by Ann Shepphird | August 04, 2017

The first thing you notice in Santa Fe is the art: It's everywhere. Literally. Everywhere. On a recent visit to the city, I found a contemporary art show going on at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and the 14th Annual International Folk Art Market about to start up on Museum Hill. But even when there isn't a big show in town, visitors will find art just about everywhere they look, including in and around the meeting space: the convention center has a community gallery and public art inside and out and meeting hotels like La Posada de Santa Fe have rotating art exhibits - including (in that case) art for sale even inside the public restrooms.

This is not a new phenomenon. Santa Fe's rich (400+ years) history is filled with art and cultural elements that are still evident in places like the Palace of the Governors in the Historic Santa Fe Plaza, where local Native Americans continue to sell their wares, and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, which celebrates the artist that called the area home.

New offerings also abound, including the "immersive art experience" created by young artists' cooperative Meow Wolf in an old bowling alley owned by area resident George R.R. Martin, and the growing number of art galleries in the Railyard District - and are available for groups looking for unique off-site event space. Additional unique venues available for group events include the Santa Fe School of Cooking; restaurants such as the Compound, Geronimo and Coyote Cafe & Cantina; and the stunning galleries along Canyon Road.

The more traditional meeting venues also feature art: At the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, which offers 40,000 square feet of meeting space, the community gallery currently features art work inspired by the current season of the Santa Fe Opera.

The downtown hotels with meeting space (all within walking distance of the convention center) also feature extensive art collections. The newest is the LEED-certified Drury Plaza Hotel, which opened three years ago with 182 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of space. Hotels that have recently completed renovations include 219-room Eldorado Hotel & Spa, which offers 22,000 square feet of meeting space and recently added a new stand-alone event space for up to 400 called Casa Espana; La Fonda on the Plaza, with 180 guest rooms and 20,112 square feet of meeting space; the136-room Inn & Spa at Loretto, with 12,000 square feet of meeting space; the Hotel Santa Fe, Hacienda & Spa, with 63 guest rooms and 7,000 square feet of meeting space; and La Posada de Santa Fe, with 157 guest rooms and 4,500 square feet of meeting space.

  • 1. Drury Plaza
    The LEED-certified Drury Plaza Hotel opened three years ago.
  • 2. Santa Fe CC
    The Santa Fe Community Convention Center’s community gallery currently features art inspired by the current season of the Santa Fe Opera.
  • 3
    The historic La Fonda on the Plaza’s La Pazuela was built in the 1920s.
  • 4
    Groups of up to 60 can hold events at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.
  • 5
    Galleries in the burgeoning Railyard district are available for events.
  • 6
    Galleries and restaurants along Canyon Road are available for group events.
  • 7
    Even the public bathrooms at La Posada de Santa Fe offer art for sale.
  • 8
    The Eldorado Hotel Spa recently expanded its offerings for groups with the opening of Casa Espana.