Earlier in the month my friend Ellen and I headed down the long ribbon of highway to the Land of Enchantment to spend some time drawing in the desert. As a way point, we stopped in Santa Fe and spent an evening at the International Folk Art Market. The largest gathering of folk artists in the world!
Their lovely wares displayed…
…on the outdoor plazas of the International Museum of Folk Art (which is worthy of a dedicated day of viewing all by itself).
Artists from Afghanistan to Zambia represented 54 countries over the 3 day market. It was like the United Nations craft fair!
This is a particularly lovely display of earrings from Oaxaca – earring heaven really. I swooned.
Pottery from one of the European countries respresented.
This lovely South African woman was making a basket out of telephone wire…she graciously let me snap a photo while she worked.
This Haitian artist had an incredible booth filled with gorgeous beaded vodou flags. Think sequin and bead over every square millimeter of each one of those. I've done this…it's incredibly intricate and time consuming.
One of the best things was all the artists dressed in clothing from their native lands….
…as well as demonstrations of their work.
This wonderful woman I just caught as I was standing in line…love her image in the mirror and her blouse and skirt! What is her story? So many, many moments like this, and so little time. We went to the opening night of the market which kept us out of the afternoon sun, but afforded us only about 2 hours to see the whole market. And of course I had to see each and every booth, which left no time to eat or drink or watch demos.
This is Aboubakar Sidiki Fofana from Mali. A textile artist extraordinaire, his mission is to bring back the art of natural indigo to his native land. He has honed his art over the years with time in both Paris and Japan. His initiative employees 4 people full-time. He hand dyes organic cotton and looms into these exquisite creations.
The one with the color gradations…dark to light came home with me. Look at those blues! Swoon!
As the sun set over the New Mexico desert, I was very grateful to see so many nations of world artists gathered together in this way. I came away inspired and hopeful.