Canyon Road Art District, Santa Fe
If you think there are a lot of galleries in Santa Fe’s downtown (in some streets, every other building it seems), wait until you see Canyon Road, where just about every building in a half-mile strip is one! And even though we enjoy visiting galleries, we did find it all a bit too much – there are only so many you can in on one trip! But we did spend a pleasant couple of hours popping in and out of some of the galleries near the northern end, without ever making it down the full length as we had originally thought we might.
If you come on a Friday as we did aim for the end of the afternoon or early evening, as many galleries have openings then. You might get a chance to meet the artists and there are also sometimes refreshments on offer to lure you in. We were a little early but did enjoy chatting to one gallery owner who had just finished hanging and was happy to tell us about the various artists who were exhibiting. But my favourite gallery was probably Karan Ruhlen, at 225 Canyon Road, with some striking abstract landscapes by Kurt Meer. There’s no way I could afford the price tags (between $2,440 and $5,250) but I did bring away a free postcard from the gallery to remind me of the works.
You absolutely cannot visit Santa Fe without a drive along Canyon Road. This is the arts district--which begins on the corner of Peralta and Canyon Roads and where about 80 art galleries are located.
This part of town became popular when a group of realist painters known as "Cinco de Pintores" (the 5 artists) built their homes along an intersection in this area in the 1920's. The major of those being Will Shuster who originated the celebration of Zozobra (which heralds the Fall social season on the Thursday after Labor Day).
As you progress along this route, you'll see exquisite bronze sculptures; gyrating kinetic wind sculptures; colorfully painted artist's studios, a flash of intimate little courtyards and usually experience the crush of tourists.
However, we visited Santa Fe in the winter time, which spared us the hoards of people, yet gave us the opportunity to see the glorious mountains topped with snow. I discovered a gallery I found very exciting--Waxlander Galleries, which is detailed in a shopping tip.
We caught a glimpse of a picturesque little restaurant or two as we traveled along Canyon Road. I imagine it would be a pleasant destination in the summer where one could come to appreciate the arts culture or to have a glass of wine in an interesting setting.
This is an absolute must-see. Top of the list. Gotta do. Canyon Road has a long and fascinating history as a centuries-old Native American route between Rio Grande and Pecos Pueblos, a Spanish agricultural settlement, lumber road and, for the past 100 years, art colony. And what a colony it is! Housed in beautiful adobe buildings - some as old as the 1750's - 100 galleries, shops and restaurants provide art lovers with 2 miles of paintings, jewelry, pottery, textiles, folk art and sculpture plus places to rest and recharge when you reach a creative-overload point. And besides fabulous art and architecture, most of the galleries have window boxes, pots or pocket-sized gardens simply overflowing with flowers in the warmer months - bring the camera!
The narrow road starts a few blocks southeast of the Plaza, at Paseo de Peralta, and ends west of Cristo Rey church. A large section is a one-way and parking can be a hassle so it's best to either walk from the plaza, park your car at the municipal lot on the east end of Canyon Road (expensive) or try to find a free spot on East Alameda or other nearby street. Earlybirds can probably snag a spot on the road itself: just bring your coffee and windowshop until the galleries open around 9:00 or 10:00. Check the website for gallery and restaurant listings, hours and more info. Not a great activity with wee folk; although free to browse, this is high-end art with very serious price tags.
Tip: Backroom Coffee Bar at The Cruz Gallery (616 Canyon Road) is a good spot for having a cuppa joe or cold soda and a sit-down about the midway point in your ramble.
Santa Fe claims to be the second largest Art dealer in the nation and its easy to see why so many artists would be drawn to the area. The natural beauty of New Mexico is inspiring and the architecture, a mix of Indian and Spanish influences is colorful and lends itself to pleasing to the eye representations. Native American Art and its people offer another motif and oft copied style. There are many museums in town but it is the almost too numerous galleries that are the city's claim to fame. No place is that more apparent than in the high concentration on Canyon Road. This pleasant touristy area is lined with a plethora of varied galleries and dotted with sculptures. Even if you are not looking to buy anything, it is truly a great place to walk around, soak in the ambiance, and of course, take photos.
This is a one mile stretch of road that east of downtown and off Paseo de Peralta perimeter road. It is near the State Capitol splitIt features a cluster of artists with their shops and some unique sculptures. Your choice of many to see and buy form. Parking is not good, though, so be prepared to walk a lot
The sign says it all... "The Arts and Crafts Road"... an incredible number of galleries and craft shops all along one road...Just of of Alameda, the road runs uphill approximately a mile. You don't need to bother going into any gallery as there are hundreds of art works out in front lining the street.
Canyon Road is filled with art galleries, restaurants, gift shops and more art galleries. It is a plesant walk if the weather is good. The galleries range from local artist to international artists. This is not just peach and teal.
The Friends Meeting (Quakers) meet at 630 Canyon Road in the former home of Hoosier artist and Quaker Olive Rush. Silent Meetings for Worship are at 9:00 am and 11:00 am First days (Sundays). The first first day of the month is potluck following the 1100-1200 meeting.
The garden, in back, through the wooden gate, is open to all for quiet meditation anytime.
1. Take a stroll up Canyon Road...lots of galleries and some good restaurants.
2. Nedra Mattucci Gallery: Check out the fabulous sculpture garden in the back.
3. Shidoni Foundary and sculpture garden. About 3 miles north of SFe on Bishops Lodge Road. You can visit the foundary to see works in progress. You can watch them pour moulten bronze, usually Saturday at noon...but call to check times.
A mile of art galleries offering different styles. Many beautiful and moving pieces.
I felt pressured by some to buy something. I did not feel as comfortable as when I was at the galleries on the plaza.
Canyon road is absolutely lovely in April, and El Farol allows you the opportunity to continue enjoying it even during lunch. The building itself has a charming style and there is an extensive patio for watching the world go by. Inside the restaurant, a Native American woman was selling jewelry, and the walls we painted to mimic the mission style. Lunch was good, and the overall experience was fantastic.