Native Treasures

Santa Fe Spring Happenings

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Spring can’t come soon enough for many of us, not just in Santa Fe, but everywhere struck by the deep freeze this winter. Thankfully, we’re seeing life in the city’s gardens as we begin to warm up and town moves into a livelier time.

Coming up over the next several months are several notable events: On April 16 the Lensic Performing Arts Center will celebrate both the anniversary of its Art Deco theater and its modern reincarnation as a premier performance venue; The Native Treasures Indian Art Festival returns on the last weekend in May with a show and sale by more than 200 Native artists; And in June the Santa Fe Studio Tour opens the doors on 38 artist’s studios for an inside look at their creative processes.

Of course every day is an art day in Santa Fe but Fridays remain special. The West Palace Arts District holds a First Friday Art Walk through a number of participating galleries on the first Friday of every month downtown on Palace Avenue. The Santa Fe Railyard galleries hold a Last Friday Art Walk on the final Friday of each month, showcasing the district’s contemporary works. On every Friday of the year there are gallery events, artists receptions, and exhibition openings at any number of Santa Fe’s 200 plus galleries. Each night is a chance to meet local, national, and international artists in person and get closer to Santa Fe’s art scene. All events are free.

Spring is a beautiful time for strolling Santa Fe’s picturesque streets. Flowers are blooming and while rain and even snow can fall, many days are warm and perfect for golf or other outdoor activities. The busy summer is still some weeks away, so there are still special deals and packages available at hotels. To find them, visit

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Shows, Events, and Exhibits in Santa Fe this Spring:

April 1Mary Jane Colter Weekend, presented by La Fonda Hotel and the New Mexico History Museum. Mary Jane Colter was a visionary architect and designer who in 1910 transformed the interior of the hotel. Guests for this weekend will enjoy special lectures, a reception, and a Harvey House inspired dinner.

Every Saturday morning at 8:30 the dedicated birders at the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary lead groups on guided bird watching trips. Free, no reservations needed.

April 2 – The 7th Annual Santa Fe Japanese Cultural Festival. This year’s theme is “Calligraphy” and includes Grammy-winning Taiko drummer Koji Nakamura and koto player Ukiko Matuyma. All day stage performances, food booth, workshops, art & crafts displays. $2. Free for 12 and under.

April 2 – Legendary singer/musician Arlo Guthrie comes to Santa Fe. Lensic,

April 8 – The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble. Dance and music from southern India in a captivating performance. Lensic,

April 8 – Free public reception at the New Mexico Museum of Art for Earth Now: American Photographers and the Landscape. 5:30 to 7:30.

April 16 – The Lensic Performing Arts Center celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the Lensic Theater and the 10th Anniversary of the creation of the nonprofit Lensic Performing Arts Center — Santa Fe’s top performance venue. Special performances at the Lensic will be followed by a black tie Gala Dinner Dance at La Fonda Santa Fe. Tickets are $250 so while not a budget deal, this will be a very special night in Santa Fe.

April 23 – Explore the Seton Castle ruins and discover the life and work of its former owner, pioneering naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton. A 10 AM tour led by the Managing Director of the property’s new owners, The Academy for the Love of Learning, showcases the current renovation and the academy’s carrying forward of Seton’s work.

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April 30La Tierra Torture Mountain Bike Race. Competition and fun for everyone from beginners to experts on the trails north of Santa Fe. Sanctioned by USA Cycling.

May 1Gary Burton and Chick Corea Duet presented by the New Mexico Jazz Festival. Lensic,

May 5 – Santa Fe’s 26th Annual Century Ride. One hundred miles of history starting and ending in Santa Fe. 25, 50, and 75 mile rides as well, plus a “Half-Century Loop”.

May 28-29, 2011Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival. Presented by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Native Treasures now features more than 200 established masters and emerging Native American artists who are specially invited by the museum to represent the best and brightest of the Indian art world. At the Santa Fe Convention Center. Saturday $5, Sunday free.

June 4-5, 20118th Annual East Mountain Fiber Farm & Studio Tour, in rural Santa Fe County. Fiber artists open their studios and farmers open their pens to visitors who can mingle with the alpacas, sheep, camels, angora goats, llamas, and angora rabbits. Free.

June 4-5, 2011Spring Festival & Children’s Fair. Join in the activities of a Spanish Colonial farm at picturesque El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history museum.

June 5 & June 12, 2011 Tour Santa Fe’s most beautiful private gardens on two consecutive Sundays. There is also a gourmet picnic.

June 18 – Opening of Home Lands: How Women Made the West at the New Mexico History Museum. An extensive show including artifacts, art – Martinez, Velarde, O’Keeffe, Bromwell – photographs – Gilpin, Haffer – and contemporary artists, with more than 200 objects spanning 1,200 years. An opening reception will be held at 6:30 PM on the 18th in the beautiful Palace of the Governors Courtyard. Be the first to experience this exploration into women of the West. Fine wines and creative cuisine included.

June 18-19,2011Santa Fe Steeplechase at La Mesita Ranch north of Santa Fe. Tickets available at Buffalo Thunder Resort,

June 17-19,2011Santa Fe Studio Tour featuring 38 individual artist’s studios in and around Santa Fe. Free.


Santa Fe is one of America’s premier cities for Creative Tourism. With more than 90 experiences to choose from, Santa Fe Creative Tourism makes available the city’s artists, performers, history, and heritage through a fun, meaningful, hands on way. This up close and personal contact brings the city to life by working directly with artisans to learn glass blowing or ceramics or weaving, taking a guided walk in Santa Fe’s beautiful landscape to explore the area’s Native American and Spanish history, or by experiencing Santa Fe through dozens of other activities. Find out how to make a one on one connection with some of the city’s most creative community members and discover Santa Fe through a new and memorable experience.


Golf is something taken seriously in Northern New Mexico and no course is more convenient to Santa Fe than Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe. The course is named for a promising young Santa Fe golfer whose life ended too soon. His passion for the game is reflected in the outstanding facilities at his namesake links. With a Baxter Spann designed 18 hole course that plays from 5,045 to 7,415 yards depending on tee choice, a nine hole, par 28 course named one of Travel + Leisure magazine’s Top Five Big Little Courses, and a setting that surrounds players with Santa Fe’s Rocky Mountain splendor, the Links de Santa Fe is a beautiful, challenging, and affordable choice for golf in Santa Fe.


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Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.Nature Nurtures: Jewelry by Liz Wallace showcases the artist’s wide-ranging and nature-inspired work. Nizhoni Shimna’: Master Weavers of the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills Region, showcasing both contemporary and traditional weavers, continues through April 17, 2011.

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.Creative Spark! The Life and Art of Tony Da, the largest exhibition ever of the groundbreaking artist’s pottery and paintings, opened in February and continues through the end of 2011.

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New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Continuing exhibits include: Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, a long-term exhibition that recounts 500 years of New Mexico history, Santa Fe Found, artifacts that reveal the city’s past, the Segesser Hide Paintings and much more. Opening April 15, Ranch Women of New Mexico followed by New Mexico’s African American Legacy: Visible, Viable, Valuable, opening May 15. Beginning June 18, Home Lands: How Women Made the West, opens with a series of exhibitions that will last through summer.

Museum of International Folk Art.Folk Art of the Andes, a major exhibit featuring a variety of 19th and 20th century costumes, toys, ceramics, carvings, embroidery, and textiles opens April 17. The Arts of Survival, opening July 3 with special programming throughout the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, takes a fascinating look at how folk artists have helped their communities through four disasters; the Haitian earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, floods in Pakistan, and the volcanic eruption of Mt. Merapi in Indonesia.

New Mexico Museum of Art. Two exhibits open April 8: Kamilo (Twisted Waters), a kaleidoscopic video installation that is one artist’s visual presentation of a part of the Pacific Ocean where currents have collected a vast amount of plastic debris. American Photographers and the Environment will showcase the work of more than 100 famous landscape photographers. Both are part of the ongoing Earth Now exhibition.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph opens May 20. It will bring together works from artists such as O’Keeffe, Thomas Eakins, Cindy Sherman, Alfred Steiglitz, and Charles Sheeler to illustrate the essential relationship of the two mediums.

Summer is always Santa Fe’s most exciting season with major events packed one after another into the calendar.

July 1-August 27, 2011The Santa Fe Opera opens it’s season July 1 with Gounod’s Faust, followed by La Boheme, by Puccini, Vivaldi’s Griselda, Menotti’s The Last Savage, and Wozzeck, by Alban Berg. Pack a tailgate dinner or sign up for the preview buffet and don’t miss the complementary prelude talks before every performance.


July 7-10, 2011Art Santa Fe returns to the Santa Fe Community Convention Center for its 11th annual international art fair. A total experience that includes a mix of outstanding contemporary galleries from around the world, cutting-edge art installations, emerging artists and dealers, an opening night Vernissage, and an always compelling feature lecture. At the Santa Fe Convention Center.

July 8-10, 2011The International Folk Art Market is the largest international folk art market in the world. The market provides the chance to meet and shop 150 of the world’s finest artists while helping preserve critical cultural traditions and support the artist’s communities. Exotic food and live entertainment add to the global experience. On Museum Hill.

July 17-August 22, 2011The 39th Annual Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival presents six weeks of sensational music dedicated to artistic excellence. Intimate venues, distinguished musicians, emerging young talent, open rehearsals, and premiers of commissioned works make this one of the world’s preeminent music festivals. Various venues in Santa Fe.

July 30-31, 2011Traditional Spanish Market is one of the summer’s most popular annual events, celebrating the rich Hispanic heritage of Northern New Mexico. The market includes handmade traditional, Spanish Colonial arts created by more than 200 local and regional artists in addition to continuous live music and dance, art demonstrations, and regional foods. On the Santa Fe Plaza.

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August 4-7, 2011SOFA West: Santa Fe & The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art Prominent international galleries showcase the rich visual heritage of the decorative arts at the third annual SOFA West show-alongside a second art fair under the same roof, The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art featuring galleries presenting self-taught art, art brut, non-traditional art, outsider, and visionary art. Plus a lecture series, special exhibits, and events. At the Santa Fe Convention Center.

August 11-13, 201128th Annual Whitehawk Ethnographic Art Show This annual show includes more than 150 dealers, featuring Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, African, Oriental, Indonesian, and other ethnographic art from around the world. At the Santa Fe Convention Center.

August 14-16, 201133rd Annual Whitehawk Invitational Antique Indian Art Show One of the largest and longest running shows for historic antique Indian art, featuring a wide range of indigenous art treasures. At the Santa Fe Convention Center.

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August 20-21, 2011Santa Fe Indian Market 2011: . More than 1,000 of the most gifted Native American artists from across North America showcase their work in this year’s 90th annual market. Time-honored forms, innovative contemporary art, fashion, music, dance, and food are all part of the largest Native American art show and sale in the world. The show and sale take place over the weekend but the week prior is filled with activity including the Best of Show Ceremony and Luncheon and numerous events at galleries and other locations around town. On the Santa Fe Plaza and side streets.

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