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Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on Memorial Day weekend 2014. The Native American art show and sale that benefits the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe has become one of the most important Indian art shows in the U.S.
More than 200 museum-quality artists from over 40 tribes and pueblos will showcase and sell their pottery, jewelry, glass, paintings, sculpture, carvings, textiles and other art, May 24-25 at the Santa Fe Convention Center.
The show has grown enormously since its humble beginnings in a tent on Museum Hill. By 2009, it had outgrown that space and moved to the Santa Fe Convention Center. Over the years, Native Treasures has raised $700,000 to mount more than 20 exhibits at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) and is now the primary funding source for exhibits at the museum. While the museum receives state funds for operating expenses, all exhibition funding must be raised privately. Artists donate a portion of their sales to MIAC.
The show has also made a sizable economic impact for Native artists, with $3 million in art sales generated by 30,000 attendees since its inception. “This time of year had historically been a slow period for the artists between the Heard Market (in Phoenix) in March and the Santa Fe Indian Market in August,” said Karen Freeman, Co-Chair of Native Treasures. “Native Treasures has provided an important incremental sales opportunity to carry them through the season.”
In honor of Native Treasures 10th anniversary, the Museum of Indian Art and Culture is organizing an exhibition with work by the artists whom have won the Native Treasures Living Treasure award. The Living Treasure award is given in recognition of artistic excellence and community service. These artists represent some of the biggest names in the Indian art world: Robert Tenorio, Mike Bird-Romero, Connie Tsosie Gaussoin, Upton Ethelbah, Jr., Lonnie Vigil, Roxanne Swentzell, Tony Abeyta, Tammy Garcia, and the 2014 recipients, Joe and Althea Cajero.
“We are thrilled to bring the works of these amazing artists together in one exhibit,” Della Warrior said (Otoe-Missouria), newly-appointed director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. “Whether their work is more traditional or more contemporary, they all share an exceptional talent.”
For more information, visit nativetreasures.org.