SANTA FE, N.M., June 21, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) (, the non-profit that produces the world-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market every August, is pleased to announce this year’s artist Fellows in the Discovery, Design and Youth categories.

The SWAIA Discovery Fellowship assists Native artists in the exploration of their artistic processes and encourages pushing the boundaries of their art forms. It rewards artistic innovation and encourages applicants to expand their work into undefined areas. Winners receive an award of $3,500—plus a complimentary booth at Indian Market the year they win. A detailed project plan must accompany their applications.

This year’s recipients are Lisa LeFlore (Chiricahua-Fort Sill Apache) and Alex Lewis (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe).

For Lisa LeFlore’s project, she will select and replicate four objects in her tribe’s museum collection that are too fragile for public viewing. She plans to research the items, interview elders on their importance and learn the techniques with which they were created. At this point, she will create reproductions of the pieces, along with documentation of her research that can be viewed, handled and enjoyed by her fellow tribal members.

“I am passionate about our tribal culture and its evolution over the years. With this project, I will attempt to revitalize a disappearing form of expression by showing how it can be relevant and essential today,” says Ms. LeFlore.  

Known mainly as a sculptor, Alex Lewis plans to create a wearable art collaboration along with his 7 year old son. He will work towards expanding his abilities as a jeweler by learning new techniques—and mentor his son in those techniques, as well. He will film the process and create a video showing their side-by-side learning experience.

The 2017 Design Fellowship winner is a newcomer to Indian Market. His image, entitled “Déégo” (“Up” in Navajo), will appear on 2018 SWAIA merchandise, including the commemorative poster, T-shirts and other items. Joshua will receive a complimentary booth at Indian Market and join an impressive list of poster artists, including R.C. Gorman, David Bradley and other legendary Native artists.

“I am humbled and honored to experience this incredible event for the very first time. I am grateful beyond measure to be the 2018 SWAIA Design Fellow. It’s a dream come true,” says Mr. Tallas.

SWAIA Youth Fellowships help young artists with the purchase of supplies and assist with research projects to enhance their skills. Youth receive an award of $500.

This year’s Youth Fellowship winners are Raven Naranjo (San Ildefonso Pueblo and Navajo; 11 years old), Niska Kempenich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa; 10 years old) and Georgeanne Growingthunder (Nakoda, Dakota, Kiowa and Seminole; 6 years old).

The 97th Santa Fe Indian Market will take place on August 18 and 19, 2018, with the participation of over 1,000 artists from more than 200 federally recognized tribes. A full schedule of Indian Market events can be found at

SWAIA/Santa Fe Indian Market (PRNewsfoto/SWAIA/Santa Fe Indian Market)

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