and aquatic musical numbers.
The Santa Fe Children’s Museum stretches little learning lobes with interactive exhibits, an outdoor garden, and educational programs. Inspiring kids to touch, try, and take risks, the museum's rotating exhibits offer plenty of hands-on opportunities. Kids can create take-home art with recycled materials, learn about momentum and inertia in the rolling balls exhibit, or build a perpetual-motion machine out of PVC tubing. Create a giant bubble and gaze at the gossamer rainbows that shimmer in its soapy veil or interact with a menagerie of snakes, rabbits, rats, hippogryphs, salamanders, finches, axolotls, and hissing cockroaches in the animals exhibit. Besides allowing the whole household to wander around the labyrinth of learnable fun for a year, the family membership also includes a monthly calendar of events, reduced rates for birthday parties and camp, and a 10% discount at the museum's shop.
Artistic expression provides a valuable lens when considering a group's history and culture. It's with this mindset that the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts strives to increase the public's understanding and appreciation of Native cultures by exclusively displaying works created by Native American, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples. Although MoCNA was originally founded with the goal of celebrating the creations by students and faculty from the Institute of American Indian Arts, the museum's mission evolved over the decades. The diverse collection currently includes around 7,500 pieces by the institute's students as well as renowned artists from across the continent, specifically focusing on artwork created between 1962 and present day.
With the rotating exhibits displayed throughout the year, MoCNA aims to showcase the Native peoples' ongoing contributions to the larger world of fine art. Progressive paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, and installation pieces can all provide insight into the artists' views of their culture and heritage. In the years to come, MoCNA hopes that this ever-expanding collection will continue to serve as a source of inspiration for future generations of Native artists and art scholars.