Sunday, July 20, 2014

Folk Art Extravaganza, part 1

image from a booth at the International Folk Art Market
Here goes. I'm calling this post 'part 1' because after shooting about 600 photos during my time in Santa Fe for the Folk Art Extravaganza, I think I may bore you to tears if I try to put it all in one very long blog post.  (And an advance apology: usually I spend a lot of time editing photos before posting them here, but with so many pics to sort, if I waited to post until the editing was done, you wouldn't be reading this post until next winter, I think!  So the photos in this and the next couple of posts will be mostly unedited.)
image from a booth at the International Folk Art Market

Where to start - for several years, I've read the articles in School Arts magazine about the International Folk Art Market held annually in Santa Fe New Mexico. Crizmac offers a number of travel opportunities that include professional development for art educators, and one of these is the Folk Art Extravaganza, offered by Crizmac in collaboration with School Arts magazine.   I've always been wowed by the rich and vibrant colors of the folk art in those School Arts photos, and said to myself "that's something I'd love to do some day."  So, as a retired person with a flexible schedule, it suddenly occurred to me that 'some day' could be now!  So in the middle of the winter, I signed myself up, ordered my airline tickets, and blocked out the days on my calendar.  And home again now, and recovered from jet-lag, I can tell you the trip was everything I could have imagined.

But I had a rocky start.  Around the beginning of July, I got strangely and mysteriously sick (I rarely get sick).  I didn't do anything or even eat much (very odd for me) for a few days.  Finally feeling better, the day before the trip I did a bunch of laundry in anticipation of packing that day.  And suddenly I found myself with painfully itching and swollen hands, which I presumed were an allergic reaction to a new fabric softener.  Off to the doctor I went, and things got exceedingly worse as my legs broke out in nasty hives.  By the end of the day, armed with Benedryl, I had re-washed four loads of laundry and packed my bags, and was calmed down. (For a while I thought I'd have to cancel the trip; I was a total mess!)  We left for the airport at 4am the next morning (thanks to my sweet hubby for driving me), and off to Santa Fe I went, with barely any sleep and many hours of travel ahead.  Albany NY, to Chicago, to Denver, to Santa Fe; I finally arrived early afternoon and strolled the town a bit to get my bearings.
 From the air, between Denver and Santa Fe.  Alien crop circles perhaps?

Our group met late Thursday afternoon and walked to the railyard, for the festival's opening parade and festivities.  There were food trucks and stands everywhere, and when the artists assembled and marched in, it was like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, with everyone wearing their native costumes, and big smiles everywhere.   Except I was exhausted, and feeling the effects of the dry dessert air and high altitude. So with a quick bite to eat, I watched the parade, but didn't linger too long at the festivities, because I wanted to be awake and alert for the activities in the days to come.
I don't know why there's a space here.  I can't get rid of it, so I'll write in it.  Above, participants are waiting for the parade to begin.  I think the Ukrainian girls on the right are especially adorable. 
Below: images from the parade of artists, representing their countries
 In my 'part 2' post, I'll tell you all about the actual International Folk Art Market and my experience there, and in my 'part 3' post I'll talk about our group and leaders, and the professional development part of the trip, especially the visits we had from artists from the market.  These were a definite highlight!  Stay tuned!!!


  1. Hey Phyl,

    Your're living the dream! I know what you meant about seeing all of those School Arts pics and wanting to experience the Int'l Folk Art Mkt. I look forward to your next posts about your wonderful trip!

    1. Yay! Pat! It's good to hear from you, Sharpiewoman! Think you'll get back to your blog one of these days? Miss you!!

  2. Wow! How amazing and colorful. I love the parade of nations. Off to read your next post!