Hispanic ArtsThe art forms practiced by the early Hispanics were shaped largely from resources they found in their natural environment. Using native woods such as aspen or pine, paints derived from natural pigments, and other local materials, they created utilitarian goods and religious objects to adorn their homes and churches.
At first, the work echoed the traditional artworks and motifs they had carried with them to the New World from Mexico and Spain. But in time, native artisans developed styles and techniques that were unique to New Mexico.
Ranging from santos (carved images of saints), furniture and textiles, to works in tin, iron, silver and straw, the art of the Spanish colonial era remains the art of many Santa Fe families who have practiced the traditional techniques for generations. Meanwhile, other contemporary Hispanic artists have carried the artistic legacy of their ancestors to new levels of excellence by working in more modern media including sculpture, photography, painting, jewelry, literature and more that reflect the ongoing evolution of Hispanic arts and culture.
In Santa Fe today, the works of Hispanic artists are sold in shops and galleries throughout the city as well as during the popular annual Traditional Spanish Market and Contemporary Hispanic Market, held concurrently in July on the Plaza. The Traditional Spanish Winter Market and the Contemporary Hispanic Winter Market are held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center in December.
Their works are also collected and exhibited by museums, galleries and private collectors worldwide, giving the art of Hispanic New Mexicans a well-deserved place in the world of fine art. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art will give you an excellent understanding of the history of Hispanic art in Santa Fe.
To learn more, visit our sections on Santa Fe history and Hispanic culture.