SANTA FE, N.M., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts is pleased to announce a successful conclusion and excellent sales results from the organization's first-ever Virtual Indian Market. The virtual market drove sales for SWAIA's 450 participating artists and increased membership by 144 percent.
Under the leadership of SWAIA's new Executive Director, Kim Peone (Colville Confederated Tribes / Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) and SWAIA's board of directors, the organization pivoted to launch a reimagined, digital Indigenous art market— August 1 to August 31, 2020.
Out of the 1,117 Indigenous artists who were juried into the 2020 Santa Fe Indian Market, 450 artists joined the inaugural Virtual Indian Market. Of the initial artist participants, only 77 artists had existing websites; at the time of the Virtual Indian Market launch that number increased to 450.
The Virtual Indian Market was made possible with the support of Artspan LLC (Artspan.com) which was responsible for helping SWAIA artists build several hundred individually branded artist sites and integrating the sites into an art Marketplace. The Clark Hulings Fund also played an important role in providing business education and training to SWAIA artists.
"We are hoping to attract more participants: artists who have been tracking and evaluating the virtual market. We hope these artists will make the decision to come onboard with us because this is something that we will continue to promote. We will continue to have events throughout the year to drive people to the artists' websites," said Kim Peone.
When evaluating the success of the virtual market, it is important to note that SWAIA and the annual Santa Fe Indian Market are more than just a once-a-year sales opportunity; SWAIA serves as a cultural and artistic meeting place and support organization for more than 1,000 Indigenous artists in both the U.S. and Canada
An additional SWAIA initiative, whose preliminary plans and successful launch was achieved this August, is the virtual "NDN World" on the Vircadia platform. SWAIA staff will continue to develop, train and promote the virtual space as both as a market and meeting place.
A Virtual Winter Indian Market is planned for November 27, 2020. Stay tuned for more details.
Read complete release at swaia.org
The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is a non-profit organization supporting Native American arts and culture. swaia.org
SOURCE SWAIA/Santa Fe Indian Market