Press Release

Santa Fe Indian Market

Celebrating 98 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.”

MARKET BY THE NUMBERS:

  • Santa Fe Indian Market attracts over 115,000 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.
  • In 2018, an Economic Impact study showed that Direct and Indirect spending during Indian Market totaled over 165 million dollars for northern 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:

98th:    August 17-18, 2019

99th:    August 15-16, 2020

100th:  August 21-22, 2021

2019 Market Hours:
Saturday, August 17, 7am – 5pm;
Sunday, August 18, 8am-5pm

2019 INDIAN MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Friday August 16th

BEST OF SHOW CEREMONY AND LUNCHEON
11:30am-2:00pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

This exclusive, members-only event brings together the top award-winning artists and the Indian Market community to celebrate this year’s best work. The event begins with the awards announcement presentation and is followed by a celebratory luncheon for the Best of Show and Best of Classification winners. Award sponsors attend as well as those who want first look at all the award-winning pieces. Includes a special preview of IM: EDGE Contemporary Show.

SNEAK PREVIEW OF AWARD-WINNING ART
2:00pm-4:00pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

The Sneak Preview allows visitors the opportunity to view phenomenal award-winning artworks before the Market opens on Saturday morning, and to meet SWAIA ‘Best of Show’ artists in an exclusive setting. Includes a special preview of IM: EDGE Contemporary Show.

GENERAL PREVIEW OF AWARD-WINNING ART
6:00pm-8:30pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

Following the Sneak Preview, the public will have the opportunity to preview award-winning art at a reduced ticket price. The General Preview is your chance to view all the best of the show award-winning artworks before the weekend market begins. Includes a special preview of IM: EDGE Contemporary Show.

Saturday August 17th

INDIAN MARKET GALA
6:00pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

The Gala and Auctions is SWAIA’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it’s most elegant event. This year, the event will be an encompassing experience, the theme of which is “RISE & REMEMBER: Honoring the Resilience of Native Women.” Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM 1st Congressional District) will be the guest of honor. Included in the auction will be drums hand-decorated by Haaland and other notable Native female artists, such as Dolores Purdy, Glendora Fragua, Kathleen Wall and many others. Proceeds from the sales of these drums will be shared with The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women in Albuquerque.

Sunday August 18th

6th ANNUAL INDIAN MARKET HAUTE COUTURE FASHION SHOW
4:00pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

The culmination of Indian Market. The 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. Designers featured include Jamie Okuma, Sho Sho Esquiro, Shy Native and many others.

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

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Amanda Crocker
505-983-5220
acrocker@swaia.org

About SWAIA: 
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. 

SWAIA plays an ongoing role in supporting Native American arts and culture year-round, cultivating excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms and developing programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists. swaia.org