August 28, 2012

Scene | Santa Fe Indian Market Booths

Last weekend I attended the Santa Fe Indian Market. And if you don't know about it, here's some fun facts for you:

Santa Fe Indian Market takes over the downtown Plaza area and comprises 14 square city blocks where it features 1,025 artists representing 160 tribes, nations and pueblos. A reported 125,000 visitors attended this year's Market. 

Yes, it is huge.

It is a place where I get to meet up with old friends, meet new friends, and be surrounded by thousands of creative minds. So, I like it.

The 'marketyness' aside (remember, people come here to sell and to buy), Indian Market nonetheless is a place where I get inspired, and I get to see, learn and experience new things. And I love seeing what new creative projects everyone is up to.

I ran into fellow Turtle Mountain dude Samuel LaFountain who is a jewelry rockstar. An award-winning artist, LaFountain always comes with new designs forged from some pretty wild materials (he's supposedly working with dinosaur bone and reptile (crocodile?) skins on new/new projects). 

I also got to meet THEE Jacinta and J'Shen Tsosie - you know, the Jacinta who made these rockin' beaded heels (below), AND she showed up wearing beaded bow earrings:

Market is never complete without a visit to Penny Singer's booth. Singer keeps her booth fully stocked, always, with tons of menswear, jackets, and cool accessories like purses and clutches:

Singer's red vest (above right) won Third Place in the Native American Clothing Contest (more info on this competition to come in a future post).

I was also very excited to meet Jamie and Sandra Okuma - both are absolutely amazing artists, and both are on the Beyond Buckskin Boutique site. Jamie won the Best of Show award (the ribbon that goes to the best of the best) this year for her miniature soft sculpture doll of a turn-of-the-century Lakota woman cradling a baby. The figure featured intricate quillwork on such a small scale that one judge noted the folding of the quillwork was akin to folding atoms. We're talking itty bitty intricate work that took years to finish (you can't even really see the quillwork in this photo because it's that tiny):

Amazing. But then, on our way running to grab some lunch, we bumped into filmmaker Razelle Benally (who I'm trying to lasso into some projects with Beyond Buckskin), and so naturally we had to strike our 'super cool peeps' pose, and flash the Melissa Cody swag:

After lunch we had to zip back (yes there was lots of running) to the Sealaska Pavillion and to the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (more to come on these), and en route we caught the super fresh booth of Navajo artist JT Willie. Throughout his designs, Willie combines Navajo silversmith work with Great Lakes floral beaded motifs with Plains and Plateau 8-band trade cloth wool styles. Willie also won Best of Class at the Native American Clothing Contest (Contemporary fashion) for the green dress pictured in the back of his booth (more to come). Willie is also a Beyond Buckskin artist, and we hope to expand his section on the site in the coming weeks.

And then I was happy to come around the corner and catch Sho Sho Esquiro and Summer Peters sharing a cool booth space. Sho Sho had new dresses on display (two of which she submitted for the Native American Clothing Contest) and Summer was showing off her award-winning beadwork, including a beaded portrait of Osage ballerina Maria Tallchief which won an Honorable Mention award:

I finally made my way over to David Sloan's booth where he was displaying his original 2D work, but also his fashion - including jewelry, tees, and bandanas. Here, I got a picture of Andrea Preston taking a picture of D.Sloan. Cool kids rock.

These are just a small fraction of the amazing artists who participated in the Santa Fe Indian Market this year. Unfortunately, even though I was doing a lot of running to and fro, I didn't make it to all the the booths, and I completely missed an entire row! Besides the hundreds of booths, there are also many gallery shows and other events that I checked out and will be posting about in the days to come, so stay tuned.

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