52nd Indian Fair & Market
    Heard Museum – Phoenix
             March 6 & 7, 2010

One of the country’s premier Indian fairs and markets attracts collectors to the Heard Museum grounds in downtown Phoenix the first weekend of March.

More than 700 Native American artists display a vast array of original arts and crafts.

Umbrella for Shade

 

* Beadwork

* Carvings

* Jewelry

* Paintings

* Pottery

* Rugs

* Sculpture

* Textiles

 

Basket Hat Lady

 The artisans come from all over America, not just Arizona. To participate each artist must be jurored into the show, a prestigious acknowledgement of the quality of their work.

A basket weaver from the Pacific Northwest Coast creations represent traditional woven items of the region.

While Southwest Indian art is well represented. Tribal members from around the country exhibit contemporary and traditional art forms.

 

Booths Rows and rows of booths and large exhibit tents gives each artist individual space to display their work. Whether one is a serious collector or just looking for an inexpensive keepsake shoppers get to met the person who created their chosen purchase.

 

Hopi Baskets

The green yucca plant is an important material for Hopi basket makers. This Hopi artist was happy to explain the process from gathering the natural materials to finished product.

The more we learn the more we appreciate the time, talent and skill involved in creating each piece. Many of the traditional designs have been passed down through several generations. Artists often say they first learned from their grandmothers.

 

 

Silversmith Throughout the weekend artist demonstrations let us view the creative process. Whether it’s working a flat piece of silver into a lovely necklace or transforming a lump of clay into a pottery figurine shoppers enjoy watching the artists at Pot Polisherwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sash Weaver Questions are willingly answered. As we talk with the artists we witness an unique balance of modesty and pride in their art form.

Music, including R. Carlos Nakai, and dance performances give attendees a  break from shopping. There is so much to take in we find it helpful to switch focus from time to time.

Each year a different tribal group is featured, the Hopi in 2009 and bands of the Apache people in 2010. “Apache Peoples and Arts” will highlight elder artists, food, a wikieup (traditional Apache lodging), and storytelling by Apache entertainer Ken Duncan.

 

Hope Piki

What would an event be without food? Not to worry, there are plenty of opportunities to nosh our way through the day. Of course, there is traditional Indian fry bread. We fascinated to watch the Hopi piki maker. Piki is a thin rolled bread made with fine blue corn flour and culinary ash. The maker spreads a thin layer of the batter on a hot griddle with her hand. Almost immediately the practically transparent layer of piki is ready to be rolled. Watching the labor intensive steps we understand why this is a rare treat.

 

Stirring the Pot

Apache acorn soup will be available in 2010 as well as selections ranging from Cajun and Mexican specialties to gelato. Tables in the tree shaded courtyard are the perfect place for people watching as we have lunch.

Lunch Break

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Fair tickets include admission to the ten galleries of the Heard Museum. However, we found so much to do and see at the Fair & Market that the museum had to wait for another day.

Gates swing open for general admission both Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am – 5pm.

 

Museum Entrance

 

Sculpture

Free Garden Visit

Cactus Fan Residents and visitors in the Phoenix/Scottsdale region can enjoy a FREE visit to the Desert Botanical Garden tomorrow, February 9, 2010, from 1-8pm. The garden occupies 50 acres of Papago Park, and is home to a broad collection of desert plants and foliage. Join a free docent tour to learn secrets and myths of common and rare species.

Themed trails through the acres include the Desert Discovery Loop, Desert Wildflower Loop, Herb Garden, Sonoran Desert Nature Loop and

Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail. Take a leisurely break at the Patio Cafe for lunch or afternoon Three Red Spikesrefreshment. 

In cooperation with the Heard Museum an exhibit of Allan Houser’s bronze sculptures currently enriches the garden experience. A renowned Native American artist, Houser gained world-wide recognition for his modernistic works before his death in 1994.

Houser Sculpture

Whether you can take advantage of the February 9, 2010 FREE day or not put the Desert Botanical Garden on your “To Do” list while in Phoenix.

Click to see a slide show of Desert Botanical Gardens images.

Previous Desert Botanical Garden Posts

Chihuly: The Nature of Glass by Night

Dale Chihuly Nature of Glass Exhibit

Night Lights on the Desert

flw-sun-on-logoFrank Lloyd Wright created Taliesin West as the winter home for his school of architecture. The campus sits on the flank of the McDowell Mountains overlooking Scottsdale, Arizona. Protected acres of pristine Sonoran desert surrounds the Wright designed buildings as suburbia creeps ever closer. Visitors from around the world come to tour Taliesin West and learn more about Wright’s design philosophy.

On past visits we’ve taken the 90-minute Insights and the 3-hour Behind the Scenes Tours, each time learning about, perhaps, the best known of 20th-century American architects. This time we made reservations for the Night Lights on the Desert Tour.flw-sculpture-in-sun1

Beginning just before sunset, the two-hour tour includes everything on the daytime Insights Tour plus a stop for refreshments. On most evenings participants are also treated to colorful sunsets followed by star-studded skies and the lights of Scottsdale/Phoenix in the valley below.

Before the tour begins Bob scurries to catch photos as the late afternoon sun warm buildings, sculpture and landscape. As our guide gives background on Wright and Taliesin West we keep eyes focused westward, not to be rude but to watch the kaleidoscope of changing colors – from pinks, violets and lemon yellow to bronze, burnt orange and deep purple.

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When the color show fades we visit Wright’s private office and the living room. Labeled the Garden Room by Wright, this was the social center for family, guests, associates and students. We sit in Wright-designed furniture while the guide tells us about construction methods and materials. This evening we are guests in the Wright home, perhaps his dynamic spirit hovers there with us.

flw-sun-on-studio1After stopping in the bedroom wing the group partakes of tea, lemonade and cookies in an alcove outside of the dining room. Wind prohibits the fire-breathing dragon from staying lit but an outdoor corner fireplace nips the slight chill in the air. The tour concludes with visits to the Kiva, Cabaret Theater and Music Pavilion.

Although there is some duplication, each tour we’ve taken has offered new information and insights. Every guide has been extremely well versed with an obvious dedication to accuracy, however, you do get a slightly different view as the guide’s own interest, knowledge and background come through. We plan to take the Desert Shelter Tour the next time we’re in Scottsdale

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When You Go: Taliesin West offers the Insights and Panorama Tours Daily except Easter, Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. Other tours are available either seasonally or on particular days of the week. The website gives tour details and rates. Reservations taken by phone at 480-860-2700 Ext. 494. Tours often fill to capacity, especially those not given daily, reservations are strongly advised.

Get Off the Road in Phoenix

Ride Metro Light Rail

metro-1Phoenix public transportation got a huge boost when Metro Light Rail opened in late December 2008. Twenty miles of the system is complete; carrying passengers from central Phoenix (north of downtown) to the west side of  Mesa. The route runs near Ballpark Arena, Papago Park, Downtown Tempe, Arizona State University and Sun Devil Stadium. From the 44th and Washington station a shuttle connects passengers with all four terminals at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. An automated train route around the airport that will connect with Metro is under construction.

Riding the route end to end requires about 70 minutes. Downtown Phoenix to downtown Tempe takes 25 minutes. If you’ve ever been jammed on a Phoenix freeway when traffic comes to a crawl you’ll love the Metro option. Fares are $1.25 for one ride or $2.50 for the entire day. Tickets may be purchased at machines in each station. Don’t forget to validate the ticket after purchase before boarding the train. On weekdays trains operate about every 10 minutes from 6am – 7pm, 20 minutes apart other operating hours. On weekends and holidays trains arrive every 15 minutes 6am-7pm, 20 minutes early morning and until 11pm.

metro-footstepsDuring our Phoenix visit the hotel was one block from a Metro station, we used it to avoid traffic and parking at the Heard Museum Indian Fair and to dinner downtown. We found the stations to be clean and well lit with shaded waiting areas. Each station is individualized with public art. At the Osborn/Central station bronze shoe and foot prints traverse the platform, a fun element but not especially outstanding as a work of art. More dramatic and eye-catching sculptures, murals and decorative walls adorn other stations.

It’s a treat to find a city in the Southwest where you can get to cultural, sports, parks, shopping and dining via light rail. Cheers for the option of getting off the road onto light rail in Phoenix.

Chihuly: The Nature of Glass by Night

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As night descends on the Desert Botanical Garden the Chihuly: The Nature of Glass exhibit becomes even more dramatic and intriguing. Photographs can’t fully capture the entire essence of the evening illumination.

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Tickets are timed for four-hour blocks, visitors may enter at any time during the four-hours. The 4pm – 8pm ticket with arrival near 4pm allows time to see the exhibit in daylight, enjoy a snack or dinner break at the Patio Cafe during sunset and experience the glass and gardens under the clear Arizona night sky.

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Reservations are strongly advised, evenings frequently sell out. Chihuly: The Nature of Glass exhibit runs through the end of May 2009. If you’re anywhere near the Phoenix area include a visit to Desert Botanical Gardens and the Chihuly exhibit. You’ve never before seen anything like it.

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Click here for more Chihuly Nature of Glass at the Desert Botanical Garden.

It Happens

You know what “It” is. Our room phone rang at 7:01am. I’m thinking we didn’t request a wake-up call. “Is this Nancy? Sorry to bother you so early. What kind of car do you drive? It’s been broken into, if you can come down to the lobby the police are on their way.”

Welcome to Phoenix!

I throw clothes on from the night before and get downstairs pronto. The mind is whirling, “What did we leave in the car? How much damage will there be? How will this affect the trip?” The night  auditor insists on walking out with me. Broken glass covers the ground, items are scattered on the pavement.

Initial assessment is that it’s not as bad as it could be, a couple of tote bags are missing. The snack bag is gone – I hope the creeps like granola bars. I’m going to owe my public library when I get home, a bag with two books and two books on tape has taken flight – I hope they have a literary bent. The irony is that it was one of my favorite totes and was a gift a few years ago from the Arizona Tourism Office.

The hotel staff is terrific, from manager to maintenance, front desk to Starbucks barista. There are a couple of other victims as well. Police are called – the hotel placed four calls but  the police did  finally come and take a report. I know that in many cities that would not have been the case. Glass was swept, brushed and picked out of nooks. Lattes are provided while insurance company is contacted, glass company suggestions were made, schedules rearranged.

By mid-afternoon we were once again operational. The Desert Botanical Gardens were understanding and slid our entry ticket time from 8am to 4pm. By bedtime we realized a few more items were among the missing, three bottles of hard cider – I hope they were of drinking age, and $60 of speciality pecans – they better appreciate our gourmet taste. Sorry Pat P.

As disappointing and disruptive as this was to deal with we can’t help but realize it could have been a whole lot worse. One or two lowlife left a lasting impression about Phoenix but many more kind citizens did all they could to lend a hand. We’ll try to remember the positives.

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