Native Treasures

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November 5, 2008                                  

"Native Treasures" named one of the "Five Great ThingsTo Do"  by The Santa Fe New Mexican's Bienvenidos Magazine


Santa Fe, New Mexico-Collectors, dealers and fans of Native American art have blocked their calendars for Memorial Day Weekend's fifth annual Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival. Top Native American artists will display and sell their work at the new Santa Fe Community Convention Center in downtown Santa Fe.

More than 170 artists from 40 tribes and pueblos will showcase their pottery, jewelry, glass, painting, sculpture, carvings, textiles and other art on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, 2009. This festival will benefit the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. 

"Because this is an invitational show, we are able to invite the ‘best of the best' artists, from established masters to the brightest emerging stars, all of whom are producing museum-quality work," says Museum of Indian Arts & Culture director Dr. Shelby Tisdale.  "Many of their pieces are in our permanent collection so we really enjoy being able to offer this quality of art for sale." 

Some of the artists participating in the 2009 Native Treasures show are jewelers Vernon Haskie, Richard Chavez, Fritz Casuse and Keri Ataumbi; potters Robert Tenorio, Janice Ortiz, Erik Fender and Samuel Manymules; sculptors Upton Ethelbah and Evelyn Fredericks; painters Marla Allison, Raymond Nordwall and Peterson Yazzie; carvers Robert Albert and Delbridge Honanie; and textile artists Mona Laughing and Peggy Rock Black.  Many of these artists were recently honored with major awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Market in Phoenix. 

"We try to ensure that there is a different group of artists each year, so that more artists get the chance to participate and collectors have the fun of finding someone new," Tisdale adds. More than 80 of the artists are new to the show this year.

Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival is an intimate, fun weekend where buyers can meet the artists and can ask questions in a relaxed atmosphere. Purchasing art at Native Treasures-which ranges in price from $25 to $10,000 -is a way for the public to support not only the artists but also the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. In its first four years, Native Treasures has raised over $200,000 for the museum, now providing the majority of the exhibition and education budget for the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, including funds for the current Comic Art Indigène and Native Couture exhibitions.  Artists who participate in Native Treasures generously donate a portion of their sales to the museum.

In past years, Native Treasures has taken place on Museum Hill. This year the show will be in a new location--the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, just a block from the downtown Plaza.  This is in part to make it easier for patrons who want to enjoy both the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival and the grand opening of the New Mexico History Museum, which is taking place the same weekend downtown.

"The Native Treasures show is of immense benefit to both the artists and to MIAC," says Tisdale. "We are really excited about our new location and all of the new artists who will be participating.  I say this every year, but I know this year's show will be the best one yet!"

For more information about all Native Treasures events, visit

WHAT: Native Treasures, now in its fifth year, is an invitational art show and sale featuring the best Native art in the U.S.   Proceeds benefit the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture


  • More than 170 artists from 40 tribes and pueblos
  • Best and brightest of the Indian art world
  • Santa Fe's only museum-quality Indian art show
  • Relaxed, intimate event for collectors, dealers and sightseers
  • Pre-Sale Gala, kicks off Native Treasures Friday evening, May 22. Patrons will enjoy a wine bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres while getting the first chance to purchase a favorite piece offered by each artist for this special evening.
  • 2009 "Living Treasure" award to outstanding Native artist at the Friday night Pre-Sale Gala The gala will also feature the presentation of the Native Treasures Living Treasure Award to Upton Ethelbah, a prominent Santa Clara/White Mountain Apache sculptor. Past honorees have included Robert Tenorio, Mike Bird-Romero, and Connie Tsosie Gaussoin.
  • Delicious food and entertainment by Native and local musicians.

WHEN:           Saturday May 23 & Sunday May 24, 2008
Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,$5; Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Free
(Early Bird Market Saturday, 9-10 a.m., $15)
Festival tickets available at entrance.
Tickets are available at the door.  Admission on Sunday is free.

Friday, May 22, 6-8 p.m.
Benefit Pre-Sale Gala, offering special pieces selected by each artist.
Attendees will meet the artists and mingle with other collectors.
Hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served.
$75. Price includes an Early Bird ticket for Saturday. Tickets 505-982-6366, ext. 112.

WHERE:        Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy Street , Santa Fe, NM 87501

INFO:         505-476-1250;


Jennifer Marshall