The 61st Annual Spanish Market is taking place in Santa Fe this weekend. Even at 8am today, the streets around the historic Plaza were crowded with people here to both look and shop. The market, a showcase of traditional Spanish Colonial Art, draws people to The City Different from all over the world. Artisans and artists working outside the definitions of traditional Hispanic arts aren’t allowed to show their work here. The 26 year old Contemporary Hispanic Market, held the same weekend, gives New Mexican artists of Hispanic descent a place to show and sell their their work. Besides art to look at and buy, Spanish Market also food and entertainment.
If you didn’t get to the shows today, it’s still on tomorrow. Start your day at 8am at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis with the special Spanish Market Mass. Artists can bring pieces of their work for blessing. After the Mass, the artists leave the church holding their work and led by a Mariachi band head to their booths.
Here is some of the art we saw at Spanish Market today, There are always beautiful, hand-crafted objects that represent months of hard work. Perhaps you will give one a new home.
The amazing carvings from Santero Joe Morales, catch the eye. the skill of the practiced wood carver making it look so easy.
Lawrence Quintana, hand cuts all of the joints in his furniture. We love talking to the artisans. Quintana told us he’s a descendant of Jose Quintana, scribe to Don Diego DeVargas. He led the effort to retake Santa Fe in 1692 after the Pueblo Revolt had driven the Spanish out of New Mexico.
Charlie Esquibel, who lives near Chimayó, makes beautiful painted and carved wooden crosses. Esquibel pointed out his unique hand-carved sign. Cut-outs form an “S” a “key” and a “bell.”
Jose Lucero paints beautiful, detailed retablos.
Andrew Montoya makes these beautiful santos.
The Spanish Colonial Art tradition carries on in the Market’s Youth Artists section. Sixteen year old artist Matthew Flores has been creating straw applique since he was eight years old. He won the Youth Award in this category at this year’s Market. Straw applique was created centuries ago by people too poor to gild their crosses with gold. The straw looks like gold when the sun hits it.
Before walking over to Lincoln Avenue to view Contemporary Spanish Market, we listened to music from Mariachi Fiesta. They had a lot of pep at 9am!
Contemporary Hispanic Market on Lincoln Avenue, north of the Plaza, was busy even early in the day.
Artist Edward Reyes creates cast metal chess sets. The one pictured below was a prize winner.
Artist (and our friend) Darlene Olivia McElroy does beautiful montages.
Joe Santiago, exhibiting in the contemporary Market, makes fountains out of semi-precious stones and sea shells.
There’s still time to visit the markets tomorrow. Traditional Spanish Market is open from 9am to 5pm and Contemporary Hispanic Market is open Sunday from 8am to 5pm.
Read more about Spanish Market here.