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Native News Online Arts & Entertainment Reporter Tamara Ikenberg attended the 99th annual Santa Fe Indian Market last week.  Here’s her recap of the sights, sounds and art from her trip.  

SANTA FE, NM —  All in all, my art haul from the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market was modest in quantity, but rich in quality. 

I picked up a bold painting of Navajo pre-med student Erin Lewis by Choctaw artist Karen Clarkson, glamorous, dangling, angular spiny oyster and silver earrings by Kewa Pueblo jewelry-making team LeJeune and Joe Chavez, and a pair of understated, elegant curved  silver earrings stamped with butterflies by Chippewa and Comanche artist Tim Blueflint Ramel.

It was so much more satisfying meeting and clicking with the artists in person, as opposed to just clicking on an item to buy it, like all customers and collectors had to do last year when Indian Market pivoted into an all-online experience. 

This year, artists and collectors reconvened on Santa Fe Plaza to revel in the pleasure of reuniting with old friends, meeting new ones, and of course, shopping until dropping for the best in Indigenous art. 

Please peruse my casual shots of the faces and fine art of the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market to get a free piece of the action.

The legendary Leg Lamp from the movie “A Christmas Story” reimagined as “A Jingle Story”  by Anishinaabe, Hochunk and Lakota artist Alexa Rae, on display at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Show  preview and celebration at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 20.

The legendary Leg Lamp from the movie “A Christmas Story” reimagined as “A Jingle Story”  by Anishinaabe, Hochunk and Lakota artist Alexa Rae, on display at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Show  preview and celebration at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 20. 

Chavezes

Me with Santo Domingo/Kewa Pueblo power couple LeJeune and Joe Chavez. The Chavezes, whose business is called Santo Domingo Pueblo Jewelry, are famous  for their pieces melding Joe’s silversmithing and LeJeune’s stonework. 

ChittoMarket

Choctaw sculptor Randy Chitto, owner  of Santa Fe’s Red Clay Gallery, flashes a smile matching his grinning koshare sculptures at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Erin

“Strength,” a striking, turquoise-tinged portrait of Navajo med student Erin Lewis by  Choctaw artist Karen Clarkson, is mine all mine. The oil painting was made for the series “Today’s Native Women – Portraits of Celebration.” “Turquoise is the color of the sky and the evidence of the Creator's affection and acknowledgement,” Clarkson told Native News Online. “It is an integral part of Navajo life so I made sure it was woven into Erin’s appearance. You cannot see where the turquoise jewelry ends and the sky begins.”  

Gasmask

Seneca and Northern Arapaho artist Dallin Maybee’s “Resilience” gasmask, made with glass cut beads, ermine skins, rooster hackles and brass thimbles, on display at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Show  preview and celebration at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 20. 

Geo

Passamaquoddy basketmaker Geo Neptune had sold all but one basket  by the end  of the first day of the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market. On the second day of the market, Neptune rocked the runway during Shoshone Bannock and Luiseno designer Jamie Okuma’s segment of the Indigenous Fashion Show. 

JarveyMarket

My rhinestone-studded mask looks devastatingly  dull next to Chippewa and Cree fashion designer Rebekah Jarvey’s flashy Night & Day mask. Jarvey came all the way from Montana’s Rocky Boy Reservation to be a part of the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market, and ended up assisting Arikara, Hidatsa, Blackfeet and Cree designer Lauren Good Day at the Indigenous Fashion Show. 

KarenMarket

Choctaw artist Karen Clarkson takes a moment to chill outside her booth at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market. 

koshare

Some lucky collector at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market snapped up this  sweet and juicy storytelling koshare sculpture by Randy Chitto. 

MarketClock

Lakota artist Jim Yellowhawk’s clock titled “We Heard Your Wishes Little Ones,” honors the lost Indigenous students of North American boarding schools. The emotional piece was  on display at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Show  preview and celebration at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 20. 

pourierbelts

Oglala Lakota artist Kevin Pourier’s belts carved from buffalo horn burst with butterflies, flowers, and images of Indigenous role models like U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. 

SisnerosMarket

Santa Clara Pueblo, Navajo, Laguna Pueblo and Luiseno Mission artist and fashion designer Michelle Tsosie Sisneros displays a dress detailed with red handprints to draw attention to the issue of  Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market.  

SuinaMarket

Cochiti Pueblo potter Jeff Suina and his wife Esther, a traditional clothing designer, at their first Santa Fe Indian Market, sporting masks complementing Suina’s mix of traditional and thoroughly modern clay creations.

thunderbird

Kewa Pueblo jewelry artist LeJeune Chavez’s reimagining of her Pueblo’s signature thunderbird necklace, with a pair of matching beaded earrings, on sale at the 99th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Author: Tamara Ikenberg
Tamara Ikenberg is a contributing writer to Native News Online. She covers tribes throughout the southwest as well as Native arts, culture and entertainment. She can be reached at [email protected]