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Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival in Santa Fe Memorial Day weekend

A beautiful piece by Althea Cajero, Native Treasures artist
A beautiful piece by Althea Cajero, Native Treasures artist
Native Treasures

This is the weekend for the Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival in Santa Fe. The roster of artists includes top painters, jewelers, potters, glass artists, sculptors, carvers and weavers who will showcase their work Saturday and Sunday, May 24–25, 2014, at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival benefits the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe.

The show also highlights the family connections of artists. Talented families abound at Native Treasures. Renowned jeweler, Victoria Adams, and her sister, Alexis Adams (both Southern Cheyenne/Arapaho), will make their first appearance at Native Treasures this year. Victoria is well known for her detailed and refined jewelry designs. She recently branched out into handmade purses with sterling silver and gemstone decorations. Alexis is a potter whose designs are influenced by the forms of her Cheyenne ancestors and the plants native to her home in the Sierra foothills of California. The result is a unique pottery style reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Mother and daughter, Mona and Charlene Laughing (both Diné), are master weavers who regularly win first-place ribbons for their striking and colorful work at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard show in Phoenix. They have participated in Native Treasures for the last several years. Another multi-generational family team is Robert Tenorio and his niece, Ione Coriz (both Kewa). Robert is arguably the most important Kewa potter of his time, ensuring that the traditional polychrome designs and techniques are preserved for future generations. He has mentored Ione for years and her work stands on its own, often with a bit of whimsy evident in her creations.

Accomplished artists Joe and Althea Cajero will be honored with the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) Living Treasure award. This is the first time in the 10-year history of the show that the award has been given jointly to two artists. The MIAC Living Treasure award is given in recognition of artistic excellence and community service. Renowned bronze and clay sculptor Joe Cajero is from Jemez Pueblo, and jeweler Althea Cajero is from Kewa (formerly Santo Domingo) and Acoma Pueblos. It is rare that a married couple share studio space, and even rarer that they together receive such a distinguished award.

Native Treasures is a small, but excellent annual event. For more information, visit

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