Native culture: Top talent comes to Indian Art Market
While the Prescott Indian Art Market typically draws top talent each summer, this year's show has shaped up to be bigger than usual.
Because of reported money woes, one of the country's largest Native American art shows, New Mexico's 8 Northern Pueblos, was canceled. This may be a reason for the flurry of applications that artists have submitted for the annual show this weekend at Sharlot Hall Museum.
At the outset, 72 artists from the 2008 show applied for the 100 vendor spaces available for the 2009 event, but with the sudden influx of interest, jurists suddenly could choose from a large pool of new artists.
"That made us the hottest ticket for July," said Sandy Lynch, show manager. "People were trying from all over New Mexico - artists from all over Arizona that used to skip us - all of a sudden descended on us. So we took as many as we could."
She added that organizers of the Prescott show doubted the event's feasibility at the beginning of the year until its main sponsor, Talking Rock, came through with support.
Many of the artists in the Prescott show applied after the deadline, Lynch said, but the jury made some concessions.
"If we had artists who have supported us through the years, no matter where they came from, our jury met by phone and juried in as many as we could - not to get wealthy on it, but just to give them an opportunity. It strains our resources, but we thought we've got to help folks as much we can," Lynch said.
This year's art show features traditional and contemporary Indian artwork and artist demonstrations in mediums of jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, hand-woven baskets and blankets, as well as native music and dance performers in the museum's amphitheater.
A jury comprised of Native American artists chooses applicants in both traditional and contemporary categories.
A highlight this year is Ramson Lomatewama, a Hopi poet, jeweler, traditional Katsina doll carver and stained glass blower, who will demonstrate his unique style of creating Katsinas and other Hopi ceramics through glass-blowing.
The show's 2009 featured artist, stone and bronze sculptor Upton "Greyshoes" Ethelbah Jr., earned a designation as a New Mexico Living Treasure this year.
"He's been with us for 12 years," Lynch said. "His glass sculpture and bronze pieces that he has done here locally at The Bronzesmith are remarkable."
Other notables include local silversmith Ernie Lister, painters Jesse T. Hummingbird, Amado Pena, José Toledo and Baje Whitehorne Sr., sculptors Evelyn Fredericks and Tim Washburn, weavers Nanabah Aragon and Rena Begay, and pottery artist Barbara Gonzales.
Alex Maldonado, Native American Music Award nominee for his wind instrument recordings, will perform in the amphitheater, as will 2008 Senior World Champion Hoop Dance winner Moonty Sinuah and others.
Hours for the Indian Art Market are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 W. Gurley St. Admission is $3 for members, $5 for non-members, and free for children under 18.