Preparing for the Santa Fe Indian Market | - August 8, 2012

Indian Market Celebrates Traditional Native Arts

The Santa Fe Indian Market is the city's largest event, drawing thousands of art collectors, shoppers and fans of traditional Native American jewelry, pottery, weavings, paintings, basketry and more. The world's largest market devoted to Native American art, Indian Market brings visitors together with more than 1,100 Native artists from around the country.

The market also has an impressive schedule of events, from a Native clothing contest and cinema showcase to a live auction gala, awards ceremony, live music, panels and more. Also, many Santa Fe galleries host art openings featuring Native artists this weekend as well.

If you're a fan of turquoise and silver, kachinas, intricate baskets and gorgeous woven rugs, the market is the place to shop. And to make sure that you don't run out of steam while you're shopping, vendors offer plenty of food, including Navajo tacos, roasted corn, fry bread and more.

At the market, you'll be able to meet artists from around the world who are all working with timeless traditions handed down to them by their ancestors. Indian Market is presented by The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), which brings "Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education and creating meaningful partnerships," according to SWAIA's website.

Below is a list of the major events taking place during the 2012 Indian Market, which runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 18 and 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 19. Admission is free. For more info, go to

Native Cinema Showcase, August 13-19, New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave.

This year's 12th annual Native Cinema Showcase features films and videos made by and about, indigenous people. The films are presented by SWAIA and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

SWAIA/SFPS Indian Education Program Children's Art Opening, Santa Fe Public Library - Second Floor 145 Washington Ave., August 10, 4 -6 p.m.

SFPS Indian Education Program presents a Children's Art Opening at the Main Library in downtown Santa Fe. Works will be on display by SWAIA Youth Mentees and Indian Education Program participants throughout the month of August.

SWAIA and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Present: Breakfast With the Curators, 8:30 a.m. August 16, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Camino Lejo

SWAIA's Executive Director Bruce Bernstein discusses the artists who have made an indelible mark in the Native Art world and advanced the understanding of Native arts and culture. He will also sign copies of he new book, Santa Fe Indian Market: A History of the World-Famous Art Market, available for purchase Purchase tickets online at

Contemporary Native American Artists, 4 p.m. August 14, Collected Works Bookstore, 202 Galisteo St.

Book signing and benefit for SWAIA featuring a new book about 18 pre-eminent Native American artists. Attending artists include: Jody Naranjo, Kevin Red Star, Rhett Lynch, Ed NoiseCat, Jhane Myers NoiseCat, Joe and Althea Cajero, Upton Greyshoes Ethelbah, Fritz J. Casuse, Malcolm Furlow, Adrian Wall, Richard Aitson, Penny Singer, and Dyani Reynolds White Hawk. Also signing: author Suzanne Deats and photographer Kitty Leaken.

Sneak and General Preview of Award Winning Art, Sneak Preview 5:30-7:30 p.m. General Preview 7:30-9:30 p.m., August 17, Santa Fe Convention Center. 201 W. Marcy St.

SWAIA's Artist Awards Sneak Preview gives SWAIA members the early opportunity to see the best of Indian Market art after the Best of Show Awards Ceremony. The General Preview that follows opens the doors to the public for a glimpse at the award-winning artwork. For tickets call (505) 983-5220.

Best of Show Ceremony and Luncheon, August 17, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Santa Fe Convention Center. 201 W. Marcy St.

This exclusive event acknowledges Native artists who often work for years to create the stunning artwork entered for judging and a chance to be named Best of Show. For tickets, call (505) 983-5220.

Third Annual SWAIA: State of Native Arts Symposium August 17, 3: p.m.  New Mexico History Museum. 113 Lincoln Ave.

"What defines `quality' in Native Art?" A panel discussion about quality in Native American art and Indian Market. What is it? How do we know when we see it?  Free.

Museum Directors from the Autry National Center of the American West, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Heard Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian in a roundtable discussion about current and future direction of Native arts.

Lifetime Achievement Allan Houser Legacy and Povika Awards Presentation, 12-1 p.m. August 18, Santa Fe Plaza stage

The Houser Award, the highest honor given by SWAIA to a Native artist, honors their contributions to Native arts and Native culture. The Povika Award is given in recognition of service, leadership and support that Native and non-Native people provide to Indian Market and to Native artists and their communities.

This year the award SWAIA celebrates the enduring contributions of Pueblo Potters to the Native arts world and Santa Fe Indian Market. The Povi'ka Award will recognize the service, leadership and support that SWAIA volunteers provide to the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. The 2012 SWAIA Discovery, Residency and Youth Fellowship recipients will also be honored during this time.

SWAIA Live Auction Gala Dinner and Auctions, 5-9 p.m. August 18, La Fonda on the Plaza, 100 E. San Francisco St.

This is SWAIA's biggest fundraiser, featuring art donated by the country's top Native artists to be auctioned in the silent or live auction. Many of these unique pieces were made specifically for this event. 

The 91st Santa Fe Indian Market, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday August 18 and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, August 19, Santa Fe Plaza

More than 1100 artists from 100 tribes participate in the market, attended by 100,000 people each year. There is no other event in the world that brings together so many Native artists and buyers as it celebrates traditional Native arts and culture. It's a good idea to get there early as the Plaza fills up quickly with crowds.

Native American Clothing Contest, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. August 19, Santa Fe Plaza stage

This is one of the most popular events during Indian Market and also the most photographed. Fore more than 20 years, this contest has drawn crowds who admire traditional and contemporary Native fashion designed both for children and adults. Awards are given in more than 20 categories.