The 17 days or so of Indian Market are a collector's Paradise. And a gallery owner's Purgatory. There is a show almost every day, each one with a treasure to be found if you are up to the grueling search. You dare not skip one for fear of missing something. And we must work the gallery as well, because some of our collectors also come in for the early shows. Then we host a show of our own, this year at a private home in Santa Fe. And finally there is Market itself, an exhilarating and sometimes overwhelming experience. This year, I encountered two of our long-time collectors at Troy Sice's booth: one at her 20th Market and the other at her first. Their reactions were curiously similar. Both were thrilled to meet Troy and awe-struck by his winning work. Troy, of course, was perfectly cordial and friendly, posing for photos, a consummate professional. Later, I stopped to see the great potter and designer Virgil Ortiz, and was shoved aside by a collector who wanted to tell Virgil the story of a purchase he had made years ago. Virgil was polite and friendly and engaged, even though that collector was not going to buy anything that day. Every artist at Market, whether a prize winner or not, must endure both wide-eyed adulation and endless questions and stories, and most do it with grace. Especially considering that they have had little food and less sleep, and must sit in the hot sun all day. New Market-goers feel compelled to shop the entire 1200 or so booths. Seasoned goers make a plan and visit only their favorite artists or prize winners. Others just wander around taking it all in. Even after the previous two weeks of non-stop action, I get up at 4 to be at Market early and visit the artists we represent. But when the bar at the Anasazi opens, I am there for a mimosa and breakfast! Heaven ~ if you've survived Purgatory.
Everyone collects something.