One of the highlights of the Santa Fe summer months is the Traditional Spanish Market, presented for the first time this year by the Atrisco Heritage Foundation. 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.
Traditional Spanish Market History
Founded in 1926 by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society 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 29 & 30, 2023, 8 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 handmade. 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, tinwork, woodwork, ironwork, 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 judgment. 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 Traditional Spanish Market features entertainment on the bandstand with regional Hispanic bands and dance groups. Artist demonstrations, book sales, and food booths are usually 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.
71st Spanish Market Weekend Entertainment Schedule
Saturday, July 29
8:30 a.m. Mariachi Azteca with host Chuy Martinez
9:30 a.m. Spanish Market Proclamation
10:00 a.m. La Emi: Flamenco
11:00 a.m. Las Flores de Valle
12:30 p.m. Los Trinos
2:00 p.m. Ramon y Lydia
3:00 p.m. Chris Arellano
Sunday, July 30
8:30 a.m. La Rondalla with host Chuy Martinez
9:00 a.m. Holly Mass Procession | The Most Reverend Archbishop Wester blessing of the Artists
10:30 a.m. Los Tropicales
12:00 p.m. Los Ninos de Santa Fe
1:00 p.m. Black Pearl
3:00 p.m. Darren Cordova y Calor
If you’d like to know more about the Traditional Spanish Market, visit the website.This article was posted by Olivia