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Want to shop Indigenous this season? First Americans Museum Winter Holiday Art Market is back

Kristin Gentry
First Americans Museum
More than 50 artists will be selling everything from prints, jewelry, makeup, basketry and more at the First Americans Museum.

Put on your ribbon skirts and get ready to shop. Oklahoma's own First Americans Museum will have over 50 artists selling items ranging from handmade neckties to baskets to makeup products for those on your holiday shopping list.

First Americans Museum Winter Holiday Art Market info:

Saturday, December 3

  • 1 p.m. Story Time with Sarah! Native American Night Before Christmas
  • 1:30 p.m. Indigenous Santa

Sunday, December 4

  • 1 p.m. Music with JJ Otero
  • 1:30 p.m. Indigenous Santa

This weekend, the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City will host its second annual Winter Holiday Art Market. Attendees can buy their holiday gifts from Indigenous artists from all over the country.

Looking for a pair of earrings to impress that special auntie on your list? A purchase from Dr. Jessica Harjo will get you back in their good books.

What about some comic book drawings from Cherokee artist Kindra Swafford, creator of the series Trash Panda tales from Indian territory? Totally for sale.

What about Native owned beauty products for those who want to look glam when they hit the town? Prados beauty products have got you.

This two day market features creations from 50 Indigenous artists from Oklahoma and beyond. Visitors will enjoy artist demonstrations, live music and food. For the kids, there will be a weaving and loom make and take workshop and yes, Indigenous Santa Claus is returning!

Artist Kristin Gentry is the assistant manager of the museum store. She said the market features the full range in terms of price and scale

"We have fine art, silversmiths, metalsmiths — you can get really nice, beautiful jewelry," Gentry said.

Fine silversmith jewelry isn't the only kind of jewelry — beadwork, jewelry, medallions, regalia items will also be available for sale. Vivian Cottrell and Eva Cantrell, both Cherokee weavers, will also be selling works — beadwork, jewelry, medallions and regalia items.

The market has a community feel and is unlike other art markets that are mainly competition based and are mainly for collectors, like Santa Fe Indian Market.

"I think that allows our artists to kind of relax a little bit," Gentry said. "You're not stressed out, like, am I going to, you know, be able to advance my career because I'm winning awards? You can truly enjoy what you're making, makes some more fun stuff that you may not consider a high fine art piece, and just kind of enjoy being in the community in that sense."

This is Swafford's second time selling at the First Americans Museum Winter Holiday Art Market. She'll have some prints of her comics for sale there.

Swafford comics
Kindra Swafford
Cherokee artist Kindra Swafford draws comics from her experiences in Indian Country. "Each of those comics have either been something that I've heard in a story with my friends or something that's happened," said Swafford.

"Each of those comics have either been something that I've heard in a story with my friends or something that's happened," Swafford said. "I have one where there's a bunch of ants, and they're working together, and it shows the syllabary, it shows the community aspect of it. And I don't know, they're just kind of fun."

Most of what she will sell will be anything from prints all the way to my huge watercolor of a vulture she painted.

Kindra Swafford with Connected (1).jpg
Courtesy photo
Artist Kindra Swafford, creator of the series Trash Panda tales from Indian territory. She'll have some prints of her comics for sale at the First Americans Museum over the weekend.

"I want to also incorporate the community so that vulture will be able to stand in front of it and actually take pictures, so you can kind of sprout wings," Swafford said.

During the pandemic, she wanted a way to connect safely with people during the pandemic. That's why she chose to create a larger watercolor of the vulture. Swafford had people swarming to her booth during other markets, and she would take their picture in front of the vulture.

"The smiles on my peers faces as I took their photos, and the stories about creation that were told to me that the vulture and butterflies are incorporated in," Swafford said about the work.

Gentry is also excited about showcasing Teton Trade Cloth by Lenape, which was purchased by the Delaware Tribe.

"That's kind of groundbreaking for us because this will be the first time a tribe has owned a company that can make blankets-we don't have to rely on those other companies now, and now it's like, this is amazing for Oklahoma for that to be here," Gentry said.

The full list of artists can be found here.

Indigenous Santa
Kristin Gentry
Indigenous Santa poses with two attendees of the First Americans Museum 2021 Winter Art Market. He's back for the 2022 event at FAM this weekend.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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