New Mexico November 02, 2017
The One Offbeat New Mexico Festival You Have To See To Believe
Among the things that New Mexicans love are art and our environment. The quirky and clever Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival cleverly showcases them both. This Santa Fe festival is the country’s largest and oldest recycled art market, drawing thousands of art lovers and eco-conscious shoppers from the New Mexico, the southwest and beyond.The weekend-long festival features several events, all revolving around recycled materials.
The weekend kicks off with the Trash Fashion and Costume Contest. Think beyond vintage clothing and trash bags (which are not allowed). Adult, teens and youth designers create clothes from items that usually hit the landfill, like pie pans, cassette tapes, sandpaper, plastic jugs and magazine pages.
The costumes aren't just throw-away designs either. Some designers spend months sourcing and crafting their costumes. Also, former participants and winners of the recycled fashion show have gone on to study design at noted fashion schools.
While the fashion show is "fashionable" and fun, it isn't the only up-cycled art on display. The juried art exhibition features unique artwork created using at least 75-percent recycled materials.
This sculpture (called "Blind Faith"), from a past show, was created by Douglas Duffy.
There is also a juried student art exhibition showcasing the work of Santa Fe public and private school students.
Often, a lesson plan on recycling or the environment inspires the student art.
Each year, more than 100 artists come to participate in the art show and to sell their wares at the Recycled Art Market. You never know what the resourceful artists will create, but judging by past years, look for items like collages, picture frames, clocks, furniture, rugs, lamps and more.
Jewelry, like this hand-made piece from artist Kari Stringer, is a popular art market item.
On Saturday and Sunday, kids (of all ages) can "Make and Take" their own recycled art creations! Pulling from odds and ends like records, fabric, and wire, budding artists can try their hand at working with would-be cast-off materials.
Make and Take materials, in part, come from donated items that would otherwise be thrown away.
The Santa Fe Recycled Art program maintains a materials exchange that connects artists with donors of discarded materials.
If you have items you think a recycled-material artist would be interested in (or if you are an artist looking for materials) add your information to the
Recycled Art Waste Exchange
The 19th annual (2017) Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival will take place on November 17, 18 and 19 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 West Marcy Street, in Santa Fe.
The Saturday and Sunday (9 am to 5 pm) activities are free. Friday night events are $5. Fashion show tickets are $15 to $20. Children's tickets (12 and under) are $8. Find more information at
Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival
Have you been to this art show/ festival before? What did you think? Do you make art out of recycled materials? We want to hear! Share, below, in the comments.