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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  • We had a great time at Indian Market and Festival

    by User Not Found | Jun 25, 2012
    One of the fun things I get to do for Indian Market and Festival each year is take our performers around to different media outlets to talk about all the great things going on in Military Park. This year, early on Sunday morning, we stopped in at WTHR (channel 13) and we ran into the newly-crowned Miss Indiana. Here are a few of the Git-Hoan Dancers with MerrieBeth Cox, the 2012 Miss Indiana. Congratulations! 

    The Git-Hoan dancers also made it up to Fox 59. Check it out here. 

    Anthony Scott, communications manager
    Twitter: @Eiteljorg_PR
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  • Eat local, organic and support the Eiteljorg, too

    by User Not Found | Jun 20, 2012
    Beginning in April 2012, my husband and I were looking to expand on the produce we typically harvest from our garden to our table and positive ways to support local businesses. Based on rave reviews from friends and fellow foodies, we signed up for Green B.E.A.N. Delivery. Networked with the best local farmers and artisans, Green B.E.A.N. Delivery Indiana provides home delivery of organic produce and natural groceries to Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Every Friday is like Christmas in my kitchen, except I know what I am getting in my little green bin (I knew what I was getting at Christmas too, but please don't tell my folks). 
    Based our positive experience, two of my museum colleagues signed up. Green B.E.A.N. Delivery has been discussed so much around the office that I decided to see if the company might have an interest in partnering with the Eiteljorg on a future project. Sure enough - they did! Green B.E.A.N. Delivery has generously offered to donate to the Eiteljorg 10% from your first 10 Green B.E.A.N. orders when you use the promo code “Eiteljorg2012.”
    We certainly welcome Green B.E.A.N. Delivery to the Eiteljorg family!

    Katie Lineweaver Robinson, corporate contributions manager

  • Eiteljorg Roundup: Indian Market & Festival

    by Jaq Nigg | Jun 20, 2012

    This week's question for the Eiteljorg staff:
    What is your favorite part of Indian Market and Festival? Or – if this is your first IM&F – what are you most looking forward to?

    Please tell us in the comments what your favorite parts of Indian Market and Festival are.

    Belinda Cozzy, senior exhibit specialist
    My favorite thing about Indian Market is seeing all my friends that I’ve made over the past ten markets and all the cool new artwork that they’ll be bringing. It’s wonderful to talk to them on the phone, Facebook and text, but there’s nothing like seeing them face-to-face. I love it. Oh yeah, and spending time with my coworkers afterwards.


    Kelly Rushing Carter, registrar
    My favorite part of Indian Market and Festival happens on Friday afternoon when we return the art to the artists after judging. All the pieces that win awards are displayed at the Preview Party that evening. I love when I get to tell artists that I have nothing to return to them because everything they entered won a prize!


    Jaq Nigg, festivals and markets manager
    Indian Market and Festival is my favorite time of the year, which is good since I’m in charge of putting it together. I love everything: the artists, performances, Indian tacos, being outside and having fun with other Eiteljorg staff. The weekend is the culmination of a yearlong effort. I try to stay in-the-moment to make sure to enjoy everything–even the stress–because it will soon be over and I’ll be back inside at my desk planning for next year before I know it.


    Sue Thompson, admissions assistant
    Actually I have two favorite things about Indian Market. I always look forward to the storytelling. It’s a great opportunity to hear some really awesome tellers and get ideas for my own stories. Also, I love the Indian tacos. Yummy!

    Lezlie Laxton, human resources manager
    There are so many aspects of the event that are fun to see–the art, artists, music, food, workers and guests. It’s hard to pinpoint one of these as being my favorite, although the Kettle Corn might get extra points based on smell alone. The thing that strikes me more than anything is just the energy of the event. Starting with employees and volunteers bustling to get the tents put together so the artists can set up their booths, it seems that people are always on the move. Even when the lines for food move slower at times, there are conversations and movement flowing around the park.


    Lisa Watt, festivals and markets coordinator
    Since I work behind the scenes planning Indian Market and Festival, my favorite part is selection, which takes place in February. I get a preview of the art – we look at over 1,200 slides – so I have months of anticipation before the artists even arrive. During selection, we bring in experts in the field of Native American art and I try to absorb as much information as I can from them. 


    Matt Askren, visitor experience manager/accounting assistant
    I look forward to talking with Michael Horse. He’s so cool! What else are my faves? Eating the Buffalo Burger from the food vendors, the music, Mary Tafoya’s jewelry and people watching.


    Ashley Holland, assistant curator of contemporary art
    My favorite part of Indian Market and Festival is all of the artists and their wonderful art! I love catching up with artists and seeing how much their children have grown over the past year. My second favorite part is how the museum comes together and works to make such a great event. I always end up getting to know my co-workers better and that is an awesome side effect of the event!


    Sarah Bean, director of rentals, catering and café
    One of my many favorite moments of Indian Market is when we open on Saturday morning. The excitement builds all morning as final preparations are put in place and artists finish setting up their booths. Jaq announces on the radio, “Indian Market is officially OPEN,” and visitors and buyers flood into the park. But nothing beats the stories and camaraderie that are shared at the post market staff party in the museum’s Hawthorne Grove. Some of my favorite memories have been made while sitting at a worn picnic table, eating pizza and drinking a cold beer with good friends.


    Mary Ann Clifford, merchandise operations assistant
    My first and only Indian Market so far was last year. I enjoyed many aspects of the market – the music, the artists, the beautiful jewelry, the energy, the people who attended – that I am hard pressed to choose a favorite. What I’m looking forward to this year is seeing all the gorgeous jewelry. What can I say? I love jewelry! I particularly enjoy meeting the artists who create the jewelry and take such pride in their work. I purchased a pendant last year and will most likely find a piece I can not live without this year as well. 


    Eric Hinkle, education services coordinator
     enjoy seeing some of the artists that I have developed a relationship or acquaintance with. Some of them have been here as an Artist-in-Residence which makes it even more fun. I also particularly enjoy the musical groups who color outside the lines of traditional Native American music. My thrill is art and music that is informed and influenced by tradition but not bound to traditional forms.


    Martha Hill, vice president for public programs/visitor experience
    There are so many good things about Indian Market and Festival that it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite. I love seeing artist friends return each year and catching up with them and their families. But when it comes right down to it, the best part for me is seeing the entire staff really working together to pull off this huge event. Yes, it’s hard work and sometimes it’s 90+ degrees out there, and none of us is getting any younger (thank goodness for interns), but it warms my heart to see everyone working together for one purpose (and almost always smiling along the way).


    Alisa Nordholt-Dean, public programs coordinator
    My favorite part about IM&F is being a part of the judging machine on Friday. From my typical position as an “artwork accepter,” I get to see (and ogle silently over) each artist’s best work before the market even starts! It’s wonderful to see old friends walk through the door with new pieces they’ve worked hard on for months and at the same time have the opportunity to meet new artists and be introduced to their work.


    Sally Dickson, development manager
    Favorite part:  Sunday after-party.


    Mint Evans, sales associate – store
    This is my first Indian Market and Festival. I am looking forward to meeting the artists.


    Sheila Jackson, membership manager
    I was a newbie last year at Indian Market and Festival and the stress of a new job somewhat prohibited me from relaxing and getting a good feel for the weekend. This time around, I’m looking forward to taking the time to peruse the gorgeous jewelry more. I'm excited to relax a bit and enjoy!


    Taylor Jeromos, festivals interns/sales associate – store
    Though I love the fantastic art, the great music and the atmosphere of Indian Market, the one thing that draws me back, year after year, is the lavender lemonade. The only place I ever drink it is market (both for lack of initiative to make it and desire to keep it special). It’s a wonderful drink for walking around on a hot day, and it’s delicious. I recommend it to anyone who likes lemonade – it’s a great twist on a classic.

    Kitty Jansen, librarian
    My favorite part of Indian Market is getting to talk to the artists, especially the returning ones that you develop friendships with over the years–and buy work from. Some of them I also see later again at the Indian Market in Santa Fe in August, and we compare notes. My other favorite part is the food! Who doesn't love food? The tamales are out of this world and perfect with a dessert of Indian fry bread with strawberries.

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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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