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Does this new policy help promote younger artists?

Not necessarily.  Great Native artists should be present at our show, regardless of age.  Being an all-juried show however does have many positive benefits.  The prestige and high-level fine art that Indian Market is known for will be preserved.  Jurying encourages a healthy competitiveness and allows all artists the opportunity to present their best work.  There is an incentive to develop and grow as an artist.

The process is fair to ALL artists, regardless of age.

Who created this policy?

Tenure Program was started in 1992 when the application process moved to jurying for new artist applicants. The program was only meant to be a two-year program to alleviate the fear of long-time artists having to jury in. The program however has not been applied equally to all deserving artists.

Why has this changed?

Various SWAIA Boards and staff have been agonizing over the abolishment of the program for 25 years and while none elected to fully end the program, 17 years ago SWAIA decided no more artists would be added to the program.  Artists would have naturally lost tenure status through death or missing Indian Market for some reason.  This meant that the number of tenured artists would get smaller and smaller over the years.  Unfortunately, not all Directors chose to follow this policy and awarded tenure status to some artists for many different reasons.   Four years ago, the Board came to the decision that in order to be fair to ALL artists, the tenure program must end.

What is SWAIA’s tenure policy?

Until 2016, the Tenure Program allowed artists with Tenure status to bypass the jurying process and receive automatic admission into Indian Market.  Most years, Tenured artists simply sent us an application but were NOT required to submit images or undergo the jurying selection process.