Santa Fe Things to Do | Traditional Spanish Market -
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¡Una Vuelta a la Tradición! A Return to Tradition | 

After a year’s hiatus due to COVID,  the Spanish Colonial Arts Society invites visitors to “Celebrate a Return to Tradition” at the 69th Traditional Spanish Market, July 24 and 25, 2021, on the Santa Fe Plaza! This year you can visit with nearly 100 of your favorite artists, enjoy festive music, a colorful mass and procession, and a joyful gathering of friends and neighbors. You can expect to see traditional arts in 19 categories, including woodcarving, tinwork, colcha, hide painting, retablos, bultos, straw appliqué, furniture and furnishings, and ironwork created by artists using traditional techniques employed for over 400 years. Being professionals of the trade, many of these artists are dedicated solely to their work. The tradition is passed down from generation to generation and artists recruit new young talent for the future of the festival, to pass on their legacy and carry forward a successful tradition. The Traditional Spanish Market is an exceptional opportunity to visit with artists, discuss their work, and make purchases directly from them to add to — or start — your collection.

COVID has caused a few changes this year. Market organizers say, “We will not hold the awards competition or the preview this year. We are confident that we will hold our preview for the 70th Traditional Spanish Market.” However, as always, this event is free and open to the public. Learn more at

69th Traditional Spanish Market
July 24 & 25, 2021 on the Santa Fe Plaza

About Spanish Colonial Arts Society

The society traces its roots way back to 1913 to the society of Spanish Arts, and the Society for the Restoration and Preservation of Spanish Mission Churches. These organizations were collecting art in New Mexico.

It was in 1929 where the group of friends and collectors along with notable names, such as the authors Mary Austin and Frank G. Applegate (also, an artist) established the society. The first Spanish Market in Santa Fe was recorded to have been held in 1926, where the group got together to promote New Mexican art forms.

The society saw success and growth throughout the century. In 1998, the society received a gift of land and a historic residence to utilize as their long hoped for center, for a museum, perfect for an art collection comprising several hundred pieces. This museum was opened for the public in 2002.

Santa Fe Plaza

The Santa Fe Plaza is a historic monument in downtown Santa Fe, in the state of New Mexico. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and follows the architecture of traditional Spanish colonial cities. It is a center of activity for tourists and notable for its showcase of Mexican, Spanish, and Native American cultures. The plaza is home to quite a few festivals, held annually. The whole area is surrounded with historic monuments, art galleries and restaurants.

The plaza was historically the center of the city, since the year 1610 when it was first established.

The plaza began life as a fort (presidio in Spanish) and was enclosed by a large, defensive wall. It had all the facilities an army compound has, including barracks (for troops), governor’s palace, a chapel and prison. The city was expanded on when the wall first gave way to homes for Spanish officers. This history is still present in the plaza and you will certainly be fascinated by a visit.

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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