Rena de Santa Fe - Native American Portrait Artist

Indian Art

When I was much younger, I worked in several different Indian stores in Santa Fe; it was great for me because I already knew a lot about Indian art. My favorite Indian store in Santa Fe is Rainbow Man I like it because I know the owners, and they are experts on not only Indian jewelry and artifacts, but also vintage photography. They probably have one of the most extensive collections of Curtis photos in the southwest. The jewelry is exceptional-lots of old pawn-and I buy things there when I can. Did you know that turquoise is priced by the carat? It's considered a precious gem. There are many wonderful shops in Santa Fe, but this one is special, and has been around for a long time.

In late August we have the Annual Indian Market on the plaza. There are booths with judged Indian art scattered around the area, and collectors come from all over the world to buy. The work shown is the cream of the crop; the most traditional as well as the most contemporary, innovative pieces one can see. Collectors are on the plaza at 7:00 in the morning or earlier, to buy before work is picked over. It's quite a site to see. I use the word, "see" advisedly, because after the crowds gather, it can be very difficult to actually see the work without elbowing through large groups of interested buyers peering at the beautiful work on the tables. It's worth the trouble, though.