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News Release: Beautiful, compelling Native art recognized at Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival

More than $28,000 in prize money awarded to top artists; Justin Starr Hardridge wins Best of Show

Justin Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek Nation)
Raising the Sun

INDIANAPOLIS — At the 27th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival on June 22-23, Native American artists were awarded more than $28,000 in cash prizes as well as ribbons for art works they entered into juried competition. The Margot L. Eccles Best of Show award went to artist Justin Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek Nation) of Edmund, Okla., for his piece, Raising the Sun.

During the weekend, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis hosted 120 artists from more than 50 Native American or First Nations groups. Artists presented works from multiple disciplines, including jewelry, pottery, baskets, beadwork, carvings, paintings, weavings and cultural items. The Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival drew thousands of visitors who met the artists, purchased their art and enjoyed music, food and performances on museum grounds.

“Building support for today’s Native American artists and creating opportunities for artists and collectors to connect are central to the mission of the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “The artists’ beautiful works display boundless creativity and variety, contributing to the success of the Indian Market and Festival as an art market and cultural event over its 27 years,” he said.

Serving as judges of the art competition were experts in Native art: Pat Pruitt (Laguna Pueblo/Chiricahua Apache), Leah Mata Fragua (North Chumash) and Chris Pappan (Osage/Kaw/Cheyenne River Lakota). Awards for Best of Show and other special categories were presented June 22 during the Market Morning Breakfast, held under the Eiteljorg Museum’s outdoor shade structure, The Sails.

Monica Raphael (Anishinaabe/Sičangu Lakota)  
Nagamo – “She Sings”

The annual Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Awards are presented for art works the museum acquires during Indian Market and Festival to add to its permanent collections. This year, purchase awards went to four artists:

  • Monica Raphael (Anishinaabe/Sičangu Lakota) of Apache, Okla., for her quilled birchbark cuff bracelet, Nagamo – “She Sings”
  • Chholing Taha (Cree First Nations) of Anoka, Minn., for her Cree woman’s hood, Bluebirds Rising
  • Avis Charley (Spirit Lake Dakota/Navajo) of Temecula, Calif., for her ledger drawing, Hope 2020
  • Justin Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek Nation) of Edmund, Okla., for his painting Raising the Sun.

This year’s Indian Market and Festival featured for the first time a $5,000 cash prize for the artist whose work won the Margot L. Eccles Best of Show Award in the juried art competition. The award, which went to Hardridge, is supported by The Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. The award is named for the late Margot Eccles, a civic leader, philanthropist, art collector, Eiteljorg board member and past chair of Indian Market and Festival, who brought passion, vision and generosity to the annual event.

Chholing Taha (Cree First Nations)
Bluebirds Rising

In other annual awards at the 27th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival:

  • The Helen Cox Kersting Award is given to an artist whose work exemplifies the highest quality of execution and innovation within a traditional Native art medium. This year the award went to Darby Raymond-Overstreet (Navajo) of Santa Fe, N.M., for her woven piece, Lee Jones: American.
  • The Margot L. Eccles Youth Award encourages the next generation of young artists and this year it was presented to Aydrian Day (Anishinaabe/Ho-Chunk/Lakota) of Suttons Bay, Mich., for his beadwork jewelry, Galaxy.

The 2019 Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival Best of Division award recipients in each category are:

Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Photography
Justin Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek Nation) of Edmund, Okla., Raising the Sun

Fine Art Sculpture
Pahponee (Kickapoo) of Elizabeth, Colo., Buffalo In Summer

Christal Ratt (Anishinaabe) of Kitigan Zibi, Quebec, Canada, Miinadjiishkeh – Picking Blueberries

Monica Raphael (Anishinaabe/Sičangu Lakota) of Apache, Okla., Nagamo – “She Sings”

Amanda Lucario (Acoma Pueblo) of Casa Blanca, N.M., Guidance Through Life

Jessica Lomatewama (Hopi) of Hotevilla, Ariz., Ceremonial Dress – Belt

Weavings and Textiles
Chholing Taha (Cree First Nations) of Anoka, Minn., Kohkom’s Garden

Cultural Items
James Day (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa) of Suttons Bay, Mich., Waabiigwanag

Katrina Mitten (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma) of Huntington, Ind., Missing Murdered But Not Forgotten

This year, the work chosen as the Indian Market and Festival signature piece was Desert Monsoons by Gilmore Scott (Diné) of Montezuma Creek, Utah, that became the design for commemorative Indian Market T-shirts.

Images of the winning artworks in all categories are on the Eiteljorg Museum’s Facebook page, at this link:

A complete list of award recipients in all categories is at this link:

Avis Charley (Spirit Lake Dakota / Navajo)
Hope 2020

First held in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has grown into one of the top Native American art markets in the nation. For artists to be eligible to participate, all entries must be handmade within the past two years by the artist entering the piece. Artists are chosen through a juried selection; and entries must be available for purchase during the Indian Market and Festival. To ensure authenticity of artwork, all artists must provide documentation confirming they are members of a state or federally recognized tribe under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

About the Eiteljorg Museum
Celebrating 30 years of telling amazing stories in 2019, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the Indigenous peoples of North America. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg Museum, founded in 1989, was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.




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