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Fall Native Art Market to be held at Arts + Literature Laboratory on Oct. 7 and 8

Native Art Market Fall 2023 (Photo: Arts + Literature Laboratory)

Arts + Literature Lab on Madison’s East Side will be hosting a Fall Native Art Market from 10 am to 5 pm on the weekend of Oct. 7 and 8 — in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Oct. 9 —by showcasing 20 Native artists who will be sharing and selling their work in galleries along with free demonstrations. 

Dakota Mace is an interdisciplinary artist who works out of the Arts + Literature Lab space focusing on translating the language of Diné history and beliefs, and developed the idea for the Fall Native Art Market earlier this year. The market will highlight the range of products that Indigenous artists will have for sale including Indigenous beadwork, quillwork, weaving, leatherwork, metals, and clothing.

“For many Indigenous communities, their family traditions, culture, language, and future are expressed through their art,” Mace stated in a release. “This essential artistic expression connects to the past, present, and future and is vital for maintaining cultural traditions. For most, creating art provides a source of income and also opens up opportunities for Indigenous makers to continue the education and cultural resilience of their art.”

There will be a free performance on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 pm by Duo Pukra playing Indigenous music from the Andes featuring siblings Richard Hildner Armacanqui and Natalia Hildner Armacanqui. There will also be additional work of Native artists Monty Little and John Hitchcock (with Chad Oliver) in the main galleries of the Lab. Admission is free for the market, exhibitions, and performances. 

Mace piloted the Market first in May 2023 as a platform for Indigenous artists to share their work and raise awareness of Indigenous cultures and supporting artists in the community. Mace and collaborator Paige Skenandore invited 20 artists to participate including Rebecca Comfort (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community); Charlotte Easterling (Oglala Sioux);Ruth A. Garvin (Sac and Fox Nation); Harmony Hill (Oneida); Xavier Horkman (Oneida); Monty Little (Diné); Dakota Mace (Diné); Joe Mace (Diné); Laura Manthe (Oneida); MicahMarie E. McCann (Ho-Chunk); Marjorie MorningStar Mehojah (Oneida); Sayokla Kindness-Williams (Oneida); Cynthia Otero (Diné); Eliza Skenandore (Oneida); Liandra Skenandore (Oneida); Paige Skenandore (Oneida); Miranda Smith (Oneida); Cynthia Thomas (Oneida); Crystal Wabnum (Kickapoo); and Sunny Webster (Oneida).

The Market is being supported by a plethora of community partners and Mace hopes that it will instill a framework of appreciating the art and culture while supporting artists.

“Through this market, I hope to challenge the fetishization of Indigenous art and allow each artist’s work to speak to the importance of community and tradition,” Mace stated in a press release. “For participating artists, it is about creating a new visual language independent of the western gaze, embracing our complexity, and seeing our art through our eyes. Through shared experiences, we can reimagine a new future of Indigenous art that embraces our art as more than a symbol of aesthetic decoration but one that forms from experimentation. The market provides a space for Indigenous people to push those boundaries while fostering and supporting Indigenous/Native artists.”