Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Indian Market and Festival | Buck by painter Ryan Lee Smith

by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg festivals and markets manager | Jun 23, 2015
 As Indian Market and Festival draws near, we’d like to tell you about some of the things we’re extra excited about.

Number 1: The 1491s
Number 2: Twin Rivers 
Number 3: Down Feathers and Masks! 
Number 4: Stories!
Number 5: Buck!

2012 program

2012 image by potter Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo)

Each year, we choose an image to represent Indian Market and Festival. Usually it is a piece of art from one of the participating market artists. The process of choosing the image can be a little stressful. The image needs to wear a lot of hats; appearing in ads, on t-shirts, party invitations and the program cover. It also needs to convey the feeling of Indian Market and Festival – the celebration of Native American art and cultures. 

The first thing we do is to identify the artists who received the top scores in the selection process. Then we gather a group of museum staff from curatorial, marketing, the store, festivals and exhibitions to talk about any market themes or goals that need to be addressed with the image. Simple, right?  


 2014 image by jeweler Jimmie Harrison (Navajo/Diné)

Mostly, we want to honor the wonderful artists who come to our show, while featuring something really pretty/fun/interesting that our visitors will want to wear. Which brings us back to our 2015 signature image, Buck.

 BUCK-ryan lee smith
2015 image by painter Ryan Lee Smith (Cherokee/Choctaw)

Ryan Lee Smith’s work covers a broad range of representation and intuitive Native abstracts, representing the collective pride of Native people. A pride, he says, that he has experienced first-hand in the communal aspect of Natives helping Natives, working together for the health and future of the community. The Cherokee word for this selflessness and willingness to help each other is pronounced ‘Ga-Du-Gi’. This is a very powerful word in the Cherokee language and an even more powerful act. Smith feels there is a drumbeat within all Native peoples compelling them to remain resilient and proud. He strives to capture this pure and innate pride. His paintings are meant to represent his feelings not only toward Native pride, but also to encompass the true character of Native American people.

 For more information about what’s happening Indian Market weekend, and to purchase advance sale tickets, visit Indian Market & Festival info


Before the kick-off of Indian Market, the Eiteljorg will host two parties Friday, June 26 – the official IMF Preview Party and the AfterGlow party featuring the 1491s and DJ Kyle Long.

Preview Party Details
5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: $90/members $100/non-members
An exclusive first-look shopping opportunity and reception. Attendees get free weekend passes to Indian Market and Festival.

IMF AfterGlow
9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Price: Free for AGAVE members and $15/non-members and non-Indian Market and Festival Preview Party attendees
Grab a glow stick and join us for beverages, dancing, desserts and entertainment by the 1491s and DJ Kyle Long. Interact with artists in a relaxed setting along the canal and underneath The Sails of the Eiteljorg. Call (317) 275-1333 to make reservations.

Time, Tickets and Parking
- Indian Market and Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in White River State Park’s Military Park, just north of the museum in downtown Indianapolis.

- Discounted advanced tickets for the event are on sale at the Eiteljorg Museum, on the museum’s website and Marsh Supermarkets or by calling 1-800-622-2024.

- Advance sale tickets are $10. Tickets during the market are $12 at the gate. Kids 17 and under are FREE. Admission to the Eiteljorg is included.

- White River State Park underground garage next to the Eiteljorg Museum and IUPUI parking lots across from Military Park provides the most convenient and inexpensive parking for this event. Shuttles to and from the museum are available.

-Parking in the White River State Park garage will not be validated Indian Market weekend.

For even more information about what’s happening Indian Market weekend, and to purchase advance sale tickets, visit Indian Market & Festival info.


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