Great Galleries

Not-to-be-missed art galleries representing some of the best artists in El Norté

By Dena Miller & Photos by Sam Joseph

There are two types of people who visit Taos: those who come for the immersion in a culturally rich art colony and those who come for its many other notable attractions. If you fall into the latter camp, then allow this to serve as your road map for unlocking some of the art treasures to be found, for there are many.

Chimayo Trading del Norte is a great place to begin your exploring. Located in the plaza shared with the world-famous San Francisco de Asís church, “We are a family-owned and operated gallery with four generations in the Native American and fine art business,” said Gabriel Abrums. Come here to browse room after room of New Mexico paintings, pottery, weavings and jewelry, and to engage the friendly owners who will be happy to spend time educating you about their many collections.

By Sam Joseph/Chimayo Trading del Norte

If you’ve decided that pottery is your thing, then stop at Taos Ceramic Center on your way north into town. The region’s best contemporary clay artists are represented here, offering beautiful and functional pieces to grace your home. You may even be inspired to take a class and create your own works; inquire about lessons and studio time.

There’s a reason why Wilder Nightingale on Kit Carson Road is consistently voted “Best Gallery in Taos.” Visitors note the “beautiful art” and “friendly, welcoming atmosphere” that are the signatures of owner Rob Nightingale. You’ll find some of the best regional contemporary fine artists represented here, in an array that truly has something for everyone.

By Sam Joseph/Wilder Nightingale

Around the corner, Lun + ojo successfully juxtaposes sleek, minimalist design with vintage-vibe accents. Featuring his own extraordinarily detailed works of acrylic and acrylic inks on wood, gallery owner Toby Putnam is also representing a group of young masters in sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, leather, photography and printmaking.

By Sam Joseph/Lun + ojo

We feature original works by premier Northern New Mexican artists: original works from the soul of the Southwest,” Tony Walker said of Jones Walker of Taos on Bent Street. Sculptures, weaving and pottery round out their stellar representation of local artisans, and locally crafted home accents and gifts are also available. The engaging paintings of his partner, Max Jones, are also on display as is the award-winning photography of Walker.  

By Sam Joseph/Jones Walker of Taos

Head north to the Overland Sheepskin Co. complex and step into Envision Gallery; or, should we say, sit outside in its garden because Envision is the sole Taos representative of Lyman Whitakers mesmerizing kinetic sculptures. Gallerist Jimmy Murray said,They have always been a great draw because they truly are hypnotic and irresistible.” The gallery also features over a dozen local artists.

By Sam Joseph/Envision Gallery

Claire Haye is renowned for the unique jewelry designs featured in her Arroyo Seco gallery, Claireworks. The star of the show is her covetable and attainable silver jewelry but her love of visual arts and different materials can also be found in her sculptures, paintings, monotypes and woodblock prints. Be sure to stop in on your way to the ski valley and snag the perfect gift for yourself or someone special.

By Sam Joseph/Claireworks.

Allow yourself plenty of time to linger in your stops. You’ll learn about the region and why it has been an epicenter of arts and crafts for centuries, and you’ll come to love its history and beauty as much as the locals do. New Mexico is, after all, the “Land of Enchantment.”