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.
At the Santa Fe School of Cooking, students master the craft of cooking under a team of experienced, James Beard Award-winning chefs from a diverse range of culinary backgrounds, including training in Native American, French, New Mexican, and northern Italian cuisine. Through private events, demonstrations, and hands-on group classes, pupils learn how to create mouthwatering regional and international meals in their own kitchens. When not in class, an attached market offers a variety of cookware, cookbooks, and other products available for purchase.
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.
Brent Kliewer harnesses his film-programming experience and passion for filmmaking for his curatorial duties at The Screen, a theater founded in 1999 at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. A former critic for the Santa Fe New Mexican and critical-studies professor in the university’s Moving Image Arts department, Brent relies on his encyclopedic knowledge of world and contemporary cinema to choose each week’s selection. Brent’s picks are projected in 35mm or digital format on a high-definition curved screen that boasts a 16-speaker Dolby Digital surround-sound system built within an old soundstage. In addition to an array of lauded celluloid, The Screen has hosted visits and screenings with numerous Hollywood stars and insiders, including Robert Redford, Tommy Lee Jones, Brokeback Mountain screenwriter Larry McMurtry, and an extra from Raiders of the Lost Ark who almost got to hug Harrison Ford.