So, it’s not New York (definitely not New York), and it’s not Los Angeles. Then there’s Washington D.C. and all of its major historical museums, and Santa Fe is far from that, too. It is, however, the oldest capital city in the United States, and Santa Fe is home to the oldest church in the country as well. Beyond that, it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western Hemisphere. So, while its history may not look similar to larger cities known for their culture and art scenes, Santa Fe is very far from lacking.
It’s home to the largest indigenous art fair, SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market takes place every August. You may expect this from a place that has occupied for as long as Santa Fe has, but it’s also home to what’s believed to be one of the most dense area of art galleries in the country. The half mile strip of Canyon Road is home to over 100 of the over 250 galleries in the city that feature a diverse array of art whether you’d like to see Southwestern, ethnographic, historic Western, contemporary, modern, immersive or something else entirely.
These are a few of the must-stop spots to view the art of Santa Fe:
Museum of International Folk Art
The mission of the Museum of International Folk Art is to foster understanding of the traditional arts to illuminate human creativity and shape a humane world. Founded byFlorence Dibell Bartlett, the museum boasts more than 130,000 examples of folk and traditional arts from over 100 countries. Current exhibitions include a look at beadwork around the world and the art of community in Peru.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Opening just over a decade after her passing in Santa Fe where she spent her last years, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum not only showcases the artist’s famed work but offers insight into her inspiration by being located in New Mexico and specifically Santa Fe, where she created so much work. The museum houses 3,000 works including 140 O’Keeffe oil paintings, nearly 700 drawings, and hundreds of additional pieces dating from 1901 to 1984.
Meow Wolf is one of those “you have to see it to believe it” type of places. Housed in an old bowling alley, the Santa Fe-based and born art collective known as Meow Wolf partnered with Game Of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin to make their wildest dream collaborative efforts come to life. The 20,000 square foot immersive installation features works from over 200 artists of across varied mediums. In an exhibition meets storytelling adventure, visitors start off within the residence of a family where something is clearly a little off. The space has a room that doubles as a venue, so your “Alice In Wonderland” fantasy can become a reality with a full bar and some of your favorite talent performing within the space.
Canyon Road Gallery Walk
As mentioned above, what was once a farmland eventually became art community. The half mile stretch is spotted with huge chestnut trees throughout the adobe structures that house clothing and jewelry boutiques, restaurants, and galleries that feature everything from fine art photography to bronze sculptures and scenic watercolor paintings.