Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer
Muscogee artist walks runway for first time at Santa Fe Indian Art Market
SANTA FE, New Mexico — The Santa Fe Indian Art Market ‘brings Native arts to the world’ each August, and has now for the last 97 years.
But for one Muscogee (Creek) artist, the 2018 version held Aug. 14-19 was a year of firsts.
It was the first time attending the historic event for Maddie Lamb, who now makes her home in Santa Fe after transferring from The College of the Muscogee Nation to attend her “dream school,” The Institute of American Indian Arts.
“So far it’s been really awesome,” Lamb said. “Everybody out here is really inspiring and really encouraging. They just want you to do your best out here.”
Lamb hit the ground running, not just taking in the sights and sounds of one of Indian Country’s grandest events, but by actually participating.
She made her first foray into the world of modeling, appearing on the runway and wearing the latest creations of some of the world’s top Native fashion designers.
“Before coming out to Santa Fe, I had saw a couple things on Instagram, talking about the Indian Art Market and how they needed models,” Lamb said. “I kind of said, ‘well why not? I’m going to bout there at that time, right?’ Might as well try for it.”
She sent word that she would indeed be interested, received an email back, and was quickly booked into three fashion shows for the week.
First, she modeled the ‘I AM ANISHANABE’ collection in the IM:EDGE fashion show on Thursday and the Gala fashion show on Saturday.
On Sunday, she modeled for Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose during the Art Market’s main show, the Haute Couture Fashion Show.
“It was kind of intimidating, just because I’ve never done anything like that and it was such a big event,” Lamb said. “Now I have this experience behind me, and it was exciting.”
Even though Lamb did admit to some nerves being a first-timer in that big of a show, it’s certainly not the first time the spotlight has found her.
She was recognized by the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) organization as a 25 Under 25 award recipient in July and has also recently designed a national poster that will release in the fall for UNITY’s Wellness Warrior project.
“That was a really cool experience. UNITY has just been really supportive upon coming out here,” Lamb said.
Lamb also literally left a mark on Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah during her time there. She was selected in a national contest to paint a mural with the whole school working on it together. The story was featured in ‘Teen Vogue’ magazine.
“The was the whole point of it too, that it’s still living on past me being there,” Lamb said. “I still get all kinds of questions about it and interest on it.”
Lamb’s main focus of study remains on digital art. She enjoys designing coasters and T-shirts but also likes to bead and paint and explore several other mediums. She’s in the perfect place for it at IAIA.
“There’s so many different opportunities. It’s just an awesome school to be able to try out different things and see what I like,” she said.
Like modeling. And after appearing on such a prestigious stage for her debut, Lamb admits it may not be a one-time occurrence.
“I definitely think I could continue it, especially out here,” she said. “It wasn’t really something I was going to do, but the opportunity came and I honestly really liked it. So we’ll just see.”