18th Annual Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival

The resourcefulness of salvaging and refurbishing items in disrepair inspires the largest and oldest recycled market in the country. Recycle Santa Fe is celebrating their 18th annual art festival this Friday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, wherein more than 90 artists from New Mexico, Colorado, New York, Arizona and elsewhere showcase unique masterpieces comprised of discarded materials.



Sponsored by Keep Santa Fe Beautiful, a non-profit volunteer program dedicated to environmental education, the festival aims to show the public the benefits of recycling. “Recycling does many great things. It saves energy, natural resources and water, but this event demonstrates another benefit from recycling: it creates jobs,” says festival coordinator Sarah Pierpont on the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival Facebook page. “A large handful of art market vendors have turned their creativity into careers and are able to support their families by making recycled art.” This eco-conscious holiday event is a testament to the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” as all of the art “consists of a minimum of 75 percent recycled materials—everything from vintage tin cans turned into beautiful earrings to scrap metal sculptures,” according to the Recycle Santa Fe Website.

Mitch Berg's booth. Photo by Bob Easton.

Mitch Berg’s booth. Photo by Bob Easton.

The festival starts on Friday at 5 p.m., featuring 69 Art Market booths exhibiting hundreds of repurposed jewelry and sculptures and trinkets for sale. Each artist is encouraged to submit one of their pieces in the Juried Art Exhibition, qualifying them for a chance to win first, second, third, or honorable mention for their work. There is also a Juried Student Art Exhibition where students in the Santa Fe area get the opportunity to put their own recycled art on display.

Recycle Santa Fe Trash Fashion Show 2012. Photo by Jacobs Photography.

Recycle Santa Fe Trash Fashion Show 2012. Photo by Jacobs Photography.

Later in the evening, the Trash Fashion & Costume Contest will kick off at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., assuredly the most original fashion show in Santa Fe. After the stage has cleared and the chairs are folded away, the booths and their artists will grow to a total of 91 by Saturday morning. Saturday and Sunday feature a free, Make and Take family friendly activity where kids of all ages can use items such as bottle caps, wire, records, fabric and tin cans, beginning on Saturday at 9 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


Young kid enjoys the Make-N-Take.



Tickets for Friday’s Trash Fashion & Costume Contest are $15-20 via Tickets Santa Fe  or 505-988-1234. General admission is $5 for adults, free for those 12 and under. Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival is located at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center: 201 W. Marcy Street (Downtown Santa Fe). For more on the events, you can follow their Instagram, Facebook, or find more information on its website.