Attend Indian Market Santa Fe


indian market santa fe
Indian Market Events

Once A Year Event in Santa Fe

Indian Market truly is a premier event for Santa Fe New Mexico and the largest event held there every year. There are dozens of Native American cultural events that take place during Indian Market week.  Indian Art of course means painting, drawing, weaving, clothes, jewelry, pottery and much more.

All of these are on display at Indian Market and I know you will enjoy the event immensely. You’ll also see many Native American booksellers with one of a kind items. It’s estimated that well over 100,000 people attend the event each year. These include gallery owners, collectors and simply fans of Indian Art.

Since 1922

Indian Market started a long time ago as a partnership between local pueblos and community leaders. It has been held in Santa Fe every year since 1922.  In 1922 the event began as the first annual Southwest Indian Fair comprising some 3,500 works, including pottery, baskets, textiles, silver work, bead work and paintings.Today, the event is known to be the largest of it’s kind in the world.

indian market new mexico
An event during Santa Fe’s 400 year anniversary

Currently half of the board of directors of the SWAIA ( Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) are Native Americans and most are participating Indian Market artists.

The artists are Native/Indigenous people from over 100 federally recognized tribes and First Nations tribes from Canada. Some artists have participated for over 60 years and often times you’ll find several generations sitting in the same booth. Indian market involves some 600 booths. Their artwork is actually a big part of their lives and it’s a unique way of communication that lasts a lifetime.

Indian Market Week precedes the weekend Indian Market exhibition.

Indian Market Events Held During the Week

During the week there are previews and awards handed out with about $100,000 in prize money..There are several functions that are tied into Indian Market such as the Friday night press reception, the best of show announcement, a sneak preview of award winning art and a silent auction. I would also look into the Indian market auction gala usually taking place at the La Fonda Hotel on the plaza. SWAIA also bestows lifetime achievement awards during the weekend event.

santa fe plaza
Event at the Plaza Pavillion

Another unforgettable Indian Market event is the clothing contest which is held on Sunday morning from 9A-Noon. Children and adults model contemporary and traditional Native clothing.

Bring your camera because this is the photographed event of the week. Entertainment is also presented on the Plaza Stage from 1-4P during the weekend.

In addition to the artwork displayed you’ll also be able to sample an array of Native American food such as fry bread, Navajo tacos, roasted corn and other Native treats.

Indian Market has grown to the degree that Native Americans throughout the United States are represented as exhibitors. It is probably the largest single event in this country for displaying Native American art.

Many of the participating artists have attended the Institute for American Indian Arts as well as other universities. The Institute for American Indian Arts offers degrees in Studio Arts, New Media Arts, Creative Writing, Museum Studies and Indigenous Liberal Studies. The IAIA has graduated more than 3,800 students and welcomes students from the 563 federally-recognized tribes. As many as  112 tribes are represented on it’s campus.

indian market art
Exhibit booths on the plaza

The dates for the 2014  Indian Market in Santa Fe is August 18th -24th.

Visiting the Santa Fe Area

Of course there are many more things to do in August in Santa Fe while attending Indian Market. One is the Santa Fe Opera which also draws people each year from around the country.

Several of our photo article links on our Western Trips site will give you some good ideas for side trips while in Santa Fe for Indian market. They include a drive on the Turquoise Trail just south of Santa Fe…A visit to the Puye Cliff Dwellings, a short drive north and the old Spanish Mission San Francisco de Asis in Rancho Taos.

new mexico rail runner train
New Mexico Rail Runner Train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Don’t forget to also visit the many galleries in Santa Fe including those on the famous Canyon Road. There’s nothing like the collection of art in Santa Fe. If you’re looking for great restaurants you’ll also find these in Santa Fe and there are very good restaurants available to fit any type travel budget.

The event is known throughout the world and you’ll no doubt see people in attendance from all over the world. Try to book your hotel early because it’s my understanding that many people book rooms a year in advance. If you’re planning on trying to attend this year’s event, it’s never too soon to book your accommodations.

Santa Fe hotels and Santa Fe restaurants are many and you’ll be able to locate lodgings and dining with little effort. The following site will give you a good list of accommodations and restaurants to choose from.

If you’ve already attended Santa Fe’s Indian Market, chances are you’ll be back again. If you haven’t attended in the past, I highly recommend adding Indian Market to your vacation or road trip planner. It’s a very unique annual event only found in Santa Fe.

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)