Keno Zahney works on a painting he presented at the 2012 Totah Festival juried art show competition.
Keno Zahney works on a painting he presented at the 2012 Totah Festival juried art show competition. (Daily Times file photo)

FARMINGTON — The annual Totah Festival starts Saturday at the Farmington Civic Center.

The 26th annual festival is an opportunity for Native American artists to show off their culture and craft. The festival features art shows, a powwow and a rug auction.

The Totah Festival Foundation uses the annual event to provide a marketplace for Native American artists, promoting Native art and encouraging the development of new artists.

"It is a great chance to learn more about Native cultures and especially Native arts," said Bart Wilsey, a foundation board member.

Wilsey said the Totah Festival, which is the largest Native American festival in Farmington, attracts thousands of people each year.

Seven-year-old Odalis Uentillie of Kirtland, performs a fancy dance during the 2013 Totah Festival at the Farmington Civic Center.
Seven-year-old Odalis Uentillie of Kirtland, performs a fancy dance during the 2013 Totah Festival at the Farmington Civic Center. (Daily Times file photo)

Prior to the official start of the festival, the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park will host an art reception. In the past, the reception also served as a chance to unveil the Totah Festival poster, however, the foundation decided not to have a poster contest this year, Wilsey said.

"We decided to focus more on the art and the rug auction," Wilsey said.

The rug auction is Wilsey's favorite part of the festival. Through the auction, Wilsey has gotten to know many of the weavers and he said he enjoys seeing the colors and patterns of the rugs.

"It's almost like Christmas to me every time they come in," he said.

Entries for the festival are accepted through Friday. Entry forms are available online at fmtn.org/farmingtonmuseum.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.