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Spectators win in 'Indigenous Fine Art Market' & 'Santa Fe Indian Market' war

SFIM - Day 3
SFIM - Day 3
Roscoe Pond

The "Santa Fe Indian Market” (SFIM) ran from Aug. 22-24, 2014. On Sunday Aug. 24, SFIM saw it's popularity endure even after the first year success of the “Indigenous Fine Art Market” (IFAM). It was said that 185,000 spectators walked through SFIM in 2013. The numbers may have dwindled as spectators strolled from the downtown plaza to the Santa Fe Railyard & IFAM on Saturday Aug. 23. Nonetheless, Santa Fe was filled with more than enough artist vendors to choose from.

The 2014 promotional program for SFIM was published through the “Santa Fe New Mexican” newspaper. The program for IFAM was published in the (free) “Santa Fe Reporter” newspaper. Each had a list of artist vendors in them & several native artists appeared on both lists selling over four full days. They took advantage of the competitive markets & the word on the street was that many artists sold big all week.

Early Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. The well known artists sold to their usual rich clientele for thousands of dollars. It is said that Saturday is called, “mark up” day. Sunday is called, “mark down” day. Artists sell the most & their best on Saturday to spectators who have money burning holes in their pockets. Sunday is where artists want to sell everything, if they can, by marking down prices.

Roscoe Pond witnessed two Navajo pottery designers make a killing on Saturday. They were surprised by a favorite client whose name is Bobby Joe. He usually comes into Santa Fe on Sunday, but his wife wanted him to buy early & spend more. The man told the ladies he wanted 15 of their best pottery at the highest prices. He bought 10 pots last year from them. Bobby Joe pulled wads of $100 dollar bills & put them on the table.

By the end of Sunday Aug. 24. Native artists who wanted to get rid of their work, begin walking around the plaza trying to grab a last minute buyer. A young man with long hair-braids tried to sell his painting of wild horses. No one bought it, even after he marked it down to the lowest price possible.

The competing Indian markets had one winner & it was the spectators. They flocked toward both markets to see what they could buy & then headed to the many social events scheduled throughout Santa Fe. The second place winner of course is IFAM with its' new ideas, more artists & exciting contemporary musical guests. SFIM is a third place winner because of its' long standing history with native artists whose clientele keep coming back for more each year.