World's largest folk art market opens in Sante Fe

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Sante Fe Folk Art Market
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World's largest folk art market opens in Sante Fe
This July 2012 photo provided by the International Folk Art Market shows Idaira Cabezon Mepaquito with a handwoven basket made by the Wounaan weavers, an indigenous group from Panama whose wares are sold at the market in Santa Fe, N.M. The market brings artisans from around the world, and often from poverty-stricken places, to Santa Fe each year to sell everything from textiles to jewelry to musical instruments. This year the event celebrates its 10th year in Santa Fe, taking place July 12-14. (AP Photo/International Folk Art Market, Bob Smith)
This undated image provided by the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market shows shawls made by Afghan women who sell their intricate, traditional embroidery through the Kandahar Treasure cooperative as a way to fight poverty. The shawls will be among the wares from around the world for sale at this year’s art market July 13-15 in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Bob Smith).
This undated photo provided by the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market shows Rangina Hamidi of Kandahar Treasure, a cooperative of Afghan women that sells products bearing traditional embroidery as a way to fight poverty. Hamidi will represent Kandahar Treasure at the annual market in Santa Fe, N.M., July 13-15. (AP Photo/Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Judith Haden)
This 2011 photo provided by the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market shows handwoven baskets from the Wounaan National Congress in Panama. The basketmakers are scheduled to bring their wares back to this year’s market in Santa Fe, N.M., scheduled for July 13-15. (AP Photo/Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Stephanie Mendez)
This undated image provided by the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market shows Mary Padar Kuojok working on a beaded garment as part of her work for The Roots Project: Juba, South Sudan. She will be among more than 150 artists and artisans from around the world taking part in the art market July 13-15 in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/The Roots Project/Santa Fe International Folk Art Market)
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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Santa Fe's famed summer market season opens this weekend with the International Folk Market, the world's largest folk art market and one dedicated to helping artisans from impoverished nations start their own businesses.

And as the popular market celebrates its 11th anniversary, it is drawing more than just tourists and locals. Organizers say designers from some of the most prestigious fashion brands are headed west to find inspiration for ethnographic prints and one-of-a-king handmade pieces that are increasingly popular in the fashion world.

"We've had many fashion experts shop the market, visionary designers from Donna Karan, Yves Saint Laurent, Anthropologie, and Coach among them," said market founder Judith Espinar. "We keep hearing that the market is a creativity hotspot, a place to exchange ideas and inspire and be inspired_for artists, retailers, collectors, and visitors alike."

This year, more than 160 artists from 62 countries will be selling their work, including includes scarves, jewelry, textiles, basket and host of other art pieces.

The market is expected to draw 25,000 visitors from Friday to Sunday. It brings some of the world's finest artisans from far-flung and often poverty-stricken locales, helping participants with travel costs and giving them training for building businesses and cooperatives when they get home. Over the years it has logged $19 million in sales, 90 percent of which goes home with the artists.

"On a trip to India recently, I was reminded of how hard it is to find high quality, handmade folk art," said Peter Speliopoulos, creative director of the Donna Karan Collection. "I kept thinking about the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and what a well-curated selection of the world's folk art is there. In a weekend you have access to the highest quality art, at good prices, from a world of cultures-- and you feel the richness of interacting with the actual artists themselves. It's amazing. "

The folk art event is one of a series of markets taking place in Santa Fe this summer, including markets specializing in Spanish and Indian art and antiques.
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