Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Santa Fe's Canyon Road

Frolicking in the sculpture garden

When we make our cross-country trip, we always try to schedule some time in Santa Fe.  Santa Fe is, in my mind, still one of the best places to shop for art in the US.  Granted, over the years we've seen Santa Fe change a bit.  It's gone from primarily western art (think cowboys around a campfire with horses in the dusky shadows) to contemporary representational art (think florals with ginger jars or broad landscapes with stormy skies) and finally to decorative art (think big color pieces with plenty of texture to liven up your dining room.)  As the world turns, so does the Santa Fe art market.

I'm not one much for decorative wall art.  The good thing is, I can still find plenty of what I do like, which is contemporary representational art.  There are still a handful of galleries offering this, although even they do seem to be mixing in some of the decorative pieces to help with sales.

Canyon Road
We are in Santa Fe now, spending a few days here before our Taos painting retreat starts.  We hit Canyon Road this morning, and as this is still the off-season – things don't start rockin' until July, we're told – we found plenty of parking.  It was easy walking on the narrow sidewalks, too.  But even though it is off-season, this is one of the best times to come.  No crowds to fight, and the fruit trees are just starting to bloom.  Gallery attendants aren't yet tired of welcoming visitors, and there is fresh work being hung on the walls.

Here are some of my favorite Canyon Road galleries, in no particular order:  Ventana Fine Art, Gallery 822, McLarry Fine Art, Meyer Gallery (and Meyer East), Sage Creek Gallery, Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Michael Henington Gallery, and Zaplin Lambert (not contemporary, but a lot of historical Taos and Santa Fe painters are represented here.)

Off-Canyon Road
I was pleased to find in Ventana Fine Art a good deal of new work by Albert Handell and Doug Dawson.  (As some of you may recall, Doug has taught mentoring workshops for me in Lubec and on Campobello Island; Albert is coming up this summer to teach one in Lubec.)  Michael Henington is a gallery I haven't run across before, but that was because it has just moved back to Canyon Road from another spot.  I was pleased to find my friend Bob Rohm represented nicely there.

I also took advantage of the off-season to talk to some gallery directors and to hand out my card.  I was in a Santa Fe gallery not long ago, but it closed; it'd be nice to be back in Santa Fe again.

I have not mentioned Gerald Peters and Nedra Matteucci, which are off Canyon Road but nearby.  Tomorrow we'll return to downtown and stop by these two fine galleries and also look at a few near the Plaza.

Canyon Road Rooftop

By the way, we are giving a special deal on my Acadia Workshop Center workshop (June 18-21) - $25 off.  The price is now $550.  If you've not been to Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, this is your chance!  It's one of my favorite places to paint.  For details:


Nancy L. Vance said...

Thanks! Just what I needed! I will definitely stop at Ventana Fine Art on Sunday.

Cheryl Cochran said...

Looking forward to seeing photos and artwork from Taos. It's someplace I'd really like to go someday!

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks, Nancy and Cheryl! Nancy - also make sure you stop by Gerald Peters and Nedra Matteucci. Although they specialize in dead painters, they have some great examples of living ones. One of my faves is Walt Gonske, who paints a lot around Taos. Cheryl - stay tuned!

Artist Jes said...

Hi Michael,
Your blog is inspiring me to try plein air paintings. Nice works!! :)