Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

First Journey to the Heard Fair


Neebin Southall (Chippewas of Rama First Nation), FAAM contributor here. This past week, America Meredith and I took a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, to table a media booth for First American Art Magazine at the 58th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market. I had never been to the Heard Fair before, nor spent time in Phoenix, so the days were packed with new experiences.

On Thursday, we first casually explored Phoenix. The street art was fabulous.

[Click on pictures to enlarge]

Later that afternoon, we headed to Scottsdale’s arts district to check out the galleries and the Scottsdale ArtWalk. There was an incredible amount of beautiful art on display. One gallery even had pre-Columbian work, which I did not get a chance to photograph but was amazing nonetheless.



After Scottsdale, we headed back to Phoenix. Next on the list was 1Spot Gallery, for the opening of Nihiáłchíní éí bąąh – For Our Children. 1Spot Gallery features contemporary Native art and is a pretty cool avenue for experimental, socially conscious work. I had the pleasure of meeting Damian Jim, a Navajo artist and graphic designer whose work I have followed online; Katja Lehmann, who wrote a guest article, “Byting Willows” for my Exploring Native Graphic Design column; and Bahe Whitethorne Sr. and his son, Bahe Whitethorne Jr. (both Navajo); among other attendees. Bahe Whitethorne Jr. created a painting with electric colors during the opening, which was raffled off after he completed the piece. America won the raffle! We stopped by the next morning to pick up the piece. After the 1Spot Gallery opening, we made a brief appearance at Halo Piercing and Jewelry for their artist reception for Pat Pruitt and Marla Allison (both Laguna).



The next day included more exploration of the area, errands, and of course, attendance of the Heard’s Best of Show Reception and Dinner. The dinner was excellent, and a time to catch up with friends. Unfortunately, I missed the “Bejeweled & Bedazzled” fashion and accessories show, but I did manage to get a few photos of some of the award-winning work, before a volunteer hustled the crowd out. A number of people I know won ribbons. Congratulations to all the winners! To see the full list of winners, click here.



The Heard Fair commenced, and on Saturday and Sunday we worked the booth with help from our generous friends. We handed out hundreds of magazines, signed people up for subscriptions, and raffled off beautiful works of art. On Sunday, I had a chance to look around and take some photographs. There was so much to see. I even bought a few things for myself. It was good to see old friends and meet new people.


After the market, we had breakfast with some friends and stopped by the Heard. I finally had a chance to look around the actual museum and was surprised and pleased to see that they had work from the Great Lakes in one of their exhibitions. There were some gorgeous Ojibwe bandolier bags, among other work. Then, we then hit the road back to Santa Fe.


Thank you to everyone who made the trip an action-packed experience!


All photos by Neebinnaukzhik Southall, unless otherwise noted.


1 Comment

  1. I’m looking for an artist that I saw there. I have a pic of him with sunglasses on, standing beside his painting. I’ve had the hardest time tracking down his info.

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