Crowds no more. The highly popular Indian Market will observe its 100th event virtually in 2020 due to COVID-19. Photo: Larry Lamsa

Native Sun News Today: Santa Fe Indian Market will go online

ALBUQUERQUE – Santa Fe Indian Market, billed as the one of the best, largest and oldest market of its kind, will take place online this year.

For one weekend every August for the past 100 years, artists, musicians, film-makers and art lovers mingled around the Santa Fe Plaza and up and down surrounding streets where artists’ booths were set up showcasing pottery, textiles, jewelry, painting, sculpture, beadwork, and basketry - traditional and contemporary. There were also musical performances on the plaza and auctions and films at venues around Santa Fe.

This year, due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus, the Board of Directors of Santa Fe Indian Market have arranged to put the Market online for the entire month of August.

Indian Market is run by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts or SWAIA. All artwork is selected by jury and all artists must be enrolled members of a tribe. About 900 adult artists and 100 youth artists display their work and 100,000 visitors attend the event held the third weekend in August.

Karen Clarkson: 2020 Virtual Indian Market participant! August 1-31 at #VIM2020 #santafeindianmarket #goingvirtual #staytuned #reimagine

Posted by SWAIA - Santa Fe Indian Market on Saturday, June 20, 2020

It was a difficult decision to cancel the Market on the plaza, said Amanda Crocker, Public Relations and Marketing Director of Indian Market.

“It was devastating for both the organization and the artists,” said Crocker in an email. “We knew we had to ‘stay the game’ and fulfill our mission and help artists during this time. Though all the elements are still coming together, the structure of the Virtual Indian Market is in place. The SWAIA website ( will be the hub for all Virtual Indian Market content which will include e-commerce sites for all artists, fashion components, a Native Cinema Showcase, artist talks, auctions, panel discussions and more. There will be programming for the entire month of August to keep visitors coming back to the site time and time again.”

The artists can create personal e-commerce websites to make sales directly to clients on the SWAIA website, Crocker said. Artists who were juried into this summer’s Market last winter are eligible to participate in the virtual Market as are those who were on the waiting list. They have until June 30th to sign up. Visitors to the Market will not pay a fee to participate. They will purchase items from the artists with a credit card.

Visitors looking for a specific artist can find a section on the website called “2020 artists.” They can also shop by classification of artwork such as jewelry, pottery, or painting. Links on the website will take viewers to music, fashion show and film sections of the Market.

There will be a feature called “virtual booth hopping” on the weekend that would have been the live Market (August 15 and 16) when artists are encouraged to sit at home and welcome visitors. This can be done by zoom, Google Hangouts or by phone, said Crocker. Links on the website will take viewers to music, fashion show and film sections.

“We feel that serving artists in this manner – helping them create strong online presences goes beyond a necessary reaction to COVID,” said Crocker. “We believe it will serve them well beyond this summer, and help them create a more sustainable and diverse business model.”


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