Annual Spanish Market A Success For Local Artists And Attendees
By Steven Eric Lovato
SANTA FE – This weekend was the 64th Annual Traditional Spanish Market, presented by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. This is Santa Fe’s historic festival that celebrates the Spanish Colonial Art forms that have been produced in New Mexico and Southern Colorado since the colonization of the region by the Spanish Empire in the late 1500s. Thousands of tourists, locals and buyers gathering in the famous Santa Fe Plaza to view and buy the unique, one of a kind work from more than 250 Adult & Youth artists, many of whom are from the Valley.
Friday evening kicked off the Market festivities with the Traditional Spanish Market Preview where artists were allowed to enter one piece in each designated art category to be judged before the event and then eventually previewed in gallery style for buyers first and then the public an hour later. The following day, Saturday Morning was the official start of the market on the Plaza.
Most of the traditional art you see in the Market is historically devotional to the Roman Catholic Faith, with images and carvings of santos like “St. Michael the Arch Angel” or “Our Lady of Gudalupe.” One common art form in the market is a Retablo, which is a devotional imagine that is painted on a wooden board that has been covered in gesso, the traditional paint used is water-color based and often made from natural pigments. You will also find other art forms such as detailed straw appliqué on wooden crosses, beautiful tin work, brightly painted bultos, hand crafted textiles & furniture and many more.
The market also featured several different food vendors that set up shop in a designated food court in front of the Museum of Fine Art providing a variety of different foods to the people attending, while serving popular foods like roasted corn and chicharron burritos. Also part of the Market was the entertainment aspect.
Guests were treated to a variety of traditional music and dance on the main stage throughout the weekend. Those acts included Mariachi Fiesta, Entre Flamenco, Los Trinos, Mariachi Azteca, Mariachi Sonidos del Monte and Los Niños de Santa Fe to name a new.
On Sunday, the last day of the event each artist walked in a procession up the street, carrying one piece of their work to the historic Cathedral Basilica of St. Frances of Assisi where a special mass is held in honor of the Spanish Market and its artists. During the mass each artists along with their work are then blessed by the Archbishop. The coveted Archbishop’s Award is then handed out to a worthy artist by the Archbishop closing out a successful Spanish Market.