Ready to Be Surprised? Meet Different in ‘The City Different’

Santa Fe, New Mexico, has a long history of being an art destination known for its turquoise jewelry, Western paintings, and bronze sculptures, but The City Different has a surprise for you.

We’re talking art parties lasting into the early hours of the morning and secret, invite-only gallery openings.  Seriously — these brazenly nontraditional arts experiences deserve to be as synonymous with Santa Fe as the movie business is with Hollywood. The city is quietly ranked as one of the largest art markets in the U.S., with small, independent artists thriving here. When compared with the sheer size and pace of New York and L.A., Santa Fe stands as an unparalleled beacon for collaboration and innovation in contemporary art.

If you want to see the future of mixed media and performance, check out a couple of Santa Fe‘s unique art experiences and explore the opportunity to take your next offsite group event to the next level of artful surprise.

After establishing a local presence in both music and other harder-to-define ventures, the Meow Wolf arts production collective opened what they call an “immersive art installation” at the House of Eternal Return. It thoroughly departs from the traditional museum model in its bold use of interactive space. If you’re a little hazy on what all this means, don’t worry — keep reading.

Maggie Thornton, a local artist at Meow Wolf, is one of the names to look for. She splits her time between visual arts and sound for the installations, working in mostly “vinyl, plastics, and shiny stuff.” While her chosen art forms are certainly a departure from the traditional art that has drawn visitors and collectors to the city for decades, she and many area artists don’t really see it that way. “Meow Wolf is a counterpoint to much of the galleries, but there’s compatibility between the two scenes,” she explains.

The fully interactive experience they’ve created at the House of Eternal Return pushes the envelope of what is possible for an exhibition space — an idea that quickly garnered national attention before opening its doors in 2016, thanks to city initiatives and backing by business partners such as George R. R. Martin. (The Game of Thrones author also supported the reopening of the historic Jean Cocteau Theater in 2013.)

SITE Santa Fe is housed within an architectural structure that’s a piece of art in and of itself. SHoP, a firm best known for its innovative and sustainable buildings, designed the space, taking into account how SITE’s exhibits might be experienced. When the exterior lights illuminate the textured aluminum siding, the effect is profound — the outside seems just as much an artistic piece as what lies inside.

Recently revamped (in philosophy as well as aesthetic), SITE aims to push the boundaries of standard curatorial practices. And in a show of belief in emerging artists, SITE accepts unsolicited materials from creators twice a year.

Santa Fe ranked No. 4 on the “Top 15 Cities in the United States” list in the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, an annual survey driven by the outlet’s more than 300,000 readers.

Santa Fe may be just the destination you are looking for to wow yourself or your client’s next program attendees. Truly, there is something for everyone in The City Different! Please call the Tourism Santa Fe Sales Team to start exploring this great destination and allow us to assist you in a smooth and artistic meeting planning process.


Featured Venues & Destinations

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