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Monday, April 20, 2015


Santa Fe, New Mexico
Vanessa A. Ryan is an actress, author, and artist whose paintings and sculptures are collected worldwide. At one point, she performed standup comedy, so her writing often reflects her love of humor, even for serious subjects. Learn more about Vanessa and her books at her website. 

Navajo silver and turquoise bolo
photo by Markus Barlocher 
The Art World Of Santa Fe

The Santa Fe art scene means different things to people. For some, it's all about American Indian art. Their weavings, pottery, paintings and jewelry. In August, people flock to Santa Fe for Indian Market week, an outdoor celebration displaying contemporary, traditional and antique Indian art. The city also has a similar art week for Spanish art, held in July. In addition to these two cultural events, many art galleries in the city deal exclusively in Indian or Spanish art year round.

Santa Fe is also known for contemporary art galleries that exhibit work of artists who are not working in the Native American or Spanish traditions. In the early twentieth century, many artists from other states came to New Mexico because of its scenery and simplistic way of life. They formed art colonies, which led to Santa Fe and Taos attracting tourists who wanted to buy their art. Who hasn't heard of one of the most famous of these artists, Georgia O'Keefe?

Today, the city has a contemporary art scene that rivals New York and Los Angeles.
Navajo Blankets
photo by Matthew A. Lynn
Because Santa Fe occupies a small geographic area, it's easy for people to visit a multitude of art galleries in a short amount of time. While there are shopping areas outside the downtown districts, you won't find art galleries there, since most of the tourist trade is closer to the center of town.

As you can imagine, galleries pay a premium to be in these downtown areas. Because of that, they tend to exhibit world-renown artists rather than the local artists. However, the local artists who can afford the high rents often operate galleries exclusively for their own work. But regardless of whatever art market people are interested in, it's the quaint streets and enchanting landscape of Santa Fe that attracts them.

A Palette For Murder (A Lana Davis Mystery)

Lana Davis arrives in New Mexico from Los Angeles, planning to look up a former boyfriend and take in some sightseeing. But this all-expense-paid trip is not a vacation. She's here to find Antonio Chavez, last seen in Santa Fe. He's the missing beneficiary of a large life insurance policy her company issued. The heat is on because a disgruntled heir insists he should receive the proceeds instead. However bogus his claim is, the public relations nightmare he causes for her company is real. If Lana doesn't find Antonio, her job is on the line.

Lana's search for Antonio brings her into the inner circle of a powerful art gallery in Santa Fe, owned by the daughter of a wealthy family. Although Lana's knowledge of art is limited to the one art history class she took in college, she soon discovers, when art and greed collide, the result is deadly. But her knack for finding dead bodies makes the police nervous. And finding herself a target for murder is more than she signed up for. 


Angela Adams said...

Best wishes with "A Palette for Murder." The bit that I read sounds like a great mystery grabber.

Vanessa A. Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanessa A. Ryan said...

I had fun writing it!

Annie Cholakian said...

Looks like a fun! sorry I live so far away.