A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Over the past several years, I have attended 4 times and I have always enjoyed this energetic, educational, and most colorful weekend. The SFIFAM is held at Museum Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and during this weekend, all the museums are open to the public, free of charge. In years past, I had time to enjoy these museums along with the Market. However, this year I only had a few hours and spent it visiting the Market booths. People come around the world, both to sell their wares and to buy the art. There were 134 booths representing over 50 countries. Some of the booths represent individual artists and some represent cooperatives. The SFIFAM is a non-profit, meaning that all the money made during this weekend goes to the artists/cooperatives and to their home communities. Each booth has one of the artists dressed in their native dress, another person fluent in English and the artist’s language, and then a volunteer to handle the purchase paperwork.
Here I will share some of the art highlights.
One of the most fascinating booths for me was the Madagascar booth; they had various fiber arts made from wild and home-grown silk. They had some hatched cocoons and they were so big. I was even allowed to pick one up and take a closer look. Silk in the raw!
Uzbekistan had a few booths and I found the one that yearly has the bird scissors. I love how they have so many different birds represented.
This dude from the island nation of Vanuatu was walking around his booth playing a very decorative musical instrument.
There were several booths from Mexico, but being so close to the the Mexican border, many of the art presented I had seen before. However, this booth really stood out for me as some of the most beautiful art at this years Art Market. Mariano Valadez was present, actually doing his art as the crowds eddied and swarmed around his booth.
The Palestinian Territories were represented with their Hebron glass, which I had never seen before. I took several pictures because there was such variety in form and function.