Summer of Color

Downtown Santa Fe Museums Join Santa Fes Summer of Color

June 03, 2015


As the “Summer of Color” kicks into high gear, the City Different’s Downtown museums are offering special exhibitions and programs, featuring a range of colors from a sunset’s multi-hued grandeur to the adobe mud that coats most of our buildings. Here’s what’s new this summer:

New Mexico Museum of Art, Colors of the Southwest, through September 20

For over a century, artists in the Southwest have been challenged by its open landscapes bathed in a broad spectrum of color and light. Artists have worked to capture these unique light effects across wide-ranging media and style. In this primarily landscape exhibition, curator Carmen Vendelin notes that “the majority of the artworks depict gorgeous scenery in varied palettes and offer highlights from the New Mexico Museum of Art’s collection.”

Artists in the exhibition include Gustave Baumann, Louise Crow, Andrew Dasburg, Robert Daughters, Eddie Dominguez, Fremont F. Ellis, William Penhallow Henderson, Victor Higgins, Kate Krasin, Dorothy Morang, Helmuth Naumer, Sheldon Parsons, Warren E. Rollins, T.C. Cannon, and Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie. For more about the exhibit, click here.

Media contact: Steve Cantrell,; (505) 476-1144.


New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, “Adobe Summer”

Pearly white, sandy tan, cinnamon red, chocolate brown and shades in-between, New Mexico’s iconic adobe buildings reveal the colors of the earth. An exemplar of adobe construction is the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors. Both a National Historic Landmark and, as of this year, a National Treasure, the Palace needs constant maintenance. Throughout the summer, the museum will heighten visitors’ understanding of adobe, the historical importance of this building medium, and how the Palace plays into that story.

Events include a chance to make a family keepsake by sand-casting your hands; a panel discussion on how cultural communities preserve adobe structures; a new view of the Pueblo Revolt, which converged on the palace; and the theme of “action” in regard to historic preservation at a CreativeMornings gathering. For the full schedule, click here.

Media contact: Kate Nelson,; (505) 476-5019.


Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Line, Color, Composition, through September 13

To understand the richness of O’Keeffe’s artistic practice, this exhibition reveals her disciplined drawing technique, dramatic color palette and innovative sense for composition through paintings and drawings that span her career. “The exhibition showcases O’Keeffe’s process, from conceptualization to the finished canvas, revealing how she achieved such remarkable clarity in her work,” says Cody Hartley, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “Repeatedly, we see an artist pushing boundaries, in some cases quite literally with lines and forms racing off the canvas, yet always maintaining a sense of harmony and balance.”

The presentation offers fresh insight to the importance of line in her work – from preliminary sketches and drawings to the fluid, seemingly effortless outlines that define regions of her canvas and divide her compositions into dynamic zones of color, be it the curve of a flower petal, the horizon of a landscape, or the contour of an abstract form. A brilliant colorist, O’Keeffe created strong, vibrant works with colors that glow with energy and vitality. Holding all of this together is an innate and innovative sense for composition. For more about the exhibition, click here.

Media contacts: Suzanne O’Leary,; (505) 490-9116; or Audrey Rubinstein,; (505) 490-1837.


IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, An Evening Redness in the West, August 20 through December 31

The color crimson provides the backdrop to this group exhibition that takes the idea of the Apocalypse and reimagines it. The fiction novel by Santa Fe author Cormac McCarthy, The Blood Meridian, which traces the violent journey of a ragtag group of men across the American West and Mexico, has inspired the exhibition’s title. The end of the world, implied by the word Apocalypse, also carries with it the promise of a new one. Ornately beaded gas masks, other objects formed from the detritus of a collapsed society, intricate drawings of a human-less sci-fi landscape, monsters and other-worldly creatures, provide the materials and backdrop for this new world. 

In the exhibition, crimson has a double-meaning, implying both the tumultuous founding of the West as well as the rich red hue of the sky on the dawn of a new day. Participating artists include: Norman Akers, Shuvinai Ashoona, Andrea Carlson, Naomi Bebo, Jeffrey Gibson, Scott Jones, Duane Linklater, Rose B. Simpson & Virgil Ortiz. For more about the exhibition, click here.

Media contact: Eric Davis,; (505) 424-2351


The Summer of Color

The brainchild of institutions on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, the “Summer of Color” includes a bounty of exhibitions and events. For more information about Museum Hill’s exhibitions, click here. Art galleries throughout Santa Fe are also contributing to the kaleidoscope. For information about their shows, click here.


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