The University of Arizona

Free Talk on Navajo Trading Preludes Southwest Indian Art Fair

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, February 10, 2012

In advance of the 19th annual Southwest Indian Art Fair, a free talk by a third generation trader will be held at the Arizona State Museum.

The Southwest Indian Art Fair brings together a cross-section of cultural traditions in performances, music, dance and demonstrations and will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
The Southwest Indian Art Fair brings together a cross-section of cultural traditions in performances, music, dance and demonstrations and will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The 19th annual Southwest Indian Art Fair, Southern Arizona's premier Indian art show and market, will be held on Feb. 18-19, on the expansive front lawn of the University of Arizona's Arizona State Museum.

Advancing the Southwest Indian Art Fair and celebration will be a Feb. 15 talk, which will be held 7-8 p.m. in the East Gallery of the Arizona State Museum. 

Jackson Clark, a third generation trader and owner of Toh-Atin Gallery in Durango, Colo., will present his talk, "Threads through Time: The Art and History of the Navajo People," as part of The Arnold and Doris Roland Distinguished Speaker Series. 

Based on 40 years of interaction, Clark relates his and his family's encounters trading with the Navajo people. Humor, respect and great appreciation punctuate Clark's very personal stories as he uses examples of specific weavings as mileposts along the shared journey.

The talk reflects on how trading has affected Navajo arts through time and represents an example of the type of traditions and art that will be on display during the weekend's Southwest Indian Art Fair. Participants must RSVP online in advance of the event. 

Clark's talk is made possible by the generosity of Arnold and Doris Roland. The lecture and reception to follow are hosted and presented by the Friends of the ASM Collections

The celebration of the southwest and its indigenous history will continue with the Southwest Indian Art Fair later in the week.

The fair brings together a cross-section of cultural traditions in performances, music, dance and demonstrations. Living cultural practices, coupled with meaningful conversations with the artists, provide context for understanding the artwork.

More than 200 Native artists, many of them award winning will talk about their work and learn about the cultural significance that informs, inspires and imbues their work. Admission is free for youth and students, $10 for adults and $7 for members. Tickets may be purchased in advance, or the day of the event.

The fair began in 1993 as a small pottery fair. It has since grown to be the highlight of Arizona State Museum's annual educational and cultural celebrations, as well as a highly anticipated feature of Tucson's winter festival calendar.

Top-quality, handmade art includes pottery, Hopi katsina dolls, paintings, jewelry, baskets, rugs, blankets and more will be on display.