Posted by: Lori Reinhold
The American Southwest has always been a source of great inspiration for artists, musicians, and writers from all around the globe. The region has been immortalized by such greats as Maxfield Parish, Max Ernst, Georgia O’Keefe, and Walter Ufer. And don’t forget the Native American people who have been creating beautiful artwork here for centuries. We like to think that the stunning red rock landscapes of Sedona are a particular source of artistic inspiration for tourists and professional artists alike. Spend a few hours here and you will likely be inspired to create something special to celebrate and preserve the beauty around you, even if it’s just a picture on your iPhone! Sedona boasts a rich artistic history and continues to have a thriving art scene to this day. We do it all in Sedona: painting, architecture, ceramics, drawing, weaving, sculpture, filmmaking, and more. We boast a strong community of artists, great galleries and museums, and many places where you can take a class or a workshop to improve your own art skills. Here is our exclusive guide to Sedona’s world class art scene.
Let’s start at the beginning. If you really want to get to roots of Sedona’s art scene, you have to go back pretty far. Before European settlers came to the territory, the land was inhabited by the Sinagua, Yavapai, Apache, Hopi, and Navajo Indian tribes. In Sedona, you get the amazing chance to see their artwork dating back centuries. Explore Native art and architecture and get a taste for Native culture by viewing ancient hand-crafted artifacts or one of the many traditional dance performances hosted around town. We recommend you visit one of the many Native American historical sites in the region, like the Palatki Heritage Site and it’s sister site Honanki. These are home to some of the largest cliff dwellings of the Red Rock Country between AD 1150-1350. We weren’t kidding when we said you had to go back pretty far.
The Sedona Heritage Museum will occasionally host art exhibits, but it is also a great place to go for a glimpse into Sedona’s fascinating history. They regularly feature Native artwork, including jewelry, weaving, textiles, and dance performances.
Sedona Arts Center is the hub of cultural life in Sedona. Representing over 100 local artists, the Arts Center is the best place to go to view a diverse collection of artwork by working Sedona artists. The center also offers many classes and workshops. You can take workshops on everything from ceramics to filmmaking. They also offer a variety of field excursions to the Grand Canyon or Southern Desert where you’ll get to go outside and paint in Plein Air.
No trip to Sedona is complete without a visit to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, considered the heart and soul of Sedona. You could spend all day walking around this beautiful space. With its cobbled stone walkways, groves of sycamore trees, stucco arches, and water fountains, Tlaquepaque is a beautiful local treasure. It is also one of the best shopping and gallery spots in Sedona. You’ll find hand-crafted jewellery, folk art, fine rugs, kitchenware, music boxes, and more. It boasts the greatest concentration of art galleries in Sedona. We like the Mountain Trails Gallery, Eclectic Image Gallery, and Andrea Smith Gallery. Tlaquepaque is also home to many art themed events, like Rugs as Art, Clay Sculptures, and the History of Turquoise. See what’s on the calendar when you’re here!
Every Alma de Sedona guest must pay a visit to our neighbor, Kachina House. As Arizona’s largest distributor of Native American art, Kachina House works directly with Native artists to bring the best local, handcrafted items to their shelves. You’ll find original Kachina dolls, as well as beautiful jewellery, pottery, baskets, artifacts, rugs, and so much more. Plus, all Alma de Sedona guests get a discount on their purchase!
Sedona has also played a vital role in Hollywood history. Almost 100 films were shot here during the Golden Age of the movie Western, including Pony Soldier, Johnny Guitar, and Gun Fury. If you are a film buff, you might even recognize a few locations during your stay in Sedona. To honor this tradition, The Sedona Film Festival happens every year, bringing in filmmakers and cineastes from all around the globe. Attend the festival and you’ll see some of the best independent and international films around, as well as features by local filmmakers.
Of course, you have to hit the galleries while you are here. Browse our many excellent galleries and maybe even find a piece to take home with you. View a map of the Sedona Art Walk and plan your day. There are more than 80 galleries and shops in the city. Our favorites are:
Coming to Sedona to explore its thriving art scene? Book a stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn. We like to think our inn is a piece of art in itself!