On my daily bike route I pass the old Ghost Ranch Santa Fe campus where bulls recline and bright red apples sit precariously on a pile of giant crumpled soda cans—bronze sculptures by Peter Woytuk. Then I cruise past the bronze statue by Mac Vaughan of Sicilian artist Tommy Macaione painting en plein air in Triangle Park. Art is everywhere you look in Santa Fe, from the animal mosaics along U.S. 84 to ethereal origami sculptures by Kevin Box in the Santa Fe Botanical Garden to the 56-foot-long bronze “Journey’s End” sculpture depicting the trials of the historic Santa Fe Trail by Reynaldo Rivera at the entrance to Museum Hill. It’s all so readily available that sometimes I get lazy and tune out. Then I know it’s time to take a tour with an expert who will provide intellectual stimulation to boost my daily visual thrill. Here are a few of the best.
Santa Fe Studio Tour
Sure there are dead masters, but it’s a lot more fun to meet the artist alive and in person. In late June it’s possible to wander through Santa Fe on a self-guided tour of artists—in 2014 there were 58 in 37 studios over three days. Many give demonstrations or talk with guests about their philosophy and craft.
Seven Directions—Canyon Road Gallery Openings
With more than 80 galleries, Canyon Road can feel a little overwhelming. The guide on this Friday evening tour will direct you to the hottest shows, arrange conversations with artists and gallery owners, and help deconstruct it all with a drink at El Farol, one of Santa Fe’s most legendary bars.
Georgia O'Keefe Museum Home and Studio Tour
Sometimes a museum or gallery tour isn’t enough, especially with an enigmatic artist like Georgia O’Keefe, whose life is as legendary as her work. Through the Georgia O’Keefe Musuem, sign up for a “Behind the Scenes” tour at O’Keefe’s home and studio in Abiquiu, an hour northwest of Santa Fe.
New Mexico Museum of Art Walking Tour
Every April through November, meander the streets of downtown Santa Fe for two hours, learning about its numerous art and architectural highlights, from the Obelisk in the center of the Plaza to the Portal at the Palace of the Governors to the tucked away old adobe that held a vital Manhattan Project secret.
Historic Walks of Santa Fe—Santa Fe Artist at Home
For those who want less of an overview and a more an intimate peek into the life of one of Santa Fe’s many world-renowned artists, sign up for this tour, which includes a half-day visit with the artist in his or her home or studio, followed by lunch at Santa Café.