Trading Post Times
One year ago, we reported about an upheav-
al at SWAIA (Southwestern Association for
Indian Arts) the sponsoring organization of
the Santa Fe Indian Market.
At that time, SWAIA COO John Torres-Nez
unexpectedly resigned from that post and
immediately spearheaded formation of the
Indigenous Fine Art Market
went head to head with the vaunted Santa
Fe Indian Market during the 2014 Santa Fe
Indian market weekend.
Flash forward to 2015. Dallin Maybee,
(Northern Arapaho/Seneca) an attorney,
assumed the helm of the SWAIA as COO.
Actually while trying to calm the turbulence
within the SWAIA association, the choppi-
ness under Maybee’s leadership has
increased as nearly 70 long time exhibiting
artists were slashed from the show, including
many previous Indian Market award
We were curious about why SWAIA literally
“dumped” previous major award winners,
who were consistent market attractions, from
the 2015 market. We asked, but we received
no response from SWAIA to our inquiries.
Likewise, the Indian Arts and Crafts Associ-
ation had no response to their own inquiries,
according to our sources.
Dawn Dark Mountain (Oneida), a fellow-
ship recipient of SWAIA and major SWAIA
honors winner was among those “boosted”
from the 2015 market.
Interestingly, Dawn currently serves as the
2015 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Fellow at the
School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe.
Dawn Dark Mountain also won a prestig-
ious award at the 2015 Invitational Native
Treasures Indian Art Market.
But you won’t see Dawn at the 2015 Santa
Fe Indian Market.
Clearly the Santa Fe Indian Market is off
balance, while demand to enter the John
Torres-Nez market has increased considera-
bly. The two markets run somewhat
We don’t know why SWAIA has thrown the
cream off the top of its market. We wonder
about its “reformulated” judging process,
whatever that may be.
What we do know is that there will be
around 1,000 artists showing at the 2015
Santa Fe Indian Market.
Perhaps fewer world class artists though.
Many have been given the boot.
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