An artwork by Georgia O'Keeffe of a egg yellow hole in a large red pelvis

What is the #1 city for art in the USA?

Forget New York and Chicago. Detroit has just slipped to #2. The #1 art destination in the United States is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here’s why.

A painting by Kathryn Stedham of a steep white cliff, pink sky and a tiny rider on a horse in the foreground
Moonrise Over Plaza Blanca, Kathryn Stedham, oil on canvas

Making tracks in the Railyard Arts District.

The wrong side of the tracks has been transformed into a hub for arts that’s rivalling the great art cities of the United States. There’s a suite of commercial galleries including Blue Rain, Tai Modern and Charlotte Jackson Fine Art showing a local talent along with artists drawn to the sky and landscape around Santa Fe.

Proving their commitment to supporting artists, the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation provides space for creatives to live and work through the Twisted Cow Compound.

An artwork by Rebecca Ward of a dome of pink and white on a dark blue background and a red foreground reminiscent of a pregnant belly
humpback, 2021, Rebecca Ward, acrylic and dye on stitched canvas

Showing the best art from across the USA.

The contemporary warehouse SITE Santa Fe curates exhibitions with clout and curiosity. Opening in 1995, SITE pushes experimental curatorial approaches and innovative exhibition design by emerging and established artists. It also hosts an Art & Culture series of lectures and performances, as well as an outreach program for local schools for 30,000 students. The recent Rebecca Ward queer and pregnant exhibition is extraordinary in its scope and innovative use of materials and form.

Nurturing a new generation of artists.

New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA) is a high school with a focus on five major arts disciplines; creative writing and literature, dance, music, theatre and visual arts. A National Blue Ribbon School, the School for the Arts nurtures artist-scholars across New Mexico with a rigorous, award-winning pre-professional arts and academics program. 100% of graduates go onto college.

Detail: Raymond Jonson, Light, 1917, oil on canvas, 44 1/2 × 41 1/4 in. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Collecting and curating contemporary art for everyone for all time.

The New Mexico Museum of Art is building an extraordinary new building in the Railyard Arts District to complement its adobe building in the old town. It demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to arts in New Mexico and puts Santa Fe at the forefront of new galleries being built around the USA.

The Museum has boldly put together an ambitious collection of significant art works showcasing the best of art from, and inspired by, New Mexico. Its curatorial and collection focus also and squarely places the museum as a destination for international art.

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984), Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1937; print date: about 1955, photograph, gelatin silver print,

A strong foundation through Georgia O’Keeffe.

In the summer of 1929, O’Keeffe made the first of many trips to northern New Mexico. The stark landscape and Native American and Hispanic cultures of the region inspired a new direction in O’Keeffe’s art. For the next two decades she spent most summers living and working in New Mexico.

O’Keeffe found new subjects to paint in the sun-bleached animal bones and the rugged mountains that dominate the terrain. She made it her home in 1949, laying the foundation for Santa Fe to become the #1 destination for art in the United States.

An artwork by Georgia O'Keeffe of a egg yellow hole in a large red pelvis
Georgia O’Keeffe, Pelvis Series, Red with Yellow, 1945, oil on canvas.

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