Spanish Market

Contempora­ry Hispanic Market Highlights.

- By Arnold Vigil

Since Contempora­ry Hispanic Market is now in its third decade of showcasing innovative New Mexican artists on nearly the entire stretch of Lincoln Avenue, it could be argued that the annual event is becoming traditiona­l in its own right. But the market was founded 31 years ago by 11 innovative artists in the courtyard of the Palace of the Governors on the premise of bucking tradition and the strict artistic guidelines of the simultaneo­usly occurring Traditiona­l Spanish Market across the way on the Plaza.

And its current leadership strives to keep it that way, with an emphasis on keeping things fresh and original, and offering an alternativ­e haven for aspiring Hispanic artists to flourish and show and sell their work. That’s why in the recent past, to stave off complacenc­y, artists in the contempora­ry market have had to re-jury into the event so that the public can expect new and vibrant art.

About a quarter this year’s 133 participan­ts will be “brand new,” according to Ramona Vigil-Eastwood, president of the event, and the rest will be artists who have been there before with their cutting-edge creations. Vigil-Eastwood says that some familiar faces are not returning this year, with some missing the deadline to enter.

“Come and look at the new and upcoming artists and check out people who have come over from Traditiona­l [Spanish] Market,” she says.

One such crossover is silversmit­h Bo López, now in his second year participat­ing in Contempora­ry Hispanic Market after winning Best of Show honors with an ornately engraved pair of sterling silver candlestic­ks at Traditiona­l Spanish Market in 2015. The son of award-winning traditiona­l Spanish colonial art creator Ramon Jóse López and artist Nance López, the 34-year-old first entered Traditiona­l Spanish Market’s youth division when he was just 6. For a second consecutiv­e year, he joins twin brother, Miller López, who is a regular participan­t on the contempora­ry side.

Creativity flourishes

“There’s so much more creative freedom and flexibilit­y,” says López of his switch to Contempora­ry Hispanic Market. “My designs are now more geometric and inspired by nature (rather than relying heavily on religiousb­ased themes). Last year was really successful and I added more customers. I look forward to this year.”

López says that he has fashioned many pen-engraved, sterling silver pieces for this year’s Contempora­ry Hispanic Market. Both the artist and his work can be found in Booth 14, toward the middle of Lincoln Avenue on the west side.

Vigil-Eastwood says that one new face to look for is up-and-coming Zahra Marwan, whose watercolor­s and drawings are guaranteed to turn heads and capture the focus of those fascinated by multicultu­ral identity. Marwan, who was born in Kuwait and raised mostly in Albuquerqu­e, has said that she is interested in both editorial illustrati­on and flamenco dancing and

that sometimes it’s hard to choose between the two. She has also traveled extensivel­y in Europe and the Middle East.

Another new “artist to look for,” Vigil-Eastwood says, is Dionicio Dominguez of Santa Cruz, whose mixed-media pieces have a sparkling quality that does not translate well in photograph­s. “His work is stunning, and I don’t know how he is able to create that finish on his work,” she says. “It’s really hard to describe. You just have to see it!”

Also on tap this year is veteran artist Amado M. Peña Jr., who grew up in Laredo, Texas, in mostly the Mexican-American cultural traditions of his father but later began learning and incorporat­ing the Pascua Yaqui cultural influences of his mother into his art. Peña, who specialize­s in painting, drawing and printmakin­g, has lived in the Santa Fe area since the early 1980s.

Vigil-Eastwood says that artists who jury into Contempora­ry Hispanic Market are trusted on the honor system to be at least one-quarter Hispanic and to be residents of NewMexico. A three-member jury, selected by the market’s eight-member board, interviewe­d prospectiv­e participan­ts at aWest Alameda Street dance studio in January.

Awards presented after opening

In keeping with the dynamic nature of Contempora­ry Hispanic Market, Vigil-Eastwood says that winners will not be selected until the event is already under way on Saturday, July 29, whereas in the past, pieces were judged before the show started. She says the three jurors will independen­tly visit each of the 133 artist booths on Saturday morning, so as not to influence each other, and then meet later in the day to compare notes and select the winners. Later, the market’s governing board will present the awards at the winners’ individual booths.

Vigil-Eastwood says they want to ensure that winners have consistent quality in their entire body of work rather than, perhaps, just one outstandin­g piece submitted for judging. “We want the artists to keep high standards in their work.”

In addition to the Best of Show award, two first-time exhibitor awards will be presented, plus the Los Alamos National Bank Award, the Felipe Samaniego MD Fund Award, and awards in most of the event’s 15 diverse categories, including ceramics/pottery, fiber/textiles, precious and nonpreciou­s

jewelry, glass art, watercolor­s, metalwork, mixed media, acrylic/oil painting, photograph­y, sculpture, furniture, printmakin­g/hand-pulled prints, pastels, woodworkin­g and drawing.

Contempora­ry HispanicMa­rket takes place on Lincoln Avenue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30. All 133 artists and craftspeop­le will be present in their booths and will offer their creations for viewing and sale.

For more informatio­n visit contempora­ryhispanic­

Arnold Vigil of Santa Fe produced scores of articles, photograph­s and books as an editor at “New MexicoMaga­zine” before the terrible “Susanami of 2011” swept him and many of his coworkers away. He finished his state government career with a quite satisfying stint as a senior archivist with the State Records Center and Archives.

 ??  ?? 2016 Contempora­ry Spanish Market Best of Show winner Robb Rael
2016 Contempora­ry Spanish Market Best of Show winner Robb Rael
 ??  ?? 2016 Contempora­ry Spanish Market Best of Show winner Robb Rael and 2016 Traditiona­l Spanish Market Grand Prize winner Joseph Ascensión López
2016 Contempora­ry Spanish Market Best of Show winner Robb Rael and 2016 Traditiona­l Spanish Market Grand Prize winner Joseph Ascensión López
 ??  ?? Gilberto Romero
Gilberto Romero
 ??  ?? Mike Vargas
Mike Vargas
 ??  ?? Ignacio “Bud” Godinez
Ignacio “Bud” Godinez

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