Each Memorial Day Weekend, over 200 Native artists take over the floor of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Convention center for the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival, a museum-quality Indian art show and sale.
At the three-day festival, artists bring a wide range of art-forms to display such as sculpture, painting, pottery and jewelry.
Participating artists also represented a wide range of tribes and pueblos, and each of the over 200 Native American artists -- who are specially invited by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture -- came to share their wares, mix, mingle and reconnect with Native art collectors and friends.
The event also raises money for the non-profit Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Each artist, donates a portion of sales to the Museum’s programs, and there was also a Friday evening fundraiser to kick off the Memorial Day Weekend events.
This year’s theme was Shared Stories, in honor of cultural preservation and the art of Native storytelling. In addition, a featured artist is annually chosen as a Living Treasure, for “artistic excellence and community service.” This year’s awardee was Santa Clara potter Jody Naranjo.
Artists invited to the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival included Nocona Burgess (Comanche), Institute of American Indian Arts graduate Terrance Kipp Last Gunn (Piikani / Blackfeet) and graphic designer Ashley Browning (Santa Clara/Pojoaque) and well-known Indian country cartoonist Ricardo Cate'.
Browning told ICMN she was asked to participate at the last minute while she was in Santa Fe, attending events related to her Sundance Institute full circle film fellowship.
“I just grabbed everything and I came,” Browning said, “It’s been great, I see a lot of my friends from other art shows. I’m meeting new people. I’m having a really good time and sales are going really well.”
Artist Nocona Burgess told ICMN the artists who return year after year have good reasons to do so. “I’ve been here since it started … It’s a good show to kick off the summer and visit everybody. They even have a little room for artists with snacks and drinks.”
Artist Avis Charley (Dakota/Navajo) has been participating since 2010 . “It’s a fun, comfortable show, that’s why I enjoy it. And there’s clean bathrooms! It’s indoors, it’s a fundraiser, the vibe is always casual and fun. I have return customers who come back and we chit chat, just like old friends.”
“It’s like a mini Indian Market but more comfortable,” he says.
For information visit the event website.
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