Backyard Bill in Santa Fe

Backyard Bill in Santa Fe

Photographs Backyard Bill

Shopping with soul: six collectors explain why they keep returning to IFAM Santa Fe – and why making a stand against homogenization is so important…

 

 

Shobhan Porter, store owner

What do you do?
I own and buy for three retail stores in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Workshop, Santa Fe Dry Goods and Wild Life.

Tell us about your favourite pieces…
The large indigo bedspread was made by master dyer Aboubakar Fofana, from Mali. I think it is outstanding because he achieved a three-dimensionality to what is a two-dimensional object. But what captures my heart and eyes is the intensity of the mid-tone blue. It has its own voice. The three blue embroideries were hand-stitched by two really amazing craftswomen from Laos. The work is highly detailed, the colours have incredible depth, but what I like most is that the design is so universal that I can combine those pieces with items from any other part of the world and they work together. These three pieces speak a universal language. The last two pieces are vintage African mud cloth that have been in my family for the past 30 years.

What is it that makes Santa Fe unique?
Santa Fe is particularly special because it is still an artist colony that prides itself on individuality, freedom and creativity. This doesn’t leave much room for the homogenization that exists in many other places. The market is unique because it celebrates art that retains an earthiness – even if it is perfectly constructed. The artists still focus on historical, deeply-rooted aesthetics and methods. There is a lot of soul; we forgo gloss for authenticity.

How long have you been visiting and what were your first impressions? 
I’ve been attending the Folk Art Market since I moved back to Santa Fe in 2008. It is a cheerful event
that reminds the consumer that art, textiles, clothing and décor are made by people; and, these days, we should be willing to pay a premium for what is often a dying art.

What would be your dream find?
I am always searching for something that is so beautiful it makes me cry… a piece of art that sings with human ingenuity and a good heart.

santafedrygoods.com

 

 

Suzanne Sugg, textile collector

What do you do?
For the past 47 years, I have volunteered for a variety of different art organizations in Texas and New Mexico. I collected textiles for years before I realized it was a collection. I started with European textiles and tapestries, then I was introduced to Central Asian textiles through my husband’s aunt’s collection in her estate about 30 years ago. That broadened my interest and love
for textiles around the world.

Tell us about your favourite pieces…
The Haitian metal wall hanging (above right) is made from a discarded oil drum: the design is hand drawn, hand hammered, and hand chased. The artist is using inexpensive materials that are readily available to make something beautiful. The vase (below) is created using the same method – hand hammering a flat piece of silver into a three-dimensional form and hand chasing the details into the design. Both pieces are made in a similar way to how martelé silver is made. Both are special and appeal to me for their handmade aesthetic, creating something beautiful by manipulating a flat piece of metal.

What is it that makes Santa Fe unique? 
The varied backgrounds of the people, the diverse art galleries, the variety of museums, the adobe architecture, the beautiful weather, the mountains and blue skies all make Santa Fe unique. And IFAM is one of a kind. It is the only place that artists from very diverse and often conflicting countries get together and become friends through their love of art. The artists see each other
as artists, not rivals. They are recognized by their countries and world organizations such as UNESCO and the World Craft Council as master artists. The market brings the world together.

How long have you been visiting and what were your first impressions?
My husband and I have called San Angelo, Texas, home for the past 49 years. We visited Santa Fe many times and in 1999 we decided to buy a second home there to escape the hot summers of West Texas. The beautiful seasonal weather is a treat. Santa Fe has an interesting history, so many cultural offerings as well as a wonderful variety of restaurants. Christmas Eve in Santa Fe with farilitos and carolers along Canyon Road is magical.

What would be your dream find?
I am always looking for the next piece of art that takes my breath away – and IFAM is a great place to look for it.

folkartmarket.org

 

 

Nathalie Kent, store owner

What do you do? 
In between my collecting passions, I own a high-end Western wear and home furnishings boutique on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. I search for the best, most unique, well made, one-of-a-kind items in the world for my store. I actually only buy for me, but sometimes I share these items with customers!

Tell us about your favorite pieces…
The woven cross is by Blaise Cayol of Tavel, near Avignon in the South of France. I love and have collected crosses forever, and this cross is like the beginning of a basket. Blaise is a renowned artist, basket maker and garden sculptor – with a limitless mind for creations. He is a longtime and dear friend who comes to Santa Fe to visit in the summer with his family and stays with us. The hats are a selection of old and new; they are sitting on my grandmother’s French armchair – as I wear one every day. The long tunic/djellaba in black gauze with heavy, tight silver thread embroideries (left) is from Oman, made by a group of fascinating women working in Muscat, part of an artistic cooperative keeping their artisanal talent alive.

Why are they so special to you? 
While working as a fashion editor for French Vogue in Paris in the 1970s, I was lucky enough to have been invited by his majesty the Sultan Qaboos of Oman to produce several extremely adventurous fashion shoots which mixed French and Omani clothing. My heart stopped when I saw these at the IFAM after so many years.

What is it that makes Santa Fe unique? 
There is not another small town like Santa Fe anywhere in the world. It is unique in its feeling. The only place similar I can think of is Marrakech in Morocco. The incredible IFAM –  dreamed up by this amazing woman, Judith Espinar, who started with the idea 15 years ago and made it happen with of course a collection of wonderful, hard-working believers – has helped to unite people from all over the world through artisanal treasures.

How long have you been visiting and what were your first impressions?
I came for the first time in 1980 – and I am so lucky to have lived in Santa Fe since 1988. The first time I set foot in Santa Fe, I knew this is where I wanted to be: it felt like home.

What would be your dream find? 
I’m living my dream every second.

nathaliesantafe.com

 

 

Jed and Samantha Foutz, Shiprock GALLERY

What do you do?
We own Shiprock Gallery, which primarily focuses on historic and contemporary Native American art.

Tell us about your favourite pieces…
The basket was a gift from Blaise Cayol and was made in the gallery during his artist demonstration during the 2017 IFAM show. Also pictured are Gwaai Edenshaw’s Haida silver and copper cuffs along with a personal collection of early Navajo and Pueblo cuffs.

Why are they special to you? 
The basket is a treasured gift from a beautiful artist and person. And Gwaai is one of the most diversely creative souls we have ever met: jeweller, sculptor, filmmaker and writer. This beauty is reflected in everything that he creates.

What is it that makes Santa Fe unique?
It’s a rare place that embraces and nurtures different cultures and beauty of all kinds.

How long have you been visiting – and what were your first impressions?
Since the beginning. A match made in heaven.

What would be your dream find? 
We have no specific quest – we just wait for that magic moment when something speaks to us and takes our breath away.

shiprocksantafe.com

 

 

Nancy McCabe, garden designer and potter

What do you do?
I have been a garden designer for 37 years and now, since I work less, I am making flowerpots for my collection of succulents and cacti.

Tell us about your favourite pieces…
The plates are by Nicolas Fabian Fermin, from Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacán, Mexico. I adore them because they are simple, handmade with fingermarks still showing in parts… and the fact that he inscribes with corn, fruit, fish and snails from the area he lives in Michoacán. I also love the way they are one colour and just burnished. The copper vase is by Ignacio Punzo Angel from Santa Clara del Cobre, also in Michoacán. It is so beautiful in the way he beats the form, the marks it creates on his copper vessels. It is sitting on a vetiver and blue jean rug made by a women’s cooperative in Madagascar. It is so special for its use of the vetiver plant and the combination with recycled material. The vetiver smells amazing. Gwaai Edenshaw is a jewellery maker from Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia. His jewellery is beautiful and technically incredible. The gold pieces he carves in argillite – a soft black stone from Haida Gwaii – then he casts in gold and finishes intricate pieces by hand. Each piece tells a story of their life. The small totem pole tells the story of Stone Ribs. Gwaai is also a totem pole carver and the creator of the first film to be made in the Haida language, soon to be released…

What is it that makes Santa Fe unique? 
Santa Fe is unique for its beauty, for the air, sky and amazing storms (when they decide to come!) IFAM is wonderful for bringing the world together and for the opportunities it gives the artists. Years ago an eight-year-old boy told me that going through the entrance was like going through the gates of heaven. You can’t really beat that when the market makes people feel that good.

How long have you been visiting and what were your first impressions?
We have visited for 28 years and lived here for 19 years. Coming from the East, my first impression was the beauty of the land and the sky – and how much sky you could see.

What would be your dream find?
My dream find is always the next thing that I do not know about – or have not seen and can learn about.

berkshirestyle.com

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