Rare and Unique Santa Fe Culture on Display This Summer

Summer in the City Different: From Lowriders to Once-in-a-Generation O’Keeffes

(Image artwork: Georgia O’Keeffe, Train at Night in the Desert, 1916
© Amarillo Museum of Art Courtesy Santa Fe Tourism.)

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, May 25, 2016: New Santa Fe exhibitions running through the summer and autumn offer visitors rare and unique glimpses into distinct and little-known aspects of vibrant Northern New Mexico culture.

Given Santa Fe’s reputation for world class annual festivals all summer long, including The Santa Fe Opera celebrating 60 years this year, The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and Art Trifecta, Traditional and Contemporary Spanish Markets, Indigenous Fine Art Market, Santa Fe Indian Market, and Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, this is the most opportune summer ever to visit The City Different.

Lowriders, Hoppers and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico
Through March 5, 2017 at the New Mexico History Museum you can step into a stylized lowrider garage to meet the families of dreamers, engineers, artists and upholsterers who craft these specialized vehicles. Eight primo selections of cars will rotate through the exhibit and museum lobby. Other treats include images by a host of noted photographers, a chromed and touchable engine, miniature-scale model-car collections, trophies, and memorabilia.

“It’s all part of an American love affair with the internal combustion engine and the glimmering accessories that these vehicles have inspired through history,” said Curator Daniel Kosharek, whose first car was a 1957 Chevy two-door hardtop in matchstick color—royal blue on bottom, baby blue on top.

For more on the exhibit, including downloadable high-res images, click here.

Con Cariño: Artists Inspired By Lowriders
This show opened May 21 at the New Mexico Museum of Art and shows how a special vision and hard work transforms an abandoned car into a one-of-a-kind sculpture on wheels—exactly what makes New Mexico’s lowriders so special.

Though lowriders are works of art in their own right, they have also inspired artists working in other mediums. The artists in this exhibition are responding to this unique cultural icon in photographs, paintings, sculptures, and videos to explore issues of family, gender, religion, and status. On view are more than fifty works by artists including Lawrence Baca, Ron Rodriguez, Justin Favela, Miguel Gandert, Alex Harris, Nicholas Herrera, Arthur Lopez, Norman Mauskopf, El Moisés, Jack Parsons, Meridel Rubenstein, Luis Tapia, Don Usner, and others.

“The works in the show confirm what we in New Mexico already know to be true, that lowriders are an extraordinary art form in their own right as well as being a significant cultural icon that ignites the imaginations of people all over the world,” said Curator Katherine Ware.

Mayor Javier Gonzales Proclaims Lowrider Summer
A full summer of activities swirls around the companion lowrider exhibits at the New Mexico Museum of Art and New Mexico History Museum. Mayor Javier Gonzales kicked things off on Sunday, May 22, the first official Lowrider Day, when he took the stage in Santa Fe’s historic Plaza to proclaim this “Lowrider Summer” in Santa Fe.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Far Wide Texas
A selection of rarely-seen watercolors painted by Georgia O’Keeffe during the years she lived in Canyon, Texas from 1916 to 1918 are on view at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum through October 30, 2016 and offer insights into the creative life of the young artist who became a twentieth-century icon.

These early watercolors, painted by O’Keeffe while she was teaching art at West Texas State Normal College, now West Texas A & M University, reveal a period of radical innovation and the defining moment in the artist’s commitment to abstraction as well as a career as a professional artist.

While O’Keeffe lived and worked in Texas, she created 51 watercolors including landscapes, abstractions, and nude studies of her own body. Many of the watercolors and drawings she created during her years in Texas were first shown by Alfred Stieglitz at his New York gallery “291” in 1917, bringing her early public and critical acclaim. These watercolors are now shown no more than once in a generation due to their sensitivity to the elements.

Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities
In the 10th through 13th centuries, Spain flowered into a golden age as Muslim, Jewish and Catholic peoples achieved new heights in science, philosophy and the arts. That triculturalism endured repeated challenges first by fundamentalist Islamic Almohads in the 12th century, then by Christian kingdoms in the late-14th century when it finally deteriorated into dissent, segregation and riots. This exhibit, now open through December 31, 2016, stands on the brink of that chasm and leaps into a diaspora that dates to biblical times.

For the first time, a major institution tells the comprehensive story of how Spain’s Jewry found a tenuous foothold in North America. Despite continued persecution, its people persisted—sometimes as upright Catholic conversos, sometimes as secret “crypto-Jews”—finally to make a mark as successful merchants, artists and philanthropists in New Mexico. Emblems of that struggle for cultural identity appear even today: a menorah carved into a tombstone in a Catholic cemetery, oral histories of tangled roots, Hispanic villages where genetic clusters speak to Jewish lineage.


Flamenco—From Spain To New Mexico
The Museum of International Folk Art presents Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico, through September 11, 2016, the most comprehensive exhibition to celebrate and study this living tradition as art form. More than 150 objects are featured that trace flamenco’s journey from fifteenth and sixteenth century Spain to twentieth century Europe’s most cultured cities, including costumes both historic and contemporary, musical instruments, costume and set design sketches, playbills, sheet music, posters, and more. A series of lively special events and performances are planned throughout the summer.


Santa Fe is one of the world’s top award-winning and most beloved destinations. “The City Different” is four centuries of history and legend, ancient and modern cultures, a majestic outdoor world of recreation and adventure, vibrant visual and performing arts, expansive culinary delights, revitalizing spas, and uniquely tasteful shopping. TOURISM Santa Fe, a department of the City Of Santa Fe, promotes the city to leisure and business travelers and operates the LEED Gold Certified Santa Fe Convention Center. For information, access your Official Santa Fe Guide and visit www.santafe.org.

(Press release courtesy Tourism Santa Fe.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.