It’s no secret that arts and crafts fairs, festivals and studio tours in Taos and nearby environs are synonymous — a bonded trio that feeds off each other, keeping history alive, traditions intact and unparalleled creativity vibrant. Whether you’re a longtime art, craft fair lover or getting your feet wet for the first time, you’ve come to the right place. When it comes to everything arts around the Enchanted Circle, there is literally something for everyone.
Taos Lilac Festival and Spring Arts & Crafts Fair
May 19-21, Friday (May 19), 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday (May 20), 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday (May 21), 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This year marks the fifth annual Taos Lilac Festival held at Kit Carson Park. Hundreds of residents and visitors come to partake in the events. The event was established to celebrate the Taos area’s lilac heritage and promote planting and care of the plants.
Expect dozens of talented artisans and craftspeople to display work ranging from ceramics, fiber, wood, leather and metalwork to jewelry and art pieces. The “Grand Festival Weekend” includes a pet parade and costume contest, live entertainment, children’s carousel, bluegrass music, food and family-friendly activities.
The Taos Lilac Festival Inc. is the sponsoring organization — a nonprofit corporation. The festival is an all-volunteer effort with no paid staff and several sponsors. Lilacs flourish abundantly in Taos and peak the last two weeks of May. A lilac walking tour map of the Taos Historic District and maps showing the lilac-decorated windows are available at the information booth in Kit Carson Park.
35th Annual High Country Arts & Crafts Festival
(575) 377-2420; eaglenestchamber.org
Juried artisans and craftsmen from across the country gather to offer their one-of-a-kind creations at Enchanted Eagle Nest Park in Eagle Nest — a stop on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway in between Angel Fire and Red River. The High Country Arts & Crafts Festival is a juried show open to qualified artisans and crafters.
It has brought area and out-of-state talent to the Moreno Valley since 1982, benefiting the Eagle Nest Chamber of Commerce. Food vendors, youth exhibits, live music, wine tasting and beer garden plus a whole lot more. Indoor and outdoor weekend event.
Questa Studio Tour
Aug. 19-20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
(505) 974-5314; questa-nm.com
Artists from Questa and the surrounding communities open their studios or gather in satellite locations to share their talent and offer unique works for sale including woodcarvings, stained glass, paintings and ceramics.
More than 35 artists participated in last year’s tour. Come explore these beautiful mountain settlements, enjoy a local burger or burrito, homemade ice cream, and art from the traditional to the fabulously modern.
Chama Valley Studio Tour
Sept. 2-3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
(575) 756-2542; chamavalleystudiotour.com
Artists from the villages of Chama on the north, Chama West, Brazos Canyon, Los Ojos and Tierra Amarilla on the south along state highways 64/84 in northern Río Arriba County, open their studios to the public.
Works include photography, knit clothing, ceramics, bead art, metal and fabric art and more. Maps available online and at stops on the tour. Look for the green-numbered signs.
TAO Studio Tour
Sept. 2-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Now in its 10th year, the Taos Artist Organization (TAO) kick-starts the early fall revelry over Labor Day weekend with the Taos Studio Tour featuring more than 30 emerging and established artists. Gifted, visual creators working in a variety of mediums open their studios around Taos from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Tour brochures are available at the Taos Visitor Center (1139 Paseo del
Río Costilla Studio Tour
Sept. 9-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
A thriving group of artists and craftspeople living in the watershed of the Río Costilla open their homes and studios at the southern edge of the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.
For the past 19 years, these artists have held the tour — a celebration of art and fine food, friendship and renewal through creativity. Also featured is the 9th Annual Emerging Artists
Show and the spectacular, blooming wildflower fields in the area.
High Road Art Tour
The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway is a back-country, scenic route that twists through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos. It offers stunning mountain vistas,
alpine meadows and charming traditional Spanish and Pueblo villages. This area has inspired many artists and artisans who live along the High Road.
On both weekends during the tour there will be farmers’ markets set up at Gaucho Blue in Peñasco and at the High Road Art Gallery in Truchas. There will also be some farm locations open to the public throughout the two weekends. The route begins north of Santa Fe in Pojoaque, New Mexico, at the intersection of U.S. highways 285/84 and State Road 503. Download a tour brochure with map.
Aspencade Arts & Crafts Fair
Browse through booths of hand-crafted items, jewelry, home furnishings, food, art, pottery and specialty goods while enjoying delicious food, live entertainment and the crisp air and changing colors of fall in Red River.
The event also commemorates Red River’s 1895 founding in a unique way with a “steampunk” theme — a mix of science fiction, the industrial revolution, history and fantasy — featuring the Steampunk Fashion Show and a Tea Duel. Held at Brandenburg Park and the Red River Conference Center. Weekend entry fee of $5.
43rd Annual Taos Fall Arts Festival
Sept. 22-Oct. 1
The oldest art festival in Taos and one of the most comprehensive art shows of the year held at various locations throughout Taos. Includes the Taos Select and Taos Open.
The art event that started it all in Taos has inspired artists for more than a century and has helped lift Taos to prominence as a world-class art destination. Each autumn, both locals and visitors gather in anticipation of the Taos Fall Arts Festival (TFAF), an opportunity to experience and celebrate all that the artists of Taos have to offer.
TFAF is a showcase of juried and open art shows featuring more than 250 artists ranging from traditional to contemporary to folk art. Workshops, dance and music performances as well as youth art programs are also part of the annual festival.
Taos Fall Arts & Crafts Fair
Sept. 29-Oct. 1
The great-grandmother of all Taos open-air arts and crafts fairs and sister to the Spring Arts & Crafts Fair is entering its 47th run at Kit Carson Park in Taos. Its storied history began in the early 1970s when artists banded together to present a central location for visitors and locals to see and purchase the work of artisans.
On hand will be creations by fine woodworkers, painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, copper and tin metalsmiths and much more, all interspersed with food and music.
31st Annual El Rito Studio Tour
Sept. 30-Oct. 1
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hidden in plain sight is a small community embraced by the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where residents have lived quietly for generations cultivating lives that foster independence and creativity. Fifty miles north of Santa Fe, just 12 miles off U.S. Highway 84, El Rito is brimming with talent in both traditional and contemporary media.
Numerous weekend stops, including one on the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trail and the New Mexico Potter’s Trail, display works by more than 40 artists in the setting in which the tour was created. There is also a mercado at the El Rito Community Center.
34th Annual Taos Wool Festival
Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Have we any wool? Why, yes, sir. The Northern New Mexico region holds a longstanding history and tradition with raising and utilizing wool and other animal fibers. The popular part festival, part arts and crafts fair known as the Taos Wool Festival returns for its 34th year at Kit Carson Park.
Fans of the festival come for supplies, tools, conversation and finished goods. Kids come for the silly sheep and alpaca faces, the spinning wheels, shearing demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Other demonstrations include spinning, dyeing and many fiber-related skills. There is a Dog Sweater Show & Contest, silent auction and workshops. The festival is also an outstanding regional wool market featuring juried vendors displaying their wool fiber, yarns and artistic creations. Contests include hand-spun yarn, wool and alpaca fleeces, finished garments and home accessories.
Abiquiú Studio Tour
Oct. 7-9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The 24th annual Columbus Day weekend Abiquiú Studio Tour is a self-guided driving tour that takes visitors and collectors through the village of Abiquiú and the surrounding Chama River Valley — a landscape of grand mountains, spectacular rock formations and the glorious rivers of the Piedra Lumbra basin.
This area of Northern New Mexico was famed painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s second home. More than 30 area artists open their studios to the public. Complimentary maps are available at all the studios, local businesses and online for download.
Compiled by Scott Gerdes