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Santa Fe, NM – The organizers of Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival are pleased to announce the 2011 recipient of the Native Treasures Living Treasure award:  noted sculptor Roxanne Swentzell of the Santa Clara pueblo.  The Native Treasures Living Treasure Award acknowledges both the body of work by an artist and the participation of that artist in the community at large. Swentzell is noted not only for her distinctive style of sculpture and its messages, but also for teaching and mentoring young students as she herself was mentored from an early age.

Roxanne’s distinctive sculptures grace a variety of venues from Cartier in Paris to the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.  Her clay and bronze figures represent the complete spectrum of the human spirit with its range of emotions and irrepressible moods. 

“I feel that many people are out of touch with their environment,” she explains.  “I hope that relating to my characters will help them get back in touch with their surroundings and feelings.”  Swentzell often focuses on interpretative female portraits, attempting to bring back the balance of power between the male and female.  She has won a variety of awards, including Best of Sculpture at the Santa Fe Indian Market in 1999. 

“We are delighted to give this award to Roxanne,” says Jane Buchsbaum, Artist Chairman of Native Treasures.  “Not only does she create fabulous, thoughtful works, but she also gives back to her community – an important component of this award.  Roxanne protects heirloom seeds, builds houses, and runs a nonprofit organization devoted to sustainable living methods.”Native Treasures has become one of the important Indian art shows in the country since its inception in 2004.  More than 200 museum-quality artists from over 40 tribes and pueblos will showcase and sell their pottery, jewelry, glass, painting, sculpture, carvings, textiles and other art on Saturday, May 28, 2011 and Sunday, May 28, 2011.  Artists are invited to participate, and show organizers work to bring in new talent each year.  In 2010, the show began an “Emerging Artists” section, which will continue in 2011.  Weaving demonstrations by Toadlena Trading Post, an eclectic mix of Native and non-Native music, and delicious food will add to the festive atmosphere.

In previous years, all the proceeds from this show have gone to support exhibits and educational outreach at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe.  Artists generously donate a portion of sales to the Museum.“This year, we are pleased to announce a new project,” says Dr. Shelby Tisdale, Director of MIAC.  “We are launching ‘Save Our Treasures’ to help fund preservation of important Native American artworks that are currently in the collections of the Museum and the Department of Archaeology in New Mexico.  Preserving this heritage is critical not only to our understanding of the native cultures of the Southwest, but also to contemporary artists who use the collections as reference for their own creations.”Preserving the artistic and lifestyle pieces of Native cultures is especially important to Roxanne Swentzell.  Her efforts to save heirloom seeds and plants as well as the sustainable lifeways of pueblo culture are a focus of her life. She currently lives in a house she built herself in the Santa Clara pueblo.Roxanne turned to expressing herself through art at a very young age.  She found that art allowed her to express emotions that she could not seem to summon with words.  As she continued her education at IAIA and the Portland Museum Art School, she learned that the emotions she was seeking to express were, in fact, universal.  Perhaps this is one reason her works are recognized and collected throughout the world. 

As Roxanne writes,
“I sculpt to
reach out to you.
Hoping to go
past the words
and thoughts
that bring
us to a shallow world.
Hoping to catch
a moment
of direct connection
between your
and mine.
Then, for that second,
we will remember
what is important.
In remembering
there is Hope.”


Native Treasures, now in its seventh 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 and its “Save Our Treasures” campaign.

• More than 200 museum-quality artists from over 40 tribes and pueblos
• Best and brightest of the Indian art world
• Santa Fe’s only museum-quality Indian art show
• Musical entertainment
• Food by Cowgirl BBQ
• Relaxed, intimate event for collectors, dealers and sightseers
• 2011 “Living Treasure” award to outstanding Santa Clara sculptor, Roxanne Swentzell

Saturday May 28 & Sunday May 29, 2011
Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $10; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Free
(Early Bird Market Saturday, 9-10 a.m., $15)
Festival tickets available at entrance.

Friday, May 27, 5:30-7:30 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.
Cost:    $100. This includes an Early Bird ticket for Saturday.

TICKETS: Call 505-988-1234 or visit the Lensic Box Office.

WHERE:    Santa Fe Convention Center at the corner of Marcy and Grant Streets; Santa Fe, New Mexico

INFO:    505-476-1250;

Jennifer Marshall