Santa Fe Indian Market goes face-to-face

SANTA FE, NM – The Santa Fe Indian Market will be back in person this year after an online virtual Market last year.

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) which runs the market announced on
April 16 that there will be an in-person ticketed market on the weekend of August 20 and 21 of 2021 along with an online market.

Artists from around the country will set up booths in the Santa Fe Plaza and surrounding streets and parks with beadwork, paintings, baskets, weavings, sculpture and more.  And art lovers from across the country will also be there. But tickets will be required for both artists and guests and fewer people will be allowed in. Details are being worked on.

“Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we will not be able to present Indian Market at full capacity,” said Kim Peone (Colville Confederated Tribes/Eastern Band of Cherokee), Executive director of SWAIA.  “We have to scale back. It will be smaller than in previous years.”

SWAIA will follow the COVID-19 safety rules set in place by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham, she added.

Artists and visitors will be required to wear masks, practice safe distancing and have their temperatures taken, Peone said. “There will be entrance and exit slots to the Market and tickets will be required.”

This will be the 99th year for what many consider the biggest market of its kind in the world. In recent years about 900 adult artists and 100 youth artists displayed their work to 100,000 visitors.

Last year SWAIA put the market on line to protect visitors and artists from COVID-19.  Art lovers viewed the artwork on the SWAIA website and could pay for an item with a credit card.

The on line market has been up all year and SWAIA is improving and expanding it, Peone said. “We are in the process of building an e commerce (electronic commerce) website to support artists in their sales all year.”

This year there will also be other familiar Indian Market events including a fashion show, film showings, musical performances, artist talks, a live auction and panel discussions. But again “programming from the past will be a bit different. The logistics are being worked out,” Peone said.

An announcement on the SWAIA website stated that the event “will be a hybrid combining both the new online market place and a smaller curated in-person market at 75 percent capacity of the 2019 event. This year’s event will be ticketed; visitors will be able to purchase a limited number of tickets to shop the market in time slots over the two-day event.”

As decisions are made, announcements will be on social media, in emails to artists and on the SWAIA website, said Peone.  “We are trying to be optimistic and hopeful. We are moving forward with Indian Market, and preparing to keep the ball rolling.”

Santa Fe hotels and restaurants will be open and transportation will be available.  In fact, visitors are already making reservations at Santa Fe hotels for that weekend, she said.

The SWAIA website states that “the health and safety of our artists, Indian Market guests and local community remain our priority and concern. We are excited to innovate safe and creative solutions in presenting the 99th Indian Market in addition to welcoming back many beloved events like the fashion show and live auction.”

It adds that “a schedule of events and limited tickets for the 99th Market will be released as soon as possible on the SWAIA website.”

More information will be available on the SWAIA website at


(Kate Saltzstein can be reached at

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