Welcome to the rich textures of New Mexico fiber...
Artists need opportunities to make a living at home. This is the simple answer to “Why the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails?” The arts trails evolved from New Mexico Arts’ leadership in nurturing arts entrepreneurship and cultural tourism. We believe arts-based economic development is vital to a sustainable future for our state’s rural communities.
We believe arts-based economic development is vital to a sustainable future for our state’s rural communities.
Our inspiration was the resounding success of HandMade in America’s (HIA) western North Carolina Craft Heritage Trails, a project that shares our goal of encouraging rural economic development through promoting artisans. With the help of Becky Anderson, visionary founder of HIA, New Mexico Arts hosted a gathering of rural artists and advocates in 2005. Participants spun tales of scenic beauty, ecological variety, cultural diversity and technical mastery. In articulating legacies of creativity and rural entrepreneurship, they identified a valuable set of natural resources that could be used in the creation of a rural arts trails program. A grassroots campaign resulted in the governor and the New Mexico Legislature funding New Mexico Arts to create a series of statewide arts trails, the pilot for which was the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails.
Why fiber arts?
They are universal yet local, democratic and accessible. They encompass rich and age-old cultural traditions, spin over the edges into fresh contemporary work, and zigzag everywhere. No matter the artistic form, they require structure but demand innovation and freedom, often of both artist and admirer.
And why trails?
Because creativity flourishes on the back roads, for both artists and travelers. The trails celebrate New Mexico’s diverse communities, lifestyles, and landscapes. They reveal the natural world that inspires, nurtures, and supplies fiber-related activities. The trails traverse an integrated cycle—from raw materials through a medley of techniques and creative processes to hand-crafted works of art—and heart.
A masterful patchwork of practical information, descriptive language, and vivid photographs, the original New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails booklet has guided visitors on countless journeys to rural fiber arts destinations throughout the state since 2007.
For updates about the program and current sites, visit our Plan Your Visit page.