Ever since my daughter and her family attended the International Folk Art Market for the first time when they moved to New Mexico on 2007, I have heard about this wonderful event. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I actually saw it for myself. And I can only regret that I waited so long!
We took the train up to Santa Fe from Belen, where my daughter lives. Then we walked across the street and hopped on a shuttle to take us to Museum Hill, where the event was located. Sunday was the last day, but there was still plenty to see and do.
Artists came from over 50 countries to exhibit and sell their work. Many came representing their cooperatives, not just themselves. And many came to demonstrate how they make their goods. There was a Bolivian woman, for instance, who sat there making a string bag on her lap. A man spent the whole time making his silver jewelry. It was fascinating.
The Folk Art Market website says that the artists keep 90% of the sales. Last year, an announcement made at the event said, that amounted to many millions of dollars and benefited, if I remember correctly, 365,000 artisans and their families.
In addition to the art, there was also live music from around the world throughout the day. We saw South Africans and what appeared to be a father and son from Tuva, a small republic in the far south of Siberia and just north of Mongolia.
And of course there was food. Venders were all licensed restaurants and offered a wonderful array of food from many countries. I had chana masala and Basmari rice along with an orange mint iced tea that was to die for!
At the end of the day, we took the shuttle back to the train and the train back to Belen. It was a wonderful, stress-free day.
If you are ever in Santa Fe the second weekend in July, check it out. I know I will make a point to do so next year!