Native Treasures website
Beaded high heel sneakers by Teri Greeves

‘Native Treasures’ Brings 200 Native Artists to Santa Fe through Memorial Day

Alex Jacobs

“In the Hopi creation myth, and most Native American creation myths, we are allowed to be here on this earth but only provided we care for it and treat it with respect.”  - Dan Namingha.

Each year, the Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival brings over 200 Native American artists from 40 tribes and pueblos - each of whom is specially invited by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture - to Santa Fe, New Mexico to display their artistic pottery, jewelry, paintings, glass, stone, bronze, baskets and textiles.

By Allen Aragon Dine' (Navajo)

Above: by Allen Aragon Dine' (Navajo)

This year’s Native Treasures Indian Art Festival began Friday at the Santa Fe Convention Center and the exhibit continues through the Memorial Day Weekend ending May 29th. By Esther Cajero Jemez Pueblo

Above: by Esther Cajero Jemez Pueblo

This year the theme is “Mother Earth” and is oftentimes depicted as a turtle in Native American mythology and art which signifies water, good health, long life, patience, determination and peace.

This year’s featured artist at the 12th annual Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival is Dan Namingha. A prolific painter for over 40 years, Namingha, who has been producing earth-friendly, pro-environmental messages for decades, was also awarded the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Living Treasure award for his overall body of work as well as for recognition of artistic excellence and community serviceDan Namingha Indian Arts Festival 2016

Pictured above is part of Dan Namingha’s exhibition Landscape of an Artist: Living Treasure Dan Namingha.

According to the Native Treasures website, Namingha feels that change and evolution are a continuum and that the future of our planet and membership of the human race must be monitored to insure survival in the spirit of cultural and technology diversity. He says that only then can we merge the positive and negative polarization and create the balance so necessary to the communal spirit of the universe.

This philosophy is manifested in the design, colors and symbology of his paintings and sculptures.

Namingha is the great-grandson of Nampeyo (1856-1942), who was considered one of the finest Hopi potters and she inspired several generations of family members to make pottery and art, including her daughters Fannie Nampeyo and Annie Healing.

Part of Dan Namingha’s exhibition  (Courtesy)

In 2014, a Museum of Northern Arizona exhibit titled, “Nampeyo:Namingha - Tradition & Transition” featured the work of Dan and his sons Arlo and Michael. The family currently displays their work at the family-owned Niman Gallery in downtown Santa Fe.

This year some of the artists are attending are: Teri Greeves, Keri Ataumbi, Aaron Cajero, Joe Cajero Jr, Arnold Goodluck, Chris Pruitt, Cliff Fragua, Dominique Toya, Nancy Youngblood, Jody Naranjo, Ken Romero, Ernest & Veronica Benally, Black Eagle, Duran Gaspar, Dolores Purdy, Dawn Dark Mountain, Marla Allison, Brent Learned, Ricardo Cate, Nocona Burgess, Felix Vigil, Frederica Antonio, Charlene Holy Bear, Mona & Charlene Laughing, Kathleen Wall, Les Namingha, Lorenzo Tafoya, Maria Samora, Michael Roanhorse, Robert Eustace Jones, Rhett Lynch, Upton Ethelbah Jr, Estella Loretto, Sally Black, Robert Spooner Marcus, LaDonna Victoriano, Victoria Adams, and Yellowman.

The Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival is the major fund raiser for the Museum of Indian Art and Culture and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. Monetary donations and  25% of art sales go to supporting MIAC programs. For more information and a full artist list, go to:



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