The return of the winter Traditional Spanish Market Artist Show will be more than a blip. For nearly 25 years, the Spanish Colonial Arts Society presented a winter market in Santa Fe. That market moved to Albuquerque in 2013, then halted in 2020 during the pandemic. Last year, santero Charles Carrillo learned that the arts society wasn’t planning a winter market, so he and other artists organized their own in Santa Fe. It attracted about 70 artists — the same number involved this year, says Jerry Montoya of Grants. He and Carrillo both are involved in organizing this year’s event, which is operated by the artists.
The winter show is vital to artists’ bottom line, Montoya says. They sell goods such as santos, ironwork, carvings, and furniture. Also featured are traditional music and demonstrations. Last year’s market was held at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church. It moves the Santa Fe Community Convention Center this year. And instead of being held in the first week of December, this year’s is part of Thanksgiving weekend.
The market was moved to Albuquerque in a bid to bolster attendance, Montoya says. Carrillo has said he was motivated to bring the show back from Albuquerque, where sales and artist participation were “disappointing” in 2019. The Spanish Colonial Arts Society hasn’t made any decisions about a possible 2023 winter market, Montoya says, adding that he’s ready to present one again in Santa Fe if needed. He has produced his own shows in the Grants and Gallup areas, including in Catholic churches, for about 20 years.