We're an arts town, that's for sure, and the next few months are set to explode with gallery openings, block parties, museum events and so much more.
As art districts go, it doesn't get much cooler than the Baca Street neighborhood, with its funky mix of residential and work spaces, bikeable and strollable Acequia Trail and hip coffee spot Opuntia Café. Liquid Light Glass has been doing its thing in an unassuming commercial plaza that also houses a gem and mineral shop, a secondhand clothing store and Counter Culture Café. For this summer's Guardian Odyssey, artists Elodie Holmes (who also owns the gallery) and Enrico Embroli present totemic glass figures featuring a blend of materials and influences. In addition to opening up the studio for art classes, Holmes does demonstrations.
June 22-July 18; opening reception 5-7:30 pm Friday June 22.
Liquid Light Glass,
926 Baca St., Ste. 3,
The Art of Walt Gonske: A Retrospective
In the Santa Fe art world, does Old Guard mean snooty? Not at Nedra Matteucci Galleries, which feels more like a gracious mansion than a gallery. Just beyond its tall coyote fence is what might be the most eat-your-heart-out beautiful garden in the city. A late-June retrospective of oil paintings by Walt Gonske—many of them, according to gallery director Dustin Belyeu, never previously seen—provides an excellent excuse to mingle outdoors on a grassy lawn that once was home to legendary dealer Matteucci's pot-bellied pig Hamilton.
June 23-July 21; opening reception 1-3 pm Saturday June 23.
Nedra Matteucci Galleries,
1075 Paseo de Peralta,
Brandon Maldonado: Picassoism
At first glance, Pop Gallery, located just a short stroll from the Plaza, occurs a bit like the cotton candy of downtown Santa Fe art gallery flavors, but don't let its unapologetically bright and busy circus-bright sensibility throw you off; Pop's artist roster is no joke. New Mexico-based painter Brandon Maldonado's show Neo-Picassoism looks phenomenal—full of the technically stunning and slyly political work we've come to expect from this young painter.
July 1-Aug. 31; opening reception 6-8 pm Friday July 28.
125 Lincoln Ave.,
Ricardo Mazal: A 15 Year Survey
You'd have to be nuts to miss a large-scale show of work by Mexico-born abstractionist Ricardo Mazal at the Center for Contemporary Arts' Tank Garage. Stuart Ashman, the nonprofit's fearless leader, tells SFR that Mazal's "deliberate investigations into people's spiritual practices from around the globe, and his controlled used of color and textures, manifests itself in a very unique and compelling artistic expression."
June 15-Sept. 23; opening reception 5-7 pm Friday June 15.
Center for Contemporary Arts,
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
Jeffie Brewer: Tender Barbarian
The husband-and-wife artist duo behind GVG Contemporary run a tight ship, which is impressive because the vibe of their gallery, located just off Canyon Road on Delgado Street, feels spontaneous and quirky. Like lots of gallerists, Ernst Gruler and Blair Vaughn-Gruler's summer exhibition schedule is robust. Take a break from the more serious stuff in town and check out Jeffie Brewer's Tender Barbarian. Cute metal monsters coated in Easter-egg colors? Yes. Please.
July 20-Aug. 17; opening reception 5-7 pm Friday July 20.
241 Delgado St.,
Charlene Holy Bear: Lakota Beadwork
Given the museum-quality caliber of work in Lyn A Fox Fine Pueblo Pottery, which moved from Canyon Road to a breezy spot across from the Drury Plaza Hotel on Paseo de Peralta last year, you might expect Fox himself to be kind of—I don't know—stuffy. Instead, he's an all-too-uncommon mixture of whip-smart and approachable. Fox is primarily a purveyor of historic and contemporary regional pottery, which makes show featuring beadwork artists like Charlene Holy Bear (Lakota Sioux) a treat.
July 20-Oct. 1; opening reception 5-7 pm Friday July 20; artist demonstration 11 am-3 pm Saturday July 21.
Lyn A Fox Fine Pueblo Pottery,
839 Paseo de Peralta, Ste. K,
Casa Tomada at SITE Santa Fe
You can't write a list like this without a nod to SITE Santa Fe, our fair city's behemoth bastion of all things cutting-edge contemporary. This August's opening of Casa Tomado (House Taken Over, a reference to Argentine writer Julio Cortázar's short story of the same name, explores themes related to sense of place. If you haven't been in to see the non-profit's extensive remodel, completed last October, this summer provides an excellent chance to do so.
Aug. 3-Jan. 6, 2019; opening events Wednesday-Sunday Aug. 1-4. For full schedule, see website.
SITE Santa Fe
1606 Paseo de Peralta,
"What is appropriation? What role does identity and activism play in the expression of Indigenous art forms? How can we seek to better understand Indigenous arts issues without being afraid to ask or to inadvertently offend?" These are a few questions from New Mexico Museum of Cultural Affairs' Shelley Thompson, relating to Project Indigene, an ambitious show involving multiple artists and venues. Don't skip associated exhibition IMPRINT, organized by dream team curators Bess Murphy and Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke), which includes a wide range of prints, from some made on repurposed boxes to wheat-pasted posters.
Aug. 14-March 29, 2019; opening reception 5-7 pm Tuesday Aug. 14.
The Ralph T Coe Center for the Arts,
1590-B Pacheco St.,
Jim Vogel: New Paintings
Blue Rain Gallery, now in its 15th year, has one of the most consistently stellar programs in town. This year, the Railyard gallery packs an especially good punch, with half a dozen or so exhibitions slated from June to September; it seems they've saved the very best for last. You definitely don't want to miss New Mexican artist Jim Vogel's show of new work, which opens the last weekend of September. His lush, dreamlike landscapes and earnest, dynamically rendered characters give Thomas Hart Benton a run for his money; incredibly, the artist also makes many of his own frames, which range from hammered tin to carved piñon.
Sept. 28-Oct. 13; opening reception 5-7 pm Friday Sept. 28.
Blue Rain Gallery,
544 S Guadalupe St.,