The Briscoe Western Art Museum will host its popular Yanaguana Indian Arts Market at the museum’s campus on the banks of the San Antonio River Walk on Oct. 7 and 8. Now in its fourth year, the two-day event features dancing, musical performances, storytelling, artist demonstrations (ledger art, printmaking, pottery, carving, and weaving), interactive art making, and Native American-inspired food. Artist booths offer the opportunity to purchase handmade works by the country’s leading Native artists. This vibrant community event gives visitors a glimpse into tribal tradition and contemporary Native culture. The Market runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and admission is free.
Yanaguana refers to the San Antonio River’s earliest known name, given by the Payaya people who once inhabited this region. Located along that same river, the Briscoe opened its doors in October 2013 with a mission to preserve and present the art and culture of the American West. Support for Native artists, their livelihood, and the integrity of their artistic process is very much a part of the Briscoe’s institutional mission.
Highlights of this year’s event include a performance by Innastate, a contemporary indigenous reggae/rock band from Santa Fe, N.M.; a workshop in ledger art and turquoise 101 seminar; Eagle Point drumming; contemporary Native American flute; and a guided market tour highlighting artists in attendance and their artistic processes.
New to this year’s Market will be a collaboration between performing artist and educator Ty Defoe and members of IBEX Puppetry, an entertainment group headed up by Heather Henson, daughter of the late Jim Henson. Together they will present a storytelling performance which incorporates Native themes inspired by the IBEX show, “Crane: On Earth, In Sky.” IBEX puppeteers will also be roaming the market throughout the weekend, interacting with guests and staffing a puppet-making station.
Since the inception of the Yanaguana market, artist participation and attendance has grown dramatically. With the help of an Artist Selection Committee – made of up of national experts in the Native arts community – the Briscoe has extended invitations to artists working in diverse media such as pottery, sculpture, beadwork, basketry, jewelry, carving, and painting.
Participating artists represent more than two dozen federally recognized tribes from various parts of the country. The Yanaguana market is held in accordance with the Indian Arts & Crafts Act, a critical piece of legislation that protects Native artists and consumers. Market attendees are assured that what they purchase is authentic and that the materials used are of the highest quality.