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Virus forces postponement of Traditional Spanish Market

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Nicole Haberstich of Los Alamos touches the hand of a sculpture at the 67th annual Traditional Spanish Market in Santa Fe in 2018. The 2020 market has been postponed. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Days after the 2020 Indian Market postponed until 2021, the Traditional Spanish Market has followed suit.

The Spanish Colonial Arts Society, which puts on the event, informed hundreds of artists about the decision in a letter sent Monday.

The 2020 event was scheduled to take place July 25-26 at the Santa Fe Plaza.

In the letter, Rob Coffland, president of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, wrote that the board of directors decided to postpone the event until July 24-25, 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision was very difficult, but it was made in the interest to protect the health of the artists, your families, your collectors, and our community,” Coffland said in the letter.

The 2020 event would have marked Traditional Spanish Market’s 69th year. The two-day market brings in around $9 million in lodging and $25 million to the city of Santa Fe, organizers said.

The world-renowned market brings together more than 200 artists working in the over 400-year-old Spanish Colonial style.

Media include bultos, retablos, colcha embroidery, tinwork, straw appliqué, woodcarvings, jewelry, metalwork, furniture and weaving, as well as incredible art that is a true expression of New Mexico history.

Coffland said the postponement will not be reflected in the artist database as a missed year or as a participated year; it will merely show as a skipped year.

He said those artists who successfully juried into specific art categories for Traditional Spanish Market in 2020 can assume that they are automatically accepted into the 2021 market.

“SCAS is presently considering a digital platform where artists can sell their artwork as a means to soften the impact of lost income at the July event,” Coffland said in the letter. “We recognize how important Spanish Market sales are to your livelihood, and we are considering several options to assist you with promoting your art.”

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