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The 97th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market Announces Best of Show Winners
Kevin Pourier (Oglala Lakota) is awarded Best of Show at Santa Fe Indian Market 2018 Awards Ceremony in the Classification of Diverse Arts

SANTA FE, N.M., Aug. 17, 2018 -- Santa Fe Indian Market is pleased to announce this year's Best of Show, Best of Class, and special award winners in a variety of classifications. For 97 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 August 16 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 August 17.

This year's overall Best of Show winner is Kevin Pourier of Scenic, South Dakota. The Dobkin Family Foundation generously underwrites the 2018 Best of Show Award of $10,000. The work is a belt with portraits of Native women from around the country, carved from buffalo horns.

“During the Standing Rock protests, there was a lot of coverage about men. But the women were there. They were cooking and taking care of the families and then out on the front lines. My wife said, 'you need to create something for the women warriors,'” Mr. Pourier explained as he accepted the award. Regarding the buffalo horns, he said “They have been used by my Lakota ancestors since the beginning of time.”

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

Class I: Jewelry Farrell Pacheco (Santo Domingo Pueblo)
Class II: Pottery Nancy Youngblood (Santa Clara Pueblo)
Class III: Painting, Drawing, Graphics & Photography Cara Romero (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe)
Class IV: Wooden Pueblo Figurative Carving & Sculpture Mavasta Honyouti (Hopi)
Class V: Sculpture Terresa White (Yup'ik)
Class VI: Textiles Nellie Begay (Navajo)
Class VII: Diverse Arts Kevin Pourier (Oglala Lakota)
Class VIII: Beadwork & Quillwork Dallin Maybee (Northern Arapaho/Seneca)
Class IX: Youth (artists aged 17 and under) Isaak Kohlmeyer (Jemez Pueblo)
Class XI: Basketry Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy)

2018 Special Award Winners:

Bernard Ewell Innovation Award: Adrian Pinnecoose
IAIA Distinguished Alumni Award: Shane Hendren
Helen Naha Memorial Award for Hopi Pottery: Karen Abeita
Peter Dechert Award for Excellence in Native Art: Timothy Smith
Western Art Collector Magazine Editor's Choice Award for Excellence: Derek No Sun Brown
Native American Art Magazine Editor's Choice Award for Excellence: Jody Folwell
"Art of Technology" Award (New Award this year): Darby Raymond-Overstreet

"Art is a way for countless Native people to support themselves while sharing and celebrating history, tradition and culture. There is no better way to experience this magic than by being at Santa Fe Indian Market," said Ira Wilson, Executive Director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), which produces the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Santa Fe Indian Market Brings Back Popular IM:EDGE Contemporary & Haute Couture Fashion Show
All forms of Native art celebrated at the world’s largest, oldest and most prestigious Indian art fair.

Santa Fe, New Mexico: July 27, 2018: Two highlights of the 97-year old Santa Fe Indian Market - the EDGE contemporary show (IM:EDGE) and Haute Couture Fashion Show - are returning for their fourth and fifth years, respectively. Both have become signature events for Indian Market and highly anticipated by market-goers.

This year, IM:EDGE will be held in the lobby of the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The show explores "Activism & Identity," and encourages artists to present ideas about social issues as well as those of personal and artistic identity. Works are for sale, and entry is free and open to the public. Visitors will have their first opportunity to preview IM: EDGE during the official Indian Market Kickoff Party on Thursday, August 16, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The show will then be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, August 18th and 19th during Indian Market.

This year’s participating EDGE artists include: Avis Charley (Spirit Lake Dakota), Hillary Kempenich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), Heidi Brandow (Navajo and Native Hawaiian), Billy Hensley (Chickasaw Nation), Ashley Browning (Santa Clara Pueblo) and many others.

“Native art is constantly evolving - what was perhaps considered contemporary 50 years ago is seen as traditional now,” said Ira Wilson (Navajo), Executive Director of SWAIA. “IM:EDGE provides a peek into what the future of our art forms has in store, and also gives artists another venue to express themselves.”

The Haute Couture Fashion Show will also take place at the Convention Center, at 2:00pm on Sunday August 19th, and will serve as the culmination of the almost week-long Indian Market. This year’s designers are: Cody Sanderson, Maya Stewart , Jamie Okuma & Keri Ataumbi, Sho Sho Esquiro, Decontie & Brown, Pam Baker, Yolonda Skelton, Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose and Shayne Watson. Opening the show this year will be Nakotah LaRance, the 2018 World Champion Hoop Dancer.

“This show highlights Indigenous fashion designers who look to their cultural past to create clothing, jewelry and accessories that embody the essence of ancestral memory while creating innovative designs representing the now,” says Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Siksika), who produces the fashion show for SWAIA. A video of last year’s show can be seen and tickets for the event purchased at

The 97th Santa Fe Indian Market is produced by SWAIA (the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts). It will take place on August 18 and 19, 2018, with the participation of over 1,000 artists from more than 200 federally recognized tribes. A full schedule of Indian Market events can be found at

SWAIA Announces Annual Fellowship Winners
Newcomer to Santa Fe Indian Market Joshua Tallas (Navajo) is Selected as the 2018 Design Fellow

Santa Fe, NM, June 21, 2018: The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) (, the non-profit that produces the world-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market every August, is pleased to announce this year’s artist Fellows in the Discovery, Design and Youth categories.

The SWAIA Discovery Fellowship assists Native artists in the exploration of their artistic processes and encourages pushing the boundaries of their art forms. It rewards artistic innovation and encourages applicants to expand their work into undefined areas. Winners receive an award of $3,500—plus a complimentary booth at Indian Market the year they win. A detailed project plan must accompany their applications.

This year’s recipients are Lisa LeFlore (Chiricahua-Fort Sill Apache) and Alex Lewis (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe).

For Lisa LeFlore’s project, she will select and replicate four objects in her tribe’s museum collection that are too fragile for public viewing. She plans to research the items, interview elders on their importance and learn the techniques with which they were created. At this point, she will create reproductions of the pieces, along with documentation of her research that can be viewed, handled and enjoyed by her fellow tribal members.

“I am passionate about our tribal culture and its evolution over the years. With this project, I will attempt to revitalize a disappearing form of expression by showing how it can be relevant and essential today,” says Ms. LeFlore.

Known mainly as a sculptor, Alex Lewis plans to create a wearable art collaboration along with his 7 year old son. He will work towards expanding his abilities as a jeweler by learning new techniques—and mentor his son in those techniques, as well. He will film the process and create a video showing their side-by-side learning experience.

The 2017 Design Fellowship winner is a newcomer to Indian Market. His image, entitled “Déégo” (“Up” in Navajo), will appear on 2018 SWAIA merchandise, including the commemorative poster, T-shirts and other items. Joshua will receive a complimentary booth at Indian Market and join an impressive list of poster artists, including R.C. Gorman, David Bradley and other legendary Native artists.

“I am humbled and honored to experience this incredible event for the very first time. I am grateful beyond measure to be the 2018 SWAIA Design Fellow. It’s a dream come true,” says Mr. Tallas.

SWAIA Youth Fellowships help young artists with the purchase of supplies and assist with research projects to enhance their skills. Youth receive an award of $500.

This year’s Youth winners are Raven Naranjo (San Ildefonso Pueblo and Navajo; 11 years old), Niska Kempenich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa; 10 years old) and Georgeanne Growingthunder (Nakoda, Dakota, Kiowa and Seminole; 6 years old).

The 97th Santa Fe Indian Market will take place on August 18 and 19, 2018, with the participation of over 1,000 artists from more than 200 federally recognized tribes. A full schedule of Indian Market events can be found at

Santa Fe Indian Market: Celebrating 97 Years of Bringing Native Arts to the World

The very first “Indian Fair” was held in 1922. It was a small event featuring a handful of artists, held indoors at the National Guard Armory in downtown Santa Fe as part of the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe celebration. In the 96 years since then, the event has grown and matured into the largest and most prestigious Native American art event in the world.

Indian Market is produced by The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that advocates for Native American arts and cultures and creates economic and cultural opportunities for Native artists. SWAIA’s mission statement is: “bringing Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education, and creating meaningful partnerships.”

The Santa Fe Indian Market provides a vehicle of personal and cultural sustainability for Native artists. It is an opportunity for Native people to represent themselves to the world and build lasting relationships. SWAIA cultivates excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms and develops programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists. Quality and authenticity are the hallmarks of the Santa Fe Indian Market. To ensure the quality of the artwork being sold by artists, SWAIA drafts and maintains standards to ensure that only original art is sold.

The concept, design, and presentation of the Santa Fe Indian Market have worked for many years and, in fact, have heavily influenced all other Native art markets in the U.S. The Best of Show Luncheon, Preview of Award-Winning Art, Native Cinema Showcase, Haute Couture Fashion Show, Native American Clothing Contest, and IM:CONTEMPORARY EDGE curated show are all highlights of the event, held each 3rd weekend in August.

“Santa Fe Indian Market is all about creating a platform and exposure for Native artists,” said Ira Wilson, SWAIA’s Executive Director. “We are fortunate to be working with and supporting so many talented artists, it’s truly a dream.”


• Santa Fe Indian Market attracts over 120,000 visitors from all over the world, to buy art directly from roughly 1,000 artists from 200+ federally recognized tribes from the U.S. and Canada. The event spans 17 city blocks in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.

• Each year, between $75,000 - 100,000 is given out in awards directly to artists, recognizing both traditional and contemporary art forms.

• 5 - 8 Artist Fellowships are awarded each year, including for youth.

• The Santa Fe Indian Market provides enormous economic opportunities; many artists make 1/3 - 1/2 of their yearly income at the event.

• At Santa Fe Indian Market, 100% of the proceeds of sales remains with the artists. SWAIA does not take a percentage of artists' sales, but instead relies on booth fees, donors, sponsors and memberships.

Countdown to the 100th Santa Fe Indian Market:

97th: August 18-19, 2018
98th: August 17-18, 2019
99th: August 15-16, 2020
100th: August 21-22, 2021

For additional information and a schedule of this year’s events, please visit:

SWAIA Hires Ira Wilson (Navajo) as Executive Director of the Prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market
Mr. Wilson is a Native art expert with vast experience in artist management and promotion

February 19, 2018; Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) ( is pleased to announce the appointment of Ira Wilson (Navajo) as its new Executive Director, effective February 26, 2018. SWAIA is the non-profit that produces the 97-year-old Santa Fe Indian Market, the world's oldest, largest and most prestigious juried Indian art market.

Ira Wilson spent 26 years as the Lead Buyer for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) ( in Albuquerque, where he transformed Shumakolowa from a small gift shop into an international online resource for the finest Native art. At Shumakolowa (, Mr. Wilson provided economic opportunity to a wider and more diverse group of Native artists and educated the public about Native arts and culture. "With my expertise in management, finance, personnel, multiple facets of Native arts, techniques, materials and motifs, I will be a strong advocate, a staunch cheerleader, and an accessible and fair advocate for Native artists," he says. Mr. Wilson takes over as SWAIA’s Executive Director from Dallin Maybee, who served in the capacity for almost four years.

Ira Wilson is originally from Teec Nos Pos, AZ, in the Four Corners area- where he was raised in a traditional Navajo way with influence from his grandmother, a weaver. He has connections to both the traditional and contemporary Native art world, an asset that will serve SWAIA well as it heads into its 100th year in 2021.

Elizabeth Kirk (Isleta Pueblo/Navajo), Board Chair for SWAIA, says, "Ira brings decades of experience in business and artistry, as well as a strong dedication to the cause of Native artists and the arts. He will take the organization in a direction which will insure SWAIA continues to evolve, sustaining our mission and vision in the years to come."

The 97th annual event will take place on August 18 and 19, 2018.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Amanda Crocker
505 983-5220



Mission Statement: Bringing Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education, and creating meaningful partnerships.

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is a non-profit organization supporting Native American arts and culture. It creates economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by producing and promoting the Santa Fe Indian Market, the biggest and most prestigious Indian art event in the world since 1922; cultivating excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms; and developing programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists year-round.