State of the Art: New Mexico
With gorgeous landscapes that have captured the hearts and minds of artists for centuries, it’s no wonder New Mexico is nicknamed the Land of Enchantment. The state is home to the cliffs of Shiprock, the snow-capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the oldest capital city in North America—santa Fe, which was founded in 1610, 10 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
Over 100 fine art galleries populate
Santa Fe, scattered across three prominent arts districts. The Railyard Arts District in the southwest corner of the city is home to a group of contemporary art galleries, as well as the contemporary art space SITE Santa Fe. The Railyard features an art walk from 5 to 7 p.m. on the last Friday of every month.
Visitors to the Downtown Arts + Museum District can stroll among the heart of historic Santa Fe, visiting galleries, museums and an array of restaurants. The downtown art walk takes place on the first Friday of the month, also from 5 to 7 p.m.
Dozens of galleries are housed on the historic Canyon Road, a winding street built up with centuries-old adobe galleries. The Canyon Road Merchants Association hosts two major art events every year. The Canyon Road Spring Art Festival takes place this year on Saturday, May 12, and the Canyon Road Paint Out & Sculpt Out takes place the third weekend in October.
A number of auctions also take place in the city, including the Santa Fe Art Auction, happening November 10, as well as multiple sales hosted by Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers. Brian Lebel’s Old West Sale returns to Santa Fe this year with its show and sale taking place June 23 and 24 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.
On Museum Hill in the southwest corner of the city, art lovers can visit the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Museum of International
Folk Art and the Wheelwright Museum of American Indian Art.
Events in the city include Artsmart’s Edible Art Tour, taking place June 9 and 10, and in August, Santa Fe will be flooded with Native American artists and art enthusiasts during SWAIA’S Santa Fe Indian Market. The 97th annual event will be held this year on August 18 and 19. The largest show of its kind, the 2017 iteration attracted more than 150,000 people to Santa Fe’s downtown plaza.
To the southwest of Santa Fe in Albuquerque, visitors can get a comprehensive tour of the gallery landscape with the Alburquerque Arts Business Association’s First Friday Artscrawl events. Galleries and arts organizations in the city’s Old Town, Nob Hill, The Heights and downtown neighborhoods open their doors to visitors to view art demonstrations and special exhibitions.
In the pages of this special destination guide, readers will find information about and artwork from the state’s leading galleries, art organizations and artists, including Acosta Strong Fine Art, Gerald Peters Gallery, La Fonda on the Plaza, Lyn A. Fox Fine Pueblo Pottery, Karen Noles, Manitou Galleries, Montecristi Custom Hat Works, Nedra Matteucci Galleries, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico and Vertu Fine Art Gallery.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis Assisi. Photo by Fuesideas. Courtesy TOURISM Santa Fe.
The New Mexico Museum of Art. Photo by Fuseideas. Courtesy TOURIM Santa Fe.
Entrance to Canyon Road. Photo by Daniel Nadelbach. Courtesy TOURISM Santa Fe.