FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The 8th annual Hopi Arts and Cultural Festival, which takes place Sept. 30 — Oct. 1, is an opportunity for visitors and residents to experience Hopi art and culture at its best.
Sponsored by the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation (HTEDC), which seeks to improve economic development for the Hopi people, the festival showcases Hopi artisans and dance groups in an outdoor and family friendly atmosphere in downtown Flagstaff.
The festival takes place in Heritage Square from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The celebration of Native cultures includes social dances, music and traditional and contemporary art. Artisans include potters, carvers, weavers, painters and notable artists.
Entertainment includes the Kwang’toi’hooyam (Flagstaff dance group, Shungopave Dance Group (Hopi dance group), Ryon Polequaptewa (Hopi flute player, drummer and singer), Living Traditions (Hopi hoop dancer) and Ed Kabotie (flute, guitar player and singer).
Demonstrators include Garrett Maho (Hopi potter), Justin Secakuku (Hopi textile weaver), Julius Pochema (Hopi Kachina doll carver) and Annetta Koruh (Hopi wicker plaque weaver).
The design for the t-shirt and poster, which are available for sale, was made by Wallace Lomakema, who is from the Village of Walpi and a member of the Flute and Deer Clan.
According to Lisa Talayumptewa, event coordinator for HTEDC, Lomakema refers to himself as a rookie artist and market participant.
“However his achievements prove otherwise,” Talayumptewa said.
Over the years, Lomakema has attended many fairs and markets including the Tuhisma Market; the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market; the Museum of Northern Arizona Annual Hopi Festival; Arizona State Museum; and the Southwest Indian Art Fair.
“His participation in these events has awarded him two honorable mentions, three first place awards, an award of excellence, a director’s award and a best of show,” Talayumptewa said.
Lomakema realized his artistic ability as early as his elementary school days. Over the years, he tried various crafts including Hopi jewelry, leather crafts and molding sculptures from clay. None held his interest and for many years he did not practice any of the crafts.
It was not until much later in life, at the urging of his daughters, that Lomakema decided to try his skill at creating pictures using Prisma colored pencils after sharing a booth with a Hopi artist who shared her knowledge with him at the Santa Fe Indian Market.
Lomakema completed a big picture for his daughters and realized that he could still draw and paint. He currently also produces all occasion gift cards.
Talayumptewa said Lomkema is happy that his hands are still steady and his mind able to provide him a creative vision.
“Mr. Lomakema is 82 years young and the proud winner of this year’s Hopi Festival poster contest,” Talayumptewa said. “Thank you, Mr. Lomakema, for sharing your talents with us.”
Talayumptewa said the event aims to bring together communities and visitors to learn from one another.
More information is available from Talayumptewa at (928) 522-8675.