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Makers Market kicks off new season in downtown Farmington


Weekly series will continue through late October

FARMINGTON — Returning after a one-year absence, the first Makers Market of the season took place June 3 in Orchard Park in downtown Farmington with 18 vendors on hand.

The Thursday afternoon markets, which are open to anyone selling locally produced merchandise, were not held in the summer of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the series is back this year, and Flo Trujillo, president of the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council, the organization that is presenting the markets, was very pleased with the vendor turnout for the opener.

"That's really neat because it shows what this community can do with art," she said.

A wide range of products was available, including fresh produce, artwork, clothing, books, jewelry and more. A steady crowd of shoppers milled about Orchard Park perusing the items, which included painted pizza pans from Farmington artist Al Fanto.

Fanto's work drew the curiosity of several visitors, with the designs ranging from those found on Mimbres pottery to college logos.

Fanto said he has been working in the unusual medium since he retired. He paints the designs in India ink on a light primer background before covering them with a clear coat of automotive-grade sealant.

But he hastened to add the pans are decorative in nature and aren't meant for use in a pizza oven.

"You could serve cookies on them or something like that," he said with a smile.

Another vendor at the market was Farmington painter Kendra Allen, who was selling small acrylic paintings on canvas of Marvel Comics characters. She hadn't sold any in the first half hour of the June 3 market. But she said the huge presence of the Marvel stable of characters across pop culture ensured that her work would catch the eye of many visitors.

Seated behind a table of books in one corner of the market was Amy Henkenius, owner of Amy's Bookcase, an independent bookstore in Farmington. Henkenius was presenting free copies of the classic children's book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by the late Eric Carle, who died in late May, as part of a Story Walk activity that was added to the market this year.

Henkenius noted that the free book promotion seemed to be missing its target audience.

"I haven't had any kids, but a lot of adults so far," she said, grinning.

The Makers Market will be held from 4:30 p.m. to dusk each Thursday in Orchard Park through Oct. 28. Vendors can register for the event at nwnmac.org, and spaces are available for $8 on a first-come, first-served basis, Trujillo said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.