Sight, the workhorse of the five senses, puts in too many hours keeping man from falling in manholes. Reward the most overworked sense with today's Groupon: for $75, you get a one-year family membership to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, plus two tickets to the Sponsor’s Preview Party and the 2011 Spanish Market wall poster (a $175 value).
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.
After touring the museum, newly minted patrons can migrate their art appreciation to the annual Spanish Market in the Santa Fe Plaza for a Sponsor's Preview Party at the Santa Fe Convention Center on July 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Preview Party gives eyeballs a first look and wallets a first crack at stall after stall of colcha embroideries, gesso reliefs, pine furniture, and buffalo-hide painting. Whether or not you buy anything, you'll head home with a 2011 Spanish Market wall poster that splashes vibrant color onto bare walls and covers holes from failed attempts at sledgehammer juggling.