International Folk Art Market – Selection Committee and Placement Committee

As the world’s only market of its kind, IFAM is unique in its need to pursue artistic excellence and high-quality craftsmanship in the work of living artists. We value work which explores folk art traditions in ways relevant to artists alive today, just as we value work which builds upon those traditions in ways that are expressive of and meaningful to the experience of artists and their communities.

2020 Artist Selection Committee

Cristin McKnight Sethi | Chairperson | South Asia
Nichole Bridges| Africa
Marsha Bol | Mexico – Jewelry, Europe, Central Asia
Alicia Boswell| South America
Claire Burkert | East and Southeast Asia
Tony Fisher | Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
Marilyn Murphy | Central Asia – Non-textiles

2020 Artist Placement Committee

Suzanne Sugg | Chairperson                         
Judith Espinar   
Colleen Newell                  
Carmella Padilla
Keith Recker                        
Peter Speliopoulos
Cristin McKnight Sethi


2020 artist Selection Committee Profiles

Marsha Bol is Director Emerita of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over the past 36 years she has worked as a Director or Curator in four museums – the Museum of International Folk Art (twice), the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology – and as Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of New Mexico, and is a specialist in Native American Art/Architecture and Spanish Colonial Art/Architecture. At the Carnegie Museum, she was the Curator of the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians, producing two books on the topic of “American Indians and the Natural World.” She is the author of numerous articles and most recently completed a book/exhibition project about “Beadwork Adorns the World” at the Museum of International Folk Art (opened April 22, 2018).

Alicia Boswell is an anthropological archaeologist who specializes in the ancient Americas. An assistant professor in the History of Art and Architecture department at UC Santa Barbara she teaches courses on the art and archaeology of the ancient Americas, cultural heritage, and conservation. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSB she was the Mellon “Cultures of Conservation” postdoctoral fellow at Bard Graduate Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her current research project examines the production and display of metal regalia of the ancient Moche culture of Peru’s north coast. Collaboration with modern communities in the Andes is an equally important part of Alicia’s research. She has a decade of experience carrying out community-based heritage preservation projects in Peru through Mobilizing Opportunities for Community Heritage Empowerment (MOCHE, Inc.). Alicia received her BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and MA and PhD from UC San Diego.

Nichole Bridges is Associate Curator in Charge, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, and Associate Curator for African Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. She has organized several exhibitions including Adorning Self and Space: West African Textiles (2015), Senufo: Art and Identity in West Africa (2015), and Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia (2014). She worked previously as a curator at the Newark Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, and earned a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has received awards from Fulbright, the Smithsonian Institution, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Musée du Quai Branly, and teaches on occasion as adjunct faculty in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Claire Burkert has lived and worked in South and Southeast Asia for over 30 years. In 1989 she founded the Janakpur Women’s Development Center in southern Nepal to empower women to earn income from their art, and she has maintained steady involvement in the Center’s projects. She has worked with artisan groups in Vietnam, Myanmar, Tibet, Gaza and Turkey to design, develop and promote their crafts. Previously she worked with Aid to Artisans as their Asia Representative. Her publications, including Himalayan Style (Roli, 2014), have focussed on indigenous traditions of architecture, craft and design.

Tony Fisher is owner and co-founder of Indigo Arts Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. Founded in 1987, Indigo Arts is a gallery of international folk, ethnographic and contemporary. Like many galleries Indigo Arts has evolved from a “storefront” location to a predominantly internet and “by appointment” business, exhibiting at some international art fairs, such as the Caribbean Art Fair and the Outsider Art Fair in New York. Tony holds an M.Arch. in Architecture from UPenn and a BA in Architecture from Yale (with an unofficial minor in African Studies). Having lived and worked internationally, Tony has a strong personal interest in and knowledge of folk, tribal, and contemporary art.  Living six years in Africa, and traveling there and in Latin America and the Caribbean, he has written on traditional (folk/tribal) architecture in Africa and Haiti. He has also served for many years on the board of the Haitian Art Society, as well as the Old City Arts Association in Philadelphia, and for the last three years on the Selection and Standards committees of the International Folk Art Market.

Cristin McKnight Sethi is a curator and historian of South Asian art and an assistant professor of Art History at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University (GW). She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley (2015) and a Master’s in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin (2008). Her research and teaching interests include the study of textiles and folk art, the intersection of gender and practices of making, networks of circulation and exchange, and histories of colonialism and British imperialism. Prior to joining the faculty at GW, Cristin taught at the California College of the Arts and at Colorado College and held curatorial and research positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the UCLA Fowler Museum, the Asian Art Museum San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of International Folk Art. Cristin is currently working on a book that examines embroidery in pre- and post-Partition Punjab. Cristin has served on the Selection Committee for the International Folk Art Market since 2015; she has chaired the committee since 2018.

Marilyn Murphy has combined a passion for and knowledge of the textile arts for her entire career. She is the former president of Interweave, a media publishing company focused on the arts and crafts sector where she worked for 16 years. Prior to this, in 1986, she founded the Textile Arts Centre in Chicago, and was the owner of the Weaving Workshop there. She writes a bi-monthly blog for ClothRoads, curates the ClothRoads collection, lectures about artisan sustainability, and volunteers as co-chair for the non-profit Andean Textile Arts. 

2020 Artist Placement Committee

Judith Espinar has been instrumental in creating the International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe as a co-founder 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’s traditional ceramics.

Colleen Newell is Executive Vice President of ABC Carpet & Home, pushing for industry change while maintaining the beauty inherent in craftsmanship. Newell combines ABC aesthetics with social and environmental standards. She finds inspiration in the people behind the products and the culture that leads to quality. Former roles as designer, consultant and creative director include work with John Robshaw Inc. and Terrain. Newell has a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art (Fiber & Material Studies), and studied Interior Architecture at Parsons School of Design – The New School.

Carmella Padilla is a journalist, author, and editor who frequently explores intersections in art, culture, and history. She has published extensively, including in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Latina, and American Craft, and has written several books, including The Work of Art: Folk Artists in the 21st Century, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the International Folk Art Market in 2013. Other books include El Rancho de las Golondrinas: Living History in New Mexico’s La Ciénega Valley; Low ‘n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico; and The Chile Chronicles: Tales of a New Mexico Harvest. In 2017, Padilla’s book A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World, co-edited with Dr. Barbara Anderson, won the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for distinguished scholarship in art history. Also in 2017, she edited Borderless: The Art of Luis Tapia, exploring the art and life of acclaimed New Mexico Chicano sculptor Luis Tapia. A native Santa Fean, Padilla is a recipient of the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the City of Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Literary Arts, and the New Mexico Community Foundation Luminaria Award.

Keith Recker is the founder and editor of HAND/EYE Magazine, an online publication with a global following that profiles forward-looking creators, faraway cultures, ancient craft traditions, and cutting-edge design. HAND/EYE sees humankind’s creative future as handmade, which demands attention the struggle of artisans to earn decent livelihoods through preservation of ancient traditions, innovation of new ones, exploration of new markets, and educating the consuming public about the cultural and economic importance of their work. Prior to founding HAND/EYE, Recker was vice president of home furnishings at Bloomingdale’s and Gump’s San Francisco, and director at Saks Fifth Avenue. As director of product development at Granet and Associates, Recker helped create relationships between creative brands and manufacturers and marketers serving the retail and design industries. Clients included Clodagh, Suzanne Kasler, Charlotte Moss, Pantone, and many others. Recker is also a trend and color forecaster whose 15-year client list includes global influencers Pantone, WGSN, Stylus, and more. His new book, True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments (Thrums Books, 2019) is scheduled for release in September 2019, with chapters already excerpted in London-based Selvedge Magazine, NY Textile Month Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, and Metropolis Magazine. He is co-author of PANTONE: The Twentieth Century in Color (Chronicle, 2012), reprinted in eight languages. Recker’s work on color and culture has been published by the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Museum of Art and Design, Brooklyn Rail, and more. He recently became Editor in Chief of Table Magazine, a beautiful journal that focused on the sharing of food, drink, beauty and culture. He has also worked in the non-profit world as a director of consumer marketing at CARE International and executive director at Aid to Artisans, and has served on the boards of Art in General, Chez Bushwick, The Quiet in the Land, and the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. He is currently pro bono creative director of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, where he is serving his third term as a board member, and pitching in as a member of Executive Committee and head of the Advancement Committee.

Peter Speliopoulos is the founder of Peter Speliopoulos Projects, is a multidisciplinary artist creating ceramics, and home objects. His foundation as a fashion designer, creative director and designer of costumes for opera and modern ballet have influenced his work. 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, and 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!”

Suzanne Sugg has been active in a variety of art organizations in Texas and New Mexico for more than 40 years. She has served 9 years on the Board of Directors for the International Folk Art Alliance, where she was secretary for 2 years. She has been on the IFAA Advisory Board and is returning as an active IFAA board member this year. Suzanne is currently on the Advisory Board of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and a charter member of the Texas Women for the Arts. Suzanne has served on the Board of Directors of the Taos Art Museum and City of San Angelo Public Arts Commission. She has served as Trustee Chairman of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo Cultural Affairs Council, the Texas Association of Museums Trustees, and Texans for the Arts, as well as working with numerous civic organizations. She attended Christies’ Decorative Arts Summer School in New York City and participated in many national conferences of the Museum Trustee Association, International Majolica Society, and New York Silver Society. Suzanne has designed day and evening handbags, clothing, jewelry, and home interiors using antique and ethnic components. She and her husband, Joel, split their time between San Angelo, Texas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are collectors of Gorham Martele silver, antique and ethnic textiles, Tlaquepaque pottery, majolica pottery, American illustrators, and other New Mexico and California artists.