Mir­a­cles made from hum­ble stuff

Pasatiempo - - Art - Dou­glas Fair­field The New Mex­i­can

Fam­ily, friends, tra­di­tion, a feel­ing of in­ti­macy, and a gen­eral cel­e­bra­tion of art mak­ing are all part of Win­ter Span­ish Mar­ket, which takes place Satur­day and Sun­day, Dec. 12 and 13, at the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. Fea­tured works in­clude san­tos, fur­ni­ture, hide paint­ings, straw ap­pliqué, hand-wo­ven tex­tiles, colcha, met­al­work, bone work, and pot­tery. This year, 93 artists are rep­re­sented un­der one roof.

“Span­ish Mar­ket is a large part of my life,” said Santa Fe artist Diana Moya-Lu­jan, who has been an ex­hibitor for 14 years. “I have made so many friends with my fel­low artists, col­lec­tors, in­di­vid­u­als who love Span­ish art, and my chil­dren, whom I have taught.”

Along with her daugh­ter Lenise Lu­jan-Martinez, Moya-Lu­jan has mas­tered the art of straw ap­pliqué, and the two are shar­ing a booth. Oc­ca­sion­ally, they col­lab­o­rate on a sin­gle piece. “To work with Lenise is a bless­ing,” Moya-Lu­jan said. “We can cri­tique each other’s work, ex­per­i­ment with var­i­ous de­signs and colors of straw, and have an end re­sult that we are both proud of.

“[Lenise] has the abil­ity to cre­ate flow­ers, which she wraps around a cross or other sur­face. And in her dainty work, she can cut a piece of straw that is as thin as a hair, which will then be­come a vine. ... It amazes me that she does this with straw. This year for win­ter mar­ket, I have cre­ated a se­ries of churches and im­ages of san­tos which are ½ by ½ inches.” In cre­at­ing their work, both mother and daugh­ter ad­here to tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als and tech­niques, and both are sched­uled to demon­strate their meth­ods at the event.

This year is the mar­ket’s 21st. “Win­ter Span­ish Mar­ket was started in re­sponse to [sum­mer] Span­ish Mar­ket’s suc­cess and the artists’ de­sire for an­other sales venue,” said Bud Red­ding, di­rec­tor of Span­ish Mar­ket for more than 20 years. “In fact, the first year we col­lab­o­rated with SWAIA [the South­west­ern As­so­ci­a­tion for In­dian Arts] and held In­dian and Span­ishWin­ter Mar­ket in sev­eral down­town ho­tels and at the Sweeney Cen­ter [the for­mer con­ven­tion cen­ter]. It was a mov­able feast of sorts.”

Span­ish Mar­ket is spon­sored by the Mu­seum of Span­ish Colo­nial Art and orig­i­nated in 1926 as the Span­ish Colo­nial Arts and Crafts Ex­hi­bi­tion. That first year, it was held in con­junc­tion with In­dian Mar­ket and Fi­esta at the Mu­seum of Fine Arts [now the New Mex­ico Mu­seum of Art] onWest Palace Av­enue, Red­ding said. The fol­low­ing year it moved to the por­tal at the Palace of the Gov­er­nors, where “the event flour­ished un­til the mid-1930s and was held spo­rad­i­cally un­til it was re­vived as an an­nual event in 1965.”

Red­ding views the smaller win­ter ver­sion as a spe­cial event. “[Win­ter] Mar­ket is about com­mu­nity and fam­ily and faith as much as it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of tra­di­tional art,” he said. “I think it’s also about the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween artists and vis­i­tors and the re­la­tion­ships that emerge.” Retablo artists Cather­ine Robles Shaw and her daugh­ter Rox­anne Shaw-Galindo also plan to share a booth. Shaw has been as­so­ci­ated with sum­mer and win­ter

mar­kets since 1995 and has been a full-time san­tera since 1996. “We knew [san­tos] were in our fam­ily his­tory in south­ern Colorado,” she said via e-mail from her stu­dio near Boul­der. “I was also en­cour­aged by my fa­ther-in-law, who had a nice retablo col­lec­tion.”

Shaw said her big­gest chal­lenges are find­ing the right board and visu­al­iz­ing the im­age within the wood. Each piece takes her ap­prox­i­mately eight hours to com­plete, and that in­cludes ap­ply­ing four coats of hand­made gesso as a base for her per­sonal blends of wa­ter­color. Like Moya-Lu­jan, Shaw men­tored her daugh­ter, but Shaw was taught by a va­ri­ety of san­teros, in­clud­ing Vic­tor Goler, Charles Car­rillo, and her cousin Rubel Jaramillo. In terms of the sig­nif­i­cance of Span­ish Mar­ket to her ca­reer, Shaw sim­ply called it “a mile­stone.”

Santa Fean and self-taught san­tero Car­rillo, one of Shaw’s teach­ers, is no stranger to Span­ish Mar­ket. He has par­tic­i­pated since 1978 and has ex­hib­ited in Win­ter Span­ish Mar­ket since its in­cep­tion. Dur­ing an in­ter­view at his stu­dio, he es­ti­mated that he has, in one way or an­other, tu­tored nearly half of the san­teros cur­rently as­so­ci­ated with Span­ish Mar­ket.

At this year’s show, Car­rillo plans to exhibit not only his sig­na­ture pickup trucks but also a group of tra­di­tional retab­los and a new se­ries of Mim­bresstyled san­tos painted in stark black and white. “Some of my Mim­bres-in­spired pieces will shock a few peo­ple, be­cause my ap­proach to iconog­ra­phy is so non-Euro­pean— but so very New Mex­i­can— and not Span­ish colo­nial,” he said. “I’ve taken Mim­bres fig­u­ra­tive im­agery and mor­phed them into tra­di­tional New Mex­i­can saints.”

Car­rillo de­scribed his process for San Raphael Ar­changel: “San Raphael is a war­rior fig­ure I took from a Mim­bres pot, to which I added wings based on an­other Mim­bres de­sign, then added a fish from yet an­other Mim­bres pot. So the im­age is a com­bi­na­tion of three dif­fer­ent tra­di­tional de­signs put to­gether in a new way.” He oc­cu­pies a booth this year with his daugh­ter Estrella Car­rillo, who cre­ates minia­ture

retab­los and, ac­cord­ing to her fa­ther, is do­ing ramil­letes— dec­o­ra­tive flo­ral gar­lands made by cut­ting folded pa­per. Apart from man­ning his booth, Car­rillo is sched­uled to sign copies of the just-pub­lished book Shoes for the Santo Niño by writer and poet Peggy Pond Church (1903-1986). Car­rillo did the il­lus­tra­tions for the book— his first ever for a chil­dren’s book.

A rel­a­tive new­comer to Span­ish Mar­ket is de­signer and tin­smith Kevin Burgess de Chavez who, with Drew Co­duti, runs BC De­signs in Al­bu­querque. Their com­mis­sioned work in­cludes chan­de­liers for the fine arts build­ing at the state fair­grounds as well as lighting con­cepts for Sc­holes Hall at The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico.

Born in Al­bu­querque, Burgess de Chavez has ex­hib­ited at Span­ish Mar­ket since 2005. “I’ve been work­ing with tin for the past 12 years. Prior to that I had been work­ing with found ob­jects. When I started us­ing only tin, I wasn’t aware of any­one giv­ing classes or will­ing to share knowl­edge,” he said. “Drew and I did re­search and found out that tin­smiths made their own tools. We then started mak­ing our own tools, col­lected oth­ers, and— through trial, er­ror, and ob­ser­va­tion — de­vel­oped our in­di­vid­ual styles.”

In 2008, Burgess de Chavez ap­plied straw ap­pliqué meth­ods to his tin­work and won the Boeck­man Award for New Di­rec­tions at Span­ish Mar­ket. “It was great to be ac­knowl­edged for try­ing some­thing new,” he said. “I was con­cerned that the straw ap­pliqué artists might be up­set that I used their tech­nique us­ing metal in­stead of straw, but they were very sup­port­ive and happy for me.”

Burgess de Chavez also cre­ates retab­los, makes pa­per, sews, and knits while main­tain­ing his in­ter­est in stained glass. His an­ces­try is as di­verse as his art-mak­ing skills. “Al­though pre­dom­i­nantly His­panic, I am also Apache, Scot/Ir­ish, French Cre­ole, and Sephardic Jew, and I feel all th­ese her­itages in­flu­ence my art­work,” he said.

Car­rillo sums up per­fectly whatWin­ter Span­ish Mar­ket means to so many of his fel­low artists, as well as to the city. “Win­ter mar­ket is truly about Santa Fe and Santa Feans,” he said. “It’s re­ally not about rev­enue but about tra­di­tions. It’s more a fam­ily af­fair, it’s qui­eter than sum­mer mar­ket, and there is a feel­ing of close­ness among the artists.”

Diana Moya-Lu­jan: Tryp­tic of the Na­tiv­ity and the Three Kings, straw ap­pliqué, pine, wheat straw, na­tive grasses, and dyed straw, 6.75 x 9 x 3 inches

Kevin Burgess de Chavez: tin, 16 x 10 inches

Moroc­can Lamp, 2007,

Charles Car­rillo: Holy Fam­ily, Three Kings, and Two Shep­herds, 2009, lamp black and home­made gesso on panel, 14 x 25 inches

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