Held annually Columbus Day weekend, Tuhisma Hopi Arts Show has returned to the Veterans Memorial Center on Second Mesa (Hopi, Arizona). Last year it was held in Tuba City. This year the dates are October 12th and 13th, 2013. The hours are 9 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. In the past, the event was held on Saturday only.
The first year I went, I didn’t know what to expect at the show. But I came away totally impressed with the quality of the art and the friendliness of the people.
Part of the excitement of heading to the Hopi Mesas for this event was the drive from Winslow to Second Mesa along Highway 87 North. A one and a half hour drive will take you back in time and impress you with the vastness of the landscape as you traverse the Navajo Reservation. You’ll see small farms, livestock and some beautiful natural rock formations. If you are lucky enough to travel on a day when there are clouds, the scenery can be breathtaking. You’ll know you are in Hopi when you drive up the rocky cliff to the top of the mesa.
The Hopi Veterans Memorial Center is located on Second Mesa, not far from the Hopi Cultural Center. There are signs leading you to the event. If you are coming from Winslow, just turn left at the Hopi Cultural Center. The Veterans Memorial Center is a large modern building off to the left.
Enjoying the Show
The first year we went, we entered the Veterans Memorial building and were greeted by a lovely woman who took a $5 entry fee and told us all about the history of the show. She clearly was proud of the accomplishments of Tuhisma and the artists of Hopi.
Next we stopped by the t-shirt and poster table. You could purchase poster art from all the past shows including the current one – all suitable for framing, all beautiful examples of Hopi art.
I was amazed at what I saw. A pendant with a cut of stone that looked like the branches of a tree… or was it lightening? Through the branches peeked glints of opal. And then there was the beautiful serving bowl with pottery spoon that had fire clouds that looked like they had been artistically placed on the highly polished pottery. This was clearly a quality show.
Each artist took time to explain their art, their culture and their techniques. They readily accepted questions. I ran into Wayland Namingha, Jr., who had been awarded a first place ribbon for his amazingly detailed traditional Sunface Katsina. He was selling out fast!
When compared to larger shows such as The Heard and the Santa Fe Indian Market, Tuhisma was very small, but the quality more than made up for it. I suppose there were under 50 artists represented and the visitors did not crowd the large gym, but the warmth and enthusiasm was evident. Collectors would have a field day!
We visited with more potters, basket makers and saw quilts and paintings. After the show we had lunch at the Hopi Cultural Center restaurant.
As the clouds moved in and a chill enveloped the area, we decided to return to Winslow and enjoy the scenery and the changing skies as we traveled.
Hopi is very accessible both from Winslow and Tuba City. You can make it a memorable weekend by staying at such places as La Posada in Winslow or The Moenkopi Legacy Hotel, the Hopi hotel in Tuba City. The Hopi Cultural Center also has rooms.