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Visiting Santa Fe artists in their home and studios.

Visiting Santa Fe artists in their homes and studios Art for art's sake is all well and good, but viewing it can be impersonal, and buying it can be downright intimidating. The ideal, of course, would be to know the artists personally and understand their intentions, materials, and inspiration.

Santa Fe, the nation's third-largest art market, makes it art community accessible. You can meet artists and see their work on specialized tours and study seminars that take you into their homes and studios.

The region's Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo painters, sculptors, potters, tinsmiths, and weavers draw on long-standing tradition and contemporary trends to create art that reflects New Mexico's unique ethnic mix. Tours and seminars personalize this milieu not only for the visitor but also for the artists, providing them with audience contact and direct feedback.

Here are four organizations that local art insiders recommend for the depth of the guides' knowledge. Two are nonprofit groups.

Artifacts leads customized tours to artists' homes and studios, archeological sites, Native American pueblos, and Hispanic villages. Bruce Kaiper, a cultural anthropologist and sculptor, serves as guide. Of particular note are one-on-one sessions with world-famous pueblo potters, tours of Georgia O'Keeffe country and nearby archeological ruins, and extended forays into Navajo and Hopi lands.

Kaiper tailors the tours to client interests; the length of the programs ranges from 1 to 14 days for both individuals and groups. Rates run from $20 to $30 per hour (plus expenses), depending on the number of people. Call (505) 753-9762 or 455-2262.

Recursos de Santa Fe is a nonprofit educational organization offering study sessions and seminars on art, culture, history, and the environment of the Southwest. Programs range from 1 to 10 days, with prices running from $15 to $750; the trip leaders are recognized authorities in their fields.

Activities include culinary tours, artist-studio tours, writers' conferences, garden tours, and other cultural programs. Many of the packages include travel arrangements and overnight accommodations as well. For information and brochures, call 982-9301.

Sky Light Education, Inc., another nonprofit group, operates Sky Light Conversations. One-week seminars, focused on contemporary visual art, include visits to artists' studios and museums and casual get-togethers to speak with the artists in a private home.

Programs, all conducted by qualified experts, may also include tours of archeological sites and Native American dance performances at nearby pueblos.

Groups are limited to 12 people; prices for week-long sessions range from $1,100 to $1,200, including accommodations, most meals, museum passes, all instruction, and transportation to and from the Albuquerque airport. For information, call 982-2393.

Studio Entrada offers tours for individuals and small groups that feature visits to artists' studios and some galleries. Work includes contemporary and traditional painting, sculpture, and crafts; artists are selected according to the interests of the clients. Tours run about 3 hours and include visits to three or four studios, with refreshments served at one of the stops.

Cost is $50 per person for up to six people; minimum charge per tour is $100. Larger groups and special programs can be arranged. Advance booking is required; suggested lead time is one week. For information, call 983-8786.
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Date:Jun 1, 1991
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