SOFA West Santa Fe 2010 takes place at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center located on the northeast corner of West Marcy and Grant Avenue from August 4-7.

No, no, not a seating arrangement…it’s an acronym for Sculptural Objects and Functional Art! And this exciting art fair returns this year to Santa Fe in August to add to the rich panoply of art that summer brings to us every year.

SOFA West returns to Santa Fe!

Taking place at our spacious Community Convention Center from August 4 through 7, SOFA West: Santa Fe is an opportunity for westerners and their art-loving visitors to see what other large art markets (read Chicago in November 2011 and New York in April 2012) deem as praise-worthy representations of the new and unusual in three-dimensional art objects. Last year’s outing was obviously a hit, since the show is up in dealer participation from last year’s 28 to this year’s 35 exhibitors.

The exhibit actually opens on the evening of Wednesday, August 3, 2011, with a frisson of exclusivity, an invitation-only “First Look” private preview for supporters of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation from 5-6:30 pm and SOFA VIPs beginning at 6:30 pm. The invite-only reception will be followed by a new Opening Night Public Preview which begins at 7 pm. Tickets are $50 and will be available on or at the door, and the Opening Night festivities continue until 9 pm. General admission to the fair begins on Thursday, August 4 and runs through Sunday, August 7, 2011, from 12 noon to 6pm daily. Tickets are $15 for a single day pass and, for those who just can’t get enough of a good thing, die-hard art aficionados can pay only $25 for the four-day run of the show.

Carol Naylor: Te Mata Peak, ZeST Contemporary Gallery

Jimin Kim: Tracks, Charon Kransen Arts

This year, the Art Fair Company also hosts an exciting addition to SOFA West, by welcoming the Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art, which partnered with SOFA Chicago last fall. Outsider art continues to grow audiences with each exposure, and in a town like Santa Fe, with a historic folk art tradition, this show is sure to be of interest to viewers and collectors alike. The Museum of International Folk Art had a stunning outside art show several years ago, which included the work of Martin Ramirez and was a big local hit. The presence of  Intuit brings the leading dealers and galleries of self-taught art and outsider art, non-traditional folk art and visionary art to the exciting artistic mix that SOFA visitors already appreciate.

Martin Ramirez: Caballero on Horseback, Carl Hammer Gallery

Deborah Barrett: Stitched Portrait, The Ames Gallery

In conjunction with the exhibit, SOFA continues its tradition of informative lectures and artists’ demonstrations. There are also a number of special public events that sound quite inviting! On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at an all-day affair from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, Dr. Bruce Bernstein, the Executive Director of SWAIA (the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, host organization of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market) will be leading a tour of the gorgeous Acoma Pueblo, 1 and 1/2 hours southwest of Santa Fe. While the $300 per person cost of the day trip may seem a bit pricey, combining the beauty and rich cultural history of Acoma with a erudite guide like Dr. Bernstein makes this a truly one-of-a-kind experience. For more information or to register, contact Recursos/Royal Road Tours at 505.577.9659.

Acoma, the Sky City

On Friday morning, August 5, 2011, a there will be a private  backstage tour of one of Santa Fe’s cultural mainstays, the Santa Fe Opera. You’ll visit the busy costume shop and props shop, and peer into the inner workings of the talented Opera staff first-hand. The tour begins with a 9:15 am coffee klatsch at SOFA West: Santa Fe, in the lobby of the Convention Center, and transportation to the Opera grounds is provided. This private event is limited to just 40 people, and tickets are $25 per person, obtained by contacting Julie Oimoen at  [email protected].

The Crosby Theatre, Santa Fe Opera: Photo Robert Reck

Also on Friday, August 5 at 2pm, gallery clients who have been fortunate enough to receive VIP cards can drop in to the VIP Lounge, where SOFA West welcomes Victoria Price, designer and art historian, for a lively talk about the adventures of collecting art. The daughter of actor Vincent Price and long-term resident of Santa Fe, Ms. Price’s past includes a stint appraising and selling art from various estates and collections, so she has a wealth of entertaining information to share.

SO, now that you know…get off your sofa or out of your hotel room and head to the SOFA West Santa Fe Expo, where your mind and your eyes will be treated to some cutting-edge art that can easily hang above your sofa, adorning your home and showing your art cred, when you get back home.

Gallery photos of artists’ works courtesy of the Press Room page of SOFA West: Santa Fe