Above: Beautiful jewelry from Native Treasures featured artist, Maria Samora. Photograph courtesy Native Treasures.
CAN'T WAIT FOR August’s Santa Fe Indian Market? Get an early start this month with events featuring many of that event’s best artists. In Bernalillo, just north of Albuquerque, the 2018 Teepee Celebration and Indian Arts Festival takes over Loretto Park May 5–6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sara Chadwick, a longtime dealer of Native arts, hosted her first event last year, with 78 booths clustered outside her Sara’s Southwest Gallery, at the town’s El Zócalo Plaza. Interest mushroomed from Montana to Oklahoma, and this year more than 100 artists will join the party. “We’re considered an incubator market by the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” Chadwick says. Along with food booths, she plans to host a “Grandmothers’ Tent” to honor the forebears of the artists and to hear their stories (505-867-9667, bernalilloindianfestival.com).
Close out the month with the annual Native Treasures art show, May 25–27, a benefit for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, at the Santa Fe Convention Center. More than 200 museum-caliber artists bring their best pottery, jewelry, glass, paintings, sculptures, carvings, and weavings. Artist demos, music, and food are part of the show, for which Taos Pueblo jeweler Maria Samora reigns as this year’s Living Treasure. Her metalwork pieces alternate chunky, swirling, and open-air designs with a pronounced contemporary flair. Tempted? Take a peek at mariasamora.com. The Saturday early-bird sale starts with an 8 a.m. champagne breakfast (505-982-7799, nativetreasures.org).
Sandwiched between those events is the May 13 opening of two exhibits (through October 7) at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, in Santa Fe. Memory Weaving: Works by Melanie Yazzie bursts with prints, paintings, and sculptures by the Navajo artist, whose work blends whimsically stylized figures, Diné iconography, and sobering newspaper accounts of conditions in Indian Country. As head of the printmaking department at the University of Colorado, she leans toward teaching and mentorship—keep your eyes peeled for potential learning opportunities.
The work of fellow Navajo artist, silversmith Norbert Peshlakai, takes center stage in Peshlakai Vision. Often credited with creating a new art form by mimicking pottery designs in his intricate silverwork, he customizes up to 10 stamps for each body part on a Mimbres rabbit. Peshlakai branches out into other works as well, including a man’s tie made of interlocking silver bands adorned with spirit creatures (505-982-4636, wheelwright.org).