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Santa Fe Indian Market is taking the event online

Native artist Florence Riggs is seen with one of her weavings. (Courtesy of Gabriella Marks)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Santa Fe Indian Market is going virtual.

Organizers from the annual event have set no firm date yet, but they plan to have the market set up and running online sometime in August.

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the market’s umbrella organization, canceled the 2020 market – which draws more than 115,000 visitors to the Santa Fe Plaza – because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although no firm date is set, the largest and most prestigious art fair of its kind will join with the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists in creating a market through the SWAIA website.

More than 1,000 artists have juried into the market. Its sales comprise half of many artists’ annual incomes. The event generates about $165 million in economic impact to northern New Mexico.

The Santa Fe-based Hulings Fund handles online marketing and art business strategies, said Indian Market Executive Director Kimberly Peone.

Much of the market, such as whether it will be organized by name or by category, is still in the planning stages, she said.

Jurors are busy sending out information to the artists.

The expanded market will be able to accommodate artists once relegated to a waiting list for booths within the Plaza’s limited space, Peone said.

Some artists are marketing and social media savvy, while others are not, she acknowledged.

“We’re definitely looking at opportunities to have videos and have stories attached to the art,” she said.

Its success also depends on broadband width and fiber optics, Peone said.

“It’s going to be difficult to create a catch-all,” she added. “We’re hoping this will be perpetual.”

This year marks the 99th annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

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