Heard Museum fair features hundreds of Native artists

Lifestyle | 10 Feb |

Museum Guild is set to welcome more than 600 Native artists chosen through a juried selection process and over 10,000 guests for the 60th-Annual Indian Fair & Market. A nationally recognized event and the second largest Indian market in the country, the fair is a gathering place for art lovers and the community to celebrate and learn about Native arts and cultures.

The fair and market will be from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Museum members enjoy early admission at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The artists, both emerging and critically acclaimed, represent over 100 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and Canadian First Nations. They will show and sell pieces including baskets, beadwork, quillwork, jewelry, lapidary, paintings, drawings, photography, graphics, personal attire, pottery, pueblo carvings, sculpture, weaving and textiles as well as other artistic media.

“Since 1959, this family-friendly event has provided opportunities for American Indian artists to showcase their work to visitors who come from all over the country,” fair chair Shelley Mowry said. “It is a unique chance for guests to buy one-of-a-kind art pieces, meet the artists, and support American Indian art and artists. Artists keep 100% of the proceeds from their sales.”

Festivities begin each morning with an opening ceremony that includes the Presentation of Colors by First Nations Warrior Society Color Guard led by Michael Smith (Diné), the Native American Flag Song performed by Thunder Springs Drum Group (Hopi/Pima) and a blessing by the 71st Naabeehó Bich’eekį’ (Miss Navajo) Crystal Littleben. 

Live performances throughout the weekend will include the Cha’Bii’Tu Apache Crown Dance Group; Native flutist and world-champion hoop dancer, Tony Duncan (Apache/Arikara and Hidatsa); dancer Kenneth Shirley (Diné); and singer, flutist, dancer, drum maker, artist and champion Hoop and Grass Dancer, Montee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Chocktaw). Grammy-winning Canyon Records is sponsoring the Courtyard Stage from its renowned list of performers, including Kenneth Shirley (Diné dancer); Clark Tenakhongva (traditional Hopi singer), Xavier Quijas Yxayotl (Aztec), Ken Duncan, Sr. (Apache storyteller), Jonah Littlesunday (Navajo flute), and Jay Begaye (Navajo traditional singer). The Fair will end Sunday afternoon with a rousing closing ceremony on the grassy amphitheater. 

Kids from 1 to 101 will enjoy crafts and storytelling with Violet Duncan featuring Kehewin Native Dance Theatre. Violet is a children’s book author, illustrator and former Miss Indian World who combines traditional dance styles and storytelling.

The all-day event offers food options from a savory hamburger, hot dog, wrap, or salad prepared with Southwest flair at the food pavilion to fry bread, kettle corn or gelato at the food booths. Diners may also enjoy a special menu at the Heard’s Courtyard Café or grab ‘n go items at the Coffee Cantina.

The Heard Museum Guild also will host the annual Best of Show reception on Friday, March 2, to announce prizes totaling $60,000 and honor winning artists in the juried art competition. The evening includes a fashion show featuring fair artists, including Loren Aragon, Phoenix Fashion Week’s 2018 Designer of the Year, Nanibaa Beck, Maya Stewart, Summer Peters and many more. Guests will enjoy small plates, dessert and beverages under twinkling lights in the historic Heard Museum’s courtyard.

For more information and to purchase event tickets, visit the Indian Fair & Market website or call 602-252-8840.

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