Sunday, April 18, 2010

Question Oft Asked

Do you have a gallery in Santa Fe? The answer is, no. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t work out here. Much of our business is now done through email, snail mail, telephone, and fax,… and the FedEx truck comes down our drive way often. Needless to say, if a client wants to see me in front of a work of art I am on the next plane. And there is good reason to be out here.

From my ‘Missives’ you have probably figured out by now that a great deal of my business is ‘schmoozing”! Many clients and colleagues visit Santa Fe or have homes here. You may wonder what draws them to a small town (population of 60-70,000) in a poor state.

Every summer people come from all over the world to hear great opera in a beautiful outdoor theater high in the mountains. There is a chamber music program which attracts major musicians such as the world renowned clarinetist Zuill Bailey for this coming season. The Lensic, built originally in 1931 as a movie theater, has been revamped by the Zeckendorf family as a venue for a varied calendar of performances of dance, music and the spoken word.

Since the early 20th century the scenery and breathtaking light has attracted artists who made Santa Fe into an artists colony. Among the most celebrated are Georgia O’Keeffe and Agnes Martin.

By my count there are at least eight museums in town. All together they are not as large as the Metropolitan Museum or the Louvre but they offer a menu of art in digestible doses.

The best known museum is the Georgia O’Keeffe with more out of town visitors than any other. The largest institution is the New Mexico History Museum which I have written about previously.

Three museums are devoted to Native American Art; The Wheelwright, The Museum of Arts and Culture and the gallery of the Native Americans’ distinguished art college, the Institute of American Indian Arts. Hispanic art is covered by The Spanish Colonial Museum, The National Hispanic Cultural Center in nearby Albuquerque and a portion of the Museum of International Folk Art.

The Museum of Fine Arts, in the 1917 adobe building that initiated the Pueblo Revival Style, houses a permanent collection of art from the South-West and presents special exhibitions that cover the gamut of international art history. For contemporary art there is Site Santa Fe, a Kunsthalle for what is going on in the world of contemporary art.

There are also art fairs throughout the year ranging from the well known Indian Market where Native Americans from all over come with their finest creations to the Spanish Market that showcases local Hispanic traditions. As of last year we even have contemporary design with SOFA, West. Culture goes on 24/7.

There are hundreds of art galleries in Santa Fe covering all of the above categories of art. In addition to the established downtown galleries a new district for cutting-edge contemporary has developed around SITE Santa Fe in the old Railyard. But the most charming art scene is Canyon Road, a winding lane flanked by old adobe houses that were once artists’ residences and are now inviting galleries.

You can see that Santa Fe offers a great deal of art to blog about… stay tuned.

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