Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – “It’s the right thing to do,” said David Gary Suazo, when he heard the news Saturday that the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts had postponed the well-attended Santa Fe August market until 2021.
Suazo, a registered member of the Taos Pueblo, has been a frequent exhibitor at the Indian Market since 1987.
But he applauds the decision to call off the market until next year. “I’m an artist, but I understand the need to protect people’s health,” he said.
Suazo, whose ex-wife Geraldine Tso and daughter DeAnna Autumn Leaf Suazo, are also artists, is disappointed. However, the family believes the market, which was scheduled this year for Aug. 15-16, will come back stronger than ever.
“This is a big pause, but people are reevaluating their priorities, and I think art will be something greatly appreciated after this crisis,” Suazo said.
A great thing from his perspective is that artists who were juried into the 2020 market will be automatically accepted into the 2021 market. Lately, the process of being accepted has drawn criticism.
In a news release sent out Saturday, SWAIA said the decision to postpone the market until next year was a hard one, because Native artists depend on the event for their income.
Dominique Toya, a member of the SWAIA board and an artist, said, “This is a difficult decision because Indian market is a big part of my livelihood. But it is more important to protect the well-being of fellow artists, their families, our customers and all our communities.”
Like many arts organizations, SWAIA is exploring opportunities to connect with customers online since Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a stay-at-home order to try to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
In a statement, SWAIA said that a board committee has been formed to explore the feasibility of a virtual market for 2020.