The 96th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market Announces Best of Show Winners

Pat Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo), 2017 Best of Show winner at Santa Fe Indian Market, with his winning piece. “Sentinel v1.0” was entered into the sculpture classification; it is made of zirconium and titanium. The 96th Santa Fe Indian Market, presented by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is held on August 19 and 20. (PRNewsfoto/SWAIA/Santa Fe Indian Market)

Published August 22, 2017

SANTA FE – Santa Fe Indian Market, presented by The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA, is pleased to announce this year’s Best of Show, Best of Class, and special award winners. For 96 years, Santa Fe Indian Market, the world’s largest and most prestigious Indian art market, has awarded Best of Show winners to the nation’s most exceptional artists in a variety of juried categories.

Over 40 judges, experts in various mediums, spent all day Thursday, August 17, reviewing and critiquing this year’s entries and determining the winners. The announcement of the Best of Show, Best of Class, and Special Award winners was made publicly at the Best of Show Luncheon on Friday afternoon.

This year’s overall Best of Show winner is Pat Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo), for his contemporary sculpture entitled “Sentinel v1.0”. The piece is crafted from zirconium and titanium, with 250+ machined parts, assembled with more than 600 titanium fasteners, hand finished, and oxidized. The Dobkin Family Foundation generously underwrites the Best of Show Award of $10,000.

“It’s humbling, truly humbling,” said Mr. Pruitt. “You never shoot for it, you know? You do what you do and you put your best work in, and if it gets recognized…it’s awesome.  Getting recognition and validation of your work – it’s beautiful.”

All of the Best of Show winners’ phenomenal artwork will be available this weekend during Santa Fe Indian Market on the Plaza in downtown Santa Fe.

This year’s Best of Class winners by classification are:

Class I:  Jewelry
Wesley Willie (Navajo (Diné))

Class II: Pottery
Angie Yazzie (Taos Pueblo)

Class III: Painting, Drawing, Graphics & Photography
Cara Romero (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe)

Class IV: Wooden Pueblo Figurative Carvings
Arthur Holmes (Hopi)

Class V: Sculpture (Best of Show)
Pat Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo)

Class VI:  Textiles
Lola Cody (Navajo (Diné))

Class VII: Diverse Arts
Jamie Okuma (Shoshone-Bannock/Luiseño)

Class VIII: Beadwork & Quillwork
Carla Hemlock (Mohawk)

Class IX: Youth (artists aged 17 and under)
Rain Scott (Navajo (Diné))

Class X: Moving Images
Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa)

Class XI: Basketry
Donald Johnston (Qagan Tayagungin)

2017 Special Award Winners:

Bernard Ewell Innovation Award
Katrina Mitten (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma)

1st National Bank Youth Award
Sage Maybee (Northern Arapaho/Seneca)

Helen Naha Memorial Award for Excellence in Hopi Pottery
Dee Setalla (Hopi)

Native American Art Magazine Award
Melissa Cody (Navajo (Diné))

Western Art Collector Magazine Award
Terrance Guardipee (Blackfeet Tribe)

Peter Dechert Memorial Award in Traditional Forms
Pauline Tsosie (Navajo (Diné))

AARP Tradition Award
Vanessa Jennings (Gila River Pima Tribe/Kiowa/Apache)

IAIA Distinguished Alumni Award
Cara Romero (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe)

“I want to extend my congratulations to the 2017 Best of Show winners, and to the hundreds of artists from around the country who submitted their best work for jurying,” said Dallin Maybee, SWAIA chief operating officer. “It is our honor to reward these artists, who are doing phenomenal work in their respective mediums.”

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