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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

Culture Crasher

SFR's guide to bumpin' elbows with the bigwigs

At Santa Fe’s summer cultural events, art in all its forms is obviously the focus. But don’t let elevated airs make you think art afficionados are a stiff bunch. The parties surrounding Santa Fe’s art events are big, baller and not to be missed (and perhaps to be prioritized)which can be difficult considering their expense and occasional exclusivity. Groucho Marx famously said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” If you’re not a member of these art societies and can’t become one because you can’t afford the ticket price, you definitely want in. SFR offers some helpful hints on how to infiltrate them and party like it’s, well, summertime in Santa Fe.

• Be inconspicuous. Dress like you fit in. Attire of course varies on a case-to-case basis, but you’ll probably be safe with something flowy (think pre-sewing-machine). If possible, tailor your outfit for the specific event. For example: Weigh down with a ton of turquoise for Santa Fe Indian Market. At International Folk Art Market, if you’re brown, you can probably get by with a lungi or fez. If you’re white, try donning an ushanka or some clogs.

• Be conspicuous. OK, so you look homeless and you act crazy. Go as an eccentric. Obviously, someone wouldn’t dress and behave like you if they were trying to avoid security.

• Find a date. The well-off and well-connected aren’t always so connected. Find yourself a hot datepresuming he or she has an extra ticketand you’re in.

• Act like the help. (See below.)

• Be the help. If you are the help, congrats, you’re already in! Dear chauffeurs, waitstaff, et al: Nothing is better than mischief on the clock. Use your privileged position to mosey in among the guests (a handy suit jacket should effectively alter your outfit). In addition to the fun of the foray, you might meet someone who thinks your real passion (being an artist) is your real job and who perhaps could make it that way.

• Move on up. You’ve already missed the opening opera festivitieswhich include elaborate dinner parties at private residences, so you’d have to be a master crasher to infiltrate thembut there is still maneuvering to be had at the Santa Fe Opera. Sure, you can only afford seats in the nosebleeds, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit there. Even though the opera is starting a half-hour early beginning July 30, it’s still a long event, meaning many attendees leave during intermission. With a little vigilance (make sure the people whose seats you covet are actually leaving), you can score choice seats near the orchestra for the second half.

• Pretend you’re press. If security is heightened this year due to this column, I’m sorry. You could always just purloin a press pass; that way, you don’t have to look nice or be interesting. Just stand by the food table and make it worth your while.

*SFR doesn’t endorse crashing these art parties. I’m just saying it’s a lot of fun and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for people wallowing in regret at the end of their lives because they were too cool or meek to make fools of themselves.

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