A new market, The Indigenous Fine Art Market (IFAM), in Santa Fe is receiving a lot of attention nowadays. Three former administrators with the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) have joined forces to create a new market that will be held the same weekend as the 93rd Santa Fe Indian Market this August.
It has been announced that IFAM will be held on Thursday, August 21 to Saturday, August 23, 2014. The venue has not been announced, but has been secured, according to Tailinh Agoyo, Director of Marketing for IFAM. It has been rumored that they are seeking permission to use the Santa Fe Indian School campus on Cerrillos Road for the event.
The group is moving fast. Staff announcements have been made:
According to an article appearing in the Albuquerque Journal:
The new Indigenous Fine Arts Market will include stages for performances and will be “a juried art show with very high-quality native arts,” Agoyo said. “Hundreds” of artists have expressed interest in taking part, she added.
It has been discussed that there is no room in Santa Fe for another Native American art market, that the collectors' dollars will be diluted and that the new market will fail. However, if you read the IFAM Facebook Page you'll see nothing but enthusiasm and Native pride. Some top artists, and experienced administrators are banding together to create this market. They have only four months but they have endless vision and energy. This will be a market run by Native Americans with the artists as their focus.
If the group receives permission to use the Santa Fe Indian School Campus, it will prove to be a very good venue. The drawback is the distance from The Plaza. Most non-SWAIA events and shows happening during Indian Market week are within easy walking distance from downtown hotels. How can this issue be handled? I would suggest a shuttle system to help visitors and collectors overcome the barrier of a two-mile walk from The Plaza to the Santa Fe Indian School. Two miles doesn't seem far, but on a hot August day after you've visited several venues, the walk may prove to be a barrier.
A true Indian Market enthusiast comes early and spends up to a week in Santa Fe to take in all the events, gallery openings, shows and fun. It's the only way to do it. When I go to Indian Market, I schedule myself so I don't miss the artists at the Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe courtyard, the vendors (not all Native) at the El Dorado Hotel, the gallery openings on Canyon Road and I'd certainly schedule in the IFAM event too. I don't see the establishment of the new market as competition at all. The Indigenous Fine Arts Market will enhance the visitor experience and give Native artists another venue to consider.
Tailinh Agoyo is working on the IFAM website, posting frequently on the group's Facebook Page and answering questions from the media. The development of this new market is exciting to watch.
But will collectors go? I believe that some highly regarded artists are going to be at the IFAM market. Their collectors will follow them and show up there. If the new market is easily accessible and well-promoted, visitors and collectors will be there. And judging from the plans in progress, they will be impressed!
Watch for the announcement of the IFAM website scheduled to be launched by Friday May 2nd.