November 6th, 2010

My beautiful mother Melinda in front of a painting that was done entirely with black oil paint. And, no, she is not single.

It’s always a treat to visit the number two art destination in the country (behind New York City): Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’ve been traveling to this art Mecca for over 6 years now, and each time I go I find new artists and galleries to discover.  And I always eat something incredible (hello delicious Pasquals!). I’ve returned from this trip with new ideas for the gallery, and perhaps new artists as well. Where else in the Southwest is there such an array of fine art and culture in one spot? Although, Park City is closing in…

Meyer East Gallery, featuring works by Brian Kershisnik

Canyon Road (with more than 50 galleries alone) is art gallery destination #1, but there are more and more galleries and museums spreading out and surrounding the square. Take Lincoln Avenue North from the square and you will find Legends Gallery, David Richard Gallery, and Evoke Contemporary.  And heading South about 5 blocks from the square is the Railyard District, which houses a few contemporary galleries in light and lofty spaces. Each gallery will have a destination guide, showing the locations of each gallery and the restaurants nearby. Santa Fe Dry Goods has the best jewelry in town, but lower budget silver items made by Native locals can be found on the North side of the square.

Zane Bennett Gallery

Take my advice and spread out your art gallery destinations. Going up and down Canyon Road will take you all day, alone. Don’t do much else on this day but sip margaritas by the pool. Up one side in the morning, lunching at the top, and returning down the other side in the afternoon is pretty much a perfect day. Some favorites are Darnell Fine Art, Selby Fleetwood Gallery, NuArt Gallery, Meyer Gallery East, McClarry Modern, and Giacobbe Fritz. Many of Gallery MAR‘s artists are also represented in Santa Fe, at a few of these galleries. Take your time– there is so much to see and discuss. Cap off your day with a trip to your hotel’s spa, and that’s an art lover’s dream vacation! On the spa front, Ten Thousand Waves is a favorite.

The Axle Contemporary roving truck Gallery

Everything you need to see, eat, and buy is downtown in Santa Fe, just a few blocks from the main square. With comfortable walking shoes, you really don’t need to have a car once you’ve driven into the city. Hourly shuttle or train rides from Albuquerque airport to downtown Santa Fe would do wonders for easing transportation to this spot, and I’m surprised more businesses haven’t worked together to supply this. We parked our car at the hotel and didn’t use it until we drove back to catch our plane.