IDA Designates First U.S. International Dark Sky Sanctuary In New Mexico

The Milky Way sets over the Cosmic Campground, New Mexico, with the lights of Morenci, Arizona, on the horizon in the distance. Photo by David Thornburg.
The Milky Way sets over the Cosmic Campground, New Mexico, with the lights of Morenci, Arizona, on the horizon in the distance. Photo by David Thornburg.

Just one of the many reasons why we love this corner or New Mexico! 

IDA is pleased to announce the designation of the Cosmic Campground as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. It is the first such designation in the U.S., and the first IDA International Dark Sky Place designation of a U.S. Forest Service location.

“We are very excited to announce the inaugural designation of an IDA Dark Sky Place on Forest Service land, and hope to strengthen our ties with this important public land management agency,” said IDA Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend.

International Dark Sky Sanctuaries are public or private lands possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights. Their dark nighttime conditions are specifically protected for their scientific, natural, educational or cultural value, and are often located in some of the most remote and undeveloped parts of the world. Sanctuary designations are made by IDA to increase awareness of these fragile sites and promote their long-term conservation.

The new International Dark Sky Sanctuary is a 3.5 acre (1.42 hectare) site in the Gila National Forest of western New Mexico, U.S. Located between the Gila Wilderness and the Blue Range Primitive Area, the Cosmic Campground is situated in an exceptionally dark part of the lower 48 U.S. states. It features a basic infrastructure to support campers and offers a 360-degree, unobstructed view night sky.

The nearest significant source of electric light to the site is more than 40 miles (65 km) away and across the border of neighboring Arizona. Coupled with ready accessibility by road and typically clear, dry weather conditions at moderate altitude, the Campground could become a new mecca for amateur astronomers and casual stargazers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience under the stars.

“The Cosmic Campground, a peaceful, natural night sky place is ideal as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico, the United States, and the Earth,” explained Ann Grauer of Friends of the Cosmic Campground. “We are honored to help preserve and protect this small, dark place for present and future generations to connect with their inherent fascination and attraction to our night sky.”

There is no permanent, artificial lighting installed at the Cosmic Campground, and the Forest Service’s plans do not call for any such lighting in the future. Rather, the Campground is to be maintained in a state that allows visitors to experience nighttime conditions close to those before the introduction of electric lighting in the late nineteenth century. At the same time, visitors can access modern conveniences, such as wi-fi network connectivity via a cell tower located 15 miles to the south of the Cosmic Campground.

Officials see the potential for the Cosmic Campground’s new IDA status to yield a positive economic benefit for western New Mexico. Tourists who come for the extremely remote character of the nearby Gila Wilderness may well find that the Campground extends the sense of the area’s primitive quality past sunset.

Preservation and protection of this International Dark Sky Sanctuary will provide a place to gaze in wonder at the vast expanse of a natural night sky. People from around the world willdiscover how truly accessible its natural night sky is to visitors from everywhere. Children will discover their night vision allows them to “see” in the dark. Astronomers will come to experience and, possibly, photograph the incredible night sky. Families will visit the Cosmic Campground International Dark Sky Sanctuary and explore the trails, rivers, and mountains of the Gila National Forest as well. The area economy will benefit from the “take only photos/leave only footprints” of these visitors. Visitors will share memories and bring others to see for themselves. 

“The Cosmic Campground in Catron County brings visitors from around the United States and the world to enjoy New Mexico’s unmatched wild places,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. “Outdoor recreation is a huge draw for the state and contributes to our economy as a whole. I was glad to support the Cosmic Campground’s effort in becoming an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, and I am pleased with their success. This designation will elevate the status of western New Mexico as a true destination for star gazers and dark sky enthusiasts all while boosting the economies of local communities.”

Navajo Artist in Latest “New Mexico True Stories” [VIDEO]


 “Silversmith” aims to bring attention to Santa Fe’s impressive market season

SANTA FE, N.M. – Santa Fe is known for many things, with history, art and culture often topping that list. At no time are those three interests more intricately woven than during “market season,” the busy summer months that play host to more than a dozen art markets in the City Different’s historic center. Now, New Mexico has a new way to celebrate market season, while bringing attention to the handcrafted detail that goes into each piece created and displayed during these uniquely New Mexican events.

“Silversmith” features Navajo artist Roland Brady, who creates intricately handmade art and jewelry in his northwestern New Mexico home near Shiprock. His mother taught him to work with silver, melting down old coins and silver scrap and hammering the metal into something beautiful. Now, five decades in, Brady produces intricate and soulful pieces inspired from the landscape that he calls home. View “Silversmith” here.

Artists like Brady are drawn to Santa Fe each summer to showcase their handmade pieces and works of art, which, in turn, attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

“As consumers our values are changing, and we have a deep desire to know more about the food we eat, the experiences we have, and the art we buy,” said Rebecca Latham, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department. “Markets allow consumers to have a deeper connection to what they’re purchasing, and also allow visitors to take a tangible memory of New Mexico home with them. ”

Fine arts and crafts will be on display many weekends throughout the summer, with the most widely known events being the International Folk Art Market (July 8-10), Traditional Spanish Market and Contemporary Spanish Market (July 30-31), and the SWAIA (Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) Indian Market (August 20-21).

“New Mexico is consistently seen as a top destination for people who appreciate handmade art,” said Latham. “Art markets drive visitors here from all over the world, and bring a significant economic impact to the state’s economy. These beautiful works of art are serious business for New Mexico, and the department is using this video to show a deeper look behind one artist to make people think about the bigger picture of art in New Mexico.”

“Silversmith” is the tenth video in the “New Mexico True Stories” series. Others in the series include “Aunt June,” which features a 91-year old Hatch native sharing her family’s history in the chile business; “The Visionary,” the story of a Native American veteran who returned from Vietnam without sight but the ability to create beautiful works of art from memory; and the recently-released “Cured Earth,” which tells the story of New Mexico’s unique adobe architecture and our relationship with mud.

To learn more about market season and other art and shopping in New Mexico, visit

What’s YOUR Favorite Breakfast Burrito?

Ah, the breakfast burrito: that delicious standard of a proper New Mexico breakfast that, legend has it, first sprung up from the food vending stands at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in the early 1970s.

Everyone has their favorite recipe, but now New Mexico Magazine wants to know which restaurant is top of the pops. Click here to see the list of restaurants nominated for a coveted spot as one of the 50 founding members of the New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway—and may the best burrito win!

Hearty Chorizo Breakfast Burrito


Tick Tock! Hatch Chile Festival Saturday, August 31st & Sunday, September 1st


As summer cools down, the Village of Hatch heats up. Labor Day weekend heralds the annual Hatch Chile Festival, a two-day celebration of our world-famous crop. The festival attracts over 30,000 visitors from all over the United States, including such notables as the Food Network and the BBC. Festival goers can sample famed chile recipes, watch the crowning of the chile festival queen, or toss a horseshoe in celebration of our most famous crop. The event also features chile ristra contests, artisan and food booths, and a carnival. Visit our events page.

Paul Frank To Unveil Fashion Collaboration with Native American Designers during Santa Fe Indian Market Week


The highly anticipated “Paul Frank Presents” Limited Edition collection will be revealed this week during a special event at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Paul Frank, in partnership with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), is pleased to announce the debut of its first ever collaboration with four Native American designers during Santa Fe Indian Market this week. The fashion collection will be showcased during a panel and event held at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Friday, August 16 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The “Paul Frank Presents” collection will also be available for purchase at the IAIA MoCNA store.

To kick off the event, MoCNA Director Patsy Phillips will introduce a panel entitled, Beyond the “Tribal Trend”: Developing Proactive Native American Collaboration in Fashion. The panel will feature Jessica Metcalfe of the Beyond Buckskin blog and Beyond Buckskin Boutique, Adrienne Keene of Native Appropriations and Tracy Bunkoczy, Paul Frank’s VP of Design as they discuss the brand collaboration, the background story and creation of the collection and the development of proactive Native partnerships in the fashion world.

After the panel, each of the designers will present their products and talk about their personal inspiration for the collaboration. These Native American designers include Louie Gong of Eighth Generation, Autumn Dawn Gomez of The Soft Museum, Candace Halcro of Brownbeaded, and Dustin Martin of S.O.L.O. The “Paul Frank Presents” fashion collection includes a printed tote, pillow and throw blanket by Louie Gong, five collections of Hama bead jewelry by Autumn Dawn Gomez, authentic Paul Frank hand-beaded sunglasses by Candace Halcro and a variety of tees, tanks and bandanas by Dustin Martin.

“This collaboration has been an opportunity for us to help raise awareness about cultural misappropriations, which unfortunately happen too often in product, promotion and fashion,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands. “Our partnership with these four talented Native American designers was the direct result of our own awakening to this issue from our Paul Frank Fashion’s Night Out event back in September of 2012. We hope this ‘Paul Frank Presents’ collaboration will demonstrate more appropriate ways to engage and celebrate the Native American communities.”

These products are now available for purchase at the IAIA MoCNA store, the websites of the contributing designers and also on For additional information about this collection, please visit

About Paul Frank

Acquired in 2010 by Saban Brands, Paul Frank began in 1997 as an independent accessories company in a Southern California beach town. The brand has steadily grown to become a globally recognized, iconic brand that features artistic and entertaining designs inspired by a love of avant-garde, modern influences and everyday objects. By creating relationships through exciting collaborations and strategic licensing partnerships, Paul Frank merchandise includes apparel and accessories for all ages, books, stationery, eyewear, home decor, bicycles and more. To see what’s new and exciting at Paul Frank, visit

About Saban Brands

Formed in 2010 as an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, Saban Brands (SB) was established to acquire and develop a world-class portfolio of properties and capitalize on the company’s experience, track record and capabilities in growing and monetizing consumer brands through content, media and marketing.  SB applies a global omni-channel management approach to enhancing and extending its brands in markets worldwide and to consumers of all ages.  The company provides full-service management, marketing, promotion and strategic business development for its intellectual properties including comprehensive strategies unique to each brand, trademark and copyright management and enforcement, creative design, retail development, direct-to-consumer initiatives and specialized property extensions.  SB is led by a superior management team with decades of experience in media, content creation, branding, licensing, marketing and finance. SB’s portfolio of properties currently includes Power Rangers, Paul Frank, Vortexx,, The Playforge, Julius Jr., Digimon Fusion and Popples. For more information, visit

About the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

The mission of the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), a center of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), is to advance contemporary native art through exhibitions, collections, public programs and scholarship. MoCNA’s outreach through local and national collaborations allows us to continue to present the most progressive Native art and public programming. MoCNA’s exhibitions and programs continue the narrative of contemporary Native arts and cultures. MoCNA is located at 108 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, NM 87501. For more information please contact: (505) 983-1666 or visit For the MoCNA store, please call (888) 922-4242 or email

About IAIA

For 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a leading role in the direction and shape of Native expression. As it has grown and evolved into an internationally acclaimed college, museum and community and tribal support resource through the Center for Lifelong Education, IAIA’s dedication to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures is matched only by its commitment to student achievement and the preservation and progress of the communities they represent. Learn more about our achievements and mission at

SAVE THE DATE: Santa Fe Indian Market, August 12-18, 2013


Each August, the historic city of Santa Fe, NM becomes the Santa Fe Indian Market, enveloping the town’s central Plaza and surrounding streets. In addition, hundreds of gallery openings, art shows and related events take place during the weekend of Indian Market and during the two weeks immediately preceding it. Indian art collectors and artists from around the world make the pilgrimage to Santa Fe — whether they intend to buy or not. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) sponsors the event.

This year SWAIA is celebrating  its 92nd annual Santa Fe Indian Market the week of August 12-18, 2013. This spectacular festival brings over 150,000 people to Santa Fe every August with its unique, exciting and inspiring events. From families with young children to avid art collectors, Santa Fe Indian Market attracts international visitors from all walks of life. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Indian arts and cultures. Most events are free and open to the public.


Las Cruces Arts Fair, March 15-17, 2013

THE POTTERS OF MATA ORTIZ will be at the 2013 Las Cruces Arts Fair, March 15 – 17 2013, Las Cruces Convention Center.

The potters of Mata Ortiz, in Chihuahua, Mexico will be the guest artists at the 2013 Las Cruces Arts Fair. These award-winning potters will demonstrate their unique methods of hand-building and decorating their pottery and offer their work for sale. This pottery extravaganza will be the largest Mata Ortiz gathering outside of Mexico.

Potters expected to attend the show are a Who’s Who of famous potters.

WALTER PARKS, author of “The Miracle of Mata Ortiz,” published in a beautiful hardbound edition in 2012, will lecture about Juan Quezada and the early years in Mata Ortiz at 10:00a.m. Sunday March 17. RUSSELL DIERS, co-author of “The Magnetism of Mata Ortiz” will give a lecture at 2:00pm on Saturday March 16, 2013.

A special screening of Scott Petersen’s Emmy award winning film, “The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz” will take place on Sat. Mar. 9th at 5:00pm at the Rio Grande Theater in downtown Las Cruces. A suggested donation of $10 per person will be accepted at the door. Scott will host a question and answer discussion after the screening.

Hand-dyed garments, glass art, copper enameling, pottery, furniture, jewelry, metal art, mixed media, and traditional acrylic and oil paintings will all be on display with several available for purchase.

The Las Cruces Arts Fair is sponsored by the Dona Ana Arts Council, a non-profit organization,  dedicated to improving the quality of life in Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico by ensuring that the performing, visual, and literary arts are an integral part of the education, economic growth and community development of the surrounding areas.

Hours of The Las Cruces Arts Fair at the Las Cruces Convention Center:

  • Opening Night – Music and Cash Bar: March 15, 5- 9 p.m., $6 (Children under age 12 admitted free)
  • March 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ,$6 (Children under 12 free)
  • March 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $6 (Children under 12 free).

Visit or call 575-523-6403.

Mark Your Calendar: Carrizozo Music in the Parks, Friday, March 8

The Piatigorsky Foundation of NYC and Carrizozo Music in the Parks are sponsoring a  concert on Friday, March 8 at 7Pm at the Trinity Methodist Church in Carrizozo. The performance will feature award winning mezzo soprano Katherine Calcamuggio accompanied by pianist, John Elam.   The concert is free to the public and accessible to all. 

Prior to the concert, members of the Trinity United Methodist Church will host an Irish dinner of fish and chips with all the fixin’s, cheesecake and homemade ice cream for $8. They will be serving from 5-6:30.  Dine in the church fellowship hall, then move to the sanctuary and listen to Thomas Radcliffe perform on guitar and Spanish laud  during the interlude between dinner and the concert!

A reception will follow the concert with an opportunity to chat with the musicians.

The next concerts in our series will be Anne Eisfeller, Concert Harp, on Thursday, April 18 at 2pm at the Old Gym of the Carrizozo School Campus.  Friday, April 19 at 7pm  Anne will play duets with Valerie Potter, principal flute for the NM Philharmonic.  Both concerts are free and open to the public.

For more information please check or call Elaine 575-648-2757

For over 22 years, The Piatigorsky Foundation’s commitment to artistic excellence and public outreach has fascinated many avid concert goers, as well as curious first-timers. It is this combination of complimentary access, flamboyant performances, and human warmth that makes Piatigorsky Foundation concerts so appealing to diverse audiences. Last
year, the Foundation presented a tour of 10 concerts in New Mexico reaching over 1,990 people in Lovington, Jal, Carrizozo, Albuquerque, and Hobbs. In an effort to serve more communities this season, for the very first time The Foundation will present two tours in the state. The Fall tour took place in November 2012, and the Spring tour will take place March 2013, beginning in Tatum and concluding in Carrizozo.

KATHERINE CALCAMUGGIO is an award-winning mezzo-soprano whose talent distinguishes her as one of the most promising young vocalists on the opera scene today. In the past four seasons, Calcamuggio has been featured in important role and company debuts across the United States, eliciting kudos for her “soaring, rich voice” (The Miami Herald), her “polished musical and dramatic characterizations” (Kurt Weill Newsletter) and her “fine coloratura technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Auspicious operatic and symphonic debuts from recent seasons include roles as Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel; Siebel in Gounod’s Faust; Stephano in Roméo et Juliette (for which Calcamuggio was named “Artist of the Year” in 2009 with Syracuse Opera); Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Un Musico in Manon Lescaut with Florida Grand Opera; the Young Nun in the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good (available on the Naxos label) and Aglaonice in Philip Glass’ critically-acclaimed Orphée with Glimmerglass Opera. Ms. Calcamuggio is currently working on her doctorate at University of Michigan and holds a Master of Music degree from  Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University.

A native of Cleburne, Texas, JOHN ELAM is a Master’s student at the University of Michigan studying collaborative piano, where he is a student of Martin Katz. He received his BM and MM degrees in Piano Performance from Baylor University, where he studied with Jane Abbott-Kirk, Jeffrey Peterson, and Vincent de Vries. Mr. Elam has served as music director for Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Urinetown, while also serving as rehearsal pianist for Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress this past spring. In addition to his work in musical theater and opera productions, Mr. Elam has extensive experience as a choral pianist, having performed with the Texas All-State Choir. He made his solo debut with orchestra in 2004 with the Grieg Concerto in A minor and has performed at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and Symphony Hall in Detroit.

Evan Drachman established The Piatigorsky Foundation in 1990 in honor of his grandfather Gregor Piatigorsky. Piatigorsky deeply believed in the healing and inspiration power of classical music. He once said, “Music makes life  alive. It is magnificent. And it is for everyone”. Through his sizzling artistry and charismatic personality, Piatigorsky thus enlivened his mission by performing for millions of people around the globe. The Piatigorsky Foundation is committed to carrying on Piatigorsky’s noble aspiration by
evoking cultural curiosity through educational and accessible live performances.

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival Spring Show Celebrates 25 Years!

Photography by Jim Carnevale


From March 8-10, the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival Spring Show will open its doors to celebrate 25 years.  Featuring a juried lineup of 200 fine artists and craftsmen from all over the country in a variety of mediums: glass art, jewelry, watercolor, ceramics, wood, photography, oil paintings, mixed media and more, this Albuquerque favorite never ceases to draw huge crowds!

Festival goers enjoy a variety of live music, specialty foods, artists’ demonstrations, and the complimentary Kids’ Creation Station, while artists ring in exceptional sales.  In honor of our 25th year, and nearly a decade of ranking in Sunshine Artist’s ‘Top 100 Shows’, we would like to toast to our talented artists, loyal customers, and New Mexico’s fabulous spring weather.

The Festival will be held indoors in the Lujan Exhibit Complex at Expo NM Fairgrounds in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From I-40, exit south on Louisiana Blvd. – turn west on Lomas Blvd. – turn south on San Pedro Blvd. Turn in at Gate 3 or 4 to enter the Expo New Mexico Fairgrounds.

Visit their website for savings on Festival admissions and more details!

Unexpected Treasures: Kim’s Korner in Quemado

A few years ago, retired Navy Officer Kim Carr bought herself a nice piece of land in Indian Springs, Quemado, where she built a log cabin to match the New Mexico lifestyle she had long dreamed about. Fast-forward to today, and Kim is the proud owner of “Kim’s Korner,” Quemado’s answer to the swanky boutiques of Santa Fe—and one that’s just as important to the local art community. Everything she sells is made by homegrown talent: from pottery to jewelry, to prints, paintings, postcards and more. There’s woodwork by Bob Baker, a neighbor from Indian Springs, and every artist that has items in the store works there four to five days a month.

So the next time you’re tooling down the 60 in southwestern New Mexico trying to get from Point A to Point B, make it a point to take a breather in downtown Quemado (don’t blink or you’ll miss it) and stop in and say “hey” to Kim. She’s right next door to the Spurs & Skirts Hair Salon (just in case you need a trim) and she’s open Wednesday through Saturday 10 – 4, and 12 – 5 on Sundays.

It’s the unexpected pleasure of finding unexpected treasures.