One of the best things about autumn in New Mexico is the chance to wander to the artists’ studio tours that occur throughout the fall months. Not only is the weather truly superb, one can meet the artists, see their studios AND buy art direct from the artist without gallery fees…a real win-win! The month of October is prime time for weekend art touring and golden aspen viewing both.
The arts touring season starts the weekend of October 1-2, in the beautiful New Mexico village of El Rito, easily one of the prettiest spots up north. With 25 years under their belts, this bunch of artisans has it down. From weaving to santeros, painting to pottery, you’ll find much to admire from the 26 participating artists. Two venues are also stops on the new, state-wide New Mexico Fiber Arts Trail, those of Julie Wagner (#3) and Northern New Mexico Community College (#5), which boasts a fiber arts program. Yes, this pristine little village does have a college….and let’s not forget that El Rito Library promises “Death by Chocolate” desserts!
October 8-10 (since Monday is Columbus Day, this tour has an extra!) welcomes art lovers to the village of Abiquiu, long renowned as Georgia O’Keeffe’s choice for the best New Mexico real estate. With 34 stops along the way, the Abiquiu Studio Tour is always well-attended, not only for the art but also for the natural beauty of the region. One can easily spend hours up north, what with O’Keeffe’s residence and Ghost Ranch both in the area. While reservations must be made in advance to tour the O’Keeffe home, the glories of Ghost Ranch are evident for all who care to go there.
The Galisteo Studio Tour claims the following weekend, October 15-16. Just a short drive from downtown Santa Fe, the tour is celebrating its 24th year. 31 stops guarantee a variety of works, and the close-in location means you can ruminate on a piece of sculpture or a painting and then return the next day after you’ve dreamt about how it will look when you bring it home. Four food stops mean snacking is possible. And while the art doyenne of Galisteo, Priscilla Hoback, is not participating in the tour this year (since her studio time this summer was spent instead in a restaurant kitchen, bringing the venerable Pink Adobe back to life), you may see her chatting with visitors from the swing on the front porch of her studio!
The Dixon Studio Tour hunkers down and waits until November 5-6 to have the weekend to itself. If you’re taking a day trip to Taos, stopping in Dixon for a spot of art is definitely worth the short detour. 30 years is a long time to perfect the occasion, and the Dixon artists open their tour with a reception on Friday, November 4 at 7:00p.m. just to get the creative juices flowing. 35 studio stops, roving musicians, food, and believe it or not, there’s even a winery for tastings!
Art and nature…it’s easy to see why the light and the landscape have drawn so many creative souls to northern New Mexico…take time to enjoy an autumn drive and discover for yourself!