Photo by Sue Tone.
Originally Published: July 10, 2016 6:02 a.m.
Many see the Prescott Indian Art Market as one of the top three markets in the Southwest.
“The other two are Santa Fe and the Heard,” said Hopi artist Delmar Polacca.
An award ceremony took place Saturday, July 9, for those vendors who placed in the market’s annual art competition. Here are the results of the competition:
Best of Show
Mona Laughing, Booth 8, first and second place in Traditional Arts for her hand-crafted rugs
1st place: Aaron Cajero, Booth 36
2nd place: Carlos Laate, Booth 79
3rd place: Aaron Cajero, Booth 36
1st place: Allen Aragon, Booth 41
2nd place: Duran Gasper, Booth 58
3rd place: Veronica Benally, Booth 68
1st place: Adrian Wall, Booth 88
2nd place: Tim Washburn, Booth 57
3rd place: Nuvadi Dawahoya, Booth 23
1st place: Mona Laughing, Booth 8
2nd place: Mona Laughing, Booth 8
3rd place: Loren Aragon, Booth 38
1st place: Jose Toledo, Booth 44
2nd place: Baje Whitethorne, Sr., Booth 97
3rd place: Baje Whitethorne, Sr., Booth 97
Rena Begay, Booth 91
Ernie Lister, Booth 61
Jimmy Yawakia, Booth 58
Matagi Sorenson, Booth 19
The Heard Museum in Phoenix hosts its Indian market in March and Santa Fe hosts its in August.
Though it’s the smallest of the three with about 100 vendors, Prescott’s exhibition is well respected for gathering a significant number of the region’s most talented Native American artists in one space, the Sharlot Hall Museum.
“All of these are top notch artists; all well recognized throughout the Southwest,” said Fred Veil, Executive Director of Sharlot Hall Museum.
To show their work at the event, Native American artists must go through an application process where they are evaluated by a council of their peers.
Polacca is one of those jurors and has attended Prescott’s market as a vendor the last 12 years.
He said many tribes are represented at the market, including Zuni, Diné (Navajo) and Hopi.
Hopi are best known for their pottery, baskets, overlay jewelry and kachina dolls, Polacca explained.
Navajo are particularly famous for their intricate jewelry work and rugs/weavings.
Zuni frequently create jewelry and pottery as well, but they also specialize in what are called Zuni fetishes. These are small carvings typically depicting animals and icons integral to their culture and made from various materials.
Polacca himself makes contemporary Hopi pottery. His work is contemporary because he carves into his pottery as well as paints it.
“Traditional [Hopi pottery] is not carved, it’s just painted on,” he said. “Mine is still the same clay, colors and whatnot that they use in the traditional pots.”
Native Americans are particularly adept at creating fine works of art that reflect their culture because it has always been a practice of their people, said Larry Yazzie, a Diné sculptor out of Dewey-Humboldt who is participating in the event.
“We’ve always been making things with our hands,” Yazzie said. “A long time ago, the things that we made were made to be used for ceremony. We weren’t making things to hang on the walls or anything like that. It was all for practical purposes.”
In addition to the typical bustling of the market, a special recognition ceremony was hosted by the museum’s staff in honor of its curator of anthropology, Sandy Lynch, on Saturday, July 9.
Lynch started the Prescott Indian Art Market 19 years ago and has served as its manager ever since. She intends to retire next year.
“Through her efforts, she has built [the Prescott Indian Art Market] into one of the finest in the Southwest,” Veil said.
The market continues Sunday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for museum members, and free for children 17 and younger.
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