15 Artists to Watch For at This Year’s Santa Fe Indian Market

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Every year, thousands of collectors and visitors flock to the Santa Fe Indian Market, which is held in the city’s historic main plaza downtown. There, Indigenous artists of all tribal backgrounds across North America sell their work in booths that line the streets. You can find the most exquisite fashion, art, and homewares made of beadwork, quillwork, and more—each piece carries traditional craftwork forward in new, striking ways. The festival is a crucial event for artists in particular, as many of them make a big portion of their yearly income from the event. 

Last year, due to the pandemic, the market went virtual. But this weekend, now in its 99th year, the event is making its grand return to being an in-person event. The roster is as big and exciting as ever. As part of the splashy fashion show—which is being held on Sunday August 22nd, and showcases the newest collections of top Indigenous designers—one can expect to see some new pieces by labels such as Jamie Okuma, Orlando Dugi, and Lauren Good Day, all of whom are modernizing traditional techniques in a unique, modern way. 

In the booths on Saturday and Sunday, meanwhile, artists such as Elias Jade Not Afraid (beadwork) and Naiomi Glasses (textiles)—both of whom have large Instagram followings—will be selling their latest assortment of pieces, too. Don’t quite know where to begin your shopping hunt this weekend? Fret not: Below, Vogue rounded up the 15 need-to-know artists to keep an eye out for. Even if you can’t physically make it to the market, you’ll certainly want to bookmark these talents for future purchases—just be sure to keep a close eye on them, as their work sells out in the blink of an eye! But isn’t that part of the thrill?

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Below, 15 Indigenous artists to watch out for at this year’s Santa Fe Indian Market.

Jamie Okuma 

Renowned Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock fashion artist Jamie Okuma will be showcasing her newest collection of ready-to-wear during the annual fashion show. Okuma is also known for her exquisite beadwork, and will also be selling exclusive collaboration pieces in her booth, like a bird-print cuff she made with metalsmith Pat Pruitt.

Sandra Okuma

Sandra Okuma, mother to Jamie Okuma, is a Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock beadwork artist and painter. Her intricate, beaded bags are always a highlight at the market, and they take many weeks—if not months—to produce. 

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Patt Pruitt

The metalsmith—who is Laguna, Chiricahua Apache and Anglo—specialized in sleek, industrial jewelry pieces like cuffs and earrings. This year, Pruitt will be showcasing his newest collection, which includes colorful detailing with Pueblo-themed imagery such as butterflies. 

Orlando Dugi

The veteran Navajo fashion designer will show his new collection of ready-to-wear as part of the annual fashion show. Dugi specializes in glamorous evening wear. Luxurious fabrics and intricate embroidery are some of his signature finishings. 

Keri Ataumbi

The Kiowa fine jeweler and metalsmith is a staple at the Santa Fe market, and this year she will return to sell her elegant pieces in her always-busy booth. Her rings are made of silver, antique trade beads, and diamonds, while her pendant necklaces feature whimsical images of bees, turtles, squids, and more. 

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Lauren Good Day

Lauren Good Day is an Arikara-Hidatsa-Blackfeet-Plains Cree designer who will showcase her new collection during the fashion show. Her signatures are her colorful, upbeat prints and easy day dresses. (She is also an amazing ledger artist and beadwork artist.)

Elias Jade Not Afraid

Elias Jade Not Afraid is an Apsaalooke beadwork artist who creates some of the Santa Fe Indian Market’s most-coveted pieces (his beaded items often sell out quickly). His aesthetic combines traditional craft with unexpected detailing, like skulls or studs. He also recently launched clothing.

Naiomi Glasses

Diné weaver Naomi Glasses will showcase her latest textiles, including rugs and blankets, in her booth. Glasses incorporates traditional Navajo prints into her work, and everything is made on looms by hand. Her personal style, thanks to her turquoise-filled closet, is also just as eye-catching as her work.

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Randy Brokeshoulder

Hopi, Navajo, and Shawnee carver Randy Brokeshoulder will display his latest katsina dolls, which are often made from cottonwood roots and painted using natural pigments. 

Cara Romero

Chemehuevi photographer Cara Comero’s powerful works are always rooted in current events or issues affecting the Indigenous community. This year, she will sell her latest prints. A new work, titled “Hermosa,” was captured during quarantine and represents her and her daughter re-connecting to Tongva/Gabrielino homelands.

Hollis Chitto

Hollis Chitto is a Laguna Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo, and Mississippi Choctaw beadwork artist known for bags. They often feature colorful imagery of flowers, and double as an art piece. He’s also made statement earrings with beads, crystals, and brass.

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Robin Waynee

Saginaw Chippewa jewelry designer Robin Waynee brings a dash of evening elegance to every piece she makes. She will make everything from eternity band rings and diamond-drop earrings, to show-stopping pendants made of pearls, diamonds, and pink sapphires. 

The Growing Thunders

Joyce, Juanita, and Jesse Rae Growing Thunder are a family of three Indigenous artists who specialize in beadwork and quillwork. At last year’s virtual Santa Fe market, Juanita’s soft sculpture, titled Wakitantanka (Strong-Willed) Pandemic Survivalist, won the prestigious best of show award.

Charlene Holy Bear

Charlene Holy Bear, a member of the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux Tribe, has grown a cult following for her hand-beaded Vans. She also makes beautiful beaded bangles and earrings.

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Tom Farris

Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads by Tom FarrisPhoto: Courtesy of Tom Farris

Tom Farris is an Otoe-Missouria and Cherokee multidisciplinary artist from Norman, Oklahoma. His contemporary works, which include paintings and sculptures, have been exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and come with a sense of humor rooted in history and culture.

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