Perhaps the most important two-and-a-half hours of the entire Santa Fe Indian Market weekend, from the artist’s end of the gallery anyway, is measured out at the annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon. This is the where and when so much comes down to the head of the pin: the artist’s unwavering commitment to his or her respective genre; the countless hours of work invested; the creative vision realized; the tests of skill mastered, recognized and rewarded. All that midnight oil distilled down to a single drop so powerful it can illuminate the entirety of a career.
With literally hundreds of entries received for judging, the process of selecting a piece for ribboning is long and tedious—a challenge even for the pros. Forty-five judges cast their votes this year, all selected for their expertise in various art related fields. Honing in on the entries that most evocatively represent artistic expression, display a mastery of technical execution, and, of course, deliver their aesthetic goods hands down. No easy task considering the cast of contenders.
This year, top honors went to Hopi woodcarver Adrian Nasafotie, whose gravity-defying katsina, Purification, prompted a collective “Wow!” from the attendant throng of artists, collectors, and roving reporters. The artist’s gasp of surprise was heard by all when the award was announced: A priceless moment for this and many other long-time market goers and Nasafotie fans.
For the list of winners, click here.