Santa Fe, NM
Canyon Road, May 6-7
This story was featured in the May 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
Each Mother’s Day weekend the Canyon Road Merchants Association, an organization of Canyon Road art galleries, invites artists and collectors to participate in one of the city’s biggest art events of the year. Formerly known as Passport to the Arts, the event has evolved over the past five years. “We listen to the artists, the galleries, the businesses, and the collectors about what they’d like to see, and we’ve made changes based on that. People were confused about the name, so we made a change that made it very clear what the event is,” says CRMA president Bonnie French. “It’s an art festival.”
This year the event, now known as the Canyon Road Spring Art Festival, boasts an even larger roster of 75 to 100 artists—including Marshall Noice, Andrée Hudson, Rebecca Haines, Margi Lucena, and Barbara Meikle—and 30 to 35 participating galleries. Weekend events include artists’ demonstrations, with a wide variety of artwork being created and discussed; live auctions and silent auctions of fresh artworks; as well as live music from local student musicians.
The weekend begins with art openings at galleries on Friday evening. “A lot of artists are coming into town for the event. This gives collectors a chance to meet the artists and have a little food or a beverage,” French says.
On Saturday morning, artists set up their workspaces along about a mile’s worth of Canyon Road and have five hours to create an original artwork in what is now termed a “Slow Draw.” This came at the suggestion of the artists themselves, French says. “Quick Draws are hard for the artists. It’s hard to create a piece in two hours, so now it’s a Slow Draw.” Visitors can watch sculptors, painters, jewelry artists, potters, and more. These works are then auctioned in the live and silent auctions in the big white tent at Wiford Gallery.
“You’ll never see so many artists on Canyon Road at one time, painting or sculpting, and be able to speak to them, all in one place, on one day,” French adds. —Laura Rintala
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