Santa Fe Church

Shopping and art viewing in Santa Fe are just primo, with more than 200 galleries and more than a dozen museums. One of my favorite things to do is to cruise the promenade at the Palace of the Governors (ca 1600) where the Native Americans display their jewelry wares. I always buy something and relish the act of purchasing directly from the craftsman. In this case I purchased a beautiful set of turquoise, coral and mother of pearl earrings from Stephanie Medina of the Santo Domingo Pueblo. 


Palace of the Governors

The region's rich heritage includes the influence of New Mexico's rich Spanish Colonial heritage and Native American arts are also deeply rooted in the region's history. Artists from the pueblos and tribes of New Mexico produce highly prized works that reflect their ancestor's traditions, but there is also a flourishing contemporary art scene. 

This summer's events include:

*The July Spanish Market celebrates traditional handcrafted works by 250 Hispanic artists. The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market brings more than 100 folk artists from 40 countries to the world's largest market of its kind, also in July.

* The prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market, held every August, is Santa Fe's largest event, with more than 1,200 artists from 100 tribes.

Santa Fe museums include:

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art


Pueblo Construction

The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art is the newest museum on the Santa Fe scene and features objects from throughout the Spanish Colonial world, housed in a historical building designed by John Gaw Meem. Converging Streams: Art of the Hispanic and Native American Southwest exhibition opening events are from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20. Arts Alive! all-age hands-on art making on selected Wednesdays. 

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
At the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, encounter Native cultures and artifacts of the Southwest from ancestral to contemporary, in exhibits drawing from more than 70,000 works of art and material culture. New exhibitions in 2009 include Native American Picture Books of Change and A River Apart. 

Museum of International Folk Art


Inside Pueblo

To experience the color and excitement of the world's cultures, go to the Museum of International Folk Art and see an unparalleled collection that includes toys, textiles, household goods and religious art. New exhibitions in 2009 include Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia and Writing With Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities. 

By Ruth Mitchell
JustLuxe Contributor