Get off the beaten path near Santa Fe

Follow the road to Tesuque, New Mexico, and discover art in surprising places
Matthew Jaffe

The heart of Tesuque, New Mexico, is little more than a wide spot at a crossroads, scarcely hinting at the village's appeal as a destination for art lovers. With its cottonwood bosque setting, Tesuque offers a natural haven for artists making traditional crafts in home studios, among them a tinsmith and a santero who creates wooden carvings of saints.

Unlike nearby Santa Fe, art here isn't concentrated in a Canyon Road-style gallery row; it's scattered throughout and sometimes found in unexpected places. Take the community's main gathering place, Tesuque Village Market, where, along with a fine wine collection and fresh empanadas, you'll find a gallery showcasing Santa Fe-area artists.

Surprising, too, is the museum-quality modern art, which can be seen at an expansive sculpture garden and a leading contemporary gallery.

 

GETTING THERE

Tesuque (teh- sue-kay) is about 6 miles north of Santa Fe. Take U.S. 84/285 to the Tesuque exit and County Rd. 73/591. Or follow scenic Washington St./Bishop's Lodge Rd. through the hills from Santa Fe. For more information, contact the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/777-2489).

GO

Glenn Green Galleries View art from contemporary sculptures and paintings to tribal basketry. INFO: 136 Tesuque Village Rd.; 505/820-0008.

Fisher Tinworks Richard Fisher's mastery of tin shaping is evident in the intricacy of both his home furnishings and traditionally inspired works such as crosses and nichos (wall-mounted boxes for displaying figurines or pictures). INFO: Call for hours or appointment; 505/989-4227.

Shidoni Gallery and Foundry Watch bronzes being poured, and see finished works in the gallery and large sculpture garden. INFO: Closed Sun; 1508 Bishop's Lodge Rd.; 505/988-8001.

 

EAT

Tesuque Village Market Dig into some blue-corn pancakes for breakfast or tortilla soup at lunch, and even catch a bit of local gossip. INFO: $$; Bishop's Lodge Rd. at County Rd. 591; 505/988-8848.

El Nido A longtime favorite, set in an adobe with fireplaces and a viga ceiling. Best known for grilled seafood and steak specialties. INFO: $$$; closed Mon; Bishop's Lodge Rd. at County Rd. 591; 505/988-4340.

HAPPENING NOW

The Pueblo of Tesuque Flea Market (8-4 Fri-Sun; off U.S. 84/285, adjacent to the Santa Fe Opera; 505/670-2599) has hundreds of stalls that sell turquoise jewelry, blankets, and other crafts. The market is more than just a tourist haunt; locals come here to haggle for everything from auto parts to cowboy hats.