Show Us Your Santa Fe

We invited lovers of Santa Fe to share their Santa Fe memories in pictures, and the response was swift and gratifying. Our Show Us Your Santa Fe Facebook contest garnered seventy beautiful pictures. It seems that the sights and the light in Santa Fe and New Mexico encourage camera-happy folks to snap away, and we are happy to share the results!

Our Winner, Pamela Patterson Taylor

Our winning entry, from Pamela Taylor, earned her a two-night stay in one of our Fireplace Suites. In addition, a random drawing administered by our web host led to a second two-night stay in a suite for one of our Facebook voters, Lisa Willinger. We look forward to welcoming both of them to the Inn on the Alameda and Santa Fe, a year-round destination regardless of the weather.

We Have Seen – and Photographed – Our First Snowfall!

You can see all of the photographic entries on our website. It’s clear that these photo folks love Santa Fe, and they make our City Different proud to be on the other end of their camera shutters!

New Mexico Studio Tours

One of the best things about autumn in New Mexico is the chance to wander to the artists’ studio tours that occur throughout the fall months. Not only is the weather truly superb, one can meet the artists, see their studios AND buy art direct from the artist without gallery fees…a real win-win! The month of October is prime time for weekend art touring and golden aspen viewing both.

Autumn Gold

The arts touring season starts the weekend of October 1-2, in the beautiful New Mexico village of El Rito, easily one of the prettiest spots up north. With 25 years under their belts, this bunch of artisans has it down. From weaving to santeros, painting to pottery, you’ll find much to admire from the 26 participating artists.   Two venues are also stops on the new, state-wide New Mexico Fiber Arts Trail, those of Julie Wagner (#3) and Northern New Mexico Community College (#5), which boasts a fiber arts program. Yes, this pristine little village does have a college….and let’s not forget that El Rito Library promises “Death by Chocolate” desserts!

House Facade: Photo by Larry Sparks, El Rito

El Rito Studio of Michael Hennerty

October 8-10 (since Monday is Columbus Day, this tour has an extra!) welcomes art lovers to the village of Abiquiu, long renowned as Georgia O’Keeffe’s choice for the best New Mexico real estate. With 34 stops along the way, the Abiquiu Studio Tour is always well-attended, not only for the art but also for the natural beauty of the region. One can easily spend hours up north, what with O’Keeffe’s residence and Ghost Ranch both in the area. While reservations must be made in advance to tour the O’Keeffe home, the glories of  Ghost Ranch are evident for all who care to go there.

Mujeres del Campo by Armando Adrian-Lopez, Abiquiu

Ruina del Santuario, Abiquiu: Photo by Armando Adrian-Lopez

The Galisteo Studio Tour claims the following weekend, October 15-16. Just a short drive from downtown Santa Fe, the tour is celebrating its 24th year. 31 stops guarantee a variety of works, and the close-in location means you can ruminate on a piece of sculpture or a painting and then return the next day after you’ve dreamt about how it will look when you bring it home. Four food stops mean snacking is possible. And while the art doyenne of Galisteo, Priscilla Hoback, is not participating in the tour this year (since her studio time this summer was spent instead in a restaurant kitchen, bringing the venerable Pink Adobe back to life), you may see her chatting with visitors from the swing on the front porch of her studio!

The Hoback Studio in Galisteo

Sculpture by Candyce Garrett, Galisteo

The Dixon Studio Tour hunkers down and waits until November 5-6 to have the weekend to itself. If you’re taking a day trip to Taos, stopping in Dixon for a spot of art is definitely worth the short detour. 30 years is a long time to perfect the occasion, and the Dixon artists open their tour with a reception on Friday, November 4 at 7:00p.m. just to get the creative juices flowing. 35 studio stops, roving musicians, food, and believe it or not, there’s even a winery for tastings!

Art and nature…it’s easy to see why the light and the landscape have drawn so many creative souls to northern New Mexico…take time to enjoy an autumn drive and discover for yourself!

Autumn at the Inn: Photograph by Eric Swanson (all rights reserved)

Viva La Fiesta de Santa Fe

The big art events are behind us, the Opera season has concluded, and now it’s time for the Santa Fe locals to have a party….a party that’s almost 300 years old! Although the City of Santa Fe celebrates its history and heritage throughout the year, Fiesta de Santa Fe heralds the approach of autumn with all of its attendant glories, fresh green chile, golden aspens and refreshingly cool mornings, welcome after the heat of summer. Viva La Fiesta de Santa Fe!

Welcome to Our Party!

Fiesta events encompass somber recollections of the past in conjunction with the delights of the present, in short, they offer a little bit of everything for everyone. Although the Fiesta Council works diligently throughout the year to ensure that the Fiesta court has been chosen and the event schedule coordinated, the majority of  Fiesta events take place during the week that coincides with the Labor Day holiday.

The annual Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival takes place all day on the Plaza through Monday, September 5th, and local artisans will be on hand to talk about their work. Music will ring out at the Fiestacita at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Tuesday, September 6 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. And if you simply must have the music continue, there will be two more opportunities to enjoy the happy sounds of the trumpet and guitarron at a Concierto de Mariachi at the Lensic on Wednesday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Lovin’ That Guitarron!

History buffs can make an afternoon visit to the New Mexico History Museum on Wednesday, September 7, and return at 6:30 p.m. to learn more at an informative lecture, entitled “Death Along the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro 167o,” presented by Dr. Joseph Sanchez.  Dr. Sanchez examines the dramatic escape of Bernardo Gruber, branded as a witch by the Spanish Inquisition.

Thursday is given over to the burning of Zozobra, Old Man Gloom, a 50+ foot puppet (for lack of a better term), who offers Santa Fesinos the opportunity to put an end to the dark thoughts and distractions of the year. This annual conflagration, created by artist Will Shuster in 1924, pre-dates Nevada’s Burning Man by 60-some years, and advance tickets are advised. Following the burning of Zozobra, the revelry flows down to the Plaza, for music, munching and merriment. With on-field attendance at 25K, take note that Zozobra is NOT for agoraphobics or the faint-at-heart!

If You Think He Looks Big Here…

The firm commitment made to La Conquistadora in 1712 to commemorate the re-conquest of Santa Fe after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 includes several religious events, including the Pregon de La Fiesta at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, September 9, in the historic Rosario Chapel. There will be a Pontifical Mass celebrated by Archbishop Sheehan on Sunday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m., that starts with a Procession from the Plaza to St. Francis Cathedral. And Fiesta events also end on a more solemn note, with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the beautiful Cathedral, followed by a candlelight procession to the Cross of the Martyrs.

Like all small towns, Santa Fe loves a parade, and Fiesta offers two to enjoy, complete with marching bands. On Saturday September 10 at 9:00 a.m., the children of the City Different bring out their pets, both live and stuffed, for the unique Pet Parade, Desfile de los Ninos, where you might encounter a lizard dressed as Don Diego de Vargas or a few adorable Senorita Barbies! Sunday, September 11 is the Desfile de La Gente, aka the Hysterical/Historical Parade, in which residents poke fun at local figures and national events. And speaking of hysterical, clapping, stomping and booing are all welcome behavior at the Santa Fe Playhouse, when the Fiesta Melodrama, anonymously penned each year, skewers pols and prima donnas alike.

I Love a Parade!

Entertainment takes place all weekend on the Plaza Bandstand, with folkloric dance, traditional music, and Fiesta garb galore. The Gran Baile takes place at the Community Convention Center on Saturday night, September 10, at 7:30 p.m.; you’ll certainly see some fancy Fiesta fashions there. And food booths will be wafting tempting aromas around the downtown streets throughout the weekend.

Our Fiesta de Santa Fe holds a very special place in our hearts, and we invite you to join us as we fondly declaim, “Vivan Las Fiestas! Que Viva!”

Santa Fe Opera Marathon

The Santa Fe OperaHighway US 84/285

For tickets: Box Office 505-986-5900 and 800-280-4654, or by email boxoffice@santafeopera.org

Truth be told, my outing was actually a trifecta, rather than a marathon, but perhaps you’ll get the idea. Over the years, I have wondered what it would be like to attend multiple performances in a single week at our wonderful Santa Fe Opera, so I took finally took the opportunity to learn for myself.

John Crosby’s Brilliant Idea

Every year, the opera offers subscription rates that are a good 20% lower than standard prices, and these options include a trio, quartet or quintet of performances. Since the box office is both intelligent and understanding, these performance blocks always take place in August, when the curtain time drops down to 8:30pm for the first two weeks and then to 8:00pm for the last two weeks. If you know you’re up for a full dose of grand music, then this is definitely the way to go!

With my faithful opera companion in tow, I started this opera trifecta with The Last Savage, Gian Carlo Menotti’s forgotten opera buffa, premiered in 1963 at the Opera Comique in Paris. Aided by the able stagecraft of all departments, Director Ned Canty has boldly brought this neglected gem back to life. Simply put, entertainment in spades! Fluffy, yes, but stuffed with characters and ideas that make one think and so beautifully sung. In fact, we loved it so much, we went back again, bringing an 11-year-old for her first SFO experience, as this production is a perfect introduction to the joys of opera.

Let’s Look at the Story

I make a point of not reading the program before I see the performance, but even without seeing the credits, as the lights went down and the sprigtly sounds floated up, years of attendance at SFO told me immediately that the talented George Manahan was in the pit for The Last Savage.  Baritone Daniel Okulitch was alternately touching and tough (and buff!) in the role of Abdul, the aforementioned Savage, who learns the difference between the savagery of the jungle and that of the city, discovering that he wants “no more of your false light that so deceived me.” Listening to Anna Christy, the soprano who “tames” this savage, one is simply awed by the big voice coming out of this single-minded little package.  Kevin Burdette gave an amusing performance as Kitty’s father, Mr. Scattergood, evincing both perception and distraction as an American millionaire and over-indulgent father. Jamie Barton and Thomas Hammons made a convincing royal couple as the Maharanee and her Maharajah, while tenor Sean Pannikkar sang ardently as their son, Kodanda, secretly in love with the sweet-voiced Jennifer Zetlan as Sardula. And oh, those hilarious dancing servants; choreographer Sean Curran, we thank you!

Savage Loose in the City!

The Savage and His Mate

Our next outing brought us to Antonio Vivaldi’s Griselda, representing SFO’s commitment over the years to mixing the baroque with the lyric, the early centuries of opera with the more recent past.  With director Peter Sellars, one always knows that there will be a surprise, and indeed, this staging was no exception. Framed with a massive backdrop painted by L.A. artist Gronk, and with the firm hand of Grant Gershon guiding the orchestra (including a theorbo!), a stellar cast brought this challenging and somewhat cruel story to life in a distinctly modern setting.  As the lowly-born but truly loving Queen Griselda, contralto Meredith Arwady kept her innate majesty intact throughout the series of trials and tribulations imposed by her husband King Gualtiero, sung by tenor Paul Groves. Soprano Isabel Leonard was sweetly innocent as their long-lost daughter Costanza, and in her Santa Fe Opera debut and first ever pants-role as Griselda’s would-be lover, Ottone, Amanda Majeski was silken and persuasive. The embarrassment of vocal riches in this baroque piece includes the rarity of two, yes two, counter-tenors, David Daniels and Yuri Minenko, both ably demonstrating their unusual gifts. The story line and libretto offer concepts of love, loyalty and leadership to ruminate upon, with Griselda’s comment that “the wise helmsman knows the proud fury of the waves” seeming quite apt in these highly-charged political times.

The Royal Family

And a Regal Cast

Our opera week came to a denouement with Alban Berg’s powerful and sorrowful Wozzeck. A revival of the 2001 production mounted by SFO, this season’s production felt fresh and fit the story perfectly, with scenic design that was claustrophobic and crazy by turns. With the terrific Richard Paul Fink embodying the title role, it was impossible not to grieve for this tormented character and his seemingly inevitable fate. Nicola Beller Carbone gave an intense performance as his unfaithful lover, who reaps the nasty consequences of her actions, leaving an orphaned son behind. (As an aside, I take this moment to note how terrific all the child actotrs have been this season; as the opera folk say “Toi, Toi, Toi! to all the kiddies.) Supporting characters were well-cast, with the ever-so-slightly menacing Eric Owens as The Doctor, Stuart Skelton as the self-satisfied Drum Major, and Robert Brubaker as the unnervingly hysteric Captain, who expresses the timely sentiment that he’s “scared for the world when I think of eternity.” Indeed!

Good Soldier Wozzeck and His Captain

Say a Prayer for Doomed Marie

Yes, a marathon of performances is doable, I did it and so can you, since there is still time in which to do it. Although the summer is waning, the Santa Fe Opera season runs through August 27, and rumor has it that tickets are still available. Curtain time for these last two weeks is a very reasonable 8:00pm, and that means you can go to sleep to hear beautiful music in your dreams and still wake up early enough to enjoy the great Santa Fe weather. The soaring chorus may tell us in song that “In this world, all things must change…,” but the glorious musical theater that the Santa Fe Opera brings us every year changes only for the better.

Images by Ken Howard, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera, all rights reserved.

The Santa Fe Show Pulls into the Railyard Santa Fe

The Santa Fe Show takes place August 12-15 and August 18-21 at El Museo Cultural, 555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe, NM, 505-660-4701

Such a simple title for what is surely a much more complex endeavor! Adding another major art show to the summer, in a town already full of art, is a brave and worthy endeavor. We salute producers Kim Martindale and John Morris, the organizers of the The Santa Fe Show, Objects of Art, for mixing up another color on the palette of art oppportunities for Santa Fe art lovers to enjoy! A group of prestigious partners also deserves commendation for their vision and support, especially in times when wallets are so tight. And best of all, for those suffering a bit from a surfeit of visual stimulation over the last few artistic weeks, this show sticks around for two weekends rather than just one, so there’s no need to fret about the possibility of missing the experience!

Abundance, Image courtesy El Museo Cultural

Taking place at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, the rambling space that over the years has welcomed a panoply of local and regional arts organizations to the City Different, The Santa Fe Show brings a thoughtfully curated group of more than 60 vendors presenting unique arts and antiques, and in the process, serves as a handsome and informative complement to the City Different’s traditional Ethnographic Art and Indian Market weekends. This is truly an embarrassment of riches for us to enjoy!  By casting a wide net to capture outstanding examples of work in a variety of media and eras, the show highlights the union of aesthetic importance and design significance of the participating galleries, artists and designers. And as befits a two-weekend show, there will be two opening events as well. The first is a preview party, taking place on Friday, August 12 from 6-9pm, and it benefits the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, a cause dear to pet-lovers, be they local or out-of state. A special event for the second weekend will take place on Thursday, August 18, also from 6-9pm, benefitting El Museo Cultural itself, an institution venerated by local patrons for its support of art, theater and community events, all accomplished on a veritable shoestring budget.

Cowboys & Indians Booth

Theodore Casey Gallery Booth

Sissoko Tribal Arts Booth

Exhibitors at The Santa Fe Show have been vetted as specialists in their fields and encompass a broad swath of the USA, ranging from the urban coasts of  New York and Florida to our Texas neighbors and out to the sunny western shores of California. Huber Primitive Art, specialists in pre-Columbian works will be on hand for those who like to look way back to a more primitive era, as will local favorite, Economos Works of Art, one of America’s most noted Native American galleries.  The eyes can feast on museum-quality works from ancient civilizations presented by Cassera Premieres, and respected expert, Robert L. Parsons Fine Art will be showing antiques, textiles and jewelry, and furnishings and decorative arts from around the globe. And those are just a taste of the treats to be savored by or sold to discerning collectors!

Acoma Jar, Westside Trading Post

Bracelet: Antonio Pineda, Maestros de Taxco

Admission to The Santa Fe Show is $12 per person or $16 for the run of the show (a bargain for those who like to ruminate and return), with children under 16 admitted free. Visitors to downtown Santa Fe can ride the free “Santa Fe Pick-Up” shuttle service to The Santa Fe Show, and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express train’s Santa Fe Depot stop is just a block from the venue. Ample parking is available at the Railyard’s nearby underground garage, and refreshments will be available at The Santa Fe Show’s Café. The location of El Museo also offers a choice of many Santa Fe restaurant options scattered throughout the Railyard area for those who want to turn the images they’ve just seen into a lively discussion over a leisurely dinner. Need a hint? Just contact the Inn’s concierge and let us help you decide where to dine!

Riding the Railyard

You Know It by the Water-Tower!

Railyard Walkers

The appreciation of art is not a luxury, not in any economy…it feeds our souls and our imaginations and makes this world a better place. So make your Santa Fe vacation a better memory – and maybe even go home with an actual memento – by taking time to enrich your sensibilities at The Santa Fe Show.
Images courtesy of The Santa Fe Show and the Railyard Corporation, and all usage rights are reserved.