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Indian Market association gets new leader

SANTA FE – An Albuquerque-based art buyer will take over as new executive director of Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the nonprofit that stages the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Ira Wilson, who was the lead buyer for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s Shumakolowa Native Arts gallery for 26 years, will assume the role being vacated by Dallin Maybee on Feb. 26.


Ira Wilson (Courtesy Southwestern Association for Indian Arts)

“With my expertise in management, finance, personnel, multiple facets of Native arts, techniques, materials and motifs, I will be a strong advocate, a staunch cheerleader and an accessible and fair advocate for Native artists,” Wilson said in a news release.

Wilson, who is Navajo, grew up in Teec Nos Pos, Ariz., near the Four Corners. He is also the lead singer of Red Earth, a Native rock band based in Albuquerque.

In the announcement, SWAIA Board Chair Elizabeth Kirk said Wilson has a “strong dedication” to Native art and the artists themselves.

“He take the organization in a direction which will insure SWAIA continues to evolve, sustaining our mission and vision for years to come,” she added

Maybee announced in December that he would be stepping down after about four years in SWAIA’s top job. He told the Journal he wanted to spend more time with his family living in Phoenix.

The 97th Indian Market will be held on and around the Santa Fe Plaza Aug. 18 and 19.