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Applications and Jurying

How will I be notified if I am accepted?

Acceptance letters with booth assignments will be sent via Postal Service in early March 2020. Please allow for potential delays due to weather or schedule conflicts in juror sessions.

What is the application and jurying process for Indian Market selection?

Artists that wish to apply for the upcoming Indian Market must fill out an application.  The application includes sections on contact info, proof of tribal enrollment in a Federally American/Canadian recognized tribe/band/corporation, images of the artists’ work and descriptions, certification statements, and an application fee.  Upon submission, the application and images are reviewed by a panel of jurors who then give a score based on 4 criteria.  The score is then totaled with a possible high of 300 points.  Artists are selected based upon that score, with a percentage of placed artists dependent upon the number of applicants in each classification.

When does this occur?

Applications are available in November of the prior year to the upcoming Indian Market.  Applications are due by Mid-January.  This year the application deadline for Indian Market 2020 – without a late fee — is January 10, 2020. Late fee ($100) will be assessed after January 12, with the absolute deadline being January 17.

What is the criteria?

The scoring criteria focuses on four areas:  Technical Execution, Concept/Design/Creativity, Aesthetics, and Indian Market Standards.  Each juror can award 25 points in each criterion for a maximum total of 100 points per juror, with a perfect score from all three jurors being 300 possible points.

This scoring system is superior to the old 3 criteria system with a max score of 15 (Each juror scored 5 points in each criterion; for a total of 15, then all three scores were averaged).  The new system decreases the chance for duplicate scores.  For example, in 2014, under the old system, jewelry scores averaged 14 points out of 15 in order to be placed.  With only 80 spots available but 140 scores of 14 or higher, who chose which artists were placed?

The new scoring system gives artist applicants more opportunities to differentiate themselves, and  gives SWAIA a more accurate breakdown of scores so we can establish cutoffs for accepted, waitlist, and unaccepted artists.

What if I don’t have access to a computer?

You still can fill out a hard copy and send in the images as usual via a thumb drive or CD.  To request a printed copy of the application, please call the office at 505-983-5220.

Who decides who is accepted?

Jurors for the application process are selected from individuals who have long-time expertise or knowledge in each classification.  These individuals have included accomplished and longtime artists, museum curators, experienced collectors, and art educators. Jurors with potential conflicts of interest are avoided; for example, a gallery owner that deals in Native sculptors would probably not be selected as a juror for sculpture.