News Release: Outstanding Native art recognized at Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival

News Release: Outstanding Native art recognized at Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival

Best of Show winner Leonard Gene (Navajo), left, is congratulated by Dana Warrington (Menominee/Prairie Band of Potawatomi), right, during the awards presentation June 23 at the 26th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — At the 26th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival on June 23-24, Native American artists were awarded nearly $16,000 in cash prizes as well as ribbons for art works they entered into competition. The Best of Show award went to Leonard Gene (Navajo) for his silver and turquoise piece, Evening Purse.

During the weekend, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis hosted more than 100 artists from 60 Native American tribes who showed their art, including jewelry, pottery, baskets, beadwork, carvings, paintings 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.

“The Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival creates opportunities for collectors and artists to connect and it builds support for today’s Native American artists,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “The beautiful art works the artists have created make a powerful impact on our market-goers, and have contributed to the success of the Indian Market and Festival during its 26 years.”

Serving as judges of the art competition were Ashley Holland (Cherokee) and Marita Hinds (Tesuque Pueblo). The awards for Best of Show and other special categories were presented Saturday morning, June 23, during the Market Morning Breakfast, held under the Eiteljorg Museum’s outdoor shade structure, The Sails. In other annual awards:

  • The 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 two artists: Summer Peters (Saginaw Ojibwe) for her beadwork piece, Yahbay, and Dana Warrington (Menominee/Prairie Band of Potawatomi), for his pipe bag, Menominee Medicine.Warrington also was one of the weekend’s onstage dance performers at the 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 goes to Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo) for her pottery piece, Metallic Butterflies.
  • The Margot L. Eccles Youth Award encourages the next generation of young artists and this year it was presented to Sequoia Anderson (Navajo) of Montello, Wisc., for her piece, River Moon.

The 2018 Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival Best of Division award recipients are:

Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Photography
Bryan Waytula (Cherokee of Oklahoma), of Sand Springs, Okla., We Stand as One

Fine Art Sculpture
Walter Torres (Pueblo of Acoma), of San Fidel, N.M., What is Knot to Love


Leonard Gene (Navajo) of Henderson, Nev., Evening Purse

Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo), of Albuquerque, N.M., Santa Clara Feast Day

Mike Dart (Cherokee Nation), of Stilwell, Okla., Four Winds

Weavings and Textiles
Rosie Taylor (Navajo), of Indian Wells, Ariz., Hand Bag

Cultural Items
Dana Warrington (Menominee/Prairie Band of Potawatomi) of Cherokee, N.C., Wapenonah

Summer Peters (Saginaw Ojibwe), of Tempe, Ariz., Yahbay

This year, three art works were chosen as the Indian Market and Festival signature pieces: Tu’utuli by Gabriel Ayala (Pascua Yaqui), Four Ravensby Gordon Coons (Ojibwa: Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) and Purest of Love by Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo). Each of the signature images became one of the three designs for commemorative Indian Market T-shirts.

Images of the winning artworks in 11 categories are on the Eiteljorg Museum’s Facebook page, at this link:

A complete list of award recipients in all categories and prize sponsors is at this link.

After a modest start in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has grown into one of the top Native American art markets in the nation. Artists are chosen through a juried selection; and for artists to be eligible to participate, all entries must be handmade within the past two years by the artist entering the piece. 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:
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The Eiteljorg is located on the Central Canal in White River State Park, at 500 West Washington St., Indianapolis.

Eiteljorg Museum Media Contacts:

Bryan Corbin
Public Relations Manager

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications

Hyacinth Rucker
Communications Coordinator