By Mike Cook
You may not find the terms “fine arts” and “flea market” in the same sentence except when it comes to the event that takes place the first Friday of each month on Plaza de Las Cruces, 100 S. Main St., and two additional blocks of downtown Main Street.
The Fine Arts Flea Market (FAFM) began its third year of operation in August. In fact, the Aug. 5 event came on FAFM’s third birthday. Las Cruces artist Saba and others started the market in the Picacho Arts District in the summer of 2020.
“The goal was to create space for artists and creatives to sell their goods as well as build an artistic community throughout the pandemic,” according to FAFM’s website.
After about a year, FAFM moved downtown and began including art galleries, restaurants and breweries along Main Street in the monthly event.
It is held on the first Friday of each month to continue the celebration of First Friday as a “universal art day,” Saba said.
Upcoming FAFM dates are Oct. 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2. The event is usually 7-11 pm
The August 2022 FAFM had 114 vendors, said Shawna Dayish, a Las Cruces artist who is married to Saba and coordinates the market with him.
FAFM includes live music, crafts vendors, a car show and food trucks.
“People are eager to get their spot,” Dayish said.
FAFM is attracting artists, vendors and visitors from Las Cruces and from surrounding communities, including Alamogordo, Deming, Silver City and El Paso, she said.
It is also drawing artists and visitors from northern New Mexico, Saba said.
“Our goal is to try to promote indigenous freeways,” he said.
“It’s been incredible,” said Saba, a native of Farmington with Navajo and Jemez Pueblo ancestry. “There was a need for it.”
Saba and Dayish came to Las Cruces in 2009.
FAFM is “a merging of fine arts and what you would typically find at a flea market,” Saba said. “I like the cross-pollination because out of it will come more business.”
The market has also provided a way for young artists and vendors to find mentors, he said, to help both their creativity and their businesses grow.
“It’s a cool mixture,” Saba said. “The art world and the business world have kind of merged,” he said. “I am my business and my art.”
Plaza de Las Cruces was the perfect location for FAFM, he said, because the plaza is “the center of our town. That’s what it’s for.”
The City of Las Cruces, which owns the plaza, has been very supportive of FAFM, Dayish said, and is one of its sponsors.
It’s just good all the way around,” she said.
For information on becoming a FAFM vendor, to Donate and for other information, visit http://fineartsfleamarket.com/home/.
Contact Dayish at 505-737-3278 and [email protected]