On an early morning walk, I was amazed at the amount of abundant sculpture and outdoor art in this small, aesthetic town. Landscaping, architectural elements, and artwork were integrated to give a deep sense and appreciation of the arts.
Throughout residential and commercial neighborhoods, you can find extensive use of the old adobe mud brick and plaster walls. They provide a consistent look and a unique quality to Santa Fe. The sense of time and place are established by this pattern. Newer walls surrounding buildings have a timeless quality, with updated elastomeric coatings that expand and contract with extreme weather conditions.
The wealth of galleries and museums are easily accessible within the city. The Georgia O’Keefe museum was just around the corner from our hotel. Although I am not a fan of her work, I learned to appreciate the life of O’Keefe and the meaning behind her work. She led an avant-garde lifestyle with her husband and photographer Albert Stieglitz in New York before settling in New Mexico.
Later in the day we visited a collection of museums and galleries. The new Museum Hill area housed the Museum of International Folk Arts, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Anthropology Laboratory. It is only a couple of miles from the Plaza and accessible by bus.
We visited a couple of galleries along the Canyon Road area. I was trying to track down an old friend from school who is now a famous jewelry designer in New Mexico. We were able to find a gallery that exhibited her work and were impressed with the quality of the pieces using precious stones in modern settings. You can read about her in Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gail_Bird_and_Yazzie_Johnson
The next day, we visited Bandelier National Monument, where some of the Ancestral Pueblo Indians settled. Known as Frijoles Creek and Canyon, this area along the Rio Grande leads to the Alcove House, where we climbed up 140′ by ladder to see the cave dwellings. The pink rock is composed of volcanic ash that formed into a crumbly rock known as tuff. This material creates pits and can be carved into larger openings.