Aug. 22, 2017
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Wet Hot Art Summer

An insider’s guide to the best (and worst) of Santa Fe’s art scene

July 6, 2011, 2:00 am

Traditional Spanish Market/Contemporary Hispanic Market

July 30-31
Plaza and Lincoln Avenue, 982-2226
Estimated attendance: 40,000-60,000

Highlight: Time travel.
Hazard: Repeat offenders. Though there’s plenty of innovation and variation of quality, it’s hard not to feel you’re looking at the same thing over and over again.
How to explain it to Grandma: As a devout Catholic who finds the church’s aesthetics delightful rather than dark, this event will certainly be your favorite. Please cool it on the retablos, though, before your house feels like a funeral parlor.

The area that is Santa Fe was colonized by Spanish imperialists in the early 1600s. Flash forward 400 years and many cultural elements of Spanish colonialism still blanket our streets and peoplejust with a little bit of updating. Traditional Spanish Market, put on by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and held in tandem with Contemporary Hispanic Market, follows a similar paradigm. Initially conceived in 1926 to “provide an artistic
outlet for local Hispanic families working in traditional Hispanic art forms,” Director Maggie Magalnick says, Spanish Market still has many of the same waresretablos, bultos, santos, etceteros. “Call it a living exhibition of Spanish life and faith,” Magalnick says. “It’s a celebration of the rich Hispanic culture of New Mexico.” This year’s Spanish Market features the work of 187 adult and 50 youth artists, regional food and dance as well as a slew of para-events such as a lecture about the saints. Also this year, artists who’ve been in the market for at least two years working in traditional art forms can branch out a bit by using traditional methods, materials and iconography in “exciting new ways.” According to Magalnick, this “enables them to push the envelope a bit.” If you’re not into religion, religious art or religious history, Spanish Market can be a little repetitive. Hopefully, with the new takes on old art and the 17 new artists showing this year“the largest number of new artists coming into market in quite a few years,” Magalnick saysthings will get a little more exciting.

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