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Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival a Tradition for Artist Families

The festival started in 1993 and now some of the original artists' children are displaying at Eiteljorg.

INDIANAPOLIS--One of the top Native American art markets and cultural experiences is in downtown Indianapolis this weekend on the grounds of the Eiteljorg Museum. The 26th Annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival is expected to bring thousands of people from all over the country.

And, they're coming to see, buy and sell American Indian art.

Native American artists and performers from more than 50 tribes across the U.S. and Canada will be at the Eiteljorg Museum, Saturday and Sunday, to show and sell their art, including jewelry, pottery, beadwork, basketry, painting and sculpture.

The Market features artists’ booths both outside and inside the museum. Seasoned art collectors and first-time market-goers can appreciate the personal interactions with artists and wide variety of Native fine art available, said Bryan Corbin, spokesperson for the Museum. 

"Everyone who attends the market during the regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, can meet the artists at their artists booths both in the tents and inside the museum," he said.

Cultural experiences are a big part of the weekend, and this year’s live performances include music, dancing and storytelling. Thousands of visitors typically attend the market, held the weekend after Father’s Day in June each year.

After a modest start in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival now is considered one of the top Native American art markets in the nation, said Corbin. He said the artists have been coming to Indiana so long, it's gone beyond tradition and has become generational.

"Many of the artists have been showing at the Indiana Market and Festival almost from the beginning, year after year," said Corbin. "Some of the artists, when they first came here, their children were still small. Now those kids have grown up and have become artists themselves." Some of them are showing their own art, alongside their parents.

Tickets for the Market are $15 and can be purchased at the website or at the door. Kids 17 and under get in free.

Some of the performers:

  • Classical guitarist and artist Gabriel Ayala (Pascua Yaqui) performs classical music, jazz and flamenco. Ayala, who has released several albums, has performed at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and won numerous music industry awards, in addition to his work as a visual artist.
  • Traditional dancer Dana Warrington (Prairie Band of Potawatomi/Menominee) is an award-winning quillwork and beadwork artist whose artwork won the Best of Show award at last year’s Indian Market. A featured dance performer this year, Warrington has won numerous dance competitions 
  • Singer-songwriter Kalyn Fay (Cherokee) is part of the vibrant folk music scene in Tulsa, Okla., and has made an impression with her first album, a mix of country, folk and rock original compositions.
  • Storyteller Tchin (Narragansett) is an award-winning metalsmith, flute-maker, educator, folklorist, musician and culture-bearer. Through the art of oral tradition, Tchin will share stories passed down through generations.
  • Entertainer and puppeteer Buddy Big Mountain (Mohawk of Kahnawake Tribe of Canada) performs comedy that draws upon his American Indian background using marionettes.

For the entertainers’ onstage performance schedule, visit and click on Indian Market.

PHOTO: Eiteljorg Museum / The Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival on June 23-24 in Indianapolis is an opportunity to meet Native American artists from across the U.S. and Canada and purchase their fine art.

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