There’s more to Sedona than its mesmerizing red landscape overflowing with rich plants, babbling brooks and wildlife. Sedona is known for its unique atmosphere made up of its people. Vegan establishments are superfluous and local eateries boast about their philosophies of locally sourced meals and conscious living. Crystal shops can be found next to juice bars, and Eastern medicine practices can be found as easy as modern medicine. Besides celebrating its natural environment, the vibrant city has a defining arts and culture scene, especially when it comes to pieces inspired by the surrounding beauty.
Where to Start
Find your perfect art piece when you tour through the Sedona Gallery Art Walk, where there are over 80 galleries and shops to score fabulous finds. With your smartphone, use the Walk Sedona webmap to get a detailed map of all the local stomping grounds for art lovers. If you’re staying at a hotel, grab a map from the lobby before you start your adventure. Luckily, Sedona has great walkability and shops tend to be a close distance from one another. Locals suggest starting at Uptown and Gallery Row, where you can peruse through 25 galleries in that one district. Plan to catch one of its 1st Friday Art Walks when galleries stay open into the evening and offer apéritifs and hors d'oeuvres with live music.
The Art of Collecting
Don’t you hate it when you make an impulsive purchase only to later find more incredible pieces after you’ve reached your shopping budget? Avoid making the same mistake many art collectors do. Buying art in a prolific art community is exciting and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the multiple pieces to buy. Research what piece of Sedona you want to bring home with you by checking out these helpful tips for collecting art. A gorgeous piece of jewelry made of stones from the land? Potteries or textiles created by the local indigenous people? Large canvases reflecting the serene landscapes, or spiritual awakenings to make your living room more inviting? The possibilities are endless and you want to ensure you find the perfect souvenir to remind you of your time in Sedona.
Many people are unaware of how far back Sedona goes in art history. Petroglyph drawings can be found on trails like the Honanki Heritage Site and the Palatki Heritage Trail and are well-preserved by the park’s staff. Throughout the years, Sedona became a magnet for artists and art collectors worldwide. World-famous artists like Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning stayed in the area to get their inspiration and produced beautiful pieces of art. Today, the region remains a muse for many emerging artists and the art community continues to thrive with much support.
One of Sedona’s must-see spots is the Sedona Arts Center. There, you can browse through works by talented, local artists and the exhibits rotate frequently, so every time you visit, there will be something new to see. The center hosts multiple art events such as Sedona Plein Air Festival that’s held every fall. This event is virtual this year and an all-woman event. The weeklong festival held on the lawn of the center welcomes world-renown plein air artists from across the globe to the region to showcase their works. For serious plein air art collectors, this event is a goldmine and is considered one of the best of its kind in the world.
When you want to see some outdoor artwork, take a break from the galleries and explore the multiple public art installations found throughout the city. Sedona Public Art is a proud characteristic addition to the area where visitors can take walks through areas like Tlaquepaque Village and other districts and come across statues and abstract installations that are unique to the city. Expect to find spiritual and meditative pieces like “Gaia,” an earthy design with a majestic stone or “Peace,” an intricate statue of Siddhartha Buddha to remind visitors of the core of its philosophy and beliefs that is Sedona.
Look to the Stars
After taking in the beauty of Sedona during the day, discover one of Sedona’s Secret 7 nature spots at night. Most visitors think enjoying Sedona is only done during the day when you can admire the incredible red canyons. However, when the sun sets and the sky falls dark, prepare to be astonished by the view of the sky blanketed with glitter. Thanks to the area’s isolated location, there’s little light pollution, which brings out the stars you could never see in more populated areas. While stargazing in Sedona, it’s common to spot shooting stars and the Milky Way when you gaze up. Consider Baldwin Trail, where you’ll see a silhouette of the famous Cathedral Rock with stars teeming in the backdrop, or check out Thunder Mountain Trailhead, a scenic location that is reputed to have incredible sunset views before the lights go out.