Conceived at a local craft show on a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1999 by Mark Dabelstein and Joe Buffalo Nickels, they both wanted a specialized market to showcase recycled art. The Recycled Art Market was the core idea for this whole festival. All of the vendors create art from at least 75% recycled/reused materials. Collages, picture frames, clocks, furniture, rugs and jewelry are just some of the items that are available.
It’s amazing what can be created with a bit of metal salvaged from a riverbed, broken glass, a mis-matched kitchen spoon and some imagination. Recycle Santa Fe Artists can successfully transform trash into treasure, combining recycling and creativity to show us innovative ways to save our resources.
The Recycled Art Alliance is a newly formed nonprofit organization created to host the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival and expand upon its endeavors as an economic development driver in the arts community, supporting recycled-material artists and the creation of art from recycled and reused materials. As the country’s largest and oldest recycled art market, the festival has traditionally been hosted by Keep Santa Fe Beautiful and will maintain its partnership with the local entity through board membership and continued efforts to host the market.
Heading into its 18th year, the Recycle Santa Fe Arts Festival has plans to expand with an emerging artist program, which links youth to established market mentors to aid them in their pursuit of becoming a recycled materials artist. The emerging artist program will host workshops, in addition to the mentorship guidance, that will assist the young entrepreneurs on best practices to market their recycled creations. In a city that is known around the world for its arts community, supporting youth that have an interest in uniting their interest in art and recycled materials to learn aspects of the trade will help ensure a livelihood selling their designs and art pieces.
Sarah Pierpont, the show’s organizer for the past eleven years, will lead the new organization as the Executive Director. Pierpont explains, “The Recycled Art Alliance will provide exciting growth opportunities for the market with one of the primary driving initiatives to support expanded economic development prospects in the recycled art niche.”
“It’s amazing what this show has grown into, from its humble beginnings in a vacant warehouse 18 years ago to one of the nation’s leading recycled art festivals. It’s a great combination of promoting recycling and illuminating the wastefulness of our society, while providing artists the opportunity to support themselves through their art,” notes festival coordinator Sarah Pierpont. The event attracts thousands of art lovers, trashy shoppers and the eco-conscious holiday gift-giver. According to the Santa Fe Reporter the event is, “… a shockingly good time… the weekends biggest can’t miss event… a highlight of the fall season.”
Historically, the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival works in conjunction with Keep Santa Fe Beautiful and their recycling education efforts surrounding America Recycles Day (November 15th). Last year over 3500 people came through the doors to buy their holiday gifts and get inspired by recycled art.
The 2016 Applications are now available. Applications due September 30, 2016. If you are interested in being a participating artist click here