Roger Martinez is the first creative juried into Contemporary Hispanic Market as an author




Santa Fe New Mexican

Youth Artists

tales delivered with a fresh perspective. The stories of La Llorona and Comadre Sebastiana were born in Spain and matured on the worn trails between Mexico and Taos. They are stories with a lesson to tell. “The common lesson most know about La Llorona is focused on keeping children away from places where drowning is a hazard. Comadre Sebastiana’s primary lesson: We can’t cheat death,” Martinez says. The collection also includes the story of Comancheria, the empire of the Comanche people, which extended from the Mississippi River into the Rocky Mountains, told from the perspective of the Comanches as they interacted with peoples of the Rio Grande Valley. Another work is the story of Manitou Bridge, an invented place named for the Algonquian concept of spirit, imagined as a structure animated by supernatural forces. The story of “Manitou Bridge is intended to encourage hope,” Martinez says. “The idea behind my stories is to take real events and ground them in local mythologies to help people understand their struggles,” he says. “My stories are therapies.” After Tales, Martinez shifted and composed The Living Rosary and Other Prayers, a devotional to the history, prayers and meditations of the Catholic prayer beads. “It’s like the zen of the rosary,” he says. A devout Catholic, Martinez has served his community as grand knight and commander of the Taos Knights of Columbus Council and as president of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Council. For his next project, Martinez revisited one of his favorite subjects: his family history. Cousin to the founders of Martinez Hacienda, he compiled his knowledge of the 200-year-old house into Life at the Hacienda: Martinez Hacienda, published in April 2022. For the moment, Martinez chooses to self-publish his books and market them on his own. He illustrates his works with his own paintings and photography. He hopes to make a name for himself before his novel-in-progress is ready. The book, based on his family stories, explores the clash of cultures in the Taos area as Americans from the East Coast settled in Northern New Mexico around 1900. At the moment, the book is titled A New Americanism. He is also working on a children’s book, Butterfly Dreams. “Think of it as a self-help book for children,” Martinez explains. “I’ve based this on the dream workshops I do all over the country. Changing dreams to heal trauma.” “I’ve enjoyed being a Contemporary Hispanic Market artist for 14 years,” Martinez says, recalling how he started at the market with his photography and traditional paintings. Now he shows his abstract paintings alongside his writings. “Being a market artist is [like being] an ambassador of my culture and heritage,” he says. Jim O’Donnell is a writer and photographer based in Taos. Learn more at CONTEMPORARY HISPANIC MARKET runs July 30-31, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Entry is free. The market is located along Lincoln Avenue, near the Santa Fe Plaza, and 130 artists sell their creations there. Other highlights include T-shirt and poster booths and a silent auction to benefit the market. The 2022 poster, Geraniums, features an oil painting by Clarence Medina. This is the market’s thirty-sixth year. It began in 1986 with just 11 artists. Today it is the largest contemporary Hispanic art event in the country. The market is organized as a nonprofit business and runs off volunteer energy. What kind of artwork is available? Ceramics, fiber, jewelry, glass art, watercolors, metalwork, drawings/scratchboard art, pastels, photography, sculpture, oils/acrylics, furniture, woodworking, hand-pulled prints, recycled found-object art, mixed media (including musical instruments) and more.