This weekend, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art will celebrate its 30th annual Indian market and festival in person for the first time since the pandemic began.
Brought to you by Indiana Corn Marketing Council and the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the festival is expected to include live music, performances and demonstrations, food vendors and Native American performers from across the United States and Canada, said Bryan Corbin, the museum’s public relations manager.
“It’s truly one of Indianapolis’ most iconic cultural events,” he said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for #1 to meet the artists in person and purchase their art, bring the art home, and learn more about Native American cultures.”
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The festival also coincides with the grand reopening of the Eiteljorg Native American Galleries, closed since September 2021 for renovations.
Corbin said the Indian market will feature about 140 Native American artists representing about 60 different tribes and cultures. Jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints, sculptures, cultural objects and other types of decorative art will all be on display and available for purchase from these artists.
Shirley M. Brauker, a Native American performer from the Ottawa Tribe of the Little River Band and a resident of Coldwater, Mich., said she’s been frequenting the Indian market since her early days.
“Part of what I love about going there is the interaction with people because I get to explain things and talk about, you know, my art and the traditions “Brauker said. “And if there are stories that come with the art, I can tell people.”
Brauker has stated that his primary medium is pottery, including kiln, pit, and sawdust pottery. However, in addition to her pots of Odamin, or “berries of heart,” Brauker said she would sell ledger art, which she recently started making and describes as relying on documents. from the 1800s such as court records.
Ledger art is becoming more common among Plains and western Native American tribes, Brauker said. Brauker said she was able to put more detail into the stories she draws on old ledger documents, including contemporary issues such as missing and murdered Indigenous women, water quality and pipelines.
“In the books, I do a lot of stories, whether they’re of my tribe, or just the indigenous communities that tell so many stories,” she said. “It’s always interested me, so this is my way of representing that and keeping it alive.”
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Tim Blueflint, a third-generation multidimensional artist based in Northern California, said he was thrilled to reunite with new and old friends.
“They (the Eiteljorgs) help us and give us a platform,” he said, “to be able to promote our art, speak and teach our culture to people who may not have the opportunity. to talk about these things with Native Americans across the country, across North America.
Blueflint, who was previously artist-in-residence at the Eiteljorg, said he primarily creates contemporary Native American art flutes from exotic woods and hardwoods from around the world, incorporating some of his techniques and jewelry designs into work.
Over the past seven years, Blueflint said it has returned to its roots of designing jewelry using all-natural, gem-quality stones, sterling silver, 14- and 18-karat gold and Mokume. Gane. Blueflint’s jewelry and flutes will be on sale at the festival, he said.
Michelle Reed, co-founder and director of Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company and one of the festival’s many performers, said this was the company’s first year participating and performing at the Indian market and festival.
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“I think every opportunity we have as Indigenous people to show our art, to show our dance, to tell our stories, is just another opportunity to remind people that we’re still here,” said Reed. “We live the culture. We are not replicators, we are not reenactors. We are actually people who have evolved over time, just like other cultures and peoples.
Reed said Woodland Sky will perform several dances, including the Story of the Jingle Dress, the Eagle Dance – which is about how the eagle flies closest to the creator – the Shield Dance and the Dance of the hoop.
“Our goal is to really show the beauty of our culture,” Reed said. “A lot of people don’t even know that the native people are still here and thriving and, you know, doing these things that we do, and I think it’s important that we tell our stories in a way that makes people really interested in learning. about them.”
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If you go: Indian Market and Festival
The Indian Market and Festival will take place June 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the Eiteljorg Museum and outside on the grounds at 500 W Washington St.
Parking will be available for guests in the underground parking garage at White River State Park, accessible via West Washington Street. Pets and coolers will not be allowed inside the festival, according to the website.
Festival tickets are available in advance at bit.ly/3Qmyg7f for $15, or $20 at the door for non-members. Admission is free for children under 17. For museum members, tickets will be free for the member and $15 for two adult guests.
Contact IndyStar reporter Chloe McGowan at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @chloe_mcgowanxx.