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After a number years of displaying innovative work at Indian Market and winning many of its top awards, it’s only fitting that Blue Rain Gallery has become an official sponsor of this year’s event, the first time a gallery has done so. Bruce Bernstein, executive director of SWAIA, the event’s creator, points out that BRG owner Leroy Garcia brings a special energy to the sponsorship that’s crucial for the Market’s continued success. “We’re thrilled to have Leroy as a sponsor,” he says. “He understands the symbiotic relationship between the galleries and the Market. Without gallery participation, which brings high-quality art to the forefront, it might be just another market for curios. And Leroy’s contribution goes beyond mere marketing savvy, although he’s a genius at that as well. But you can’t sell art unless you’re passionate about it, and he brings that passion to his work to encourage the health and vibrancy of Native arts both locally and abroad. It’s an essential ingredient.” This year’s Market is special in another way for the gallery: Mary Cain, grandmother of renowned Santa Clara Pueblo artist Tammy Garcia, will be awarded one of SWAIA’s highest honors, the Lifetime Achievement Award. “We’ve been making this award for the past 12 years,” says Bernstein, “and it goes to people who have made significant contributions over a long period of time, those who live a full life in which art is integrated into their way of being.” Cain, whose Indian name, Blue Rain, is honored by its namesake gallery, is a matriarch of the Tafoya clan of Santa Clara, where dedication to quality and innovation in the ancient art form of pottery has exerted a profound influence on generations of potters. Cain was Tammy’s first teacher, and her gentle guidance and wisdom continue to inform the work of Tammy and countless others. It’s an award that’s well deserved, and one that touches our hearts. And, as we reported last week, BRG artist Mateo Romero was selected this year’s poster artist, so the 2008 Indian Market is becoming something of a family affair. It promises to be an especially exciting time this year, so be sure to check us out during the festivities August 23–24.

Ricki Kresan says...

This is terrific news. Scott and I have been long time members of SWAIA and really appreciate your doing this.

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