Summer in Santa Fe is the time of year when we celebrate the deep Hispanic roots of La Ciudad Diferente. It’s a satisfying experience to encounter a place that honors its traditional arts and, at the same time, celebrates the ingenuity of those artistic descendants who are drawn to more contemporary expressions of the heritage.
Spanish Market means many things to many people. For some, it’s enough to enjoy the festive appearance of the Plaza, dressed up to remind us of the enduring legacy of the conquistadors and settlers who braved the ardors of the New World. For others, it may be the food, rich and spicy, tantalizing the taste buds with the thought of fresh green chile yet to come. For most, however, especially steadfast Santa Fe visitors who return annually at this time, it’s the opportunity to see how the artistic heritage of the past lives on today through the hands and the talents of over 200 artists. Delicate straw applique and colcha embroidery are crafts may have waxed and waned through the years, but thanks to a number of dedicated artisans, one can still encounter these humble traditional art-forms today. Painstakingly painted retablos and hand-carved bultos never go out of style, as befits an aesthetic so thoroughly entwined with its religious roots. And the weavers will be there to remind us that the heat of summer will soon enough be followed by the appeal of soft, warm wool.
Presented by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, Spanish Market is making its 60th anniversary appearance on the Santa Fe Plaza over the weekend of July 30-31. Market hours on Saturday are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; on Sunday, the Market runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In conjunction with the Arts Market itself, chock-a-block with both familiar and new faces, a special Market Mass will be celebrated at our gorgeously renovated St. Francis Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 31, at which time the public is invited to the join in the blessing of the Spanish Market art and its artisans. After the blessing, a procession begins at the Cathedral and winds around the Plaza, led by a cheerful Mariachi band.
There are a few informative events celebrating the Spanish heritage that will also take place over the weekend. On Thursday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m., a free “Layman’s Lecture About the Saints” will take place at the historic Santuario de Guadalupe, located at 100 South Guadalupe Street. Lecturer Marina Ochoa, curator and archivist for the Office of Historic-Artistic Patrimony, Archives, and Museum of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will discourse on the particularly meaningful saints depicted in many of the retablos and bultos one is likely to encounter at the Market.
Santa Fe’s purveyor of “todas cosas Espanolas,” The Spanish Table, located at 109 North Guadalupe Street, complements the weekend with two flavorful themed events to honor the Market. On Friday, July 29 at 12 noon, a Spanish sausage sampling complete with a lecture on how to make and cure your own Spanish-style sausages will be presented by Robert Fettig, with Flamenco guitarist Joaquin Gallegos on hand to provide an appropriate musical background. On Saturday, July 30, also at 12 noon, the staff at the Table will cook a gigantic Paella in front of the store. This is a great time to learn how to make this signature Spanish dish, and you can receive a recipe, ask questions and enjoy! Best of all, these events are also free to the public!
To enhance this rewarding arts weekend, Santa Fe also welcomes the 25th appearance of the Contemporary Hispanic Market, held adjacent to the Plaza on Lincoln Avenue and mirroring the hours of the Traditional Market. With 134 different booths, each featuring a different twist on the Hispanic arts, this is a multitude of riches in and of itself! Those who are drawn to use their talents in newer art forms appreciate this opportunity to exhibit, and both casual and serious collectors enjoy the chance to converse with some of New Mexico’s well-respected Hispanic artists. This display of contemporary Hispanic works showcases individual expression in the mediums of painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, weaving and much, much more. In other words, this weekend is an artistic two-fer!!
As with all of the summer Santa Fe Plaza events, the sun will likely be a constant visitor, so pay attention to our summer weather and dress accordingly. That’s the only caveat though, the rest of the weekend is yours to enjoy…or as we say aqui, bienvenidos y disfrutele mucho!