Fall in Taos: Art Workshop Season


Edited by Janet Webb, September 6, 2016

It’s impossible to list all the options in Taos (and beyond) this fall for enrolling in a hands-on workshop led by an expert in his/her field. Below are a few I’ve handpicked to illustrate the variety – and I wish I could attend them all! You’ll find even more possibilities listed on BeyondTaos Art Calendar.

Literary Workshops

Three names to remember for writing workshops in these parts: SOMOS, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and Ghost Ranch.

SummersBook400Ghost Ranch offers four writing retreats in October 2 to 8 that are all inclusive – lodging, meals and instruction. Two are, at this writing, still open for registration:
Writing for Healing with Laura Apol
Writing the Body Electric with Catherine Bowman

SOMOS, the Literary Society of Taos has numerous workshops and readings each month. The highlights for September are:
Shall I Compare Thee? Questioning Questions in Poems with Donald Levering on September 23, 10:00am to 1:00pm
Master Class with 2013 Oklahoma Poet Laureate Nathan Brown on September 30, 10:00am to 3:00pm

Mabel Dodge Luhan House is the home of the influential Mabel, who brought modern art to Taos and created a “Paris West” in the American Southwest.
Deepening the Writing Life with Barbara O’Neil on November 6-11

Painting, Sculpture, and Photography

Print Studi400Sipapu Ski and Summer Area may seem an unlikely place to find art but the resort is sponsoring a watercolor workshop with Lynn McLain on October  5 to 8, Students will find the Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer unbelievable inspiration, outstanding natural light, breathtaking skies, and beautiful alpine views.

Mabel Dodge Luhan House offers five visual arts workshops this fall, each led by a talented woman artist. These are still open:
Sas Colby, In the Studio and Beyond, September 11-17
Michele Cassou, Creativity Rediscovered, September 23-October 1
France Austin Miller, Watercolor Painting, October 19-25

WSW400Taos Art School, now in its 25th year, offers painting workshops with an emphasis on working outdoors. A niche subject for the school is Equine Painting.

Ghost Ranch offers Watercolors in O’Keeffe’s Backyard with Pomona Hallenbeck from September 11 to 17, as usual as an all-inclusive room/meals/instruction immersive package. Slowing it Down: Photography as Contemplative Practice with Randee Lawrence happens September 22-25 and there are a dozen more art workshop options this fall.

Fechin Art Workshops bring well-know painters to Hotel St. Bernard in Taos Ski Valley for one-week, all inclusive, immersive experiences to artists wanting to study with masters. This year instructors include Carolyn Anderson, Huihan Liu, and Zhaoming Wu to Taos in September. Two more workshops will be held at Abiquiu Inn in October.

Pottery Workshops

TaosClay400Taos Clay in El Prado will present a two-day workshop as part of the 42nd Annual Taos Fall Arts Festival. The Lee Akins Workshop will help you use hand-building and surface techniques to find expressive forms in clay. For all levels. $225.

New Mexico Potters & Clay Artists moves its classes to Ghost Ranch every fall. While several workshops are sold out, there’s still time to sign up for Monika Kaden’s Expressive Figurative Sculpture 3.5-day workshop, October 20 to 23, 2016.

Fire and New Media

The Scratchblock Workshop at Taos Mesa Brewing on September 17 shows you how to create a mold for your very own piece of cast iron art from 6″x 6″ blocks of solidified sand. $20 fee covers a ticket to stay for the iron pour.

Daytime@ThePASEO two-hour workshops cost just $20 each. All are on September 24 or 25 during The PASEO 2016 outdoor art festival. Topics include Producing for Immersive Media and Projection Mapping + Interactivity (both led by ArtLAB and UNM students), and Mobile Projection Art with VJ Suave, Brazil, and OMAi, Austria). Limit 20 people per workshop.

Health and Spirituality

Many wellness retreats are offered by Ghost Ranch, Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and the Mandala Center (in Des Moines NM, 129 miles northeast of Taos, near Raton). Another option is Ojo Caliente’s sister resort, Sunrise Springs Wellness Oasis near Santa Fe. And Ojo offers daily yoga classes along with its always renewing mineral hot springs.

Yoga at Ojo Caliente
Yoga at Ojo Caliente

Samples of Ghost Ranch retreat offerings: The Desert Fathers, Men’s Spirituality & Shadow Work, for men only, from September 15 to 18 and Rising Strong™ Cultivating a Daring Spirit, based on Brené Brown’s ground-breaking research on courage, vulnerability, authenticity and shame resilience on September 11 to 17

At Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Tending The Creative Soul: A Visionary Retreat for Deep Renewal with Karen Stefano happens October 8 through 12 and Sacred Art Yoga with Raye Lynn Rath, on October 30-November 5.

At Mandala Center, two Taos residents offer renewing retreats. Sacred Chanting for the Whole Body with Qigong teacher, Richard Leirer at Mandala Center, September 15-18. Pure Bliss Weekend: yoga and refexology with Monique Parker and Susan Lewis, November 18-20.

Guided Tours Outside of Taos

Millicent Rogers Museum guided travel tour, On the Trail of the Hopi, October 15-21. Visit the Ancestral Hopi sites of Homolovi, Walnut Canyon and Wupatki, as well the Taawa Canyon petroglyph site, largest rock art site in the Southwest. The trip will also include lectures and a katsina carving demonstration and pottery firing. $1865 per person all inclusive.

Ghost Ranch Chacoan World Excursion, September 18-22. Immerse yourself in the mysteries of Chaco Canyon, the Great Kivas of Aztec and Casa Rinconada and the Great Houses of Pueblo Bonito and Kin Kletso and more. The first and last days at Ghost Ranch with lectures and discussion; two days on the road. $950 to $1250 per person.

Taos Art School 8-day Canyon de Chelly painting excursion, October 2-9. $1650 per person.

Personal Coaches and Tour Guides

Geraint Smith

Geraint Smith leads photo tours along the High Road, to see Taos historic sites, and along the Rio Grande Gorge. By appointment only.

Robert Cafazzo, DH Lawrence expert, can take you on O’Keeffe tours, to see petroglyphs, and on scenic photo opp tours. By appointment.

Melody Romancito, Ghosts of Taos Tours. By appointment.

TLDT Fiber Artists in Penasco will help you weave your own small rug for just $35, materials included. TLDT is inside Gaucho Blue Gallery.


While in Taos, stop in the regional museums and galleries to see exhibitions that will help you understand the arts and history of this area.

Find maps to show distances from Taos Plaza, the cultural, if not geographic, center northern of NM’s art community.



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