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“I revisit and bear constantly in mind the objects of my collection to gain new insights.
They are not trophies but instruments of passion, with the power to unexpectedly reveal mysteries.”

– Founder, Ralph T. Coe, 2003

Welcome to the Coe Arts Center

Art that Engages
With over 2,000 objects from around the world, we give you a hands-on experience, connecting with Indigenous peoples throughout history, through the objects they created.

“When you hold a thing you’re there in the moment, of how it was used and how it was made.” Student curator, Oscar Loya

Admission is always free!

Plan your own private tour. We’re open upon request. Let us know your plans and we can make it happen! OR drop by the First Friday of every month from 1-4 pm.

Current and Upcoming Programs

Making A Living With Art
hosted by the Ralph T. Coe Center
Thursday March 28, 2019 at 6 pm

In this short, to-the-point, interactive workshop Joaquin Amador of The Loan Fund will review the necessities of starting and running a profitable business. He'll be joined by Coe board director, Kenneth Johnson, a successful Native artist, who will share some of his lessons learned from his journey. You'll come away with common sense information you can use to make a living while not sacrificing your creativity.

Joaquin has worked with many different types of businesses and presented workshops to nonprofit and artisan groups throughout New Mexico. The Loan Fund ( is New Mexico's oldest and largest community lender, founded in 1989 by the NM Conference of Churches to help alleviate poverty in NM.

Space is limited so reserve your seat, call 505-983-6372 or email

Recollective Echo
Exhibition opening at the Ralph T. Coe Center
Friday, May 10, 5-7 pm

This year’s Hands-On Curatorial Program exhibition, Recollective Echo, opens to the public May 10, 5-7pm.

What is storytelling to you? Think about how many stories you've told in your life and how many you’ve heard; throughout the world many stories have been told in their own way, either by art, song, or words. Also, different cultures have their own stories that each hold significant value to them. A story can be told to a group of people and the way that each person receives it may be altered. This is the essence of storytelling. It keeps its original message, but changes with the person. That’s why in our exhibition we are focusing on the notion of storytelling and the many different ways that we can do so.

When we started to discuss our exhibition we realised, the pieces at Ralph T Coe Center have a story to tell. As we acknowledge the object’s own history, we want to take it a step further. To add our own narrative. We want to share our stories and create new ones, adding to the already diverse collection of stories that are present in our world. Recollective Echo, to us, means remembering moments in time, stories and continuing to tell them so that they may go on to be repeated and influential in one’s life.
—Hands-On Curators

The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts’ Hands-On Curatorial Program is in its fifth year working with high school students from the Academy of Technology and the Classics (ATC), the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS), and the New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA). Returning students Gailene Morgan (Meskwaki Nation & Tesuque Pueblo), Ashlyn Lovato (Santa Clara Pueblo), Aurora Escobedo (Tesuque Pueblo), and Roan Mulholland (ATC) are joined by new members, Lesly Esparza (NMSA) and Veronica Silva (NMSA). The program provides an opportunity for students to work hands-on with the Coe collection of over 2,000 works of indigenous art from around the world. Through museum visits and weekly sessions, the curators learn how to create their own exhibition from the Coe collection by selecting objects, researching and drafting wall texts, writing press releases, designing graphics and the exhibition layout, as well as creating their own limited-run curator-designed t-shirts in collaboration with YouthWorks. The participants build their own exhibition from the ground up.

is a multi-layered collaborative exhibition that challenges our assumptions about how art engages with the public. On view through March 29, 2019.

The relationship of the imprint between artist and audience is emotional and transcends markets, sales, and high-stakes auctions. Six leading printmakers, Eliza Naranjo Morse, Jamison Chas Banks (Seneca-Cayuga, Cherokee), Jason Garcia (Santa Clara Pueblo Tewa), Terran Last Gun (Piikani), Dakota Mace (Dine (Navajo)), and Jacob Meders (Mechoopda/Maidu), along with Coe curators Bess Murphy and Nina Sanders (Apsaalooke) have spent the past year working collaboratively to build IMPRINT. The exhibition will not only appear on the Coe Center walls, but in public spaces as well.

IMPRINT brings art to the public and the public to art in widely accessible ways through the use of repurposed newspaper boxes inspired by and as direct extensions of Meders' ongoing project Warbird Press, wheat-pasted posters around town, and free print giveaways.

IMPRINT also engages in collaborations with other institutions across Santa Fe. Santa Fe's mobile art space. Axle Contemporary presented part of this exhibition as THE IMPRINTMOBILE, from August 3-26, 2018. The partnership with Axle increased the flexibility of approach and outreach that is fundamental to this exhibition. Additionally, IMPRINT is also collaborating with Meow Wolf on public programming, which included a free family printmaking event held on September 22, 2018.


Artist Unknown, c. 1850s

Gwaai Edenshaw visited the Coe on the Monday following Indian Market, where he received a first-place ribbon. Gwaai is from Masset on Haida Gwaii, a descendant of a prestigious Haida carving family. Gwaai and brother Jaalen recently studied and duplicated a large masterpiece mid-19th century carved box at the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford. The new Great Box then went home to the Haida Gwaii and was used in high school art classes, public discussions and a Haida Gwaii Museum exhibit. Community members said, we can see it in books, but to actually come up and see it and feel it and examine it – it can only benefit our community and our people.

Gwaai and I joyfully walked around the Coe, taking in one great Haida object after another. This was one of Ted’s favorite regions and art forms. A small carved face stopped Gwaai; he picked it up and turned it over and over in his hands, feeling its presence and age as well as its identity.

“This is an insert mask from a carved box,” he shared. “There is some box out there with a blank inset space that the mask was removed from…carving a separate mask gave the box greater depth and presence…The eyes and brow line make the piece Haida.”

Ted purchased the small carving in 1996, thinking it to be a Tlingit maskette perhaps from a Shaman’s kit.

Gwaai is both a carver and art historian; his comments and shared expertise are now part of our record.

CHEYENNE LEDGER BOOK ONLINE! Online at: Plains Ledger Art (PILA), you can see this amazing, but fragile Coe collection ledger drawing book. Created in the 1880's, the ledger book features striking images of courting scenes, soldiers, and Cheyenne warriors - many who are identified by name glyphs! Our sincerest gratitude goes out to the Plains Indian Art Project for making this possible. Thank you!

The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts is a private operating 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the Internal Revenue Code. Please donate online now, or checks can be mailed to the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts 1590 B Pacheco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505. We thank you very much for your support.

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