American Indian Cultural Arts Festival returns to Aztec Ruins this weekend

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − Performances by the Oak Canyon Dancers from Jemez Pueblo will serve as the highlight when Aztec Ruins National Monument presents its annual American Indian Cultural Arts Festival this weekend.

The event, now in its fifth year, will feature nearly 20 artists from pueblos and reservations across New Mexico. The free festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at the monument, which is located at 725 Ruins Road in Aztec.

Nathan Hatfield, the chief of interpretation at Aztec Ruins and at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, said more than 20 artists will be set up in the shaded picnic area at the monument, where they will demonstrate and sell their work. In the past, the event has drawn up to 400 people, he said.

"It's a good crowd for us," he said. "That's a big number."

The list of participating artists includes Zefren Anderson, J.P. Aviso, Deborah Bennett, Michael Billie, Travis Jensen, Roy Kady, Barbara J. Morgan and Venaya Yazzie, all Navajo/Diné ; as well as Randy and Alex Dukepoo, Kurt Lomawaima, Gwen Satalla and Delaine Chee Tootsie of the Hopi Nation; and Marcus Cadman (Navajo/Kickapoo), De Haven Soliman Chaffins (Laguna/Zuni), Everett Fragua (Jemez), Andrew and Judith Harvier (Santa Clara), Sheldon Nunez-Velarde (Jicarilla Apache), Carmella Tenorio (Kewa/Santo Domingo) and Todd Westika (Zuni).

The artists work in various media, including contemporary art, pottery, baskets, drums, carved fetishes and weavings.

The Oak Canyon Dancers are scheduled to perform in the morning and in the afternoon, Hatfield said.

He said the Chaco Culture Conservancy is providing funding for the event.

Call 505-334-6174 for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or Support local journalism with a digital subscription: