If you’re in the market for something precious, pick up a copy of the Collector's Guide, a booklet listing the most discerning galleries, many of which are open only by appointment.
If, on the other hand, you’re hoping to discover Taos’s next big art star, poke around smaller operations on back streets and in Arroyo Seco, or just keep your eyes out when you get your morning coffee—nearly every business doubles as a gallery in this town.
Otherwise, visiting some of the town institutions can round out your experience at the museums.
Spirit Runner (303 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, 575/758-1132, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun.), for instance, is operated by Ouray Meyers, son of Ralph Meyers, the first Anglo man to deal in Indian art in his trading post. His gallery is as much a social hub as an art dealership, and he has some tales to tell. Summertime usually sees an all-nude show, complete with paper covering the windows and plenty of wine.
R. C. Gorman’s Navajo Gallery (210 Ledoux St., 575/758-3250, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. daily) represents the best-known American Indian artist, who died in late 2005. Gorman sold art in Taos—and all over the world—since 1968, when he moved here from Chinle, Arizona. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you will likely recognize his work: His fluid representations of American Indian women have achieved near-iconic status.
The town’s best gallery for contemporary art is Parks Gallery (127-A Bent St., 575/751-0343, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.), where the selection of styles and media is extremely varied, from Melissa Zink’s bronze work to Arthur Lopez’s quirky modern bultos.
Halfway to Arroyo Seco, turn off Highway 150 to reach Lumina gallery and sculpture gardens (11 Hwy. 230, 575/758-7282, 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Thurs.–Mon.), which has a very broad stable of artists, from a local from Santa Clara Pueblo who inlays pottery bowls with turquoise and shells to very contemporary photomontage artists. The elegant Japanese gardens are studded with monumental sculptures.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition