I was about six years old and carefully navigating through the rows at Indian Market transporting two oversized burritos- using both hands for security- to the already crowded booths of my dad and step-mother. As a child of artists, one of my most important duties during markets was meal delivery. As adults towered over me arguing about who was in line first, who had bought which pieces, what was left for sale; I navigated the sea of customers until I reached the back of the booth and completed a successful burrito mission.
Over the years, I have experienced the highs and lows of Indian Market. Starting first with my family’s and then my own experiences, I have come to know that every year will yield completely different outcomes. From selling only small pieces, to your sole large piece, or selling nothing at all, and even winning awards; the excitement of Indian Market goes hand in hand with the anxiety of it.
My first solo booth was twenty years later, and I finally had the opportunity to set it up however I like. After years of sharing with friends or relatives, I was eager to use the space exactly how I wanted it. I used the booth as an entire installation piece (still somewhat corky and out of the norm for Indian Market) using found objects to create a retro southwest style backdrop for my ceramic pieces. Unfortunately, the installation was inherently fragile and with the constant traffic, many parts ended up breaking or falling off.
As day two came to a close, my new and unique setup hadn’t brought as much profit as it had intrigue and distraction. I was feeling rather defeated but vowed to stay until the last minute, refusing to break down earlier despite the time warnings from organizers. My patience ended up paying off and within the last few minutes on the last day, a couple came to my booth and bought my largest piece. Completely unexpected- the joys of Indian Market.
While these are some of my favorite memories, I believe the best Indian Market will be this year’s. Coming out of a trying time, I think everyone is looking forward to community and joining together for another market. As for me, I am excited to be included on this year’s SWAIA cover and debuting some paintings alongside my sculptures.