STUART ASHMAN

Chief Executive Officer,
International Folk Art Market

Stuart Ashman, is a cultural ambassador who has worked in the arts for over 30 years. He was raised in Matanzas and Havana, Cuba before his family relocated to New York where he attended the City University of New York receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography and Fine Art.  His additional studies include graduate work at the Rochester Institute of Technology and personal interactions on his photography with Minor White and Paul Caponigro. He was also selected to participate in the Getty’s Museum Leadership Institute.

He served as Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His previous experience includes postings as President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art; Director of the New Mexico Museum of Art; Executive Director of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art; and an appointment by the Governor as Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. He also served as Expert Consultant for the United States Peace Corps, and serves as Vice-Chair of the Richardson Center for Global Engagement. He has published numerous articles and exhibition catalogues and co-authored “Photography New Mexico” in 2009,“Abstract Art” in 2003 and “Harlistas Cubanos” in 2006.

KHRISTAAN D. VILLELA, Ph.D.

Director,
Museum of International Folk Art

Khristaan D. Villela is the Director of the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM. He has a PhD in art history from University of Texas at Austin. Before his appointment at the museum in August 2016, he was Professor of Art History and Scholar in Residence at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He specializes in the history of Pre-Columbian and Latin American art, and on the reception of ancient American culture in the modern world. He has curated exhibitions at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, the Miho Museum, Kyoto, Japan, and the New Mexico History Museum. Most recently he was consulting curator for Miguel Covarrubias: Drawing a Cosmopolitan Line, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (2014). Prior to his appointment at SFUAD, Villela was the founding director of the Thaw Art History Center at the College of Santa Fe, a teaching a research until with faculty, library, and collections devoted to the arts of the Americas, ancient to contemporary. He writes frequently for publications including New Mexico Magazine, El Palacio, ARTNews, Adobe Airstream, and he has a column in the Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo section. He is the author of Ancient Civilizations of the Americas: Man, Nature, and Spirit in Pre-Columbian Art (Miho Museum, 2011); The Aztec Calendar Stone (with Mary Miller, Getty Publications, 2010); and Contemporary Mexican Architecture and Design (with Ellen Bradbury Reid and Logan Wagner, Gibbs Smith Publications, 2002). He is working on a book on the contributions of the Mexican artist, collector and curator Miguel Covarrubias to Pre-Columbian studies in US and Mexico in the mid-twentieth century. Another book project is the first publication of an album of 1860s photographs, the Souvenir of New Mexico, assembled by a US Army officer in New Mexico Territory. The album includes what may be the first photos of the Navajo, as well as important images of the Navajo captivity at Fort Sumner, NM.

 

PETER SPELIOPOULOS

Advisory Board Member,
International Folk Art Market

Peter Speliopoulos is an international fashion and costume designer. He was most recently the Senior Vice President of Design and Creative Director of Donna Karan New York, and former Creative Director of Cerruti Arte, Paris. He has designed for leading international fashion houses in France, Italy, and New York for over 30 years. Peter has also designed costumes for numerous internationally performed operas and ballets in collaboration with choreographer/director Karole Armitage. He is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, and received his B.F.A. from the Parsons School of Design in 1982. He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and serves on the board of Armitage Gone! Dance! Peter noted from having attended the International Folk Art Market Santa Fe over several years now, “Folk art and the artisan hand, indigenous arts—these have always inspired my work in fashion and costume. From indigo to weaving and embroidery, to ceramics and metal works, I have discovered so much of the world’s beauty and variety at the Market!”

 

CATHERINE A. ALLEN

Board of Directors,
International Folk Art Market

For more than 30 years, Catherine A. Allen has been an outstanding thought leader in business innovation, technology strategy, and financial services.

Catherine is Chairman and CEO of The Santa Fe Group, a strategic advisory services company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also currently serves as a board member of Synovus Financial Corporation, El Paso Electric Company, and Analytics Pros, and is a member of the Risk, Energy and Natural Resources, External Affairs and Nominating and Governance Committees. She is Co-Chair of the University of Missouri’s Capital Campaign and sits on the Research and Development Committee. She is also on the advisory board of Women Corporate Directors and the Executive Women’s Forum.

Catherine is active politically in national and local spheres, including being a former member of President Barack Obama’s Economic Development and Small Business Committees and the New Mexico State Investment Council.

Catherine was recently honored by US Banker Magazine with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to financial services and technology. In 2013, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to technology by the Executive Women’s Forum. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Missouri, recognizing her professional achievements in financial services and technology.

 

JUDY ESPINAR

Co-founder and Advisory Board Member,
International Folk Art Market

As co-founder, Judith has been instrumental in creating the International Folk Art Market Santa Fe and has provided leadership since 2004. She has a BA in Clothing and Textiles and in Art History, as well as two years of graduate work in Philosophy of Design. Judith served in the Peace Corps in Peru. She was previously the fashion director of Gimbels East NYC, Fashion Director of Menswear for all Gimbels stores, Director of Fashion Information for Butterick Fashion, Editor in Chief of Vogue Patterns International, Director of Evan Picone Design Studio, and VIP Design Director of Murjani International. Judith formerly served on the board of Aid to Artisans, was Project Advisor-Ceramics for USAID sponsored research on “Marketing Viability of Hungarian Craft Industries,” and one of three Project Directors for the first two years of UNESCO-sponsored “Lead-Free Low Fire Pottery Project” in Mexico. Judith was previously the owner of The Clay Angel in Santa Fe, supporting her life-long interest and study of the world traditional ceramics.

A major exhibition, A Gathering of Voices: Folk Art from the Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg Collection, is on view at the Museum of International Folk Art now through August 25, 2019.

 

KEITH RECKER

Board of Directors and Creative Director,
International Folk Art Market

Keith Recker serves as the Creative Director of the International Folk Art Market (IFAM). Recker is the founder and Editor of Hand/Eye magazine, an online endeavor discussing the intersections between art, craft, design, philanthropy, and enlightened consumption. Hand/Eye profiles forward-looking creators, faraway cultures, ancient craft traditions, and cutting-edge design innovation. Hand/Eye’s unique mix seeks to strengthen our species’s design

DNA—which has been weakened recently by a pattern of global commerce that frequently results in visual and cultural uniformity. Creativity, ancient or modern, is the answer to the challenges of the 21st century, and Hand/Eye is on the lookout for hopeful solutions.

Prior to founding Hand/Eye, Recker worked as a home furnishings executive, a nonprofit leader, and a color and branding consultant. He has had the privilege of working with established entities in both the commercial and nonprofit worlds, including CARE International, Gump’s San Francisco, Saks Fifth Avenue, Aid to Artisans, and Bloomingdale’s, and has learned from and contributed to each organization.

His tenures as Vice President of Direct Response Home Furnishings at Gump’s San Francisco and Bloomingdale’s, and as Director of Home Furnishings at Saks Fifth Avenue, have given him a deep knowledge of nearly every category in the decorative home world. His work in product development and marketing has created lasting and cordial relationships across the industry.

During a two-year tenure as Director of Product Development at Granet and Associates, Recker helped create relationships between creative brands and manufacturers and marketers serving the retail sector and the design trade. Clients included Clodagh, Jamie Drake, John Barman, Richard Mishaan, Campion Platt, Suzanne Kasler, Pantone, and John Varvatos. Recker continues to work with Pantone and London-based WGSN on color matters, and with U.S. and international artisan associations on trends and product development.

The International Folk Art Market Santa Fe opens with a party on the evening of Friday, July 12, and runs through Sunday, July 14, 2019, at the beautiful Milner Plaza on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill. Tickets go on sale May 1, 2019. For detailed information and schedule of events, visit www.folkartmarket.org.

The International Folk Art Market Santa Fe is held in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of New Mexico Foundation and the City of Santa Fe.

For more information, interview requests, and photos, please contact Clare Hertel at 505-474-6783 or clare@clarehertelcommunications.com.