Tag Archives: Museum of International Folk Art

About Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is located in northern New Mexico. Nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains at the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe has an elevation of 7,000 feet.  As a result of our high altitude desert environment, Santa Fe enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine annually, warm days and cool nights and four full seasons.

Santa Fe is an outdoor lover’s paradise.  Nearby mountains that reach over 12,000 ft. provide local residents with downhill and cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities in the winter.  Abundant National Forest land and State Parks surrounding Santa Fe contain deep canyons and colorful deserts for hiking, biking, horseback riding and water sports.  It is no accident that Outside magazine has its headquarters here.  To learn more about the recreational opportunities in and around Santa Fe, visit The Public Lands Information Center.

Santa Fe is the second oldest city founded by European colonists in the United States, first inhabited by Spanish settlers in 1607 and established in 1610 as the capital of Spain’s northernmost territory.  Originally Santa Fe was called La Villa Real de la Santa Fe (The Royal City of the Holy Faith). The famous El Camino Real (the Royal Road), a 1,500 mile trade route which ended in Santa Fe’s Plaza, connected Santa Fe to Mexico City and was in use from 1598 to 1885.  Now the capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the United States.

Long before the Spanish arrived, Pueblo Indians were living in the Rio Grande Valley in communal houses with hundreds of rooms, often four or five stories high, with earth floors, adobe walls and flat roofs held together by pine logs (also called vigas).  This method of building structures strongly influenced the settlers who came later.  Santa Fe’s rich cultural history, a blend of Native American, Spanish and Anglo influences, has led to its unique Spanish Pueblo and Territorial style architecture, which is unlike any other city in the United States.  Santa Fe’s unique architecture style is one of the reasons Santa Fe draws over 1,000,000 visitors annually.

Santa Fe’s magnificent quality of light, ever changing skies and colorful, dramatic landscape are responsible for the thriving artists’ community here.  Santa Fe is the 3rd largest art market in the United States in sales volume and boasts nearly 300 galleries and dealers.  East of the Plaza, Canyon Road has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, and is a major destination for international collectors, tourists and locals. The Canyon Road galleries showcase a wide array of contemporary, Southwestern, Native American, and experimental art.

Not surprisingly, given the importance of art, history and culture here, Santa Fe has over a dozen major museums, mainly located near the Plaza or on Museum Hill.  If you plan to visit more than a few museums, consider buying one of several multi-day, multi-museum passes.  For instance, currently you can buy an $18  Museum Pass good for 4 days of unlimited visits to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Palace of the Governors, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.  Also available is the CulturePass, currently $25, which allows the holder to visit each of  New Mexico’s 14 state museums and monuments once during a 12-month period.

Opera buffs will enjoy the Santa Fe Opera, which many rank as the second best opera company in the United States, behind only the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Established in 1957 and housed in an architecturally stunning, partially open air amphitheater surrounded by panoramic vistas, it consistently draws famed directors, conductors and singers.  The opera season typically runs from the beginning of July to late August.

The Lensic Theater, located at 211 West San Francisco Street, is an 821 seat theater which was completely restored and renovated between 1999 and 2001, and provides Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico with a modern venue for the performing arts.  The Metropolitan Opera’s live simulcast performances are shown at the Lensic Theater.

With a population of approximately 70,000 people, Santa Fe combines many of the benefits of small town life and wide-open spaces with access to cultural events normally associated with much larger cities.

One of many works of outdoor art displayed in downtown Santa Fe

Traveling to Santa Fe  American Eagle flies three daily roundtrip services between Dallas/Fort Worth and the Santa Fe Airport and one daily flight between Santa Fe and Los Angeles International Airport.

Many visitors traveling by air to Santa Fe fly into Albuquerque, New Mexico first and then make the one hour drive north to Santa Fe either by car or by shuttle.  Sandia Shuttle offers convenient, frequent shuttle services between most Santa Fe hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts and Albuquerque International Airport.

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

The largest international folk art festival in the world, in 2012 150 artists from 54 countries participated and over 20,000 people attended the Market.

The Market showcases master craftsmanship passed down through families, generations, and cultures: colorful beaded jewelry from Kenya; gorgeous silk scarves from Kyrgyzstan; exquisite ceramics from France.

Many of the artists come from developing countries, where the average income is less than $3 a day and where political, social, and environmental hardships can make everyday life-not to mention the creation of art-challenging.  In the past nine years, artists at the Market have earned more than $14 million dollars.  In 2011, 90 percent of the Market’s $2.3 million in sales went directly to the artists, or an average of $17,300 per booth.

The proceeds earned at previous Markets have helped to build schools, wells, and health clinics in a number of Third World countries. They have, for example, brought food, clothing, and medical care to Sudanese refugee camps, AIDS support to South Africa, and financial independence for Afghan women.

That’s a powerful bottom line: One weekend in Santa Fe provides artists the financial ability to radically improve their lives and their communities. Actor Ali MacGraw-a longtime Santa Fe resident and supporter of the arts-calls it “monumental money.”

One young Afghan weaver who sells intricately hand embroidered scarves and shawls is now able to afford to send her sisters to school. A 38-year old grandmother from a remote village in Madagascar was able to provide basic electricity and water to her village. A Rwandan basket weaver supplied women with a home garden and mosquito nets; and Maasai beaders from Kenya were able to buy chickens to feed villagers during a terrible drought. A Niger silversmith made enough money at last year’s market to buy three months’ worth of food for over 500 people in nearby villages. The money a Haitian artist earned from her dream-inspired sequin flags helped support her extended family that was left homeless after the devastating earthquake of 2010.

More than 97 percent of participating Market artists come from developing countries, where per capita annual incomes range from $250 to $1,500. “Many of these artists grapple daily with political, social, and environmental challenges in their home countries,” points out Judith Espinar, Creative Director and Co-Founder of the Market. “Yes, the Market makes a real difference in their lives, and at the same time they touch our lives in so many important ways.”

It is this sharing, the cultural interchange, that makes the Market such a unique event. The benefits of the Market flow both to the artists and to visitors, who not only discover wonderful (and often very affordable) artwork at the Market but also remarkable stories. Browsing at the Market often leads to encounters with the artists and a clearer understanding of world conditions.

In addition, visitors can enjoy exotic food as well as live, free world music on several stages, ranging from Latin rock to Japanese Shigin chanting. The Market represents, in other words, a readily affordable weekend of global experiences and connections, an overseas trip without the overseas plane fare.

The Market is held at Milner Plaza, next to the world-famous Museum of  International Folk Art. Please see the website for ticket prices and details: www.folkartmarket.org.

This article is a compliation of past press releases from the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.

Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Museum Hill

Santa Fe New Mexico Living– Focus on Museum Hill 

View from the Wheelwright Museum front terrace

View from the Wheelwright Museum front terrace

Santa Fe has four world class museums located on Camino Lejo on the southeast side of town in an area called Museum Hill.  If you limit your museum touring in Santa Fe to the cultural riches around the Plaza, you’ll be depriving yourself of a chance to view some wonderful art as well as magnificent views of the mountains.  Travel between Museum Hill and the Plaza is simple and convenient. Take the “M” line operated by Santa Fe Trails, which runs 7 seven days a week and costs adults $1 each way.  Departures start from the Downtown Transit Center on Sheridan Street (one block off the Plaza) for a short 18-minute ride.  Click here to see a map of the route.  Call 505 955-2001 for the most current information about schedules and fares.  You can spend endless hours exploring the wide variety of art in these collections. Continue reading