The beauty and vibrancy of Sedona, Arizona, has inspired artistic expression for centuries—from petroglyphs and pictographs in the cave dwellings of its earliest inhabitants to traditional and emerging mediums in the galleries, museums and studios of today’s artists. Whatever style grabs you, you’ll have no trouble finding it in Sedona. In fact, art in Sedona is so prolific you may become overwhelmed by all the choices, but this guide to approaching Sedona’s art world will help you discover and take home that perfect piece.
Start your art journey by strolling the myriad of galleries using Sedona Art Walk Maps or the web map on your mobile device. These interactive and downloadable maps detail where to find the more than 80 galleries and shops in West Sedona, Uptown Sedona and Gallery Row. Public transportation stops are included on the maps as well as history placards to make your journey both easy and educational. Along the way, you’ll enjoy many public art installations like the library’s 10-foot bronze sculpture of the city’s namesake, “Sedona Schnebly,” by Susan Kliewer.
Sedona may have gotten its name from a homesteader from Missouri, but much of the credit for its birth as an art community goes to Abe Miller. A frequent visitor to the area, this Nevada businessman created Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village in the early 1970s as a communal gathering place for artisans attracted to the natural beauty, ethereal light and spiritual energy of Sedona. The collective approach worked. Today, the old-Mexico inspired Tlaquepaque bustles with more than 40 galleries, restaurants and shops.
During your tour through town, chat with the locals. Ask the galleries about the story that inspired a piece or about a particular artist’s background. Outside the galleries, ask people what they know about the Sedona art scene. You may discover an emerging talent poised to become the next hot commodity.
Continue your tour at Sedona Gallery Association’s 1st Friday in the Galleries event. These evening receptions occur, you got it, on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. and offer artists, collectors, connoisseurs and curious newcomers an opportunity to mingle at galleries while enjoying tasty refreshments amid tantalizing art.
Now that you’ve had a chance to admire the different art, what do you want to take home? Think about the spaces in your house that you want to add some life to. Is it a wall? Make it shine with an original painting from one of the many fine art galleries like Goldstein Gallery or with renowned photography at Greg Lawson Galleries. Warm up your wall with a Navajo textile from the Turquoise Tortoise, a Bryant Nagel Gallery or perhaps a wall hanging from Quilts Ltd Gallery. Want to decorate a shelf? Get your party conversations started with an Apache basket or Hopi kachina from Kachina House; handcrafted pottery or a sculpture from Rowe Fine Art Gallery; or show off the glass art you made at The Melting Point. The décor options are endless. Add some flair to your floors with rugs that are both functional and works of art. See for yourself at Azadi Fine Rugs. Do you need a splash of art outside? Elegant wind chimes, fabricated metal art and whimsical creations make a lively addition to every garden. Or maybe the area that needs the most attention is you. Jewelry is, after all, art for the body.
For modern art, you’ll want to visit Gallery of Modern Masters, but don’t skip the galleries that appear to show more classical realism because their diversity will surprise you—the collections in Sedona galleries are as expansive as the shades in the sunsets.
Finally, purchasing a one-of-a-kind artwork is an investment you won’t regret. If it’s too large to tote, shipping is always an option. Whether you’re a serious art collector, a seasoned connoisseur on a budget or simply someone who likes to take home something indigenous and handcrafted, enjoy exploring the creative spirit of the talented few. But leave time to venture beyond the shops and galleries, because, around Sedona, there are many amazing things to do and see, including natural marvels and ancient cultural sites.
So, as you stand before a smooth, sandstone panel at the Palatki, the Honanki or the V Bar V heritage sites, conjure up a story behind the more than 1,000 mysterious petroglyphs carved into the rocks. Imagine a Sinagua hunter mapping out locations where prey was sighted; a Yavapai botanist documenting the discoveries of edible plants; an Apache astrologist recording the celestial passage of time; or a Hopi healer advertising services on an ancient billboard. Whoever the artists were, you can almost hear the sound of a sharp-edged limestone rock chiseling away to create images that would endure for centuries to come.
This is what art does. It ignites the imagination. It elicits an emotional response. It stimulates. It endures. It’s no wonder that this area, which many call the most beautiful place on Earth, has been inspiring artists for years.
Surround yourself with the lasting beauty of Red Rock Country by taking home art that was inspired and created there. Plan your art exploration today.