Ski Santa Fe and Artistic Side Trips

A view from a ski lift at Ski Santa Fe in Santa Fe National Forest’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. (Photo Source: Jennifer Hiller /San Antonio Express-News)

A view from a ski lift at Ski Santa Fe in Santa Fe National Forest’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. (Photo Source: Jennifer Hiller /San Antonio Express-News)

Jennifer Hiller and her family visited Santa Fe and she wrote about her experiences in the San Antonio Express-News. The majority of the article describes their days skiing in Santa Fe, not Taos or another location, but a mountain right in Santa Fe!

“From Ski Santa Fe’s 10,350 base elevation to its peaks above 12,000 feet, there’s a family vibe, top-of-the-world views and nary a ski snob in sight. […] skiing in Santa Fe is really right there, just 16 miles from downtown. It took maybe 30 minutes to get from our hotel to the parking lot.” (Skiing with a side of art in Santa Fe)

While described as not a ski in-and-out/condo/spa resort-type of ski location, the accessibility and ease of Ski Santa Fe marks it as a great ski destination — Jennifer notes that she and her family did more actual skiing there than on other ski trips. She also notes that at Ski Santa Fe there is a ski school for kids.

When not skiing, Jennifer wrote about exploring the variety of offerings of downtown Santa Fe, but she spent the latter half of her article talking about her family’s visit to Meow Wolf (which we previously mentioned in this post “Santa Fe Culture: Past Meets Future“).

Meow Wolf is composed of different artistic components; one section is an arts-and-crafts studio that Jennifer and the kids took refuge in when another section of Meow Wolf, the “House of Eternal Return,” became a bit much for them. Here’s how she described it:

Meow Wolf’s “House of Eternal Return” is a mashup of a Victorian home, jungle gym, the Twilight Zone, Alice in Wonderland and some of the stranger nightclubs I went to back in the day. […] There is a lot going on – some sort of space-time, alternative dimension thing is happening. My friend and I tried to figure it out, but mostly we tried not to lose our children, who kept doing things like going into refrigerators that were actually doors to other rooms, or disappearing into fireplaces that led to other worlds.” (Skiing with a side of art in Santa Fe)

Jennifer concludes that “the entire trip to Santa Fe was […] filled with unexpected discoveries that made us feel a world away from the daily grind.” A perfect sentiment that many feel after visiting! If you want to read about her full experiences in Santa Fe here’s the full article “Skiing with a side of art in Santa Fe.”

Santa Fe Culture: Past Meets Future

Past Meets Future (Travel + Leisure)

Becoming Human, a 30-foot-tall sculpture by Christian Ristow, greets visitors to the House of Eternal Return. Brian Finke (Source: “Past Meets Future”, Travel + Leisure)

The city’s carefully constructed image as a mecca of Southwestern-themed art, turquoise jewelry, and folksy spiritualism has lately begun to evolve, thanks to a group of oddball artists and entrepreneurs who insist on seeing their hometown differently. (Source: Amanda Fortini, “In Santa Fe, the Past Meets the Future”Travel + Leisure)

In this Travel + Leisure article, Fortini explains how the cultural identity of Santa Fe was deliberately crafted to portray its Southwestern aesthetic to encourage tourism — “the idea was to give the city a historic regional identity and the patina of an exotic travel destination.” It has worked well and the city does attract many travelers and it has even become one of the best known art destinations in the United States. However, some felt that the the art styles being promoted and encouraged were only those that fit with the theme already embraced as the Santa Fe style and limited the possibilities of new art styles. That has recently begun to change.

Using a new installation created by the company Meow Wolf as an ultimate example of the new artistic movement, Fortini describes The House of Eternal Return “as a haunted house without the monsters, an amusement park without the rides, an acid trip without the drugs,” it is both an abstract visual experience and has a mysterious narrative waiting to be explored. The complex that contains this feature also has studios, offices, and a youth-education center. Although not like the “traditional” art of Santa Fe this destination is drawing in the crowds and is showcasing the fact that Santa Fe can be this blend of old and new styles and doesn’t need to be stuck with a singular identity.

Fortini also explores some other traditions that are being played with, updated, or ignored including what is seen as art by Native Americans that doesn’t need to “look like” Native American art and in the category of culinary “art” the popular chiles of Santa Fe.

The article also discusses the issue of an aging population of Santa Fe residents, and what some are doing to try to develop policies and activities to help attract and keep a youth population, like encouraging more night life (as there is a lack) that would be available for and of interest to a younger crowd.

The article also ends with a list of recommendations of both places embracing the traditional and others the new, so check it out: “In Santa Fe, the Past Meets the Future.”