Taos Blue Salutes SWAIA


Every August since 1922, the Santa Fe Indian Market has drawn thousands of visitors to the Land of Enchantment.

The Santa Fe Indian Market is the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world. It  features over a thousand artists  from over two hundred Federally recognized tribes from the U.S. and Canada.

Many of those aforementioned visitors find their way to Taos by week’s end, and Taos artists, including Maria Samora and Patricia Michaels (of Project Runway fame) have been featured at SWAIA.

Quality and authenticity are the hallmarks of the Santa Fe Indian Market, which is produced by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), a non-profit organization that promotes Native art and artists. So reads the introduction on their site, which I have linked below this post.

The same can be said for Taos Blue, Sue Westbrook’s charming gallery and emporium on the corner of Historic Bent Street and the Paseo.

For almost three decades Sue has sourced and supported Native artists and artisans, showing and selling their work at Taos Blue, which features more than sixty-five North American artists.

From jewelry to baskets and pottery, paintings and sculpture, Native work is hard to miss at Taos Blue, where Corn Maiden greets you at the entry!

It stands to reason then, that Sue would celebrate Indian Market as summer draws to a close and autumn’s chill is felt in the early morning air.

Yesterday I dropped in on Sue as she gathered the elements for a new window display – Sue’s windows are legendary aqui en Taos – a new equine painting by Suzanne Betz, a stunning tribal weaving and necklace were placed on the floor in the back room of her newly expanded gallery.

It’s the room she’s left for last, since acquiring the extra space in the building that was once Bert Phillips’ home and studio.

“I keep meaning to get to it,” laughs Sue, “ but for now it’s a holding space.”

She’s not kidding. The treasures she finds on her forays are kept here until they eventually find their way into the gallery.

Several very cool felt hats were stacked atop a pile of weavings – Sue put one on and I snapped the shot you see here – paintings leaned against the walls and all manner of objects and textiles took up space.

“These will look great in the front window,” she mused out loud, as she arranged the three objects she had decided upon. Getting a feel for her final display.

Her long background in Interior Design gives her an edge when it comes to her incredible eye and taste. Her gallery is simply an extension of that. Each object, each piece of art has been carefully selected and chosen with both her loyal return customers, and new ones in mind.

“I try to have something for everyone.” She noted.

Other shops galleries come and go, but thankfully Taos Blue is a mainstay and Sue intends to keep it that way, no matter the season!

I wandered around taking some more pictures of things I felt spoke to both the season and SWAIA

I found myself smiling a lot as I walked through the gallery’s rooms; Sue’s sense of whimsy (and humour) are just one more good reason to drop into Taos Blue time and again. And if the High Desert August sun becomes too much as you make your way around Downtown Taos, you now know where to find the perfect straw hat!

Throughout the month of August, Sue also has some serious canine cuteness for sale – socks, dish towels and more all gone to the dogs! A portion of the proceeds from these items, are being donated to Stray Hearts, who just had a monster Dog Days fundraiser with the Secret Sisters performing.

For much more about Taos Blue, please visit their site linked below, along with SWAIA.




All photos taken on my iphone

Featured image by Bill Curry