Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Every second weekend in July, artists and artisans from around the globe arrive in Santa Fe to take part in the International Folk Art Market (IFAM). Held on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, the market features booths from hundreds of artists selling handmade, fair-trade goods including pottery, jewelry, wooden toys, and (of course) textiles of all kinds. Where else can you buy Japanese shibori silk scarves, a naturally dyed handwoven wool rug from Mexico, and kente cloth from Ghana and talk to the makers of each one? It’s a textile lover’s paradise!

folk art market

Ngang Ignatius Fru, Mankon weaver from Cameroon at the Santa Fe Folk Art Market. Photo by Bob Smith.

The official mission of the market is “to create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide who celebrate and preserve folk art traditions.” Ninety percent of the sale price of each item goes back to the maker while the other 10 percent is used to support the next year’s market and pay for travel stipends for the next batch of new artists. (For more information on the market and how the benefits work, check out the article by Marilyn Romatka in the May/June 2014 Handwoven.)

folk art market

Beautiful textiles from Cambodia at the International Folk Art Market. Photo by Jane Bernard.

This year’s market is scheduled for July 13–15, but events are also scheduled for the days leading up to the market including book signings, lectures, and the annual artist procession in Santa Fe’s downtown plaza. The market proper starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the Market Opening Party. This special ticketed event features food, music, and early access to the market. For those who can’t make the party and who still want to beat the crowds, early bird passes are available for Saturday morning. More information on all the special events and how to buy tickets can be found here.

The work of nearly 200 artists will be featured at the 2018 market, and most of the artists themselves will also be in attendance. Many of the artists speak English, and there are often translators available for those who do not, so you can learn all about the artwork and the traditions behind it from the makers themselves. Beyond textiles, the IFAM also features musical performances, family activities on July 15, and an international food bazaar. If things get too hot, there are several air-conditioned museums on Museum Hill within the boundaries of the market including the Museum of International Folk Art.

folk art market

Quilt by Ramu Devraj Harijan from Kutch, India. Photo courtesy of the artist and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.

More information on the International Folk Art Market including a full list of artists and entertainers, information on shuttles to the market, and where to stay in Santa Fe can be found at the IFAM website.

Happy Weaving!

Featured Image: The entrance to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. Photo by Jim Arndt.

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