ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 12,000-square-foot warehouse in the up-and-coming Sawmill District is being converted into a market where New Mexico artists can showcase and sell a wide variety of artisan products.
Heritage Hotels & Resorts is developing the new market across the street from Sawmill Market, the Heritage-owned food hall that opened its doors last year.
Molly Ryckman, vice president of sales and marketing for Heritage Hotels & Resorts, said the new facility will be known as the New Mexico Artisan Market at the Bazaar. She said the market will house up to 70 artisans, from sculptors to painters to small-batch jam makers, once it opens in July.
Ryckman said the goal is to offer another attraction in the area for locals and guests at Heritage’s nearby hotels, while giving artists a physical location to showcase their goods coming out of a difficult year.
“So many of the art markets have either shrunk in size or were postponed,” Ryckman said. “So I think it allows another option for them to exhibit.”
Artists have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The national nonprofit Americans for the Arts estimates that arts and cultural organizations across the country have lost $15.2 billion over the course of the pandemic.
Ryckman said the artisan market grew out of programs hosted at other Heritage properties. Hotel Albuquerque used to host a market over Thanksgiving weekend, which Ryckman said drew around 150 artists who wanted the opportunity to showcase their products more frequently.
Sawmill Market hosts a small artisan market inside, which will be absorbed into the large facility once it opens at 1904 Bellamah NW.
“I think it will be nice and spacious for guests who come in,” Ryckman said.
Vendors will be set up indoors and outdoors at the new market, with white tents reminiscent of art markets in Santa Fe, Ryckman said.
Heritage has commissioned artist Rhett Lynch to design an installation out in the front of the facility to draw in visitors for the grand opening on July 9.
The market is looking for artists working in a wide variety of mediums, including metalwork, ceramics, bath and body products and specialty food products, but Ryckman said the market is seeking creatives from New Mexico specifically.
“Our whole idea is to really help promote the creative economy of New Mexico, which we have really become known for in the United States,” she said.
Ryckman added that the market will host vendors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with artists selected by a jury on a rotating basis.
The building connects to Spur Line Supply Co. through a doorway, and Ryckman said visitors will be able to move back and forth between the two businesses.
Spur Line general manager Rebecca Tuccillo said she’s hopeful that having the market next door will help increase traffic at her store, while also establishing connections with vendors that could eventually sell products at Spur Line on a more permanent basis. Tuccillo said the market could help Albuquerque’s creative economy grow and bounce back after a challenging 2020.
“We anticipate an influx of new customers and just more traffic coming through this summer,” Tuccillo said. “Which is an exciting thing after what … a lot of small businesses experienced here in 2020.”