A “Robust Return” for SWAIA’s Market in Santa Fe

Cara Romero, Starlight, Starbright, 2023
archival pigment print
43 x 61 inches
edition of 3

The 101st Southwestern Association for Indian Arts annual market, held last week in Santa Fe, drew some 100,000 people—“a robust return after the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Hyperallergic’s Erin Joyce. Joyce highlights the participation of Cara Romero and Tyrrell Tapaha, both of whom were also featured in the concurrent Bockley Gallery–organized exhibition Through-line, presented at Cara Romero Photography.

Joyce calls out Romero’s Starlight, Starbright (2023), “featuring a multi-generational group of Indigenous women skating at a roller rink, exuberant in their display of power, playfulness, and beauty,” and notes that Tapaha shared a booth with master weaver Roy Kady (Diné) and artists Jeanette Clah (Diné) and Kevin Tsosie (Diné):

Tapaha learned how to weave from Kady while growing up in the Navajo Nation in the Four-Corners region of the Southwestern United States. The artist’s sheep-to-loom methodology—in which they raise their sheep, harvest the wool, gather vegetal dyes indigenous to the region, and roll their own yarn—is not just a process, but also a philosophical approach to Native lifeways, taking the time to hold space for every facet of the production of a weaving. Kady and Tapaha sold out their booth this year, which featured playful and provocative weavings by Tapaha that spell out words like  “fuck” and “slut.” Tapaha will also be featured in the upcoming group show Young Elder at James Fuentes gallery in New York alongside Andrea Carlson, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Tyrrell Tapaha, and Nico Williams (the show is curated by Natalie Ball and Zach Feuer).

Romero was also recognized by the jury with three Best of Show honors, including Best of Division in Photography.