As summer art markets go in Santa Fe, there are plenty to choose from. Whether you’re into Native American art, or folk art, antique art or contemporary art, there’s probably a Market for it. One of the lesser known, but no less important markets taking place in the City Different is the Contemporary Hispanic Market, held in conjunction with the Traditional Spanish Market, on July 29 – 30, 2023, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event, as always, is free and open to the public.
Lining Lincoln Avenue, near the historic Santa Fe Plaza, and touted as one of the largest contemporary Hispanic markets in the world, the Contemporary Hispanic Market sits side-by-side with tradition, both literally and figuratively. Adjacent markets allow for collectors and casual visitors to experience the full range of artwork available, from centuries-old traditional styles to cutting-edge contemporary works.
Just be aware, the keyword here is contemporary. Founded in 1986 with a mission to provide artists statewide an opportunity to show their less traditional work, it has become a huge draw in and of itself. While the Traditional Spanish Market celebrates age-old techniques and materials, the Contemporary Hispanic Market celebrates the evolution of its artforms. So popular is this event that many of the artists return every year, and some have such an avid following that they sell out before the show is over.
So, what will you find at the Contemporary Hispanic Market? To begin with, all artists are required to be part Hispanic and a full-time resident of New Mexico. Following and improving on traditions passed down through generations, these artists give a modern twist to the proceedings, by employing techniques that may not have been available to their ancestors. The results are New Mexico flavored pieces for the 21st century, including paintings, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography, printmaking, and more.
And, as with all art, you are encouraged to visit with the artists a bit before purchasing their works. Not only does it offer you a rare opportunity to learn the history of the piece, it also creates a connection between the artwork, its maker, and you, the collector.
One suggestion when dealing with artists at both markets is to ask questions. What techniques are they using to create their art? Are they combining traditional techniques with modern ones? Are they using techniques handed down by their ancestors? If so, how are they combining those techniques? You’d be surprised the things you can learn, and relating those stories will not only make your next dinner party that much more entertaining, it will help keep the traditions alive.
Just one word of advice. Bring an umbrella or a rain poncho, it has rained every year that the market has been in existence, something the attendees call, the Market Blessing. For more information, visit the website, or call 505-331-5162.This article was posted by Olivia