One of the highlights of the Santa Fe summer months is the Traditional Spanish Market, presented by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. The oldest and largest juried art show of its kind in the nation, the Spanish Market is a showcase for all things traditional in New Mexico. This unique event attracts tens of thousands of collectors, enthusiasts and visitors each year, with approximately 200 adult and mentored youth artists represented.
Founded in 1926, to preserve and celebrate traditional Hispanic culture, the first Spanish Market took place in the courtyard of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Today, this internationally renowned event takes place on the historic Santa Fe Plaza. This year, the dates are Saturday and Sunday, July 30 & 31, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. As always, this festive fiesta is free and open to the public.
Since its beginning, almost a century ago, rigorous standards have been followed to ensure that regional Hispanic heritage is honored by the artists. Juried into nineteen different art categories – all formed around established arts and crafts traditions from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado – the works must be original, and hand made. Pigments made from plants and minerals are the preferred media.
The emphasis here is on tradition, which means the pieces you are attracted to may have a history all their own, which has been passed down through the generations. Among the exceptional items being offered are bultos, retablos, ramilletes, colcha embroidery, tin work, woodwork, iron work, leatherwork, hide painting, pottery, woven textiles, and more.
Competing for cash awards and prizes in each category, the artists present their work to a jury made up of art dealers, curators, art collectors and art historians for final judgement. On Friday night, before the market actually begins, collectors and visitors are invited to a sneak peek at the best artwork, including the winners, before they officially go on sale.
In addition to the artists booths and vendors, the Market features entertainment on the bandstand with regional Hispanic bands and dance groups. Historical reenactors from El Ranco de los Golondrinas, artist demonstrations, books sales, and food booths are also intermixed to add interest. The Youth Market, added in 1981 to ensure living traditions continue to be passed down through the generations, is held in conjunction with the Spanish Market, usually in the center of the Plaza.
If you’d like to know more about the Traditional Spanish Market and its history, visit the website. For more information on this year’s event, call 505-982-2226.This article was posted by Olivia