Davis Mather Folk Art Gallery, Santa Fe, NM


The Davis Mather Folk Art Gallery in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico is something of a strange creation. Christine Mather purchased a pig sculpture from an artist 35 years ago. She told her husband that she felt this pig could be sold in a store and make a bit of money. She felt it was an amazing find. She was right. Hundreds of people have purchased the artists pig designs from their Davis Mather Folk Art Gallery. The artist is Felipe Archuleta. The Mathers have pursued this artist's work opening up the gallery, and even helping the artist gain a name. Felipe has won the Governor's Award due to his successful talent and the Mather's marketing.

Today the gallery is still on Lincoln and Marcy in Santa Fe. Any visitor traveling to this area may want to stop in to see the artist's work and all the other folk art that is kept within the store. Many of the pieces have been brought from Oaxaca, Mexico to be sold.

The mission of the gallery has been to find new artists and bring them to light in the USA. They specialize in finding unique folk art pieces in which visitors can find their personality. The owners concentrate on Hispanic artists like Felipe Archuleta. They also have pieces by David Alvarez and Joe Ortega. To a certain degree the Folk Art Gallery will carry Navajo Folk Art. The artists for these pieces are the Yazzie family and Delbert Buck. The owners travel quite often to Oaxaca, Mexico to find new artists and pick up new pieces.

Their gallery is set up based on the pieces they have brought back. One category of their collections is the Day of the Dead. Each of the pieces in these collections is based on the Mexican Holiday the Day of the Dead. For example there is the Antonio Villafane Altar and Francisco Chacon collection. Each piece is an interesting work of art some times for its simplicity and at other times for the true detail provided.

The other collections include the Oaxaca Tours, Master Collection, Mexican Jewelry, and Mexican Bags. For visitors to Santa Fe this art gallery may have something for everyone. Women can find bags and jewelry that are unlike anything else. They are one of a kind pieces brought into the store for their intricate and interesting designs. There is also a quality in these pieces that makes them exciting, at the very least to the owners.

The Master Collection provides a Hand Carved wood Panda Bear from David Alvarez. There is also a Jimenez Coyote by Alonzo Jimenez and many other pieces by these artists. A lot of the work is based on animals commonly seen in Mexico and southwest USA. An interesting piece on the shelves and one of the more common selling items is the Ortega Nativity. It has 11 hand carved painted cotton wood pieces from Joe Ortega. Most of the pieces are rabbits based on the Bible story.

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Aug 15, 2012 @ 9:09 am
I purchased a villafane altar,the only difference is that the box and altar are wood tone. Could you tell me is Villafane made another Altar. The figures match perfectly, faces, hands, tree, everything. Thank you, We will visit your gallery when we visit Santa Fe next year. Thanks

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