Taos Fall Arts Festival Celebrates 40 Years

Projection installation of featured artist Markus Dorninger Courtesy/http://www.paseotaos.org


The oldest art festival in Taos, Taos Fall Arts Festival, is celebrating its 40th year by expanding and enhancing the festival, adding new features such as The Paseo on opening night. The 2014 festival is scheduled for Sept. 26-Oct. 5 with an opening reception 4-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26.

“We chose to create a community focus group and listen to local artists to find out how we could better serve the arts community going forward and local businesses,” spokesman Paul Figueroa said. “From that focus, recommendations included securing several locations in historic district, maintain quality art shows, foster collegiate collaborations, expand presentations to include performing arts. Our goal is to help the festival grow, evolve and expand to make it even better than it already is.”

Among the changes, the festival will return to one of its original sites – the Kachina Lodge – where part of the Taos Selects and miniatures will be displayed as well as the Stables Gallery of the Taos Center for the Arts. Since 1996, the festival has been housed at Town of Taos’ Convention Center. Recently, because of a pending sale to UNM-Taos, the festival was forced to move.

One of the newest and highly anticipated events, The Paseo, opening night is a street festival that will feature contemporary art installations, performances, and visual projections outdoors along the festival route. Artists from all over the country will take part. Exhibits will be located along Taos’ Historic District for the first time to create a new platform for the public display of art. Visit paseotaos.org for more information.

Other changes include:

  • The Distinguished Achievement Awards at the Taos Art Museum’s Fechin Studio for print making, ceramics and wooden metal work (4 p.m., Sept. 26).
  • Stables Gallery will showcase a portion of the Select.
  • Taos Inn will host the expanded, curated Memorial Wall exhibition honoring Taos artists who have passed away in 2013 and 2014 and those who contributed in past festivals.
  • Mural Room of Old County Courthouse is the site of curator-led surprise exhibition.
  • Guadalupe Gym will be transformed into the popular Taos Open, where its stage will host a series of performances.
  • Pecha Kucha Night (Sept. 28).
  • Poster artist will receive a $1,500 cash award and 8×8 wall to display works at festival.
  • Taos Inn will host musical performances during the festival featuring world music, cultural dances and the “spoken word.”
  • Public Art Tours will exhibit art collections in public buildings and offer tours of sculpture and murals in historic neighborhoods.

Some features at the festival will remain the same, including submissions for juried shows will still be accepted online, Youth Art Show, guided walking tours of the historic district and grounds of museums and art centers, the Memorial Wall, and the Kids Give Back Program. Public and private children’s art programs are encouraged to apply. Applications in written form are still being accepted through Aug. 30.

Also returning from last year, the Taos Fall Arts Film Festival will showcase 20 entries up to three minutes each on the theme of “Honoring Our Land” at the Bell Auditorium of the Harwood Museum. Film workshops will be also be offered to teens. Films will be shown on both Saturday, Sept. 27 and Sunday, Sept. 28 of the festival’s opening weekend. Submissions are still being accepted through Aug. 29. Visit taosfallarts.com/film_festival for details.

“Passport to the 40th” passports are available for free, where visitors can get a stamp after visiting festival sites. Once the passport is filled with stamps from each location, bring passports to either Kachina Lodge or Guadalupe Gym for a chance to win prizes donated by local businesses.

The festival includes three distinct art shows: a juried “Taos Select” competition with over 250 submissions by Taos County artists, “Taos Open,” where any Taos County resident may enter works of art which includes sections for youth and schools, wearable art and jewelry and visual art, and the curated “Distinguished Achievement Award Series.”

Venues open daily, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the festival, for the exception of the Fechin Studio, which is closed 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday

Volunteers are needed to help with the Taos Fall Arts Festival. To learn about volunteer opportunities, contact tfafvolunteer@gmail.com.

There is no charge to participate in the festival.

Since its inception in 1974, the purpose of the Taos Fall Arts Festival has been to promote tourism by celebrating the arts and artists of Taos to a regional and national audience thereby benefitting the Taos economy. Today, this mission remains the same under the Taos Fall Arts Festival incorporated in 2006 under the state of New Mexico.

For more information including artist bios, schedule of events, 2014 poster artist, and more, visit taosfallarts.com or call Patsy Wright at 575.758-.648 or tfafvolunteer@gmail.com.