It’s officially spring, drawing our attention to the blooming of Santa Fe’s vast, high-elevation landscape. Artists and art lovers have long been inspired by it, so too our diverse cultural influences, our rich history, and our modern, yet outpost-like vibe. Not to mention The City Different’s Territorial and Spanish Pueblo Revival architecture we call the Santa Fe Style, and our 250 art galleries, 20 museums, and multiple immersive experiences.
Are you an art lover (or an artist)? Come enjoy some art in the reportedly world's best city for art lovers amid the gentle warmth of a Santa Fe spring.
Print Santa Fe
Print Santa Fe arrives on spring breezes for its inaugural year to celebrate the niche art of printmaking in The City Different, which already has a long tradition of excellence in the medium. People will be introduced to printmakers and artists from around the country at events throughout the month. In the final week of the April, the events ramp up with a live printmaking performance, a mask-making workshop, a puppet procession, an artist talk, a dedicated children's printmaking event, and a three-day art fair. Intrigued yet? This wonderful series of events comes to Santa Fe via Print Austin, which celebrates its 10th year of raising the profile of the fine art of printmaking.
Sunday, April 9
Easter Sunday means egg hunts, time with family, chocolate bunnies, and a decadent brunch! You’ll see why on Easter Sunday as local restaurants concoct and prepare some of the most delicious dishes. So while planning that Easter weekend trip to Santa Fe, be sure to make your brunch plans now! Here are some suggestions to get you started: Terra at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado for a live music meal in a mountainous setting, Santacafe for sophisticated dining in a historic home downtown, Luminaria for great flavors on their beautiful patio, The Compound under new executive chef Weston Ludeke, or SkyFire on the Bishop's Lodge Auberge Resorts Collection property, which has earned numerous accolades since reopening. For more ideas, visit our dine page.
Natural Beauty at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden
Daily, 9 am–5 pm
With the month of April comes a new exhibition called Piñon Country and expanded hours for Santa Fe’s beloved botanical gardens, featuring native and appropriate non-native plants ensconced on nearly 20 peaceful acres at Museum Hill. Don’t miss a chance to walk the thoughtful paths through the three main gardens, Orchard Gardens, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, and the Piñon-Juniper Woodland. This wonderland is just a few minutes drive from the downtown historic Plaza.
Oh, and the beloved Easter Egg Hunt is back! From 11 am to 1 pm, bring the little ones to search for thousands of hidden egg treasures. Also expect a special presentation on native rabbits of New Mexico, a food truck, and plenty of photo opportunities with Easter bunny Clover!
Local Artisans at the Railyard
Every Saturday and Sunday at the Railyard
Take home some fine arts and crafts from one of Santa Fe’s local artisans. Saturdays, in its 13th season is the Santa Fe Artists Market, an outdoor juried show that presents some of Santa Fe’s best in pottery, jewelry, paintings, photography, sculpture, furniture, textiles and more! Sundays, check out the Railyard Artisan Market, held in the open-air Farmers’ Market Pavilion, where you can find original, local, creative work directly from the artists, a gift for a special occasion, and souvenirs and mementos. Across the tracks, check out El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe Mercado for Americana, international folk art, vintage Western memorabilia, tribal and global fine art, as well as Native American jewelry and art, vintage and antique American and Western furniture and collectibles, books, textiles, clothing, and works of local artists, weekends through May.
Local George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones creator was a key contributor to the original Meow Wolf, a mind-bending art immersion experience that thrives in The City Different with new rooms added to the more than 70 in the House of Eternal Return, including artist Virgil Ortiz' Sirens: Secret Passkeys & Portals. Fun for evening music performances, too, including The Santa Fe Symphony's Music of the Spheres on April 25.
For some visual and performance art in motion, also inspired by Martin, check out what's on tap on Sky Railway’s new adventure trains, featuring series-related visuals from graffiti artist Joerael Numina. Choose your entertainment, including Sunset Serenade, Live Music Under the Stars, Lore of the Land, Cocktails and Rails and roll along the 18 miles of track between the depots of Santa Fe and Lamy from the comfort a refurbished passenger car, as you feast your eyes on our exquisite high-elevation piñon and juniper landscape.
Walk Canyon Road
Yes, it’s just a half-mile long, and yet, there are more than 100 galleries to explore along this tree-lined, flower-forward street called Canyon Road. Take your time in and out of the charming historic adobe buildings that house some of the finest art in the world, be it contemporary, abstract, modern, expressionistic, figurative, photorealistic, digital, traditional, western or Native American. And poke around through to the back gardens, festooned in flora and sculpture. Reserve a bit more time than you think you’ll need—there are gourmet restaurants, jewelry stores, clothing boutiques, home furnishings shops, and artist studios to adore.
Tour an Award-Winning Museum
Congratulations go out to two deeply deserving Santa Fe museums for their contributions to our understanding of art. In the USA TODAY 10BEST Readers' Choice 2023 poll on best museums in the United States, you'll find the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art, recognized for its display of art practices representative of Native North America, at #3 and the Museum of International Folk Art, with the world's largest collection of folk art, at 10!
Oh, and don't miss your chance to obsess about Santa Fe darling Georgia O'Keeffe at her very own museum. On exhibit through March 2024 is Making a Life, which explores the artist’s identity as a "maker" or an individual who carefully curated her life, personal style, and artistic practice. This intimate exhibition showcases her books, furniture, artist’s materials, clothing, and accessories.
Make Your Own Art
(Courtesy of Santa Fe Painting Workshops)
Why not learn a thing or two about art from behind a camera lens, at the tip of a paintbrush, through building glass designs, seated at the clay wheel, or by creating abstract oil and cold wax paintings? There’s no shortage of marvelous local instructors, artists in their own right, who adore sharing their craft with you. Check out the listings in Classes and Workshops. One of your memorable Santa Fe souvenirs could be a creation of your very own!
And new to the downtown Plaza is a spot where you can simultaneously imbibe locally made craft beer and spirits AND make some take-home art. Check out Tumbleroot Pottery Pub, where "cocktails meet clay."
Hire an Art Guide
(Photo credit: Kitty Leaken)
Explore Santa Fe’s art scene with an expert facilitator! For instance, the guides with Santa Fe Art Tours are steeped in art history, but conduct tours with a discussion-based approach to encourage you to cultivate your own personal responses to the art. Choose from tours of our multiple museums, Canyon Road, the architecture of the Plaza; see artist studios, add chocolate or yoga to any experience, or fashion something custom. You’ll come away with some useful techniques for contemplating art and a new window into the mind of an artist.
Last Friday Railyard Art Walk
Friday, April 28, 5–7 pm
Enjoy a spring evening walking in Railyard Arts District, where you’ll discover Santa Fe's leading contemporary art galleries, including Blue Rain Gallery, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Evoke Contemporary, form & concept, LewAllen Galleries, Tai Modern, and Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, along with the contemporary art museum SITE Santa Fe. When all of that art stirs your appetite, rest assured you are in the perfect neighborhood for a bite and a beer with new eateries on the scene.