August 22, 2010

Innovations at Indian Market

Santa Fe Indian Market Evolves

By Jessica DyerWith an organized skateboarding competition and guerrilla fashion show among the events at the 2010 SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, the venerable institution is looking a little more modern.

"Frankly, we're 90, and we can't be doing the same stuff," said Gabe Gomez, director of external relations for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts.

Make no mistake: The 89th annual market is still brimming with the traditional Native American art that tens of thousands of visitors expect when they descend on the City Different every August. With 1,086 artists set up on the Plaza and surrounding streets, pottery and jewelry remain in abundant supply.

But new ideas have been creeping in, like adding the Native Cinema Showcase, now in its 10th year, to the SWAIA fold three years ago. SWAIA works with the Center for Contemporary Arts and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to present the film and video showcase to Indian Market audiences.

"They're totally opening the door to all kinds of indigenous expression, and that's totally the right thing to do," said Jason Silverman, director of CCA Cinematheque.
Some nontraditional art:

Blending Tradition, New Vision

By Kathaleen RobertsChoctaw bead artist Marcus Amerman incorporates both pop culture iconography and comic book imagery into his meticulous glass mosaics. His faux postcard, "My Santa Fe," includes an image of Georgia O'Keeffe within pseudo-vintage lettering, offering a shot of humor imbued with philosophical truths, Kastner said. A close look at Amerman's "Butterfly Maiden" reveals Brooke Shields sprouting a pair of wings.

Potters Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara) and Tony Jojoba (Isleta) have moved from their clay-based mediums to produce glass jars (Jojoba) and bronze masks (Swentzell). The pieces interpret traditional forms using different materials.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Rhythm and Roots in Santa Fe and Santa Fe Film Festival.

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