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Spanish Market 2014 Welcome Letter

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Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 9:20 am | Updated: 2:36 pm, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Welcome to 63rd Spanish Market

Welcome to Traditional Spanish Market, organized by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. This is the 63rd continuous year of the market.  Its origins, however, began in 1926, the year the society was founded, with an exhibition that included prizes and works for sale. So that makes Spanish Market one of the two oldest cultural markets in Santa Fe. 

It is tremendously exciting for us to look forward to Spanish Market as we write this. In addition, for the first time this year we proudly present ¡Viva la Cultura!, a week of Hispanic cultural activities at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, which culminates in Spanish Market itself. 

For the marketgoer, Spanish Market is an opportunity to buy something that is part of a 400-year-old tradition and at the same time a contemporary expression of New Mexican culture. It is also an opportunity to get to know artists — each of them will be happy to talk with you about their culture, traditions and history.

Impressively, our artists strive to keep their culture alive and vibrant while developing their artistry. In particular, it is a privilege to watch the development of young artists in Youth Market, all mentored by adult Spanish Market artists. Fostering mentorship, along with individual and community growth, are some of the most important aspects of our work.

This year, please welcome “graduates” into adult market: Marcos Ray Serna (mentored by Dominic Martinez and James Montoya and juried into Painted Bultos and Retablos); Kyle Fast Wolf (mentored by Lorrie Garcia and juried into Retablos); and Matthew Flores (mentored by Marcial Rodriguez and juried into Straw Appliqué). Please visit their booths as well as the Youth Market, to encourage the efforts of all these gifted youngsters.

Spanish Market is not all the Spanish Colonial Art Society does. The society also runs the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art as well as an education series. Through the society’s sponsorship, artists bring art programs and a new cultural awareness to several thousand underserved students. These programs are priceless, since we know that one of the major reasons struggling students say they are inclined to stay in school is for art programs.

The society was founded 85 years ago to preserve Spanish colonial art in all its manifestations and to encourage its continuation and development. If you enjoy this event, please help the society’s mission and put a contribution in the market donation boxes. Proceeds will go straight back to new opportunities for artists and education. 

The economics of Spanish Market are also significant for Santa Fe. For most of our artists, who are in reality small business owners, this is their major opportunity to sell each year, and for many families these sales are vital. The annual economic impact of this market is around $9 million in lodging and $25 million to the city of Santa Fe as a whole.  It is important to note that of the 70,000 annual marketgoers, nearly half are from out of town or out of state, and nearly half of these people say that Spanish Market is the reason for visiting our city.

Thank you for attending Spanish Market, and we hope to meet many of you in the coming days. Finally, thank you also to all staff, volunteers, sponsors and board members who have worked so hard to make this event a reality. 

David F. Setford 

Executive Director

Brian S. Colón

Board President

Spanish Colonial Arts Society 

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Today’s New Mexican, July 25, 2014

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