The impact of fairs or markets devoted to Native American artists has been important, serving as vehicles to both present their work to the public and to celebrate and honor those at the forefront of this field. While not the oldest of such events, the annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market, in Phoenix, Arizona, has been in existence for fifty-two years and is among the most respected. Eagerly anticipated and attended by those knowledgeable of the best in Native Art, this fair and market extended over three days in March 2010, with a reception, auction, performances, demonstrations, and the extensive market itself.
While this was my first experience at the Heard’s Indian Fair, many of their artists were known to me, as Ornament has covered Native artists for many decades, often as the cover feature. As a show of this size is very difficult to comprehensively assess, I sampled, spending time with both those I knew and did not. While the obvious goal of the artists is to sell, the friendliness and warmth of their interactions was striking. Indisputable was the prevalence of families participating in the show, whether in the same or separate booths, as well as the multi-talented skills of the artists.
The 53rd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market meets March 5 and 6, 2011.
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