The International Folk Art Market’s mission is to create economic opportunities for and with folk artists across the world by staging an important market through which to sell their work. After a thorough search, the organization is pleased to announce that Stacey Edgar has been appointed as Executive Director.
“I am really excited for the folk artists because of Stacey’s background. She has deep international experience in Latin America and Africa and experience creating markets for artists. She understands the small businesses of the folk artists and the difficulties and challenges the artists experience every day at the grassroots level. It is a terrific match,” said IFAM cofounder Tom Aageson.
Who is Stacey Edgar?
Stacey Edgar is an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, researcher, and artisan business consultant with over 20 years of experience working with folk artists globally. For the past five years Stacey has served as an assistant teaching professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business in the Social Responsibility & Sustainability Division.
“I am incredibly honored and excited for the opportunity to join the IFAM team—with its amazing founders, board, advisory board and staff—as we work together to celebrate our 20th anniversary. My goal is to partner with our global community of folk artists to expand the role and positive impact of IFAM in creating connection and opportunities for folk artists as we move into our next 20 years,” said Stacey Edgar.
TABLE Magazine had the chance this week to interview Stacey Edgar to discuss her love for folk art, her favorite restaurant in Santa Fe, and of course her future at Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market.
Is there a bit of folk art that you live with that inspires you every time you look at it? Why?
Stacy Edgar: This is a very hard question because as a collector, I am lucky to be surrounded by folk art that I love, most of which I’ve brought back from my travels, so each piece is tied to memories of places and people I care about. I have a dinning room wall full of BaTonga baskets I jammed into an oversize duffle bag to carry back from Zambia, an embroidered wool blanket I bought from a shepherd in Lesotho, and several Guatemalan huipils that both hang on my walls and on my person as wearable art.
Still, I am most moved by an intricately carved letter opener from India that my grandfather sent my grandmother when we was serving in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater during World War II. Knowing she used it to open his much anticipated and treasured letters during that time connects me to my grandparents, to the community in the West Bengal region of India where he was stationed, and reminds me of how I first became interested in other cultures growing up as a young girl in a rural small town in Illinois. That is the power of folk art to connect all of us across time and place.
Where will your first dinner out be in Santa Fe after your move? What will you order?
SE: This one is easy, The Shed, and I’ll have the cheese enchiladas “Christmas style.” While Santa Fe has an incredibly vibrant culinary scene, from some of the best food trucks to five star restaurants, The Shed is somewhere my family has loved since I first brought my kids to visit IFAM in 2007. It is a must stop for us for great Mexican food and margaritas, followed by a simple hot fudge sundae. I do, however, look forward to eating my way all around town!
What is your proudest accomplishment, and how will that energize your work at IFAM?
SE: I am always astonished by my great fortune in getting to spend the past 20 years working with artisans around the world. As a social worker, I started my own company in 2003 with a two thousand dollar investment from my tax return and the idea that my girlfriends in the US would want to support women artisans by buying their art. I had no idea the powerful impact that small investment would make in my life and in the lives of my artisan partners over the years. I’ve learned so much from folk artists about creativity, community, sustainability, resistance, resilience, and shared prosperity. Those lessons, and what they hold for our larger society as we tackle some of our greatest social and environmental challenges, are what inspire me and energize me to keep learning and growing alongside the folk art community.
Looking ahead to IFAM 2024
167 artists from 51 countries have been selected for IFAM’s 20th anniversary market. IFAM is excited to welcome 41 first-time artists and a new country, Papua New Guinea, to the market. The market will take place July 11-14, 2024 at the Santa Fe Railyard Park.
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