Folk Art Matters
Lectures | Films | Artist Workshops | Special Sales Events

Folk art is a window through which we see communities and individual makers of all sorts, from all cultures, expressing a wide range of identities and beliefs. IFAM provides a place for all of us to gather, learn, celebrate our shared humanity, and appreciate what brings us together. The Folk Art Matters is a way to express our passion for this organization and invite audiences year-round to experience the deep cultural impulses that shape IFAM and inform the creation of folk art from around the world. All events are held at IFAM Center at 620 Cerrillos Rd. Lectures and Pop-Up sales are free and open to the public.


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The Fleeting Art of Devotion in the Mother Goddess Traditions of India: An Evening of Art, Discussion, and Imagery with Josh Schrei: A Benefit for the International Folk Art Market

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
International Folk Art Market Center
620 Cerrillos Road Santa Fe, NM 87505
6:00 pm – 7:30pm

Free for IFAM Community members
Nonmembers $12 admission
Photographic prints for sale

IFAM presents Santa Fe teacher, author, and photographer Josh Schrei for an evening of slide imagery and discussion centered around the rich devotional art found in the mother goddess traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

The event will feature projected slides, a discussion on the mythology behind the imagery, and a sale of prints of Schrei’s work. Proceeds generated from the event will benefit the International Folk Art Market, whose mission is to create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide who celebrate and preserve folk art traditions.

The Indian subcontinent holds the largest uninterrupted tradition of mother goddess worship on the planet. The use of a totemic image, or pindi, to represent the goddess in these traditions dates back almost certainly to the paleolithic era. The pindi is usually a simple stone or heap of earth or gnarled tree root that is elaborately adorned. When streams of templegoers add their own personal offerings to the pindi, the end result is a living work of art, a breathing, shifting canvas that changes even as the object at the center stays the same.

This unique living art form, which Schrei considers to be a heritage folk art of India, can only be captured through photography. Schrei has been documenting these devotional totems to the mother goddess, and the beautiful vibrant offerings that surround them, for the past decade, and has lectured on the subject internationally.

The rich and vibrant photographs serve to explore and document a worldview in which art, aesthetic, devotion, revelation, and environment are inseparable from one another. The sites of mother goddess worship in India are part of a network that are said to be the body of the goddess herself. At these sites, offering becomes an interactive exercise. Each participant contributes to the creation of the art and interacts with it — lathering images in butter, smearing them in vermillion powder, bathing them in milk, draping them in flowers. In this way art becomes not something to gaze at from a comfortable distance but the very matrix in which human experience takes place.

In this day and age, Schrei says, to show such tactile imagery is a deliberate provocation — an attempt to return the viewer to richer inner geographies, places within the mind and heart that drip, teem, and overflow.

An avid photographer, teacher, and lifelong student of Indian tradition, Joshua Michael Schrei lectures internationally on the aesthetics of the Indian temple experience and Indian goddess traditions. Locally, he has shown his work at Cruz Gallery and JFD Gallery and has lectured at the Center for Contemporary Arts.

Past Folk Art Matters Lectures

Jeff Snell, Former CEO, International Folk Art Market
Social Entrepreneurship + IFAM: Impacting the Global Artisan Sector
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Porfirio Gutierrez, Master Weaver in the Zapotec Tradition
Natural Dye Demonstration and Lecture
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Andrew Hale, Author, and Director of Anahita Gallery, Inc.
The Eternal Garden, Central Asian Embroidered Suzani: Myth, Magic, and Merchandise
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Suzanne Sugg, IFAM Director, Clothing and Accessories Designer
Textile Techniques and Treasures at IFAM
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Alden Zecha, founding partner at We Scale Impact
Counterfeit Items – Risks and Solutions
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Keith Recker, IFAM Creative Director
2018 IFAM Artist Preview and Brunch
Sunday, July 8, 2018

Kim Meredith and Mayor Alan Webber
Social Entrepreneurship: Inspiring Innovation in Business, Government and Nonprofits
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kathleen Kelly Janus
Social Startup Success: How to Maximize Impact for Social Causes: Lecture and Booksigning
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fred de Sam Lazaro (Under-Told Stories, PBS) Presented with Creative Santa Fe
Friday, July 13, 2018

Mary Anne Wise
Lecture and Book Signing
“Rug Money: How A Group of Maya Women Changed Their Lives Through Art and Innovation”
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Dr. Suzanne (Suzy) Seriff
“Recycled, Re-Seen—Revisited: Critical Reflections on Folk Art from the Global Scrap Heap”
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hilary Kilpatric
Presentation and Pop-Up Sale
Fashion, Women’s Empowerment, and the Global Craft Economy: featuring the work of Laotian artist groups Ock Pop Tok, and Passa Paa.
March 28-30, 2019

May Day Celebration: Pop Up Sale and Open House
Eileen Fisher Renew featuring IFAM Artist and IOU Project Pop Up Sale
May 1- 4, 2019

My Heart is in the Art: Volunteering at IFAM and Other Ways to Change the World
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Phyllis Galembo: From Nigeria to Haiti to Mexico
August 21, 2019 – 5:30 PM

Havana Calling
Screen Printing Workshop | Presentation | Pop Up Sale
October 17-19, 2019