5 Enriching Cultural Destinations In New Mexico

Visitors to the state are generally aware of the beautiful natural wonders that await them in New Mexico, but you also don't want to miss the many artistic and historical experiences that make it such a special place. Each of these locations has something unique to offer that will educate and delight both tourists and locals. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Of New Mexico's Most Rewarding Cultural Experiences

Attraction Location Emphasis
The Harwood Museum Of Art Taos Art created in, inspired by, or relevant to northern New Mexico
Tinkertown Museum Sandia Park Miniature wood-carved figures and memorabilia
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian Santa Fe Historic and contemporary Native American art
SITE Santa Fe Santa Fe Platform for innovative art projects
Ghost Ranch Abiquiu Educational retreat center of the Presbyterian Church

Welcome To Tinkertown

Notable People From Or Residing In New Mexico

Aerial View Of Ghost Ranch

In Depth

Whether you are a New Mexico native, or just passing through the forty-seventh state on a cross-country road trip, there is so much to do and see in New Mexico. Here, in no particular order, are five enriching cultural destinations that make the Land of Enchantment live up to its name.

#1 on our list is the Harwood Museum of Art, located in Taos, New Mexico. This museum was founded in the early twentieth century by artists drawn to the area to pursue art inspired by the landscape and the traditional Native American and Hispanic cultures of the region. Today, this cultural institution strives to be the preeminent museum of the region by emphasizing arts in their collection that are created in, inspired by, or relevant to northern New Mexico.

The Harwood Museum has established a series of innovative community outreach programs, including Art in the Schools, which brings hundreds of local children to visit each month. It also puts on free and low-cost events open to the public, such as lectures from visiting and local artists, concerts with the Taos Chamber Music, and yoga classes. The museum is open to visitors six days a week, and current operating hours can be found on their website. Those who wish to show their support can donate through a variety of means, or attend one of the museum's many regular volunteer opportunities.

The museum is open to visitors six days a week, and current operating hours can be found on their website.

In the #2 spot is Tinkertown Museum, a charming and quirky collection of miniature wood-carved figures, folk art, and relics of Americana located off of Route 66. The museum's founder, Ross Ward, was a prolific self-taught artist who made his living as a show painter for carnivals and carved miniatures as a hobby in his spare time. In 1983, Ward began showcasing his unique folk art environment in a one-room museum attached to his house. Today, it is a well-established roadside attraction featuring twenty-two rooms made out of over 50,000 glass bottles held together with concrete.

Far more than an impressive collection of miniatures and memorabilia of all kinds, Tinkertown is a living testimonial to Ross Ward's belief in self-determination and independence. Although Ward passed away in 2002, the Ward family continues his legacy by maintaining and running the museum in his memory. If you'd like to visit, Tinkertown operates seasonally each year from April until the end of October.

At #3 on our list is the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, offering unique exhibitions of contemporary and historic Native American art. It is especially notable for their focus on little-known genres and for solo shows by living Native American artists. The museum's holding includes jewelry, metalwork, carving, basketry, folk art, and textiles of the Navajo, Rio Grande Pueblo, and other Native peoples of New Mexico. It is also the home of the most comprehensive collection of Navajo and Pueblo jewelry in the world.

It is especially notable for their focus on little-known genres and for solo shows by living Native American artists.

The Wheelwright was originally founded to preserve Navajo religious practices, and the design of the museum is based on the traditional Navajo home. Though it maintains growing, world-renowned collections that document Navajo art and culture, today its mission has expanded to include the living traditions and creative expressions of all Native American peoples. Those who wish to support the museum can become a donating member, volunteer with Friends of the Wheelwright, or become trained as a docent.

In the #4 spot is SITE Santa Fe, a dynamic and innovative museum platform. This organization was launched in 1995 to organize the first international biennial of contemporary art in the United States. Today, its year-round schedule of exhibitions serves as a platform for experimental curatorial approaches, innovative exhibition design, and projects by emerging and established artists. Visitors can expect to see the most innovative visual art of our time in new and engaging ways.

SITE also hosts a series of lectures and performances, as well as an extensive education and outreach initiative for local schools, including the Young Curators Program which provides alternative ways for teens to connect with art while giving them a glimpse of possibilities within museum careers. This programs, and others offered at SITE Santa Fe, seek to build a platform for empowering and educating the next generation of museum professionals, artists, and advocates of art and culture. You can support these programs, and the larger mission of promoting groundbreaking artists and exhibitions by becoming a member.

This programs, and others offered at SITE Santa Fe, seek to build a platform for empowering and educating the next generation of museum professionals, artists, and advocates of art and culture.

And finally in the #5 spot is Ghost Ranch, a national education and retreat center located in a northern New Mexico landscape many deem sacred. Open year-round, this space is committed to fostering well-being and spiritual health through the historic, inspiring southwest scenery. From the beginning, this organization has been deeply involved in the support of the surrounding communities and committed to the preservation and protection of the environment.

As a retreat center, it offers a diverse range of workshops on topics ranging from photography, painting, fiber arts and writing to yoga, wellness, spirituality, sustainability, and social justice. Visitors who come to take advantage of the magnificent natural beauty can access three distinct trails, or they can kayak on Abiquiu Lake for an additional fee. The site also hosts a library and three on-site museums dedicated to anthropology, archeology, and paleontology. If you want to show your support, you can become a donor, volunteer at the center, or become a Ghost Ranch Ambassador.