- By Darren Thompson
SANTA FE, N.M. –– The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) hosted the 101st Santa Fe Indian Market to crowds celebrating American Indian culture, art, fashion and people.
The legendary Indian fine arts market has attracted crowds from all over the world for 101 years and continues to bring talent, tradition, and appreciation for American Indian culture and arts.
Over 900 artists from more than 400 tribes in the United States and Canada traveled to the Santa Fe Indian Market with hopes of selling fine art to collectors and competing in the juried art market. Each event SWAIA organized was sold out and attracted some of Indian Country’s most well-known artists and leaders.
Film festivals, arts and crafts festivals, concerts, gallery openings, fashion shows, and gatherings organized to celebrate Indigenous cultures were organized around the event.
More than 20 artists sold out of their work. Organizers shared with Native News Online that the highlight of the weekend was seeing all the artists set up, and visiting with the many festival goers.
“The whole happy vibe I received from the artists. Hearing their travel stories, success moments, and also being there to help them with obstacles or dilemmas that pop up,” SWAIA’s Artist Coordinator Mona Perea told Native News Online. “We strive to be the best we can and am to provide a seamless opportunity for our artists to enjoy the celebration of the world’s finest American Indian art market.”
Many artists shared with Native News Online that the one thing they enjoyed over the weekend was seeing the happiness from others of their work and contributions to the largest fine Indian arts festival in the world.
Bill Mendoza, who won first place in the Moccasins category, which is in the Beadwork and Quillwork classification of the art competition, said he sold out of most of his inventory. Mendoza is Oglala Lakota from South Dakota and has participated in the Santa Fe Indian Market for several years and is committed to attending Indian Market.
While art is a major draw to the Indian Market, not all attendees purchase from artists. Many travel to see the large crowds and to network with other professionals in the area for the Indian Market.
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