Seasonal Events: Summer Art Festivals in Santa Fe

Santa Fe has more professional artists per capita than any other city.

Santa Fe has more professional artists per capita than any other city and is home to many renowned arts and culture festivals throughout the year, but there's no time as packed with marquee events as summertime. While daily and weekly performances abound through summer at The Santa Fe Railyard Arts District, the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand music series, the Santa Fe Opera and many other places, perhaps the most unique events are those that occur just once a year. The International Folk Art Market, Spanish Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market are just a few examples of the excitingly vibrant events you can see when you visit.

Many of these events are so popular, in fact, that they can nearly double the population of Santa Fe, “The City Different” as it is has been known for over a century. All this makes these weekends some of the more vibrant, engaging and diverse times for out-of-town guests to visit.

Here are just a few highlights you might like to know about--and we've got plenty more in September to tell you about soon!

Santa Fe International Folk Art: July 14-16, 2017

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is both a local and a worldwide favorite. In 2015 the event was voted the #1 Best Arts Festival In The U.S. in a month-long USA Today poll. This year, more than 150 artists from 54 countries will attend and draw visitors from countless more international locations.

The event highlights cultural arts and practices from around the world with a focus on hand-made and Folk Art. Highlights include a parade and a panoply of music as well as programs around awareness of global communities, the artisans who live in them, and the problems that they can face.

Folk Art Market is a particularly festive event and a good one to support, as the artists who vend at them are given an important source of revenue to take back to their respective communities and arts interests.

Special note: Meow Wolf has invited kids to come to CHIMERA in the David Loughridge Learning Center at the Meow Wolf Art Complex to create a series of dragons that will perform on Thursday the 13th at 6:00 p.m. during the Community Celebration & Artist Procession that opens the festivities. The dragons also perform Sunday the 16th at the festival's Community & Family Day. Come by on Saturday July 1st or 8th if you'd like your kids to help create these magical monsters!

Art Santa Fe: July 13-16, 2017:

Photo courtesy of Redwood Media Group

This event, voted the #4 Best Arts Festival In The U.S. in a month-long USA Today poll in 2015, is hosted at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center over the same weekend as the International Folk Art Market. Yes! You can see two of the top four U.S. arts festivals in a few days in Santa Fe!

Art Santa Fe brings together galleries and individual talents from several different countries to provide a wide range of art from Ancient Egyptian Papyrus art and illustrations by Leonardo Di Vinci to contemporary painting and assemblage. The event is bolstered by presentations from artists, gallerists and curators on subjects within the contemporary art/gallery scene. Art Santa Fe is held in the center of Santa Fe, near the Santa Fe Plaza and 2017 will be the seventeenth year of this exiting, weekend-long event.

Spanish Market Santa Fe: July 29-30, 2017

This year the The Spanish Colonial Arts Society will host its 66th annual Spanish Market Santa Fe on the city's historic Plaza. Admission is free. The event features about 250 artists and artisans from New Mexico and Southern Colorado and covers a wide-range of traditional arts such as tinwork, woodworking, the always popular retablos, straw appliqué, furniture and furnishings, weaving, jewelry, filigree, pottery and ironwork.. These authentic artistic traditions can be traced directly back over 400 years. Skilled artists and craftspeople create these breathtaking expressions of a living tradition and many of them count their art as their only source of income.

¡Viva La Cultura!, a week of truly immersive experiences around Santa Fe, offers lecture series, tours, music, culinary events, movies and more through cooperative activities with other Santa Fe organizations culminating with the Spanish Market, July 29-30, 2017. Music and performances will be on the Market stage throughout the weekend as well as a food court of local flavors..

That same weekend you can also see the Contemporary Hispanic Market in downtown Santa Fe. Admission is free. This market's mission to provide statewide artists an opportunity to show their work and give the casual and serious collector a rare opportunity to meet and visit with some of the most respected Hispanic artists around.Objects of Art Santa Fe: August 10-13

Josef Albers, White Line Square IV from the Series "White Line" Courtesy Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ

This special event is held in one of Santa Fe’s most beloved facilities, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Objects Art Santa Fe features both antique and contemporary paintings, sculpture, furniture, books, fashion, jewelry, textiles and more from a variety of different countries and traditions, including tribal and folk arts from American Indian, African and Asian artists and other locales around the world. Other features include the works of well-known artists such as the print above by Bauhaus master Josef Albers, teacher and legendary artist behind the groundbreaking book, Interaction of Color.

Look for Meow Wolf's Trinity Kitchen authentic Cajun cuisine food truck at this show!

Antique American Indian Art Show: August 16-18

When the world comes to Santa Fe for the best in American Indian art at Santa Fe Indian Market, its heritage will be found at The Antique American Indian Art Show at El Museo in The Railyard. Look for Meow Wolf's Trinity Kitchen authentic Cajun cuisine food truck at this show!

Santa Fe Indian Market: August 18-20

Though the market itself is free and open to the public Saturday and Sunday on the historic Santa Fe Plaza, Indian Week precedes it with extraordinary fashion, literature and film from Native American artists. Santa Fe Indian market is more than 1,100 artists from the United States and Canada who come to New Mexico to sell their works. The market is recognized as an opportunity for collectors to buy artwork directly from those who have made it and allows for people from all over the world to meet the artists behind the works.

The event draws up to 150,000 visitors annually and is the largest market to focus on Native American arts in the world as well as the largest cultural event in the Southwest United States.Thinking about coming to Santa Fe to see Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return this summer? Anytime in Santa Fe is a great time, but a visit during one of these festivals, and many other historical and cultural Santa Fe summer highlights, gives you and your family the opportunity to meet some very special and unique artists and to check out works you'll be hard pressed to see most anyplace else.