News Release: Native art and cultures celebrated at 31st annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival

Work by artists in high demand at market where $38,000 in prize money was awarded

Kelly Church (Gun Lake Tribe) of Hopkins, Michigan

When the Stars & Dawn Collide, 2023
9 x 4 7/8 inches
Black ash plaited woven with fine silver overlay loops, tobacco offering tied on top, and beads on velvet
2023 Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award

INDIANAPOLIS — The 31st annual Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival was celebrated June 24-25, with more than 4,000 guests enjoying performances and shopping for exquisite art from 122 Native artists from 60 cultures across the U.S. and Canada. This was one of the largest groups of artists to participate in Indian Market and Festival in a decade, cementing the market’s reputation nationally and regionally as one of the major cultural events in downtown Indianapolis each summer.

Artists showed and sold works from multiple disciplines, including jewelry, pottery, basketry, beadwork, carvings, paintings, weavings and cultural items. Visitors could engage with the artists at their booths inside the Eiteljorg Museum and on the grounds, purchase their art and enjoy music, dance and cultural performances during the weekend. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance were the 2023 presenting sponsors of Indian Market and Festival. Attendance was up about 8 percent from 2022.

“The 31st annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival was an amazing celebration of Native arts and cultures, featuring some longtime artists whom experienced collectors consistently seek out each year, as well as some exciting young artists who represent the future of the market,” Eiteljorg President and CEO Kathryn Haigh said. “The Eiteljorg staff, volunteers and Board members went the extra mile to make the event a positive experience for artists as well as returning market-goers and first-time guests.”

Many artists entered their works into a juried competition. A panel of three experts in Native art judged the competition, through which $38,000 in cash prizes were awarded, along with ribbons. The museum presented awards for Best of Show and other categories June 24 during the Market Morning Breakfast, held under the Eiteljorg’s outdoor shade structure, The Sails, with artists and the market’s most loyal supporters as guests.

The annual Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award is presented for works the museum acquires during Indian Market to add to the its permanent collections. This year, two artists received the purchase award: Kelly Church (Gun Lake Tribe) for a basket titled When the Stars & Dawn Collide, and Aydrian James Day (Anishinaabe / Hochunk / Lakota) for a beadwork piece titled Aadizookewin the Storyteller. Aydrian is the first artist in the youth division to win an Eiteljorg purchase award.

This year, the artist whose work won the Margot L. Eccles Best of Show Award received a $7,500 cash prize: Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan), for a doll she created out of natural materials, including seal fur, mammoth ivory, whale baleen and stone, titled Let Me Tell You a Story. Supported by The Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund (a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation), the Best of Show 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.

Here are other annual awards presented at the 31st annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival:

Raynard Scott (Diné [Navajo]), Dinetah-Poly

  • 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’s award, which carries a $1,000 prize, went to Raynard Scott (Diné [Navajo]) for a mixed-media piece, Dinetah-Poly.

Aydrian James Day (Anishinaabe / Hochunk / Lakota) of Suttons Bay, Michigan

Aadizookewin the Storyteller
Great Lakes style bandolier bag beaded on white crushed velvet and smoked elk hide with size 11 true-cut and vintage seed beads; adorned with brass sequins, yarn tassels and jingle cones

45 ½ x 13 ¼ x ½ inches
2023 Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award with funds provide by anonymous donors

  • The Margot L. Eccles Youth Award encourages the next generation of young artists ages 17 and younger. Thirteen-year-old Aydrian James Day (Anishinaabe / Hochunk / Lakota) of Suttons Bay, Michigan, won for his beadwork piece, Aadizookewin the Storyteller, which also received one of the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Awards.

The Friends of Indian Market and Festival sponsored the awards, which included cash prizes for the best entry in each division, as well as for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entries in multiple categories comprising a division. The 2023 Indian Market and Festival Best of Division award recipients in each category are:

David Martin (Pokagon Potawatomi), Clarence White, Pokagon Elder

  • Paintings, Drawings, Photography and Prints: David Martin (Pokagon Potawatomi) of South Bend, Indiana, for his painting Clarence White, Pokagon Elder.

David Farnham (Onondaga), Owl Spirit

  • Sculpture: David Farnham (Onondaga) of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada, for Owl Spirit.

Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan), Let Me Tell You a Story

  • Carvings and Dolls: Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan) of Gallipolis, Ohio, for Let Me Tell You a Story, the piece which also won the Best of Show Award.


Tonya June Rafael (Navajo),  Purse with chain-linked strap

  • Jewelry: Tonya June Rafael (Navajo) of Thoreau, New Mexico, for Purse with chain-linked strap.

Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation), Mississippian Bat

  • Pottery: Crystal Hanna (Cherokee Nation) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Mississippian Bat Bowl.
  • Basketry: Kelly Church (Gun Lake Tribe) of Hopkins, Michigan, for When the Stars & Dawn Collide, which also won one of the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Awards.

Leah Mata Fragua (Northern Chumash, 1.6 Degrees

  • Weavings and Textiles: Leah Mata Fragua (Northern Chumash) of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, for 1.6 Degrees.

Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan), Beauty from Within

  • Cultural Items: Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan) for Beauty from Within.

Salisha Old Bull (Salish / Crow), The Matriarch

  • Beadwork: Salisha Old Bull (Salish / Crow) of Arlee, Montana, for a cradleboard titled The Matriarch.
  • Innovative Arts: Raynard Scott (Diné [Navajo]) of Sanders, Arizona, for Dinetah-Poly, which also won the Kersting award.

The signature image for the 31st annual Indian Market and Festival depicts a quillwork and beadwork bag, created by artist Monica Jo Raphael (Anishinaabe / Sičáŋğu Lakota), titled Nuh-Mah-Nuh Daawina Akiin (Homelands of the Comanche People). The image appeared on commemorative Indian Market and Festival T-shirts and tote bags.

This year was the final Indian Market and Festival during the tenure of Eiteljorg President and CEO Emeritus John Vanausdall, who retired June 30 after nearly 27 years at the museum. “To see Indian Market and Festival grow and improve each year has been remarkable, and we have cherished our friendships with the Native artists and performers,” Vanausdall said. “Indian Market and Festival has raised the profile of Native art across the region, and working with the staff, volunteers and Board in presenting the market each year is one of the highlights of my time at the museum.”

In addition to presenting sponsors the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance, the 31st annual Indian Market and Festival was sponsored by the Margot L. Eccles Arts and Culture Fund, a CICF fund; Raymond James and Associates in Indiana; OneAmerica; and the Penrod Society.

Two longtime Indian Market and Festival artists who died in the past year were remembered during the Market Morning Breakfast on June 24. Shirley M. Brauker (Little River Band of Odawa), who died last Nov. 22 at age 72, was renowned for her Woodland-style carved-and-cut-out pottery technique. She participated in every market from 1993 to 2022. Benjamin Harjo Jr. (Seminole / Absentee Shawnee), who died May 20 at age 77, was a painter and printmaker. His artwork Coyote and the Hummer was the signature image for the 9th Indian Market and Festival in 2001.

First held in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has grown into one of the top Native art markets in the nation. Artists must be enrolled members of a federally or state-recognized tribe or members of a First Nation to participate in the market; and their entries must be in compliance with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, handmade within the past two years, and available for purchase during the market.

About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for 34 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native 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.

Watch a local TV news story about Indian Market and Festival (in which Aydrian James Day is interviewed) on WISH-TV8 in Indianapolis at this link:

Eiteljorg Museum Media Contacts

Bryan Corbin
Public Relations Manager

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications

Brooke Sullivan
Digital Marketing Specialist