Breaking News
Home / News / Visions of the Santa Fe Trail at 200 – Exhibition El Zaguán opens on August 6, 2021

Visions of the Santa Fe Trail at 200 – Exhibition El Zaguán opens on August 6, 2021

By historic Santa Fe foundation

Historic Santa Fe Foundation (HSFF) will host Visions of the Santa Fe Trail at 200 with works by Stan Honda, Ronald Kil, Mike Simpson, Melissa Weinman, and Lewis Williams. Exhibition opened at El Zaguán, 545 Canyon Road, Suite 2, Santa Fe, NM on Friday, August 6, 2021. The exhibition contines through August 27, 2021. Historic Santa Fe Foundation hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Masks required inside.

Two hundred years ago a group of hopeful traders trekked from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe with goods to sell. The success of their journey inspired a frenzy of trade on the route that would become known as the Santa Fe Trail. For 59 years, wagons filled with cargo, animals and people traversed the land between Missouri and Santa Fe, leaving remnants of their journeys in the form of buildings, communities, stories, ecosystems, and ruts.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, this exhibition features works of art which are inspired by the remnants of the trail. Each featured artist brings their own perspective and vision to the trail, resulting in unique visions of the landmarks, stories, and environments. Come explore the Santa Fe Trail through art and reflect upon 200 years of commerce, conflict, and cultural connections.

Ronald Kil is passionate about accurately recreating the historical west. His work spans all segments of history, he specializes on the Southern Plains and the Southwest, which encompasses the Santa Fe Trail Country. Ron works in oil, watercolor and ink with sizes ranging from miniatures to murals. A former working ranch cowboy, Ron left the ranches to become a full time artist in 2001. In 2012 Ron was honored to be the Distinguished Artist for the Official New Mexico Centennial Calendar published by New Mexico magazine. Recently, Ron was commissioned to paint the official 200th Anniversary poster for the Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial. His work is featured in museums across the Southwest. He currently maintains a studio in Santa Fe,

Melissa Weinman’s solo museum exhibitions include the Frye Art Museum in Seattle and the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum and Belo Corporation’s KING 5 Broadcasting in Seattle. Her work is published in Women and Art: Contested Territory by Judy Chicago and Edward Lucie-Smith. Her solo show at Tatishcheff Gallery in New York City was reviewed by Eleanor Heartney in Art in America magazine. She was awarded the NPAF Artist in Residency at Fort Union National Monument in New Mexico. Weinman painted at the American Academy in Rome as a Visiting Artist. Her work was accepted into the California Art Club Spring 2021 Excellence in Traditional Fine Art Competition, the Oil Painters of America 2020 Virtual Salon Exhibition and their 2019 Western Regional Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils. She is represented by Masterpiece Gallery in Santa Fe. .

Mike Simpson is no stranger to the West and it’s lifestyle. From cowboying on one of the west’s largest ranches, horseback packing in the Rockies, being a lease agent on the Crow Indian Reservation, to running sled dogs in the Colorado high country in the winter, Mike not only lives in the West, Mike lives the West, and that is what he paints, the West. Sensitivity to the West is central to Mike’s work. “The West is my home. I believe it to be unique. The landscape, the buildings, the people and the animals that make up the West is what I paint. When not in his gallery/studio, Mike can usually be found out painting on location, gathering reference material for future paintings or merely “living the West”. “Using watercolors for their transparency and loose suggestive qualities or oil paints for their opacity, texture and quality of brush stroke, I paint the people, places and things of small town, rural America. From the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains, to the towering grain silos of Kansas or the small adobe casas of New Mexico, to the fishing boats in a marina on the Northern California coast, the cowboys of Montana, the bewhiskered bikers of Sturgis or the girls on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, they all have a story. With my painting kit I travel the backroads and by-ways of America, often on my motorcycle, seeking out the character of my subjects and capture it using the effect of light, shadow, shape and value.”

Lewis Art Williams has been enamored with the acts of creating art for over 40 years. He works in a wide variety of mediums, including oil and acrylic paints, pastels, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. He is experienced in teaching art to a broad spectrum of students, including very young and elderly, and those with special needs. He experienced a 4 yr. apprenticeship with world renowned iconographer Br. Robert Lentz, O.F.M. He finds it a labor of love to ‘write’ these beautiful religious images in the Byzantine style. Since 2012, he has found his love of history, nature and landscape challenged by Plein Air Painting. On the eve of his 60th birthday, a powerful idea came to him as he re-evaluated his place in the world, and the status of his art career. This became the “Paint My Way ‘Cross The USA-By Bike!” adventure, where he decided to ‘rattle his cage,’ a little, to see what fell out for his ‘second half’ of life! He and his wife left San Diego, Ca. March 1, 2021, following the Old Spanish Trail to Santa Fe, NM, then The Santa Fe Trail from there, on its’ bicentennial, to its origin in Franklin, Missouri, creating art daily as they cycled the country. After that, the route was more free-form till its completion in Bar Harbor, Maine August 1, 2021. The images in this show are part of the legacy of that sojourn, and I am hopeful you can connect with the experience!

Stan Honda’s bio and the exhibition page coming soon. 

Contact: Melanie McWhorter at or call 505.983.2567 for more information.

Check Also

Gods encouraging word of the day

“The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, …