Santa Fe Art Scene: Substance over Style

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"Suppertime"-Mark Frossard
“Suppertime”-Mark Frossard

Sure, Santa Fe was crowned a UNESCO Creative City in 2005 (for folk art and design) and has apparent squatter’s right in the Small Cities category of American Style’s annual poll on the top 25 arts destinations.  We’re known for the Canyon Road art galleries, the opera, Indian Market, Spanish Market and most recently, the International Folk Art Market. We’ve got SOFA, SITE Santa Fe, The Santa Fe Film Festival, The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, not to mention the smorgasbord of dance, music, performance and film laid out at The Lensic.  Photographers flock here for the light, the galleries and the excellent workshops.  “In no other state of this union is the trend of life so clearly shaped by art as in New Mexico.” Edgar Lee Hewett, first director of the Museum of New Mexico, said this 100 years ago, and it may still be true.  But to my mind, the real measure of our civic creativity lies not in our institutions, but in our individual creative drive, the ingenuity and I’m-an-artist-if-I-say-so moxie of the denizens of the City Different.

You’ll find plenty to do just by checking out the Santa Fe Arts and Culture Calendar, the website for the Santa Fe Gallery Association, the Pasatiempo calendar , or the SFR Picks page in the Arts and Culture section of the Santa Fe Reporter. But to tap the depths of Santa Fe’s creative soul,  take a chance on something new. There’s a goldsteam of cultural riches that ride under the radar of many visitors and residents.

Tonight, October 30th, from 5-9 PM,  Meow Wolf, a collective of multimedia artists who pool their talents to create dynamic, “must see”, installation events, has an opening for “GEODEcedant” at their home on Second Street.  Also on Second Street, from 6-9 PM, is the opening for “Inner Demons” at Ahalenia Studios.  On Saturday night, starting at 5 PM, Baca Street Studios is having a Halloween Party, featuring the music of Sean Helean, the grand opening of Erika Wanenmacher‘s Ditch Witch Store, “fire dancers, and other spectacular wonders.”

"Chicano on Alto St"-Carlo Armendariz
“Chicano on Alto St”-Carlo Armendariz

People sometimes lament Santa Fe’s limits.  The music scene has seen its ebbs and swells and more than one fine musical venue has washed out on a mysterious tide.  But while one kid complains of a lack of toys, another kid builds castles in the sand. Like Meow Wolf, local alt curator Red Cell, is working “to bring audience and artists together in a unique way” through his non-profit group, The Process, which pulls together a distinct mix of music, art, film, spoken word and performance art.

I’ll close with a shameless plug for a few of our favorite indie and up-and-coming arts: Mark Frossard (artist and blogger) showing in downtown Santa Fe at 111 East Santa Fe Ave., sculptor Laird Hovland, photographer and musician Carlo Armendariz, photographer Jonathan Tercero, whose work currently hangs at Java Joe’s DeVargas location, and Michael Tait Tafoya (playing tonight, and most Fridays, at Vino del Corazon at the corner of Alameda and Don Gaspar).  This weekend, step out of the mainstream and treat yourself to something different in the City Different.

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Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.

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