Monday, August 29, 2011

SWAIA salutes Best of Show winner, Jeremy Frey

The 2011 Santa Fe Indian Market Best of Show Winner, Passmaquoddy basket weaver Jeremy Frey, has had an extraordinary year. The 32-year-old Maine resident also won the Best of Show prize at the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market earlier this year, and it should be noted that he was recently awarded a $50,000 artist grant from the Los Angeles Based organization United States Artists.

The eighth-generation basket weaver may be familiar to Indian Market visitors. Frey was part of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance demonstrator’s booth at the 2009 Indian Market. The Alliance is an advocacy and educational organization that Frey has been involved with for years. In fact, Frey learned how to weave baskets from his mother Gal Frey at the age of 22, who was reintroduced to basket weaving at the Alliance. From drawing pictures as a child to his grade school declaration of wanting to be an artist when he grew up, Frey’s gift and skill as a basket weaver have reached a level unparalleled success.

“I’ve been doing it since day one. It seemed that it was what I should have been doing my whole life,” Frey says, “I thought to myself that if was going to be part of a group of basket weavers, then I wanted to do something to set my self apart…not distort the tradition, but refining what was already there.” Indeed, in a time when formal art training abounds, Frey finds inspiration for his sweet grass and black ash baskets from an internal place.

“What I find beautiful comes from within,” he says. Still, Frey is influenced from many sources. His extensive travels and his experiences weaving side-by-side with other basket weavers influence his own designs. Self-described as “traditional/contemporary” he uses locally harvested materials for his baskets, but designed and ultimately used in a different ways.

“There are times when I know what the shape and color are going to be and then I let it go from there…other times I have an exact image in my head of what I want to do.”

Weaving baskets may be, by some measures, a relatively accessible art form and art practice. By comparison, the tools and raw materials can literally grow from the ground until they are harvested and reshaped into something delicate and beautiful. Nevertheless, Jeremy Frey’s Best of Show Award from the Santa Fe Indian Market spotlights basket weaving's vast complexity and difficulty.

The correlation between the basket weaving and the cultural sustainability of his tribe and home cannot be adequately expressed. For a young man in the 21st century to be following a centuries-old practice, his achievement speaks incalculable volumes for all Native people expressing themselves through ancient art forms. "

Thanks to SWAIA for sharing this information

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mary Small, Jemez Pueblo Potter, shares a video moment.

We are very fond of all our artists, carvers, jewelry makers, folk artists and pottery makers.

Mary Small occupies a special place in that group of people we are privileged to call friends.

When we caught up with her at Indian Market this year, she agreed to let us record her on video, so you all could get to know her a little better.

We offer that video now.

We will be posting newly acquired Mary Small pueblo pottery to our web site after Labor Day. In the meantime, there are other pots by Mary Small and other pueblo potters to be seen there.


PS: If you frequent FaceBook, we would appreciate a "like" on our Native American Pueblo Pottery fanpage. Thank you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Todd Westika talks about his special chess set

One of the highlights at Indian Market in 2011 was a conversation with Todd Westika in which he told us about a special request he received from a deployed US serviceman for a custom designed chess set. It's an interesting story, as recorded on videotape (below)

Here's a still photo of the chess set, taken at Zuni.

We also acquired a number of
Todd Westika's new Zuni fetish carvings, which will be posted to our in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SWAIA announces winners in 2011 Indian Market artist competition

Friday night, August 19, Southwest Association for Indian Arts, stagers of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market announced the winners in the annual artist and art competition.

Best of Show - Jeremy Frey for a PASSAMAQUODDY basket.
It also won best of classification in baskets, and had previously won in the Heard Museum Show.

Best of Classification / Moving Images - Bennie Klain, NavajoBest of Classification / Pottery - Jody Naranjo, Santa Clara
Best of Classification / Jewelry - Chris Pruitt, LAGUNA
Best of Classification / Diverse Arts - Jamie Okuma, SHOSHONE/LUISENO
Best of Classification / Pueblo Wooden Carvings - Arthur Holmes, HOPI
Best of Classification / Youth - Valerie Calabaza, SANTO DOMINGO (KEWA)
Best of Classification / Beadwork & Quillwork - Joyce Growing Thunder, SIOUX/ASSINIBOINEBest of Classification / Sculpture - Marcus Wall, JEMEZ
Best of Classification / Textiles - Linda Teller-Pete, Navajo
Innovation Award - Pat Pruitt, LAGUNA

Many other first, second and honorable mention ribbons were awarded. Too many to detail here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

On the Eve of Indian Market

We are in Santa Fe for the annual Indian Market weekend and will be reporting on our
experiences, including winners of the artist competition.

Tonight is the annual Wheelwright Museum silent auction. Always lots of fun and occasionally we actually win pieces at good prices. We'll let you know.

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Just click on the RSS icon and select reader - Google Reader is a good choice.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Silver prices on the rise again

Native American Jewelry fans and buyers know that silver is a key metal used in their favorite objects of beauty. As prices of silver rise, prices of silver jewelry are likely to follow, as night follows day. We have commented on the situation in this article. The good news is that we are holding firm on our prices, many of which were set when silver prices were one-fourth of what they are today.