As mid-summer approaches in Santa Fe, the excitement is tangible as the town prepares for the coming of Indian Market and the transformation of our historic downtown Plaza into a colorful and exciting outdoor market filled with over 1,000 exhibition tents and booths teeming with exquisite examples of Indian art. The more than 150,000 visitors to this annual celebration are treated to every conceivable form of Native art, from basketry to blankets, traditional and contemporary jewelry, paintings, pottery, beadwork, sculptures, drums, leather goods and more, as well as the rare opportunity to buy directly from, and to meet with the talented artists and to learn about their art and the traditional culture from which it sprang.
Every August since 1922, the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) has produced what has grown to be the largest and most prestigious juried Native art show in the world, and the largest cultural event in the southwest.
SWAIA guarantees that each artist adheres to strict production and material guidelines in every creation. As a result, you help to support an artist and his or her community and at the same time know that the value and appreciation of your art purchases are protected.
With a continued focus on quality and authenticity from over 220 U.S. Federally recognized tribes and First Nations’ Tribes in Canada, it is not unusual to see many multi-generational artistic families exhibiting their work together as the elder artists pass on the market experience to their younger family members.
Other Indian Market events include an Awards Ceremony and Live Auction Gala, a Native American clothing contest, Native Cinema Showcase, and performances of indigenous music, dance, and storytelling.
A hat, umbrella, and sunscreen are essential for this unique weekend-long outdoor market and cultural celebration that could bring a combination of intense high-altitude sunshine and an occasional southern Rocky Mountain cloudburst.
The 2018 market dates are Saturday, August 18th, and Sunday, August 19th. Please visit the SWAIA website for information on all of the interesting market events offered which begin on Tuesday, August 14th.
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Images courtesy of Neil Lyon Group