SANTA FE, NM.-
The largest event of its kind in the world, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
provides an unparalleled chance to collect cultural treasures, meet the artists who created them, and have a direct and even profound impact on the lives of not only the artists but also their communities around the world. For this years event, more than 170 master folk artists from 52 countries have been selected from nearly 400 applicants. The Market begins the evening of Friday, July 9, 2010, and runs through the afternoon of Sunday, July 11.
This is an especially auspicious year for the Market, with the city of Santa Fe celebrating its 400th Anniversary in 2010, an occasion that is expected to draw multitudes of visitors. Traditionally, the International Folk Art Market kicks off the summer art market season for which the city is famous.
The quality of the art this year is exceptional, says Charlene Cerny, Executive Director of the Market. People are going to be amazed at the treasures they will find and the artists they will meet from all over the world.
Market goers can also feel good knowing that 90 percent of the money from sales goes home with the artists. 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.
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 enrich 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.
Nearly half of the participants in the 2010 Market will be new, including artists from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Israel, Kazakhstan, and the Ukraine. Popular artists are returning from other countries, including Brazil, Haiti, India, Lao, Niger, and Uzbekistan. Market stalls will be laden with unique treasures such as felt rugs from Kyrgyzstan, tribal garments from China, recycled metal sculptures from Haiti, intricate tie-dyed bandhani garments from India, rebozos (shawls) from Mexico, and woven silk textiles from Laos.
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 opens on Friday, July 9th, 2010, with a celebratory opening party, including shopping and dancing, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. The Market continues on Saturday, July 10, from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday, July 11, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sunday is Family Day, with reduced admission fees of $5.00 and special activities, including a free Passport Program for kids. The Market is held at Milner Plaza, next to the world-famous Museum of International Folk Art.