24 May News Release: Eiteljorg Virtual Indian Market features 100 Native artists, performances June 14-28
Purchase beautiful artworks online, see Grammy winner Joanne Shenandoah and other performers
Roberta Begaye, (Diné (Navajo) untitled, 2019, Acrylic on canvas stretched over a wood frame
INDIANAPOLIS –The Eiteljorg Museum’s 29th annual Indian Market and Festival this year will be a virtual experience, where guests can shop online for beautiful jewelry, pottery, paintings and other artworks created by 100 Native American and First Nations artists from the U.S. and Canada. Running from June 14 to 28, the Virtual Indian Market features music, dance performances and cultural presentations, including Grammy Award-winning musician Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida).
This year’s event is entirely free. Eiteljorg.org/IndianMarketandFestival is the online hub to shop for Native artworks directly from the artists, enjoy the performances, download family activities and learn more about Native artists and their cultures.
First held in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has a national reputation as one of the nation’s top Native art markets. Artists are invited to participate through a juried selection and must be members of a federally or state recognized tribe. Many of the artists also submit their pieces for judging as part of the juried art competition. Ribbons and cash prizes are presented to winning artists in multiple divisions. In past years, nearly $25,000 in prize money has been awarded to artists.
Victoria McKinney, (Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama) Past Time Patterns, 2018, Pottery
“The Eiteljorg Virtual Indian Market presents an outstanding opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind, hand-made fine art – conveniently, from the comfort of home – while supporting Native American artists in their artistic careers,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “Cultural experiences, including Native American music and dance performances and storytelling, are important parts of Virtual Indian Market.”
Fans can find a complete schedule and watch all the free performances at Eiteljorg.org/IndianMarketandFestival. This year’s performers include:
Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida); image by Jane Feldman
- Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida), Grammy Award-winning musician who performs a mix of original compositions and traditional songs on acoustic guitar
- Bizhiki Culture and Dance Company, whose performances include traditional and contemporary dance and song, with a presentation on the impact of colonization on tribal communities
- Randy Kemp (Chocktaw/Mvskoke-Creek/Euchee), an artist, storyteller and musician who educates audiences while he entertains
- Innastate, an Indigenous reggae/rock band from Santa Fe, N.M., who bring a unique brand of music.
At the same webpage, guests also can find downloadable family activities to make artwork at home. This year’s commemorative Indian Market T-shirt, featuring the artwork When Prayers Hit by Avis Charley (Spirit Lake Dakota/Diné), is available through the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store.
All details, including information about artists, artworks and prices, are found at Eiteljorg.org/IndianMarketandFestival, where market-goers can sign up for updates in advance to receive the latest information.
Gilmore Scott, (Diné (Navajo) Ma’ii Bizo, bahané (Coyote’s Star Story), 2019, Acrylic
In a typical year, Indian Market is an in-person event known for its festival atmosphere – with live performances and artists selling their art for one weekend on the Eiteljorg grounds – that thousands of people attend. In February, due to pandemic public health guidelines in effect at the time, the Eiteljorg Museum decided to hold a two-week-long virtual market this year for the safety of artists and market-goers alike. Many of the artists live in distant states or Canadian provinces, and expressed their preference for a virtual market in 2021 rather than leaving their home communities for an in-person event. Eiteljorg staff also carefully studied other Native art markets that successfully have gone virtual, including the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix, to refine this year’s virtual format. Next year, the Eiteljorg Museum plans to hold the 30th annual Indian Market and Festival as an in-person event in June 2022, if public health circumstances allow.
The virtual 29th annual Indian Market and Festival is supported by the Indy Arts and Culture Restart and Resilience Fund, an Arts Council of Indianapolis program made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc. Other sponsors include the Margot L. Eccles Arts and Culture Fund (a CICF Fund), Arts Midwest, BMO Harris Bank, the Care Institute Group, Inc., and the Friends of Indian Market and Festival. Bizhiki Culture and Dance Company’s appearance is supported in part by a grant from the Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performance Touring Fund, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A product page from the Virtual Indian Market webpage, Eiteljorg.org/IndianMarketandFestival
About the Eiteljorg Museum
For artists to be eligible to participate in the Indian Market and Festival, each artist submitted images of their work, related documentation and went through a juried selection process. To ensure authenticity of artwork, all artists provide documentation confirming they are members of a state or federally recognized tribe under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.
A cultural pillar for 32 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.
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Editor’s note: Read this article about Virtual Indian Market and Festival in the June/July 2021 issue of Native American Art magazine:
Native American Art Magazine – Issue #33 – Virtual Storytelling