Santa Fe Art Tours founder Elaine Ritchel graces our print edition's Arts & Culture section this week, but we wanted to go a little further and see what her tour entails. "You start thinking about all sorts of details when you're a tour guide," says Ritchel. She refers to details such as good places to meet up with people—try the front porch of Art House (231 Delgado St., 995-0231) where there's lavender water in the summer—or the nearest public restroom from your next stop (Canyon Road only has one, at 225 Canyon Road, but gallery owners are usually nice about letting you use their facilities). Here are Elaine's favorite stops on Canyon Road, and a few background thoughts about 'em—though you'll have to join her on a tour for the full Santa Fe Art Tours experience.
"I'm looking for spaces where people can gather or feel comfortable, like the big porch at El Zaguán. This building is the seat of Historic Santa Fe Foundation. I love to go there, because it gives a really nice idea of the way Canyon Road once was. There's an artist residency there, so it feels really bohemian."
"I like to go to galleries that have touchable, interactive artworks. Art House always has stuff that you can play with. It's a good icebreaker gallery, because the work is so different. People always relate to it, and they get really excited about it."
"Chiaroscuro represents a couple of amazing local Native American artists. Emmi Whitehorse and Rose B Simpson are the two that we typically spend a lot of time with. It's an airy space, and everyone who works there is wonderful and friendly. They do temporary exhibitions highlighting one artist on the bottom floor, and a selection of artists they represent on the top floor. That's a bit different from a lot of galleries on Canyon Road."
Zaplin Lampert Gallery
"Zaplin Lampert is excellent for people who are interested in Western art, and art by the Taos Society of Artists and the Santa Fe Art Colony. They have a nice selection of Gustave Baumann's work, who happens to be one of my favorite New Mexico artists. If they have a minute, they will always accommodate you and show you a few highlights. They'll take pictures off the wall and show you the back, or dig up a study for a paining to show you the process, which people really love."
"I don't think there's anywhere else on Canyon Road where you can count on seeing work by European modernists. Right now, they have a bunch of Marc Chagall prints up."
"Vivo is an artist collaborative gallery with all local artists. There's always an artist working, which is great. People love talking to the artists. We'll have an activity and have people look around, and then I always ask the artist to say some words about their work."
"Jeffrey Schweitzer, who owns Bindlestick, is doing something really unique. He does these amazing illustrations for books that he writes. It's brilliant, because he has the original work that he can sell, but he also has books that are very affordable. He'll sign them for you, and it's an amazing souvenir that you can just pack in your suitcase."
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