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Artist Survey Results

What could have been improved about the 2021 Indian Art Market?

The booth placement process: If artists were limited why weren’t those artists invited to attend given their old spots?

The silent art auction: very little info was given.

Being that I was coming from out of state it would have been nice to have a table and two chairs on behalf of the event. Or least being able to rent them. It was a bit of struggle to find some since I flew in and out via plane. And since it was such a busy weekend, there weren’t very many options at stores.

More ribbons/awards.

I believe that COVID was the main concern for everyone but I felt safe and comfortable. I would love to be a part of the show next year!

My flight was delayed and although I submitted my Best of Show piece online with a photo and very thorough details, I was unable to participate Wednesday through Friday since I physically couldn’t get my piece there in time. If there was any flexibility on submission that would have been very helpful.


Sticking to the respectful SW pueblo arts & invited plains beadwork. Like me ;))

Strongly disagree w/ admission!

Set the clothing show a separate from market.

Return of name badge, appreciation bags… . Return of market !


That to be located in my same booth on Palace St. We’ve always been on our same booth every year.

Not charging a admission fee to get in for our collectors and other people visiting Santa Fe!

Increase the number of awards and be sure to select jurors months prior to the market.

Having more experienced volunteers.

I think it’s better to have wood boards as a divided between space, like before..

Provide a map for loading in and out of the plaza. Was very difficult to load out of the venue.

You did your best considering with what we all had to deal with. Great job!

You guys are doing a wonderful job.

Thank you for bringing all of our INDIGENOUS brother & sister together and keeping Indian Market art ALIVE!

The one thing, what I didn’t like is some artist left their booth, right at noon and not finish out to 5:00 pm.

So many people wanted to be at the market and these people just up and left, like there only care for money, then being a artist.

Why did they stay till it’s over? You guys need to put new rule about a artists need to stay till the market is over.

More South West Artists would be great. Potters mainly from the SW. They are the ones who were the first of the market
For me the logistics seemed all over the place. I know 2021 was an off year so I adjusted my expectations. But setting up Friday afternoon was pretty stressful. The partitions and labels weren’t up so SWAIA staff (likely under city direction?) didn’t want to let us set up. Finally some absolutely lovely SWAIA folks got permission to let us set up. I’m very grateful to SWAIA and the volunteers for all the hard work. I’m sure you all did the best you could.

Overall everything was fine. We realized we went through a difficult time in 2020.

More food venders. A variety of different entertainment.

I was honored to present my work at the 2021 market and I made some important connections and had many invigorating conversations with market goers, but I think the artists who were assigned to section 701-709 LIN W really got the short end of the stick. The section was pushed back against the sidewalk. It was not out in the middle of the street as the map indicated. It was difficult and even dangerous for some to enter our booths due the step down from the curb and it created a kind of “dead end” towards the sidewalk overhang of the nearby businesses towards 701 LIN W. At one point red tape was put across the sidewalk to prevent people without tickets from entering. This tape created a bottleneck and greatly limited the flow of traffic. The situation was uninviting, and the general public remarked frequently that our booths were in a particularly bad spot and hard to locate. I would suggest requiring the Plaza Café to remove their outdoor seating area for the market allowing for the section to sit in the middle of the street, as it has been in past markets.

It needs to go back to the full amount of artists, FREE entry, and full competition.

I didn’t appreciate SWAIA charging our customers to attend. I also did not care for submission entry for Best of Show, or the way the online entry forms were distributed the day they were due.

Not having an admission fee.

I’ve always had issue with how pieces that are going to be juried are dropped off and picked up. It would be great to have the hours extended for artists coming from out of state to make one trip instead of coming in the middle of the week to drop off and having to come back again at the end of the week. It’s too expensive to stay at a hotel in town during market week.

I think nothing as far as I’m concerned, but I heard some individuals did not pay to get into the plaza and I over heard them talking and telling one another.

I sat next door to my neighbor and heard talking about earthenware clay they used to make their pottery and felt that it was not right to use this type of clay but thinking about the classification and categories there might be a category on this. My complaint is that I had to dig and process my native clay to promote how we make make pueblo pottery. Just listening and hearing to tell customers of their materials and they were selling pots left and right while I sat and sold here and there. My two cents on this.

Security and mask enforcement.

On the Sunday there was nobody to let us in to unload so we let ourselves in. Other artist noted the same and we figured the staff must be short or late it happens and we adjusted.

In upcoming years, maybe I’ll be qualified to advise. This year I was humbled.

The only improvement I would suggest is to place different discipline artist next to each other; like jeweler, painter, diverse arts, textiler, pottery, sculptor, etc., etc.,.

I didn’t like being placed next to an artist that is doing the same discipline/art as me.

Because of COVID-19 , I recommend that the booth spaces would be more open between the row of booths ..

Maybe trying to keep the artists in their same location where possible- know so many couldn’t be in same space but maybe just near to their same area – but really everyone was ok.

If doing wrist bands again include them in packets. We don’t have time to pick them up.

Booths on San Francisco Street were against the curb and dangerous. We had to keep telling our customers to watch their steps. They need to be at least 1-2 away from the curb.

Should’ve kept people at their regular spots instead of moving. I know a lot of artists were unhappy that they were moved. I felt you created more work for yourselves by moving people etc.

More award given. Even if no money accompanies the award, having more ribbons would make a huge difference in those artist’s sales.

More sanitizing stations.

I think with the year we have had it was our new normal for 2021 Indian Market so I think it was fine.

I believe the booth choices that artist request should be honored whenever possible. I believe that artists who require more time to set up should have an opportunity to load in at the earliest time slots. Better communication with the artists as well as more consideration for the artists’ needs, questions, and opinions. I think the admission fee was a terrible idea. If you are going to have standards, you must have people who understand what those standards are to see to it that they are being met. There was much inconsistency in what was allowed at this market, some were following the rules and standards and many were not. I question whether anyone knew the difference. If you are going to continue to have a market with all original art, you should publicize this and make sure the attendees know what the difference is. You should not have a standard if you are not going to enforce it. I hope that the competition will go back to honoring more artists, more categories, more awards, as in previous years. The monetary award is less important than the ribbon. The interim directors over the past two years did a terrific job of trying to address these issues. I hope that spirit will return going forward. Organization is key, staff is key, SWAIA needs to work hard at keeping and maintaining a qualified staff who are appreciated enough to stay on. Above all, respect for the artists must be given. Having this survey is a step forward. Artists have always been afraid to voice their opinions due to their fears of being rejected from the show in the future. This is such an important show for so many artists, there is no reason it cannot be better run. More competition from other shows in the area should give SWAIA the wake-up call to do a better job.

I didn’t have an issue with anything.

More ribbons/awards.

More advertising online to local news papers.

Not sure if ticket entry was needed.

Juried competition. Categories should be reconsider. For sculptures, smaller carvings(Pueblo fetish carvings) should be separated from the large sculptures.

Lesser fee for entry or no fee.

Considering the times we are going through 2021 market was great.

I didn’t like customers having to pay for tickets for art market.

More prize category awards.

The costs for the gala and art awards preview was disappointing as was the only the handful of awards given out this year.

Considering the times we are going through 2021 market was great.

When I had an opportunity to see other artists work I notice that some artist still displayed mass produced work. I feel it’s unfair that we as artist follow the rules yet some still continue to disregard them. It is stated that there would be check-in from the organization for quality checks but have never seen anyone ever visit the booths.

I understand the pandemic proposed unique challenges, however charging to attend is something I sincerely hope never happens again. Very disrespectful.


The lack of awards was hard on sales.

Awards and fundraising that SWAIA normally does. Ticketing was not a proactive measure for people to come. It didn’t make the show any better. It kept a lot of people away as well. Due to it being free all these years.

Staff still doing a great job.

I hope covid is not present in 2022, so we may have all booths open.

Nothing, as far as I am concerned it was set up perfectly.

To me, everything was good. The only thing that could have been improved was the security working the gates, I had a problem setting up my booth on Saturday because a couple working the entry gates were misinformed and incompetent with directions, other than that, there was also a few security guards that were very helpful.

I think given the circumstances you did an excellent job.

How can SWAIA motivate buyers to support and buy from native artists on the main 2 days. Many are feeding off the show.

No admission. The free market seemed to have more in attendance and from the write up much success.

I really can’t say anything could have gone better. I know staffing was low as well as volunteers. There were many things that were different just due to Covid, so I did not have much free time to visit booths or even the shows that were being put on by SWAIA. I hate to say it but I did feel the quality of the art did not seem to be as high as previous years.

Dealing with the adversity you guys faced I thought the show was good. Job well done. You all are very helpful.

Because of COVID-19 , I recommend that the booth spaces would be more open between the row of booths…

“It would be nice if the city and the county worked with you all to help with the logistics of the market. BUT, it has always been this way.

I have noticed the fashion designers are getting a lot of press (and some are not artists in the market – that doesn’t seem right) and would like to see more on the other artist in the market

More involvement with artist better communication.

Better communication all around.

I think you did a good job considering the circumstance.

Well what the point of having wrist bands to enter the show. I’ve seen plenty of people just walk right in. Rotate the artist around each year. Give everyone a chance to be in the plaza area. Cleaner porter potties… make sure the water to wash your hands were filled up. Could of even had small air freshener in porter potties.

I thought the Show at least from my perspective, was very successful.

Personally a different location. Can’t stand being in the sun all day.

Better organization and knowledge or how a market works would have helped, and letting us stay in our original booths might have helped too!

No fees to customers to enter the show, people were crossing barriers and not being enforced.

Wednesday nights social event could’ve been a little better.

No fees to customers to enter the show, people were crossing barriers and not being enforced.

Bring back all the categories for artists , this year wasnt the same in that area due to selection of one per division.

More communication with artists about scheduling in the beginning. When I got the notice I was accepted, I was given dates for the market. I thought I gave myself enough time to enter competition when I booked everything but because we weren’t given the schedule beforehand, I missed it completely. Because this was my first event, I would have no idea how markets were scheduled in the past to give myself enough time.

I’m not sure if people usually check, but some artists were selling on behalf of other artists while they were there which doesn’t seem fair to those of us who paid to come sell our own work. In one case, their partner and themself were juried in but their partner didn’t come so they sold their own work in addition to their partner’s. Their partner’s work was in direct competition with mine in terms of medium and I felt a little cheated that they were getting away with it.

There was also a question of quality with some people’s work that had me confused about how they were allowed to sell them. For example, one person had really nice inlayed jewelry that they were selling that were beautiful, but also some stained glass art that didn’t seems appropriate for market. Especially not when there were other artists whose work I thought was higher quality who didn’t get in this year.

More information about marketing opportunities far in advance to make educated decisions about where to place ads. I missed the ad opp for Native Art Mag because I wanted to hear from Hutton Broadcasting about rates for the market catalog. I filled out their form four times for rates as instructed and they didn’t respond. I finally found an email for them and they got back to me AFTER the deadline for Native Art Mag passed and their rates were more than double that of Native Art, which I couldn’t afford. I feel like I missed out on a marketing opp entirely. As a new artist, I needed that exposure.

I hope next year we don’t have to do ticketed entries. All the collectors seemed more concerned with going back to find artists they collect from rather than staying to get new artists because they could only be at market at a certain time. They beelined for their artists and then left which seemed to put new artists at a disadvantage this year. I didn’t make enough to cover even half my costs.

We should NOT charge an entrance fee. It wasn’t the way to this past year. We need the full awards awarded. It’s a very important part of the market that we can not go one more market without.
Having more category ribbon winners again.

Ribbons for all categories. Prize money not an issue.

Elder artists booths were blocked in and unable to load up on Sunday and had to walk several blocks to load due to another artist who had a long covered trailer and blocked several booths. He should have been made to wait or move closer to his booth.

I think more clear communication with all artists was needed. I also thought that since we had “COVID” protocols in place that our booths would of been spaced out from one another. However, I did make sure I had my own PPE for my booth and made sure guests who stopped at my booth were safe also.

More feed back to artist first, so we could make out arrangements for the show.

Creating a ticketed event: making it a ticketed event was unsuccessful at the very least. I spoke to many attendees who never bought a ticket.


I was fine with everything.