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Pretty things

by Jaq Nigg | Jun 19, 2012

Indian Market and Festival is an exciting time for the Eiteljorg staff and, dare I say, Indianapolis. There's a family reunion atmosphere with the artists, all lovely people and mind bogglingly talented. There are Indian tacos to be enjoyed and dazzling performances to watch. Of course, there is also the shopping. Since working for not-for-profit and being a big time art collector don’t generally go hand in hand, over the years I’ve purchased a couple small things that have special meaning to me: a necklace from Mary Tafoya (Santo Domingo), a ring from Veronica Benally (Navajo/Diné), a bentwood box from David A. Boxley (Tsimshian). It is not uncommon, come Sunday afternoon of market, to find myself doing what I call Indian Market Math, which is me trying to figure out how to afford something well beyond my means. That’s why it’s extra exciting this year that we have two book signings on Saturday that will allow me to have something pretty to look at without breaking the bank.

Contemporary Native American Artists
Author Suzanne Deats and photographer Kitty Leaken

This book lovingly captures some of the finest Native American southwestern artists and their artwork. Many of the top artists of the Native American art world are brought together through stunning photography and intimate portrayals of their lives and art. There’s no other way to say it: It’s gorgeous.

The really cool thing is that many of the featured artists are regulars at our market and will sign the book along with Deats and Leaken. Jody Naranjo, Joe Cajero, Jr., Althea Cajero, Adrian Wall, Penny Singer, Melanie Kirk-Lente and Michael Lente will all be here, plus a special guest appearance by Kevin Red Star! That list kind of blows me away. These are some of the top Native artists working today. They signify the past, present and future of the American Indian art world.

 Native American Bolo Ties–Vintage and Contemporary Artistry
by Diana Pardue with Norman L. Sandfield and published in association with the Heard Museum

Okay, I didn’t know that states could adopt official neckwear. But it doesn’t surprise me that Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were the first to do so. Those people are serious about their western wear. They’ve borrowed the bolo tie from their grandpas and are bringing it back in style.

Native American Bolo Ties is a fun book that explores the history and revival of the bolo tie, which represents the casual nature and rugged image of the West. Bolos emerged in the 1940s to counter the formality of business suits. Native American artists began producing bolo ties at the height of America’s fascination with cowboy and western culture.

 This is the first time that the variety of Native American made bolo ties has been featured in a publication. Collector Norman L Sandfield will be here to talk about the history and artistry of bolo ties and he’ll showcase pieces from his own collection. He’ll present examples of bolo ties – both vintage and contemporary – created by Native American artists. Some are whimsical, some exquisitely beautiful. All of them – incorporating a variety of styles and materials – are fun.

 

 

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