From the Director
Hello and welcome to Santa Fe Indian Market 2018! Our 97th year will be one for the books. We have worked hard to bring you the excitement of Indian Market you’ve come to expect. As the new Executive Director, I can tell you that the process to get here is both overwhelming and very rewarding. My diligent staff and our volunteers put many hours of work preparing and making sure every detail is worked out for you, our visitors and collectors, to have the experience of a lifetime.
My role in the Native arts industry and many years working directly with artists have been incredibly fulfilling to me personally. With 26 years at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, I had the chance to meet founding families, learn their processes for producing masterpieces of art, and create opportunities for them to sell their wares. My experience there afforded me a unique chance to spread my wings and serve the Native art community. My career has been quite an adventure and now it has brought me here to SWAIA. It truly is an amazing organization! The heart of the staff and the celebration of Native culture are things I’m proud to be part of. I hope to bring something new to the table, not only to ensure Indian Market’s future but also showcase new and exciting avenues as Native art ascends to new heights every year.
Native art is truly the heartbeat of the Southwest. It is a way of life for many, and I understand the work it takes to be successful. I have seen firsthand the rewards and challenges of being a working artist. My father was a painter, and many days he left home early to sell his work, only to return with the very pieces he left with. Other days he came home without any paintings, which meant we could pay the bills and maybe even enjoy a small treat. My grandmother was a weaver, and I learned about my culture from her while she explained the symbols in rugs she created. They go hand in hand and there is beauty in everything. Native culture is art, art is Native culture. What better way to celebrate both than at Santa Fe Indian Market? I look forward to seeing all of you there!
Best Wishes, Ira Wilson, SWAIA Executive Director