There’s art in them thar casino halls! One of the area’s best-kept secrets, Buffalo Thunder plays host to over 300 unique artworks, representing every Native American tribe within the state and beyond with special emphasis on artists from New Mexico’s six Tewa-speaking Pueblos. Best part is, the casino is open 24 hours, perfect for those 3 am art cravings. What, you don’t get them?
Celebrating a milestone, the Center for Contemporary Arts looks back with a nod to its past 35 years in The Armory Show (on view though May 30), and looks forward with a calendar full of special programming. Expect for the James Turrell Skyspace located on its grounds to possibly take center stage. “We are doing all the behind-the-scenes stuff,” Executive Director Candace Tangorra Matelic tells SFR of the piece, which is technically owned by the Lannan Foundation. “We’ve got all our ducks in a row.”
CREATIVE SANTA FE
“Every city needs a dream,” Creative Santa Fe’s About page reads. “CrSF believes that collaboration, innovation, and community support is essential to scaled, sustainable social change.” If the recent FantaSe Dome Fest—a happening that mixed live music and sweet projections on 360-degree domes is any indicator, they’re on the right track.
GREER GARSON STUDIOS
Santa Fe the next Hollywood? If you ask crewmembers at Greer Garson, which any day are working on film projects like Iron Man 2 and TV series like Longmire or the upcoming Manhattan, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Expect a more production-heavy year as the so-called "Breaking Bad bill" kicks into high gear. You don't know what that is? Then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY NATIVE ARTS
You’d be hard-pressed to find an institution that’s more at the cutting edge of current Native American culture than the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. On May 24, expect the unveiling of the Brandywine Workshop Collection, which is at the forefront of fine art printmaking, and We Hold These Truths, a collection of paper baskets by Shan Goshorn made out of shreds of treaties, ancestry rolls and land allotment documents.
Home to the Governor's Office and some pretty damn good Frito pie in its cafeteria, the State Capitol building also houses an impressive art assemblage. Created in 1991, the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection is on view free of charge and displayed on an ever-changing cyclical loop. Want to know what's currently on display? You can find images of recent acquisitions, info on temporary exhibitions and detailed locations of some of the 600 pieces here.
SANTA FE BOTANICAL GARDENS
Bear with me. The gardens atop Museum Hill are often overlooked, but Origami in the Garden—an installation by artist Kevin Box—make it a must-see. Catch it before Oct. 25, when it's set to embark on a 10-year-long tour across botanical and sculpture gardens across the globe
The only non-tangible entry on this list, the idea for a monumental 1960s-themed museum is the vision of local activist, filmmaker and photographer Lisa Law. She refers to the decade as "a time of incredible freedom," one that would be celebrated by her iconic images of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Lou Reed, as well as her impressive collection of "blotter art."
On the verge of turning 18 itself, Santa Fe's beloved teen center is a bona fide hotbed for the city's burgeoning talents. Be it for its sprawling workshops on everything from mural art design to game development to its almost nightly concerts, W21 is a shinning model for fostering young talent. Check 'em out.