Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • 2013 Indian Market and Festival signature artist Todd Bordeaux

    by Todd Bordeaux, 2013 Indian Market & Festival signature artist | Jun 19, 2013

    2013 Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival signature artist, Todd Bordeaux writes about the importance of art.
    todd bordeaux
    I have a hard time saying that I create anything, for grandmother earth creates everything necessary for life. I rearrange natural, synthetic and found objects to mold beautiful, historical and sometimes controversial ideas into what is called fine art. There is no word for art in the traditional Lakota (Sioux) language, and my own understanding of art has no single, simple definition.

    I view art as a gift, a privilege and a responsibility to the ancient ones to carry on our original philosophy; our indigenous ideas of spirituality; and to correct historical inaccuracies. Having the opportunity to tell the stories of the original peoples of Turtle Island is truly inspirational. My fertility poles are one example of how my art communicates the teachings of our elders. Where today’s dominant culture is often male-centric, original indigenous philosophy revolved around honoring women with ceremonies for their health and the health of generations yet to come. The fertility pole contains amulets imbued with power representing all four genders acknowledging and honoring our homosexual, lesbian, and transgender brothers and sisters. These original teachings existed long before Columbus.  They are ancient ideas that today’s mainstream culture is just starting to accept. My work allows me to express new and ancient ideas; opening a pathway for humanity to evolve in a natural way. Art can help forge a strong and healthy culture.

    Art is also important for individual development. I view art as a way of constructing our own reality. When I complete a piece and a viewer sees and feels my intention—when they really get it—that interaction is illuminating and satisfying.  I hang photos of my grandmas and grandpas over my work space so they can see what I am doing and so that I remember and honor them. I want them to be proud of me; they influence all of my work. Wanting to impress our elders, our mother, father, our teachers, this is a childish bliss, yet very important for personal growth I believe this is achievable through the arts.

    Great art is the marker of great cultures. The ancient ones possessed incredible art unprecedented even today, and on such a grand scale it completely bewilders the mind. Studying it – some of it 10,000 years old – humbles and teaches me. It resonates for millennia. When we study ancient cultures, what do we look at? We look at their art. Generations from now they will study us by reviewing what artists create today. Art resonates... it lasts, remember that.

    Aho hecetu welo!   
    Todd LoneDog Bordeaux                        

    Todd Bordeaux was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is of German, Polish, and Sicangu Lakota heritage. He lives and creates on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation on the same homestead where his father, grandparents, great grandparents, and great great grandparents lived. Bordeaux states that art has changed his life, and since starting his fine art career at age 30 he has won 50 major awards in juried shows, including the prestigious Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award in 2012.

    Stop by to visit – and have a deep philosophical conversation – with Todd at Indian Market and Festival, June 22-23.


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  • Insider tips for Indian Market and Festival

    by Claire Quimby, Eiteljorg festivals and markets intern | Jun 18, 2013

    It’s the final countdown to Indian Market and Festival on Saturday and Sunday June 22 and 23, and the tempo around the Eiteljorg festivals department is rapidly gaining speed. Surrounded by all the behind-the-scenes preparations, I suppose I ought to feel like an expert, but I’ve never actually been to Indian Market. I know I’m not the only one, so I’ve gathered together some insider tips from our veteran market-goers to share.
    Indiana market welcome packets
    1. Consider attending the Friday Night
    Preview Party.

    The Best of Show exhibit alone is worth the ticket price. This is the only opportunity to see all of the prize winning art on display. The food by Kahn’s Catering is fantastic and it’s fun to visit with the artists and their families before the weekend hubbub starts. Like, really fun. They’re cool and funny and a little punchy from traveling. You’ll also be granted VIP early bird shopping on Saturday morning, which is no small thing when you’re racing to get to your favorite artist’s booth before someone else snatches up all the best pieces. (2012 preview party pictures below)


    Indian Market preview party

    2. Use the event program to plan your day.

     You don’t have to miss a performance or get lost on your way to buy food tickets if you use the schedule and map in this handy guide. There are also in-depth profiles of several of the top artists as well as our performers. And lots of pretty pictures.
    indian market 2013 cover

    3. Come early to stake out seats in the entertainment tent.

    Things get going first thing with Brian Buchannan, Chief of the Miami Indians of Indiana offering an official welcome and prayer to the artists and visitors. Then it’s nonstop storytelling, music and dance until the gates close. Checkout the jam-packed schedule here.  

    4. Did someone mention food?

     Everyone says Indian tacos are a must for lunch. Check. But I need to plan out what to eat the second day of market or, realistically, as a mid-afternoon snack on the first day. I was told to look no further than the Mexican food vendor whose tamales, quesadillas and pupusas are beyond excellent. Apparently, the kettle corn is awesome too. And I’m sure I won’t be able to deny the lure of Baskin Robbins ice cream on an Indiana day in June. From all reports, you can’t go wrong with any of the food. And, if you’re looking for a shady retreat in between activities, the historic shelterhouse on the east side of the park is a great place to hang out with a cold drink – especially a frozen café melmoso from Hubbard and Cravens.


    5. Take time to chat with the artists

    Indian Market isn’t just a place to buy art – it’s an opportunity to engage with people with different cultural backgrounds and interesting knowledge to share. Even if you’re not planning to shop, the artists are really neat people and are excited to talk with you about what they do.

    6. The Dogbane Family Activity Area isn’t just for kids

    The Eiteljorg’s crack team in the education and public programs departments has come up with fun museum-based art activities for all ages to make and take home. You can color guitar fans and make guitar pick pendants, create ledger art and create sgraffito “scratch art.”


    7. The Eiteljorg Museum

    Not only does the Eiteljorg building offer the comfort of air conditioning and flushing toilets, there’s a lot to do and see inside the museum – and it’s free with admission to Indian Market. Check out the Guitars! exhibit; visit our western galleries, the contemporary art galleries and the Native American galleries; climb aboard a real stagecoach; get something to eat in the café; get your official Indian Market and Festival t-shirt in the store.

     8. Finally: buy your tickets in advance!

    Okay, this is my own tip, and I’ve already revealed my newbie status, but even an amateur knows that you shouldn’t pay more than you have to. You’ll pay $2 less per ticket than if you buy them at the gate. That’s $2 more for artwork and food. You can get them online here or at Marsh stores. 

    Claire Quimby
    Eiteljorg festivals and markets intern

    Go comment!

  • 2013 Indian Market and Festival schedule

    by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg festival and markets manager | Jun 17, 2013

    So Much to See and Do!

    This Saturday and Sunday (June 22 and 23), Military Park will be rocking to drums and Native American flute at the 21st annual Indian Market and Festival. It’s time to prepare.

    The sweet smell of frybread will fill the air, while artists show off their creations and kids frolic through the misting tent.


    Don’t miss a chance to browse the artist booths; make guitar pick jewelry in the family activity area; listen to the storyteller; rock out; and then get something to eat. Whew! It’s a lot, but you can do it! 

    The best way to head into the weekend is with an action plan. Here’s the entertainment schedule to get you started.

    Saturday and Sunday

    Main Stage

    10:30 a.m.       Welcome and Prayer
    11 a.m.            Fred Shaw (Shawnee), storyteller      
    Noon                Shelley Morningsong with Fabian Fontenelle
    1 p.m.              Tony Duncan and Estun-Bah
    2 p.m.              Twin Rivers
    3 p.m.              Shelley Morningsong with Fabian Fontenelle
    4 p.m.              Tony Duncan and Estun-Bah

    Cultural Presentations and Demonstrations
    All day             Delaware encampment         

    11–Noon          SD Youngwolf (Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee), sculpture demo
    12–2:30           Daniel Bigay (Cherokee), cultural items demo
    12:30–1           Fred Shaw, storytelling          
    1:30–2             Todd Bordeaux (Sicangu-Lakota), beadwork demo
    2:30–3             Fred Shaw, storytelling
    3–3:30             Adrian Wall and Ed Kabotie, music demo

    Advance sale tickets are available at Marsh Supermarkets, at the Eiteljorg and on the museum website. Visit the Eiteljorg website for more information.

     Festivals manager Jaq Nigg will celebrate her 12th Indian Market & Festival on a golf cart; with a walkie talkie against her ear; and eating as many Indian tacos as is humanly possible. She has to, it’s her job.

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  • Father's Day gifts from the Eiteljorg Museum Store

    by Robert Tate, Eiteljorg director of Merchandising | Jun 13, 2013

    Father’s Day is the one day set aside to remember our father, dad, papa or daddy.  With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we sometimes take dad for granted unless the chips are down.  When the chips are down, we reach out to our father. We draw from those life lessons that he taught to weather life’s storms. Fathers represent the warmth and glow of home and hearth.

    Here are a few of our favorite gifts to thank dad or to remember and celebrate our fathers:

    Father’s Eyes Wool Blanket by Pendleton

    Our Father’s Eyes blanket is a tribute to the men who watch over and guide us as we journey through this earth.  The diamonds represent the eyes of a father.  They are symbols of the clarity and wisdom with which he watches over and guides his children.  Arrowheads signify the unwavering protection a father provides for his family and the direction that he offers to his sons and daughters.

    Member Price $193.80 Retail Price $228.00

    Roll-up Blanket by Pendleton

    Pendleton Blanket

    Enjoy the outdoors rain or shine with our nylon-backed blanket. Our special roll-up design and carrying handle make it perfect for the adventure-ready dad. Stash one in the trunk for anything from impromptu roadside picnics to beach parties.  100% wool front and nylon back. 

    Member Price $100.30 Retail Price $118.00


    The Thomas Kay Collection by Pendleton

    While our pioneering ancestors depended on it for light, we enjoy it simply for its ambiance and aroma. These long and clean-burning soy and beeswax candles are made in New York. Comes in a Pendleton Wool pouch with a pocket for a match box.

    Member Price $49.30 Retail Price $58.00

     Thomas Kay Zippo Lighter

    This patented windproof lighter has been an American icon in peace and war for nearly eight decades. It is a symbol of our nation's innovation and reliability. Like the original, this 1941 Replica™ Brushed Chrome Windproof Lighter is made in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

    Member Price $40.80 Retail Price $48.00

    We hope you enjoy this Father's Day! I know I will.

    Robert Tate

    Robert Tate is director of merchandising for the Eiteljorg Museum Store. He will be spending Father's Day with his son, Benjamin, and his own father.

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  • Redefining Native Music

    by By Claire Quimby, Eiteljorg festivals and markets intern | Jun 11, 2013

    “We’re hard to describe. The music is reggae and rock; it’s got flutes; it’s got English and traditional vocals, ballads and some heavy stuff. If I had to describe us, it would be as Native music. That’s what it is.” Adrian Wall, May/June 2013 Native Peoples Magazine.

    Less than two weeks until the 21st annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival (June 22 and June 23) and excitement is growing for the  talented musicians who will rock the main stage at Military Park. While researching this year’s performers, I got caught up in the question, “What is Native music?” It’s not an easy question to answer. Today’s Native artists are not defined by any single style – their influences are as varied as the genres you might hear while scanning the radio. Multiply those possibilities by hundreds of different tribal affiliations and add to that the intricacies of each artist’s unique personal history and perspective – and you end up with an incredibly diverse range of music. If you’ve only experienced Native music at powwows, Indian Market is a fantastic place to expand your musical point of view. Each of this summer’s leading acts brings a unique blend of contemporary music artfully combined with traditional Native American influences.


    Shelley Morningsong (Northern Cheyenne/Dutch) grew up in a musical family, so it’s small surprise that by the time she hit high school she was performing in a country-rock band and sneaking into clubs to listen to rock ‘n’ roll and blues. Morningsong lists Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash and Old Blues legend Buddy Guy as some of her most important musical influences, but her music is also inspired by her Native roots as well as her personal experiences. Her 2006 debut album Out of the Ashes pays tribute to the Zuni creation story, while also referencing her own life story as a survivor of domestic violence. Ashes and Morningsong’s second album Full Circle feature her soulful lyrics augmented by electric guitar, bass, drums and synthesizer arranged by Grammy Award winning producer Larry Mitchell. Morningsong’s husband Fabian Fontenelle adds traditional percussion, sings in his native Zuni language, and dances for live performances. Morningsong’s most recent album Heart Songs of the Native American Flute was just released this spring and highlights her love for the instrument.

    Catch Morningsong, rocking the Eiteljorg stage with a full band, both days of Indian Market. Performances are at noon and 3pm.  


    Twin Rivers is named for the convergence of musicians and old friends Adrian Wall (Jemez Pueblo/Ojibwe) and Ed Kabotie (Hopi/Santa Clara Pueblo). Wall and Kabotie’s musical collaborations began as middle school metalheads at Santa Fe Indian School. The years took them separate ways, but eight years ago the rivers of their lives flowed back together and the music was soon to follow. The duo’s first independent album, Springs of Guisewa, draws inspiration from traditional Native songs. Kabotie writes their songs in the three languages he speaks: English, Hopi and Tewa. Exploring Native identity is a crucial part of their music. Their sound is also part rock, part reggae, and part jazz – you can hear the familiar reggae offbeat blended with Native flute in their title track, Springs at Kesewa. The way Twin Rivers intertwine these diverse musical influences reflect their philosophy “that we are all distinct, but connected as if we are one. “ Twin Rivers will be joined by Kabotie’s son Rylan at Indian Market this year, as the three continue their work to redefine the Native experience through music.

    Catch Twin Rivers both days of Indian Market. Performances are at 2pm.


    Claire Quimby
    Eiteljorg festivals and markets intern

    Go comment!
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