Can The Definition Of Folk Art Evolve?

Jul 7, 2017

The world thrives on innovation, but what role can innovation play in an art form based on tradition?  Folk art is about traditional materials, traditional techniques, and generations-old ideas of craft and style.  The organizers of The International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe struck a balance between innovation and tradition by creating a new section for the 2017 Market, taking place July 14-16 on Museum Hill.

Judith Espinar, who co-founded the event in 2004, says that this new section, Innovation Inspiration, originated with requests from the artists themselves.  For us, she says, "it was just a matter of opening the door a little wider, listening to the artists, and figuring out how they validly would like to move forward with their traditions."

In this longer version of her interview, Judith discusses two hand-crafted pieces from Guatemala she brought with her to KUNM.  One fits the traditional definition of folk art and the other shows how a community of folk artists have used innovation to adapt to changing times.