International Folk Art Market
Santa Fe, New Mexico, was
designated in 2005 by the
United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a “Creative
City”—the only city to be so honored
in North America. In four short years,
the Folk Art Market has grown into
the country’s largest juried venue for
authentic, quality, international folk
art and a major international force in
the cultural and economic sustainabil-ity of folk artists around the globe.
Going to the Folk Art Market is
like seeing the world in one weekend
in Santa Fe. The market attracted
more than 20,000 visitors last year and
earned millions of dollars in sales for
its artisans, who came from over forty-one countries.
Many of the artists who attend the
market are able to support not only
their families, but entire communities
with the proceeds of the work they
sell. The market offers three unique
programs for artists: one to show them
how to run their businesses, a second
that allows retailers and others to
place bulk orders to be filled after the
show, and a third that trains them
to create similar markets in their
own countries. These programs are
sponsored by UNESCO and the W. K.
Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit www.folkartmarket.org
What Is Folk Art?
• Folk art is rooted in traditions that
come from community and culture.
• Folk art expresses cultural identity
by conveying shared community values and aesthetics.
• Folk art encompasses a range of utilitarian and decorative media including cloth, wood, paper, clay, metal,
and more. If traditional materials
are inaccessible, new materials are
often substituted, resulting in contemporary expressions of traditional
folk art forms.
• Folk artists traditionally learn skills
and techniques through apprenticeships in informal community
settings, though they may also be