The Hopi Arts Trail presents its first Christmas Show at the Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites in Tuba City from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Dec. 20.
The Christmas Show will feature handmade jewelry, pottery, paintings, and carvings from Hopi artists, as well as food, music and a raffle.
The Hopi Arts Trail is not a literal trail to hike but rather a way for visitors to connect with the artists and galleries on the Hopi mesas in northern Arizona. The Hopi people have lived in villages on the mesas for more than a thousand years and have one of the most uniquely preserved cultures in America.
James Surveyor, marketing and special events manager for Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites, said the Christmas Show is the first Hopi Arts Trail show, but organizers plan to make it a yearly event. He said organizers intend to have an annual springtime show as well.
Surveyor, also the project manager for the Hopi Arts Trail, said the Hopi Arts Trail is designed to increase traffic to Hopi-based artists and galleries.
"This initiative is to help the Hopi artists continue to be self-sustaining. It's an opportunity for them to show their work," said Surveyor. "Art shows happen all the time, a lot of them are at museums, and a lot of them are great shows. But they are mostly off the reservation. Whereas this one is on the reservation and is really looking to be the first consistent year in and year out show of its kind."
The Hopi Arts Trail by itself is an invitation to the world to visit the mesas in a respectful manner, and to connect with some of the very finest artists in their galleries and home workshops. The Christmas Show provides the opportunity for many of these Hopi artists to gather in one location, display their art and discuss their work.
"It's an opportunity for people to meet artists and take advantage of handmade arts, crafts, and jewelry with established, up and coming, and well known artists who travel all over the country," Surveyor said. "It's really a neat project, it gives people more accessibility and more options to be able to get involved in Hopi art and learn more about Hopi art from the artists themselves."
Hopi art ranges from traditional to contemporary mediums and themes. Basket weaving, Kachina Doll carving, pottery and silversmithing are the four most prominent art forms. However, Hopi artists also find expression in painting, sculpture, glass making and other contemporary art forms.
Surveyor said the Christmas Show shouldn't be confused with a typical bazaar. The Moenkopi Legacy Inn plans to maximize the use of its space to give the Hopi Arts Trail artists the opportunity to be flexible and comfortable in showing their work and sharing it with the community.
He added Hopi Arts Trail officials chose a day that wouldn't interfere with other shows because they didn't want to put the Hopi artists in a situation where they would have to choose one event over another.
"There's just something about being able to buy a piece of art handmade directly from the person who made it, they can tell you all about it and they can share all the cultural aspects of what's gone into that piece," said Surveyor. "Technology is nice, but when you're looking for something special sometimes the handmade jewelry pieces or paintings can definitely be that unique item you really want."
Visitors are also welcome to drive across the Hopi reservation using the Arts Trail Map as a guide to visit galleries and contact artists. But according to Hopi Arts Trail members, the very best way to tour Hopi for the first time is with a tour guide who is certified by the Hopi Tribe. These guides are knowledgeable about the traditions and culture of the Hopi people. The guides know Kachina Doll carvers, basket makers, silversmiths and other artists and can also introduce visitors to the artists and explain the significance of the art.
"The Hopi Arts Trail project is one of those initiatives that is aimed to support the community that supports us," said Surveyor. "We promote the Hopi experience."
Admission to the Christmas Show is free and open to the public. Vendor spaces are limited to Hopi Arts Trail members only.
More information is available online at www.hopiartstrail.com and www.experiencehopi.com. The Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites is located at One Legacy Lane in Tuba City and can be reached at (928) 283-4500.