Off in your own world: International Folk Art Market 2018
For 10 generations, the family of Abdulaziz Alimamad Khatri have made Indian woolen bandhani textiles using a traditional method of tie-dyeing the fabric with organic dyes. The finely patterned textiles are sought after by collectors around the world. Khatri joins more than 150 artisans from over 50 countries who converge on Museum Hill for the annual International Folk Art Market (IFAM). The market is one weekend in July when Milner Plaza is transformed into a colorful, eclectic bazaar reflecting the world’s diversity of folk art forms. The wares that artisans bring to the festival — textiles, jewelry, beadwork, basketry, sculpture, ceramics, rugs, metal work, clothing, and other objects for decorative and domestic use — represent the highest quality available. For the collector and the casual buyer, the market, which is now in its 15th year, is a dream world of items to appeal to the most discerning tastes, proffered from craftspeople of Ecuador, Cuba, Kenya, Syria, Nepal, Italy, Thailand, and Peru, to name just a few of the many nations represented.
Leki Wangmo of the all-female Leki Textiles and Weaving Studio of Bhutan brings items of clothing as well as home décor, while Greek painter Kiryakos Lazarides offers a selection of his Eastern Orthodox Byzantine icon paintings. Kyrgyzstan-based jeweler Zhanyl Sharshembieva presents her delicate designs made in a traditional Kyrgyz style; Rwandan artist Janet Nkubana brings eye-catching woven basketry and other fiber arts made primarily by women who use the proceeds from the sales of their wares to help support their families; and master ceramicist Imre Szu˝cs presents traditional Hungarian ceramics made with regionally sourced clays and pigments.
For the second year in a row, IFAM presents “Innovation Inspiration,” a special category recognizing the emerging axiom within the world of folk traditions that, even among local and regional customs passed from generation to generation, there is change. Twenty-eight artists were selected for the category whose works express themes of social commentary, the reusing and recycling of materials, and design. Their art reflects personal experience, experimentation with form, and timely expressions of contemporaneity.
An opening night party with food, drink, music, and more takes place on Museum Hill’s Milner Plaza (706 Camino Lejo) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 13, for $225 per person. The early-bird market is 7:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 14 for $85 per person. Tickets are $20 on Saturday after 10 a.m. and are $15 on Sunday, July 15, when the market opens at 9 a.m. For tickets and information on the two shuttle locations (no parking is allowed on Museum Hill), go to folkartmarket.org, or call 505-992-7600.
— Michael Abatemarco