Editor’s Letter | Santa Fe Success

A report from Indian Market weekend

By Kristin Hoerth

Sioux Man by John Moyers at Nedra Matteucci Galleries in Santa Fe.

Sioux Man by John Moyers at Nedra Matteucci Galleries in Santa Fe.

There’s never a bad time to visit the art scene in Santa Fe, but one of the best times to be in town is during Indian Market weekend in August. I’m lucky to have made this trip every year for the past decade or so, and it’s always a wonderful whirlwind packed with openings to attend, galleries to visit, artists to meet, and friends to see.

Indian Market itself is what draws the biggest crowds, and this year was no exception. Tens of thousands of visitors packed the streets, hotels, and restaurants in order to stroll the booths that fill downtown on Saturday and Sunday. First thing on Saturday morning, when the market opens at 7 a.m., I make it my mission to go directly to the booths of the Best of Classification award-winning artists. This year those winners were Jackie Bread (who won in the beadwork classification, and also took Best of Show), Earl Plummer (jewelry), Troy Jackson (pottery), Norma Howard (paintings and drawings), Bryant Honyouti (Pueblo carvings), Larry Yazzie (sculpture), Isabel Gonzales (textiles), Babe and Carla Hemlock (diverse art forms), and Shan Goshorn (basketry).

But the booths near the plaza are just one part of the fun. Galleries, both downtown and on Canyon Road, often plan some of their most important shows to take place during this weekend: There was John Nieto showing tons of new works at Ventana Fine Art, Dave McGary unveiling new sculptures at Meyer Gallery, and Nocona Burgess displaying his latest paintings at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art. And it’s not just Indian-themed works, either—Greenberg Fine Art hosted California impressionist Timothy Horn, and Gallery 822 showed off new wildlife sculptures by Josh Tobey, for example.

Indian Market weekend is also a good time to get a feel for how things are going in the art world in general. Overall, most galleries and artists reported positive results from the season thus far, with most agreeing that it has been at least as good as last year’s. All of which echoes the comments made in this month’s State of the Art Market report, which begins on page 104. “The art market in general seems to grow stronger each month,” says Nedra Matteucci of Nedra Matteucci Galleries. Matteucci says she has seen a “greater focus on making important acquisitions” of works from the gallery’s roster of contemporary artists, such as Curt Walters, Walt Gonske, and John and Terri Kelly Moyers. Other gallery owners concur—and that’s great news for collectors and artists alike.

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