The Wednesday before Indian Market officially begins is the day that Native American artists submit all art being considered for awards for this year’s Market. The process begins with artists lining up outside the Convention Center with their art. Each piece is accepted by an “Official Receiver”, a volunteer who determines the judging category of each piece. There are 11 categories of art allowed in Indian Market, including jewelry, pottery, textiles, diverse art forms, bead and quill work, moving images, basketry, and youth.
I am one of the many volunteers that makes SWAIA’s Indian Market possible. As a Runner, it is then my responsibility to ensure these pieces of art get from the Official Receiver to the room where judging is being conducted.
Meet Betty Ottesen, from Greeley Colorado. Betty is a guest at La Fonda and has been volunteering as an Indian Market official receiver since 1984. Betty knows her Indian Art and it was a pleasure today to shadow her and listen to the conversations between her and the artists about the art and the intricacies of determining categories of Native art.