The gathering of nations, Santa Fe Style

Once again, my art has opened another door in the art world, really, I mean the art world. This time it happened at the International Folk Art Market on July 12, 13 and 14 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. An example of some of the countries represented include Algeria, Hungary, India, and South Africa.

This show was a juried selection process and this year for the first time, in its 16 years of existing, there were five native born artists. I had the opportunity of being one of the artists; image an Apache artist from San Carlos, Ariz. displaying the Apache art. My selection came through the School for Advanced Research. The International Folk Market committee reached out to other organizations for recommendations.

My experience started back in March. While at the Heard Museum Art and Fair market, I was approached from a representative of the School for Advance Research who asked if I would be interested in attending this year’s International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. I advised her that I would be very much interested. For me to attend this show, I really had to work hard on my projects within the four months. I was working 10 to 12 hours a day, as months turned into weeks and weeks into days.

As the month of July approached, I examined my inventory and did repairs where needed. I was consistently checking and re-checking my work. Finally, the week of the show came around and ready or not, it was happening. As an artist you really don’t know just how one show is going to turn out. But this was an opportunity of a life time, as an Apache artist to show what Apache art was about. As we loaded up the vehicle and made sure everything was covered and tied down. We exited the yard and headed West on Indian Route 6, for the eight to 12 hour trip, and within those hours we had reached our destination.

The week started with artist registration. As I entered the room, people were lined up with their baggage. I introduced myself and the volunteer looked through a box of artist packages for my name. I was handed my package and directed to another table where I introduced myself again. The volunteer entered my name into the computer and handed me my badges with instructions. With my package and complimentary bag in hand, I exited registration. On my way out I noticed some people dressed in their culture attire, with interpreters accompanying them.

As a first timer, we were required to participate in several of the scheduled events all week long. It all started with the VIP market opening party on Friday night. As the crowd started viewing the booths, it was easy to distinguish the VIPs with their body language, attire, and drinks in hand. Crowd after crowd, I could just tell that they knew exactly what they wanted, and some with a listing in hand.

You really had to experience it in person, to understand what is expected. All weekend I introduced my art to the public. This was an educational session or experience, because of what little is known of the art. I really enjoyed being able to educate and interact with the public. In the end, for some it was the first time hearing that a horse hair can produce sound. I knew that I had communicated with them by the expressions on their faces and that was what I came there to do. As a first time artist, being able to participate in an international art show is something I’ll cherish. At this time I would like to extend out a big thank you to all of those that made it possible.

This was a once in a lifetime experience I’ll never forget.

Thank you,

Anthony Belvado


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