08 Jun Favorite artists return and new features enliven the 26th annual Indian Market & Festival
Indian Market is a fascinating opportunity to meet Native artists from many cultures across the U.S. and Canada.
One of the region’s most memorable art and cultural experiences, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival will be celebrated the weekend of June 23-24. This year will feature lively performances, talented artists, a new Market Morning Breakfast on Saturday morning and much more.
Now in its 26th year, Indian Market and Festival is a fascinating opportunity for visitors to meet artists from more than 50 Native American cultures from across the U.S. and Canada. Seasoned art collectors and first-time market-goers alike will appreciate the personal interactions and wide variety of artwork represented, including jewelry, pottery, basketry, carvings, sculptures, paintings, prints and other fine art.
Held on the beautiful Eiteljorg grounds, Indian Market and Festival features artists’ booths both outside and inside the museum. Cultural experiences are a big part of the weekend, and this year’s live performances include music, dancing and storytelling.
“Visitors often say Indian Market and Festival broadens their cultural horizons by allowing them and their families to experience Native American art for the first time and meet the exceptional artists,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “Experienced art collectors always enjoy the opportunity to purchase Native art close to home without traveling out West. Non-collectors bask in the memorable market and festival experience. And returning artists appreciate the Hoosier hospitality and the opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends and meet new collectors and fans.”
Intricate Native jewelry from many cultures is sold at the market.
After a modest start in 1993, Indian Market and Festival now is considered one of the top Native art markets in the nation. Artists are invited to participate through a juried selection and must be members of a federally or state recognized tribe. Judges award ribbons and cash prizes to winners in multiple divisions.
Each of the past 25 years, a work of art shown at Indian Market was chosen as that year’s signature image, featured on commemorative Indian Market T-shirts. For the 26th market, the judging committee this year chose not one but three signature images: Purest of Love by Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo), Tu’utuli by Gabriel Ayala (Pascua Yaqui) and Four Ravens by Gordon Coons (Ojibwa/Ottawa/Chippewa). Three T-shirt designs depicting the signature images will be available through the Museum Store.
Market-goers can meet Native artists and purchase their beautiful art.
Also new this year is the Market Morning Breakfast, held at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 23, for early birds who want to meet the artists in a more relaxed setting before big crowds arrive. Reservations are required for the Saturday breakfast; contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.275.1316 for details.
For the general public, Indian Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, June 23-24. Adult tickets are $15 at the gate. Advance tickets can be ordered online for $13 at www.eiteljorg.org or by calling 317.636.WEST (9378). Youth ages 17 and under are free at Indian Market. For Eiteljorg Museum members, free admission to the market is available for the individual named on the membership card, but the admission fee will apply for their non-member adult guests.
Tickets to Indian Market includes museum admission, so plan to take advantage of the air-conditioning, Museum Café, beautiful galleries and special exhibitions The Reel West, Interwoven and Harry Fonseca: The Art of Living. Parking is available in the White River State Park underground garage while spaces last. Popular food vendors return, and artist demonstrations and art-making opportunities for the entire family will be available both days.
Performers on the Indian Market Stage, June 23-24
Classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala (Pascua Yaqui) performs classical music, jazz and flamenco and has released several albums. From Tucson, Arizona, Ayala has performed at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and won numerous music industry awards. Ayala also is a fine artist and will
be showing his work at Indian Market. He performs at 11:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. both June 23 and 24.
Singer-songwriter Kalyn Fay (Cherokee) is part of the vibrant folk music scene in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has made an impression with her first album, a mix of country, folk and rock original compositions about her life and journey. She performs at 10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. both June 23 and 24.
Traditional dancer Dana Warrington (Prairie Band of Potawatomi/Menominee) also is an award-winning visual artist who creates quillwork and beadwork. His piece Family Traditions won the Best of Show award at last year’s Indian Market. A featured dance performer, Warrington has won several championships and creates his own dance regalia. He performs at 1:15 p.m. both June 23 and 24.
Storyteller Tchin (Narragansett) is an award-winning metalsmith, flute-maker, educator, folklorist, musician and culture-bearer. Through the art of oral tradition, Tchin will share stories passed down through generations. He performs at 12:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. both June 23 and 24.
Entertainer Buddy Big Mountain (Mohawk of Kahnawake Tribe of Canada) is a master puppeteer who blends his own grassroots style of comedy while sharing knowledge of his American Indian heritage. He performs at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. both June 23 and 24.
To see the Indian Market and Festival entertainment performance schedule, click here.
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Storyteller magazine.