With four museums and six monuments, the nonprofit Museum of New Mexico Foundation keeps the state's artistic and cultural heritage alive with enthralling permanent collections, exhibits, and events. Art aficionados can marvel at more than 20,000 works by artists with strong ties to the state in the New Mexico Museum of Art, check out more than 1,300 artifacts in the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and attempt to tape their “lost cat” flyers to more than 100,000 items culled from 100 countries at the Museum of International Folk Art. Meanwhile, the New Mexico History Museum’s 30,000-square-foot exhibition space covers topics ranging from the Santa Fe Trail to World War II through art, maps, and photographs.
After each museum visit, guests can stop by the Coronado State Monument, which marks the spot where Coronado and his crew entered the Rio Grande Valley in search of the Seven Cities of Gold and their lost car keys. The foundation's sextet of monuments also includes the stone ruins of a 500-year-old Indian village at Jemez and exhibits on frontier and military life at Fort Selden.
Bead Fest Santa Fe unites do-it-yourselfers and arts-and-crafters during a four-day celebration of beads, jewelry—and for good measure—some more beads. More than 150 booths and tables set up shop for the event, each ready to restock repertoires with gems, stones, and a hodgepodge of other supplies.
In between exploring the sea of exhibitors, attendees learn about the latest techniques, tricks, and tools at nearly 100 all-inclusive workshops (not included with the price of admission). There, artists from around the country provide education on specific topics in classes such as Intro to Metalsmithing and Wire Weaving, where guests learn the craftiest way to escape prison. Free demonstrations, book signings, and other attractions round out the fest's collection of creative attractions.
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.
Kim Martindale helped coordinate the Santa Fe Antique American Indian Art Show when he was only 16 years old, and today produces the Marin Show and LA Art Show. John Morris was a production manager at the original Woodstock music festival. Local photographer Blake Hines’ work has appeared in publications, album covers, and hotels. Despite their disparate backgrounds, these organizers and artists pooled their talents to host the annual Santa Fe Show Objects of Art, which gathers more than 60 exhibitors of historical and contemporary art.
The four-day event fills the rooms of El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, nestled in the city’s Railyard District. Visitors navigate paintings, sculpture, furnishings, books, jewelry, and textiles from around the world, including tribal and folk art from American Indian, Oceanic, African, and Asian cultures. Every year, the show hosts special exhibits. On display this year will be objects from the Ralph T. Coe Foundation, along with a collection of works created by outsider artist Larry Palsson, which is curated by Jean Compton.
Five kilometers of mud stands between a pack of runners and the title of Gladiator. The Ultimate Gladiator Dash obstacle course winds through trees and hills before finally completing its loop, but the real challenge lies in the mud pits and numerous other obstacles that block the runners at every turn. Challengers must conquer 9-foot inclines, leap blindly over sandbag walls, climb ropes, and navigate water obstacles, including a 100-foot water slide. After vanquishing the obstacles and reaching the finish line, participants head to the after party for music and beer.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, visitors would stop to rest at the historic El Rancho de las Golondrinas as they began or ended their long journeys along the royal road that stretched between Santa Fe and Mexico City. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Val Kilmer, and the cast and crew of some 30 films used the ranch's 200 scenic acres and 34 historic structures as backdrops to their movies and personalized birthday cards. With preserved and restored villages dating back to the early 1700s sloping through a rural farming valley, the grounds collapse time, bringing the past to the present and the present to the past.
Today, guests wander this living history museum to explore how colonial and frontier life was lived the Southwest. During a self-guided tour, visitors pick up or download a map of the ranch before weaving through a snapshot of history brought to life by villagers clothed in the styles of the time. Feet patter past a molasses mill, a blacksmith shop, and defensive towers where guards kept watch on the horizon and coordinated messages for passing UFOs. With a reservation, docents will lead you through the trails that cut through a landscape dotted with goats, sheep, burros, and horses, fostering an understanding of the culture and arts of historic New Mexico.