With a history so rich in culture and creativity, Durango has served as a hub for countless adventurers and creatives over the years. Today, we are honored to showcase a slew of some of the best art from around the world, hosting world-renowned and award-winning photographers, painters, weavers, sculptors and more.
The work of a Durango-based artist is, at the very least, captivating, engaging and inspiring. Walking through the art galleries of Durango is like stepping through time, experiencing moments from around the world and through the years.
Learn, explore, and find a piece that speaks to you while strolling through Durango’s 10 must-visit art galleries (not listed in any particular order).
1. Toh-Atin Gallery
Location: 145 West 9th Street
One of Durango’s oldest and most treasured historic galleries, Toh-Atin preserves and showcases pieces from hundreds of different Native American artists in the Four Corners region. On any given week, co-owner Antonia Clark collaborates with over 20 different tribes. It’s likely you’ll meet at least one of the artists behind the work when walking through Toh-Atin, making for a memorable and intimate experience.
Nationally recognized for its diverse selection of rugs, pottery, paintings and history, Toh-Atin not only offers genuine, quality Native American pieces, but also provides a means for locals to continue centuries-old traditions. The gallery hosts occasional artist demonstrations and receptions. A full list of events can be found on their Facebook page.
2. Scenic Aperture: Durango Photographers are Stewards of the Land
Location: 708 Main Avenue
Owner and award-winning photographer Frank Comisar believes art should both capture moments as well as convey a story. Through his varied landscape, wildlife and nature photography, Comisar serves as an educator and steward of the land he loves. He’s passionate about the focus of his work and that’s what brought him to the Four Corners region.
Each of his vibrant, beautifully detailed photographs are printed on aluminum plates, giving them a vividness and striking feature that requires no frame. Along with his art, Comisar also offers annual photography clinics across the country, from Texas to Utah, Montana, Colorado and beyond. Interested aspiring photographers can check here for a full list of events. He also offers private workshops for both individuals and small groups, at a destination of your choice.
3. Diane West Jewelry & Art
Location: 820 Main Avenue
Visit Diane West’s eclectic gallery in the center of downtown, where you’ll find unique and custom pieces from a large range of both local and nationally recognized artists. Featuring work from twelve different jewelry artists and a number of sculptors and painters, West showcases the innovative, creative and contemporary pieces you won’t find anywhere else.
An artist herself, owner Diane West designs and crafts one-of-a-kind wedding rings upon request. She is able to meet with couples at any time and takes pride in creating pieces with significance and meaning. A number of her rings can be found here.
4. Studio & Gallery
Location: 1027 Main Avenue
A peek inside the glass window of Studio & makes a visit irresistible. This shared space owned by 5 local artists abides by no rules, showcasing progressive and thought-provoking pieces of all kinds. Considering itself both a creative gathering hub and gallery, Studio & hosts occasional events, intent on building a sense of community in Durango. These range from live intimate musical entertainment to their annual Bizarre Bazaar, holiday parties and celebrations.
Studio & is also home to Durango’s smallest gallery, an 8-cubic-foot nook known as the Recess Gallery. The oh-so-tiny gallery exhibits small art pieces on a monthly rotation and always makes savvy, unique use of the space.
5. Earthen Vessel Gallery
Location: 115 W 9th St
“Celebrating all things handmade,” Earthen Vessel is where to turn for the most original gifts and art pieces. Handmade, detail-oriented and carefully crafted, Earthen Vessel offers pieces meant to tell stories and turn any house into a home. From mugs, teapots, table settings, furniture, wall art and more, Earthen Vessel is a great gift-giving destination for the most thoughtful individuals.
6. Sorrel Sky
Location: 828 Main Avenue
With galleries located in both Santa Fe and Durango, Sorrel Sky is your one-stop shop for professional artistic needs. From interior design consulting to professional art installation, Sorrel Sky serves as both an exhibition space and an educational resource for passionate art lovers.
Managing to perfectly harmonize the historic tradition of the Southwest with contemporary style of today, Sorrel Sky is a balanced gallery, easily browsed and appreciated. The rooms of the gallery, warm and inviting, are filled with carefully selected and delicately crafted sculptures, paintings, jewelry, prints and more.
7. Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts
Location: 680 Main Avenue
Voted the 2017 Best Art Gallery of Durango, Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts gallery is the zen den of Durango. The only Japanese-inspired gallery in Durango, you will find pieces here which are available nowhere else. Owner Gabaldon, a New Mexico native, is most renowned for her work in acrylics and pulls inspiration from the world around her. Her “zen panels,” which give this minimalist space a contemporary feel, bring calming and balancing elements into any home or work space.
Also available are jewelry, wall art, distinctive gifts, landscape paintings, sculptures and more.
8. Wildshots Gallery
Location: 738 Main Avenue
Featuring the work of Claude Steelman, Wildshots gallery is, well, absolutely wild. An award-winning photographer, Steelman has a knack for catching wildlife at the exact perfect time. His work is expressive, inspiring and shares a look into the environments of the Southwest few get the privilege to experience firsthand.
Steelman has a number of prints as well as coffee table books and portfolios for sale in his Durango space.
9. Azul Gallery
Location: 791 Main Avenue
Azul Gallery showcases a variety of unique gifts and functional art pieces that serve a purpose in the home. Hosting work from over 40 different local, national and international artists, the eclectic nature of this gallery is what makes it unique.
Many pieces are vibrant, eye-catching and make for one-of-a-kind additions to any collection. Find handmade home decor pieces, glass figures, wall art and more in this easily explored and wanderful gallery.
10. Durango Arts Center
Location: 802 E 2nd Avenue
The Durango Arts Center serves as the heartbeat of the art community in town. It’s a place where you can celebrate art and theater, as well as participate through workshops, seminars, shows, and community activities.
For over 40 years, this nonprofit center has served as a mainstay for Durango and an outlet for aspiring artists of all ages and skill level. The Barbara Conrad Gallery, located within DAC, has exhibited a wide variety of work from local, national and international artists throughout the years. As part of its commitment to the community, the DAC is currently accepting proposals from community members for exhibit ideas in 2019. At DAC, art is accessible to everyone and a way of expression we can all relate through.
The award-winning events hosted by the Durango Arts Center are reason enough to plan your trip. The Autumn Arts Festival, held annually, attracts artists and visitors from all across the world. With 100 booths to explore at the outdoor venue, the festival is the DAC’s largest fundraiser. Artwork ranges from photography to sculpture, painting, metal, jewelry, glass, media, ceramics, fiber, wood carvings and more. Live musical performances take place throughout this two-day event that somehow just gets bigger and better every year.