NPR reports on the Native American art market through the mixed sales information coming out of the year’s big event in Santa Fe:
Santa Fe estimates that Indian Market brings in more than $80 million in revenue. And Bruce Bernstein, the executive director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) — the organization that puts the event together — says the financial impact is critical for the artists too.
“Most artists make 60 to 80 percent of their yearly income and that can range from a four-figure salary to a healthy six figures and everything in between,” he says. Prior to market, Bernstein had advised artists to tailor their pieces for the lean economy by creating more affordable works. But still, this year some artists didn’t sell anything.