Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Recycling and the Indian Market experience

by Guest User | Jun 27, 2012
Normally, when it comes to museums I can typically be found frowsily hunched over a large stack of books or inching in to scrutinize a painting’s every brushstroke (sometimes close enough to make every security guard in the building wince and shift uncomfortably). Yep, I’m that person. However, this past weekend I volunteered at the Eiteljorg Museum as it embarked upon its 20th annual Indian Market and Festival (IMF). The event, held in Indianapolis’ Military Park, is touted as the nation’s third largest Indian market. 

Thankfully, this event brought me and many others out to enjoy the sun, Native music, dance, artwork and food. Akin to other Indian Markets, the Eiteljorg’s IMF presents Native artists a unique opportunity to explain their art and reach an otherwise distant clientele. Out of the 160 artists, over 60 tribes were represented from across the country. For me, meeting the artists was the most exciting part. It was so fascinating to hear their stories and discover where they find inspiration for each piece. Works of art varied in range between traditional to contemporary paintings, pottery, jewelry, musical instruments, and sculpture. 

The interpersonal interaction is what makes this event so special. Sometimes it’s easy for nerdettes like me to forget that a casual conversation with a living artist can be far more educational than rigorous erudition. Immersion into the culture of Native people and interaction with contemporary artists can help decode ancient art history. More importantly, events like the Eiteljorg’s IMF can incite the immersion of Native culture into mainstream culture and give the residents of Indianapolis a culturally-enriching experience that may not otherwise be readily available. 

Secondarily, as an environmentally conscious individual, I was thrilled to see that the Eiteljorg had partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to install more than 40 trash and recycling collection bins throughout Military Park. Recycling efforts are becoming increasingly valuable to the city of Indianapolis as residents realize the significance recycling can have on not only reducing their carbon footprint but also on attracting companies to relocate to the Circle City. 

Chelsea J. Airey, development intern


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