Heard celebrates Arizona's premier Indian market

PHOENIX-The 49th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, highlighting spectacular artwork, American Indian music and dance performances, artist demonstrations, book signings and delicious Native food is set for Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Fair and Market, which began in 1958 as a small community fair planned by Heard Museum volunteers, has grown to become one of the nation's most popular American Indian art events. The Fair and Market is still organized entirely by the museum's volunteer guild with more than 700 volunteers assisting throughout the two-day event.

Today, the Fair and Market draws more than 600 of the nation's finest Native artists who show and sell authentic artwork and cultural items. Visitors and collectors can peruse booths filled with jewelry, beadwork, pottery, katsina dolls, textiles, clothing, paintings and baskets created by artists from throughout North America. The Heard strives to find the best artists to participate in the event, with each artist selected by invitation or through a rigorous application process.

Artists participating in the Indian Fair and Market are encouraged to enter the juried competition. Each artist may submit one work in a maximum of two categories. Judges select winners from more than 250 entries in seven classifications and 25 divisions. The most prestigious award is Best of Show, which is selected from all of the artwork entered.

On the Friday evening prior to the Fair and Market, visitors can attend the Best of Show reception and see work by the award-winning artists. This year, more than 50 artists have donated special items for a silent auction, and guests to the Best of Show reception can bid on these works of art. The dinner reception is Friday, March 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Reservations are limited and must be made in advance.

The array of entertainment and food offered at the Indian Fair and Market is also a favorite with festivalgoers. This year, American Indian music and dance performers will be entertaining the crowd. Visitors can observe as Native dishes like Hopi piki, Apache acorn soup, posole and the ever-popular fry bread are prepared from scratch. In addition, a wide selection of American and Mexican fare will also be available.

Kevin Red Star (Crow) is this year's Fair and Market signature artist, for his luminous mixed media painting, "Buffalo Horse Medicine Shield."

Tickets for the Fair and Market are available at the gate or in advance. Adult tickets are $15, and children up to 16 years of age are FREE. A 2-day pass will cost $24 and a deluxe pass will cost $62. The deluxe pass includes admission for both days and to the Best of Show reception dinner. For additional information or to purchase advance tickets, please call 602-0251-0205.

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