Hole & Corner: Backyard Bill in Santa Fe

Shopping with soul: six collectors explain why they keep returning to IFAM Santa Fe and why making a stand against homogenization is so important…

Shobhan Porter, store owner

What do you do?
I own and buy for three retail stores in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Workshop, Santa Fe Dry Goods and Wild Life.

Tell us about your favourite pieces…
The large indigo bedspread was made by master dyer Aboubakar Fofana, from Mali. I think it is outstanding because he achieved a three-dimensionality to what is a two-dimensional object. But what captures my heart and eyes is the intensity of the mid-tone blue. It has its own voice. The three blue embroideries were hand-stitched by two really amazing craftswomen from Laos. The work is highly detailed, the colours have incredible depth, but what I like most is that the design is so universal that I can combine those pieces with items from any other part of the world and they work together. These three pieces speak a universal language. The last two pieces are vintage African mud cloth that have been in my family for the past 30 years.

What is it that makes Santa Fe unique?
Santa Fe is particularly special because it is still an artist colony that prides itself on individuality, freedom and creativity. This doesn’t leave much room for the homogenization that exists in many other places. The market is unique because it celebrates art that retains an earthiness – even if it is perfectly constructed. The artists still focus on historical, deeply-rooted aesthetics and methods. There is a lot of soul; we forgo gloss for authenticity.

How long have you been visiting and what were your first impressions? 
I’ve been attending the Folk Art Market since I moved back to Santa Fe in 2008. It is a cheerful event
that reminds the consumer that art, textiles, clothing and décor are made by people; and, these days, we should be willing to pay a premium for what is often a dying art.

What would be your dream find?
I am always searching for something that is so beautiful it makes me cry… a piece of art that sings with human ingenuity and a good heart.

Search Products