The first piece of art Juniper Anderson sold at the Santa Fe Indian Market was a page from a coloring book.
As a child, Juniper, who is Navajo and Ho-Chunk, attended the market with her parents. While the adults set up a booth and put their work on display, Juniper and her two sisters busied themselves with crayons and coloring books.
“We were sitting there on a blanket and people started coming up to us and asking if they could buy the pages,” said Juniper, now 15. “They offered a quarter for each page, so we started ripping the pages out and selling them.”
Visitors at the country’s largest and most-anticipated juried American Indian market also offered the girls coins in exchange for photos of them. Some took pictures of the three girls sleeping on a nearby bench; others snapped shots of them eating giant pieces of frybread.
“It was early in the morning, sometimes still dark,” Juniper said. “We’d be sleeping on the bench, all wrapped up in blankets, or mom would get us frybread. The frybread was really big and we were really little, so people would come up and take pictures.”