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Aztec Ruins event focuses on Native American art
FARMINGTON — For the second year, Aztec Ruins National Monument will present an event this weekend focusing on arts and crafts produced by Native American artists.
Park Ranger Cyresa Bloom said the event will feature 14 artists from across the Southwest, including members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes and from the pueblos of Kewa and Zuni.
The artwork that will be on display and for sale includes paintings, fetishes, jewelry and pottery, ranging from traditional to contemporary genres.
In addition to connecting visitors to artists, the event offers an opportunity for visitors to speak directly to the artists about their work.
Artists will demonstrate their works, which will provide visitors with insight to native culture, she said.
"It has much more impact or significance coming from someone with cultural ties," Bloom said, adding it also adds to the visitor's experience.
The national monument partnered with the N.A.T.I.V.E. Project to develop and organize the event.
The N.A.T.I.V.E. Project is a program offered by Capacity Builders Inc. that provides financial and technical assistance to Native American artists from or residing in the Four Corners.
Michael Billie, who oversees the program, said the event has a twofold impact by exhibiting artwork by regional artists and by providing artists the opportunity to increase their clientele.
"People that buy art are always intrigued how it is made. It's educational for them," Billie said.
Bloom said the event took place in the spring last year, but it was moved to the summer this year because visitation to the national monument is higher.
It also adds to the menu of cultural events offered by the national monument, she added.
The second annual American Indian Cultural Arts Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec.
Admission to the event and to the monument will be free that day.
The Pueblo Enchantment Dancers from the Pueblo of Acoma will dance in the morning and in the afternoon.
The event will include a food and beverage sale by the Friends of Aztec Ruins.
For more information, contact Aztec Ruins National Monument at 505-334-6174.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.