Santa Fe’s art scene is one of the most dimensional in the world, showcasing over 200 art galleries in two-square miles. And, Santa Fe is ranked as the third largest art market. Nowhere else can you walk and visually take in the variety of art in such a short period of time. The city is an eminent center for contemporary art, while traditional art still flourishes. Tribal art, Folk art, photography, glass, animation art, fine crafts and more also abound.

Historic, West and Southwest Art

What makes Santa Fe special starts with the old. The very first artists to come to Santa Fe were traditional painters, enthralled by the grandeur of the scenery and captivated by the lifestyles of the West. Today, fine representational painters and sculptors continue to portray the West and Southwest. And, many art galleries carry historic Western art, especially works by early Northern New Mexico artists. If your taste is for European-style traditional painting or sculpture, there are many selections, including the work of several well-known Russian artists.

A Bit of Rural Taos, 1949, by O. E. Berninghaus (1874-1952). Photo courtesy of Nedra Matteucci Galleries

A Bit of Rural Taos, 1949, by O. E. Berninghaus (1874-1952). Photo courtesy of Nedra Matteucci Galleries

Native and Hispanic Art

Added to this vibrant milieu are unique Indian and Hispanic arts native to Santa Fe. Indian artists fashion traditional pottery, carvings, weavings and jewelry, but also seek contemporary ways to interpret centuries-old themes. The carving and painting of saints, or santos, tinsmithing and weaving preserved from Spanish Colonial times thrive in the hands of modern Hispanic artisans.

Acoma Polychrome Water Jar, C. 1910, 12" x 12"- Photo courtesy of Morning Star Gallery

Acoma Polychrome Water Jar, C. 1910, 12″ x 12.” Photo courtesy of Morning Star Gallery

Contemporary Art

If contemporary art is your love, you will be amazed at the abundance of it in Santa Fe. From thousands of paintings, you might select an abstract landscape, a realist street scene or the bold forms of Latin America. Art glass is very popular, and you will find pieces from colorful flowers to abstract shapes.

New Concept Gallery on Canyon Road has an art openings for abstract artist Kathleen Doyle Cook.

New Concept Gallery on Canyon Road has an art openings for abstract artist Kathleen Doyle Cook. ISF photo.

Art Gallery Openings

Art gallery openings are momentous festive occasions in Santa Fe, and it’s the best opportunity to see a vast selection of an artist’s work displayed at one-time in the gallery. Art gallery openings, often held on Friday evenings, give locals and visitors alike the opportunity to amble along the winding streets, meet talented artists and purchase their latest creations. It’s the perfect way to make new connections with other aficionados and celebrate Santa Fe’s wonderful abundance of art. Explore our Calendar of Events on InsideSantaFe.com to learn which galleries are having openings. And, can’t make the opening? Gallery exhibitions run over a period of time, which varies from a weekend to a few weeks or more, so search our Gallery Exhibition category on the calendar of events to find them.

Meyer Gallery had an art opening for painter Cary Ennis.

Meyer Gallery has an art opening for painter Cary Ennis. ISF photo.

 

Whether you’re a novice or seasoned collector exploring the wealth of art in Santa Fe is not to be missed. The gallery owners and consultants pride themselves in offering their knowledge and assistance. There is art for every taste and budget in Santa Fe. We invite you to browse, savor the visual feast and appreciate the art variety offered by Santa Fe’s Galleries in our Arts section on our website.


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