Sunday, July 13, 2014

Interrnational Folk Art Market

International Folk Art Market - 12 Years in Santa Fe

In Santa Fe , we have many art events: opera, concerts, ballet and gallery openings.  One of the most impressive (and fun to attend) is the International Folk Art Market and related activities held yearly on the Milner Plaza at Museum Hill.  It has become so popular that this year many events were sold out prior to their opening dates.

According to IFAM over the past eleven years 690 artists represented 86 countries from 6 continents.  Sales were over 18 million dollars with 90% of that money returned with the artists back to their home communities.  IFAM states that many artists earn more than 10 times their annual income .  For some of these incredibly talented people this is the first opportunity they have had to leave their villages and communities.  I cannot imagine the culture shock of planning, preparing their crafts, and traveling to such a far off country (perhaps with little knowledge of English and our life styles).  This curiosity is shared by those attending the market sales.  Many, many photos are taken of the vendors who are usually wearing their native dress and costumes.  Questions are addressed by the artists, sometimes through interpreters.  It is obvious that the tens of thousands of visitors are both knowledgeable and appreciative of the high level of craftsmanship and there is rarely a visitor that leaves without armloads of purchases.

This year there are representative artists from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, 58 countries in all.

Naturally, we purchased our tickets far in advance and are ready with camera and credit card.  Next week I will share photos of the vendors and their amazing creations of pottery, jewelry, rugs, clothing.

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