When Sue Westbrook opened Taos Blue (named for the signature color long used on doors and windows in Taos), at the top of Bent Street across from the Historic Taos Inn, in a tiny corner of the building which was once the home of Bert Phillips, she knew she finally had a foothold in one of Taos’ prime locations.
A Louisiana transplant, she’d already been in business here, having bought Clay & Fiber (from John Wilson), and opened the old Lo Fino Gallery ( they both co-existed in the building where the Mesa Brewing Tap Room is now housed). She ran all three businesses before closing Lo Fino/Clay&Fiber to focus exclusively on Taos Blue.
Although at the time (28 years ago) the space on Bent Street was hardly big enough to swing a cat, as they say, Sue, with her background in Interior Design, knew she could make it work.
Within a few years she’d expanded into an adjoining space and soon the gallery gained a reputation of being one of the best in Taos, representing over 65 highly accomplished artists and artisans,
Her commitment to showcasing the very best in American Arts and Crafts has made her a popular destination spot for visitors to the area – many make the day trip from Santa Fe to Taos just to shop at her Gallery.
Locals too, know that they can find unique gifts here, with no need to look anywhere else, be it for a wedding,birthday, anniversary or Christmas gift. Or something special just for them!
Every year, in November, when Sue closes for a week, to redecorate for the Season, locals wait with bated breath for her to unveil the gorgeous windows she’s become known for Aqui en Taos.
This year was no exception, except that when the lights were turned on to reveal a forest of undecorated trees in every window, shading river rocks, ceramics, and feathered, magical owls (Sue’s personal totem) there were more windows than ever before, as if a magic wand had been waved and the enchanted forest had multiplied.
Cars slowed to a full stop, passengers craning their necks to be certain their eyes weren’t playing tricks on them, but no, there they were. More windows, and more trees.
When the adjacent space that had housed Kilborn Pottery became vacant, Sue took a leap of faith and jumped on the opportunity to expand Taos Blue, enabling her to expand her repertoire beyond Fine Arts and Crafts, to include lighting (stunning lamps), and unusual furnishings in a nod to her past and Lo Fino. The evening I dropped by, the sun was setting fast, and the twilight cast a magical glow over the newly painted walls that contain so much history and are a story unto themselves. Along with the owls, which Sue says appeal to her for their ability to see in (and through) the darkness.
“They are known as the Night Eagle because they have superior vision.” She explained as she tweaked a display in the original room of her gorgeous gallery. Not unlike Sue herself, who In a sense has come full circle. Just in time for the Holiday Season!
This Friday, December 1st at 5pm ( First Friday on Bent Street) Taos Blue will have a large table outside, filled with hugely discounted bits and bobs – Art and objects – one of this and two of that – things that need to move out so Sue can move new inventory in!
Ever the gracious hostess, Sue will also have something hot and sweet on hand for you to sip and nibble on, while you peruse the selection.
Inside the newly expanded Taos Blue (it already looks like she’s been there forever), you’ll find a huge array of work from familiar and recently included artists, along with Holiday gifts at a great price. Unusual ceramics, whimsical mounted animal heads made from felted wool, glass, fiber art and so much more. Also in December, during the annual Bonfires on Bent Street, do be sure to stop in and say hello to Sue while enjoying this awesome community event that encourages Taosenos to shop locally.
“Taos needs to be committed to Taos!” Has long been Sue’s motto, and these days with the World in a constant state of uncertainty, shopping local might be the most political statement you can make!
All along Bent Street you’ll find everything you need for everyone on your list this Holiday Season, beginning with Taos Blue. From Fine Art to jewelers, potters, fetish carvers and sculptors at every price point, Sue has sourced the very best of the best and has brought them all together under one roof. Just look for the Forest of Trees in the windows where Bent Street meets the Paseo.
To discover more about Taos Blue, please visit their site linked below.