How to Shop Santa Fe’s Summer Markets

Santa Fe’s vibrant summer event landscape is dominated by the International Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, and Indian Market. Each presents opportunities to meet and talk with the artists who’ve produced the artwork and gives rise to multiple satellite events throughout the city.

International Folk Art Market

Wednesday–Sunday, July 5–9, 2023
Since its inception in 2004 on Museum Hill, the Folk Art Market has brought to Santa Fe a dazzling array of artists and artwork from more than 100 countries. This year, IFAM moves to the Santa Fe Railyard. Snag a copy of the Santa Fe New Mexican’s supplement on this event, published on Sunday, June 25, and available at most tourism centers, including the Bienvenidos kiosk on the Santa Fe Plaza and the IFAM offices at 620 Cerrillos Road. Attend the free Community Celebration on the Plaza, where artists will parade in native dress, followed by dancing to world music under the stars. With a $1,000 donation, you can attend the gala celebration on Thursday, July 6, and be among the first to see and buy the art on offer. Folk Art Early Bird tickets for 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday are also worth the price if you’re a collector and want a less-crowded atmosphere. For the second year, the Saturday Night Market (6–9 p.m., July 8) is a can’t-miss event—shopping, bands, food trucks, and a festive atmosphere abound. Sunday is Community Day, with activities geared toward families; also, on Sunday, some artists will discount their work after 2 p.m.

Pro Tip: Head straight for the “Best of the Best” booth (consult the map when you enter the grounds) to get an overview of the market in one space. You can buy there or go meet the artists of your favorite pieces in their booths!

Beyond IFAM
Don’t miss Cartonería, an exhibit exploring Mexican papier mâché at the International Folk Art Museum. Retail shops throughout Santa Fe showcase market-related clothing, jewelry, and accessories — two of our favorites are TOKo and Santa Fe Dry Goods. Don’t miss Good Folk on Lincoln Avenue — this tiny shop packs a mighty folk art punch.

Spanish Market

Saturday–Sunday, July 29–30, 2023
Begun in 1926, this rigorously juried market features more than 200 artists from New Mexico and southern Colorado, working in 19 art categories that represent the region’s established traditional arts and crafts. As with other major Santa Fe markets, the supplement published by the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday, July 23, presents lists of artists, media, maps, and details of other events, including live music, art demonstrations, and regional foods. There is no admission fee to attend. On the Friday night before the weekend market, the Society sponsors a preview, which is an excellent way to view the best of what goes on sale the next day. Don’t miss the Youth Market on Saturday, where up-and-coming artists sell out fast! On Sunday morning, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi presents the Spanish Market Mass, with a procession of artists bearing their finest work for a ceremonial blessing at the altar. The artists then parade from the Cathedral through the stalls to the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand, where the Archbishop blesses Spanish Market.

Also, the weekend of July 29 and 30 is Contemporary Hispanic Market, featuring artists working in various media outside the traditional boundaries of the Spanish Market.

Pro Tip: In addition to each “Big Three” Santa Fe New Mexican supplement, be sure to consult the New Mexican’s Pasatiempo magazine (published every Friday) for information about the many market-related satellite events at area museums, art galleries, retailers, and pop-up shops.

Beyond the Market:
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Trails, Rails, and Highways: How Trade Transformed the Art of Spanish New Mexico explores the evolution of arts in New Mexico. The Grain at the New Mexico Museum of Art showcases the work of Northern New Mexico wood carvers. Many art galleries mount special exhibits of the work of their New Mexico Hispanic artists.

Santa Fe Indian Market

Saturday–Sunday, August 19–20, 2023
Now in its 101st year, the Santa Fe Indian Market, organized by the Southwest Association of American Indian Art (SWAIA), is the largest and oldest market in the United States of its kind. More than 1,000 artists from around the US and Canada are juried to participate, showing and selling their artwork directly to collectors and visitors on and around the Santa Fe Plaza. The Santa Fe New Mexican publishes a supplement the preceding Sunday, August 13. The Best of Show awards ceremony and preview reception on the Friday night before the market opens is an excellent way to immerse the more than 1,000 entries in traditional and contemporary jewelry, pottery, painting, sculpture, photography, textile, beadwork, and basketry. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Market days, enjoy entertainment, dancing, and music in and around the Plaza. On Saturday, the SWAIA Gala, reception, and live auction raise funds to support SWAIA’s ongoing, year-round work. One of the most popular events is the free Native American Clothing contest at the Bandstand on Sunday, where Native dress takes center stage. Also, on Sunday, coveted tickets to the SWAIA Fashion Show at the Convention Center sell out fast. Nor is the action only on the Plaza and surrounding streets—local galleries and museums showcase Native-themed shows to attract the more than 100,000 visitors who come for the weekend.

Pro Tip: Attend the Best of Show event on the Friday of the Indian Market to get an overview of the artists’ wares.

Beyond the Market
Visit The Stories We Carry at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art to see the diverse history of Indigenous jewelry. Here, Now, and Always is a groundbreaking exhibit of Indigenous narratives at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Noted Native American artist Doug Hyde will be featured at Nedra Mateucci Galleries; Keep Contemporary spotlights Ricardo Estrada. Stroll downtown, Canyon Road, or the Railyard and see Native American artwork, pottery, jewelry, and clothing at virtually every stop.

Story by Mara Christian Harris

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