Thursday, March 11, 2010

Indian Fair and Market

We are now back in one of our favorite RV Parks--Pioneer RV Park just north of Phoenix.

One of our first stops was the Heard Museum. Described as "One of the nation’s premier centers of American Indian art and culture, the Heard Museum provides a beautiful setting to explore the rich traditions, vibrant art and distinctive cultures of the Southwest’s first people."
The purpose of this visit to the museum was to attend the 52nd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market--one of Arizona’s most significant cultural events. "The Indian Fair and Market combines innovative new artists and activities with the timeless traditions of the Southwest."

The Fair is a world-acclaimed festival that draws nearly 20,000 visitors and more than 700 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful American Indian artists. Among the guests are thousands of collectors from across the country who arrive early to be the first to purchase one-of-a-kind artwork like jewelry, pottery, baskets, katsina dolls, textiles, fine art and more.

We were able to see some of the artists at work as we walked around the booths and work areas. The great majority of the products were jewelry, and there were many beautiful pieces on display.

We could not imagine judging the weavings, pottery, jewelry, and basket competition. We saw several works that did not win recognition that we would be proud to display.

I don't know if these unique wooden pots were made from knots or burls, but I thought they looked beautiful.

“When I weave a basket, I share the living past of my people. I am able to pass on a traditional art form as well as stories of those who came before, intertwining the past, present, and future.” This is how Ronnie-Leigh Goeman of the Onandaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy located in Upstate New York. All of her basket sculptures are inspired and based on Iroquois culture and tradition. Each basket is elaborately woven, using ash, sweet grass, and embellished with moose hair and quill.

Her basket (above), which she identified as “Raising the Name, Children’s Naming Ceremony,” won second place in the category "Baskets: Non-traditional."

The theme of the fair is “Where Art Meets Entertainment.” Festival goers gathered on the grassy amphitheater to enjoy an array of American Indian music and dance performances.

Join us tomorrow for the entertainment.

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