Ornament Magazine

VOL39.1 2016

Ornament is the leading magazine celebrating wearable art. Explore jewelry, fashion, beads; contemporary, ancient and ethnographic.

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marketplace Patrick R. Benesh-Liu I f there was ever a riot of colors and sensations, rebelling against the staid bland urbanity of modern life, the International Folk Art Market, held annually in Santa Fe, New Mexico, would be it. Bringing together travelers from across the world, and pairing what is quintessentially local art with a meeting ground accessible by a global audience, this festival of human creativity is rather remarkable to say the least. The event began in 2003 as an effort to empower folk artists by providing them with a marketplace that they could never have accessed otherwise. The thought was many artists in first, second and third-world nations create beautiful work, but are limited to selling to their village, tribe or the occasional tourist. By providing a venue in the United States and assisting them in traveling to America, these folk artisans could experience a windfall in profits while giving visitors the opportunity to purchase unusual crafts and art to which they might never have been exposed. It was a win-win concept, similar to the idea of micro-loans, and it has been hugely successful. More than nineteen million dollars have been earned by artists attending the International Folk Art Market over these thirteen years, with over seven hundred fifty artists from eighty-eight countries participating in the show. That is a big difference! It is hard to describe how fantastical the market truly is, because in drawing from the pool of humanity, from all corners of the earth, there is a diversity beyond one's imagination. It reminds us of all our fellow travelers on Starship Earth. Many of the attending artists come dressed in their best, from red-dyed Guatemalan huipils sporting colorful embroidered patterns, to opulently printed textiles bearing floral and nature-inspired designs from to opulently printed textiles bearing floral and nature-inspired designs from Turkey and Afghanistan, to starkly-contrasted black and crimson garments from Oman, with intricately interwoven metal threading and swimming in INTERNATIONAL FOLK ART MARKET, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO. Photograph © Jim Arndt. All photographs courtesy of the International Folk Art Market. HUDA AL HASHMI, from Oman. Photograph © Bob Smith. PIERRE EDGARD SATYR, papier-mâché artist, and member of the Association pour le Développement de L'Artisanat du Sud'est (ADASE), in Haiti. Photograph © Judith C. Haden.

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