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Wet Hot Art Summer

An insider’s guide to the best (and worst) of Santa Fe’s art scene

July 6, 2011, 2:00 am

Art Santa Fe

July 7-10
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W Marcy St., 988-8883
Estimated attendance: 5,000

Highlight: Cool and contemporary.
Hazard: Too cool. Judging from its promotional literature“champagne-tinged, high-stakes world of international art fairs”Art Santa Fe would be happy with this designation. (Wondering whether even your Champagne is cool enough? See our definitive guide to what’s bourgie and what’s boorish on page 17.)
How to explain it to Grandma: Grandma, you might think some of this art is weird, but give it a shot. And no, Grandma, your kids (and kids’ kids) couldn’t make this art; otherwise, they would.

Art Santa Fe plays relative hot young thang to Santa Fe’s inveterate art fairs. It’s actually been around since 1995, but what makes it sexy is the culling of contemporary artists the world over. Art Santa Fe emerged during a time when contemporary art fairs had swept Europe but were only budding in the US (Art Chicago at Navy Pier, for instance), fair organizer and gallery owner Charlotte Jackson says. At the time, it was “hip” for such fairs to take place in hotels, and lest Santa Fe’s contemporary art fair be anything but au courant, Art Santa Fe did the same, hosting its first at La Posada. Despite becoming an annual event in 2008 and moving to the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, Jackson says, “We still consider ourselves a boutique faira small international boutique fair.” By international, Jackson refers to both visitors and artists, who fill approximately 40 booths. This year, Munich artist Peter Weber will create a piece from visitors’ foot traffic by placing a folded sheet of paper by the fair’s entry; and Cologne, Germany’s Regine Schumann shows her colored Plexiglas spheres in a black-lighted, white-carpeted room. Additionally, Santa Fe’s Bullseye Glass returns for “How Things Are Made” to show fairgoers the miracles behind the artistic process. On the heels of a highly touted and successful Art Baselthe contemporary art world’s juggernautthis year, get ready to flex your checkbooks.

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