Funky Finds

Discover Weird & Wonderful Treasures Around Taos

By Michael Tashji

Taos has long been known for its offbeat charm and individuality, with one-of-a-kind shops and galleries offering an unusual array of original works. Check out these exotic furnishings, offbeat art and apparel, and natural curiosities from local artists – and find out just how funky Taos can be.

Gaucho Blue Skull (Courtesy photo)


Those coming to Taos looking for unique
(and sometimes offbeat) artwork will do well to visit Gaucho Blue Fine Art in the village of Per’\asco, a 30-minute drive from the center ofTaos. Owned and operated for 16 years by long­time arts supporters Lise Poulsen and Nick Beason, the gallery moved in 2008 from its original location in nearbyTruchas to an old adobe building which once housed Owens General Store. “The front room is Nick’s prints and other local artists; the back room is a fiber gallery. And then we have working space in the back for ourselves,” Lise said. The longtime partners of nearly 50 years offer an unusual mix of artwork from local contemporary artists that includes paintings, prints, fabrications, fiber art, and more. Interested in works made from recycled metal? How about vessels made of wool? You’ve come to the right place. “We have about eight other artists in the gallery,” Poulsen said, including Gerd Bianga, Hanne Huisjes, Joel Lage, Ann Hendrie, Blair Brown, Jean Nichols, Josephine Kelly and Barbara Ann Downs van Calsem. “Our mission really is to provide a place for local artists to show their work.” Poulsen and Beason have been longtime board members of the High Road Artisan Studio Tour, a showcase of local artists that takes place the last two weekends of Sep­tember every year. While their on line shop is always an option, Gaucho Blue is open from late-May through October because “there’s no heat in the gallery,” Lise said. “But we’re always open by appointment- even outside of our normal hours.”

Gaucho Blue (Courtesy photo)


A shopping spree on Bent Street wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Artemisia Artwear, the wearable art and hand-woven apparel shop featuring inspired works by regional weavers and fiber artists. The boutique shop offers casual, easy-to­wear garments in natural fibers like linen, silk, merino wool, chenille and cotton. On offer are jackets, vests, scarves, ponchos, shawls, and accessories. “The store is known for its collection as fine handwoven apparel from more than a dozen local and regional weavers and fiber art-ists,” said Yvonne Swartz, store owner since 2015. Featured artists include Nancy Paap, Natasha Nargis, Bella Sue Martin, Anne Haile Carson, Barbara Ehrlich, Teri Inman, Perla Kopeloff, Karim Jaekel and many more. The shop also offers a carefully curated collection of manufactured garments. “I try to buy from small designers; U.S.-made, natural fibers -things you’re not going to find everywhere else,” Yvonne said. “My store is unique like that.” Artemisia is celebrating 22 years in Taos with a move up the block to a new location, which includes a communal courtyard. Swartz said she plans to capitalize on the new outdoor feature by hosting art crawls and other events with neighboring businesses. The staff are known for creating a unique shopping experience for every customer. “A lot of shops in Taos are like that-we’re all locally-owned. We’re small, we’re really hands-on and that’s what makes shopping here so great.”

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ALHAMBRASOUL INSPIRED LIVING – Features room after room of imported rugs, mirrors, tables, sculptures and more.

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TAOS BLACK DOG ANTIQUES & ESTATE SALES – A curated store with an eclectic mix of antiques, furniture, artwork, pot­tery, vintage collectibles, vinyl LPs, a huge quantity or curios, and so much more

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LUN+OJO – This galley features works by owner Toby Putnam, along with a collection of mostly local artists and their sculp­tures, ceramics,jewelry, leatherwork, photos, and prints.

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SECONDS ECO STORE – Seconds Eco Store’s showroom is
a showcase for solar-powered gad­gets, locally handmade crafts, and recycled art projects that encourage public interaction.

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RED ARROW EMPORIUM – A Taos classic, Red Arrow Emporium crafts beautiful, unique American-made furniture and sells one-of-a-kind pieces from around the world.

TAXONOMY – If your interests include the natural world (with a touch of the eccentric), step inside Taxono­my. The bespoke boutique offers plants and books alongside animal skulls, turtle shells, etchings and more.

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