Heard Museum Show 2023

On Saturday, Mother and I attended the 65th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix which is considered to be one of the premier events worldwide to showcase Native American art. Folks do travel from all over the world to attend this market and we are lucky enough to be only 20 minutes away, basically a straight shot west from our location. This was our first time attending - we had plans to go last year but had to return home abruptly days before the market after Kuochun suffered his heart attack. Monday marked the one year anniversary of this event. I am immensely grateful that Kuochun is doing so much better now and that we are all together in Arizona for the first time this winter where we can look out for each other.

I was concerned about navigating a wheelchair around the market as I was afraid it would be packed with people like sardines. We found that since the market is mostly held in the parking lot of the museum we had to use the parking lot of a church a few blocks away. The charge was $10 but since we arrived fairly early there were plenty of spaces available. Driving around the neighborhood we found it to be stunning - the caliber and architectural interest of the homes reminded me of River Forest. On Palm Drive, the aptly named street was lined on both sides with majestic tall palm trees. It was just beautiful!

I visited the grounds of the Heard Museum a few years ago, I believe it was before the home purchase. Mother and I met with one of her childhood friends growing up in Wauwatosa, WI who happened to be living in Scottsdale at the time. We ate lunch at the cafe which was very lovely and visited the gift shop which is quite large and not only has plenty of Native American jewelry and art to purchase, but a room filled with very special pieces which are not for sale.

The market was a combination of individual 10x10 outdoor tents and large tents with multiple artists housed within each one. Although there were plenty of people in attendance, it was not nearly as crowded as I expected. There was an admission charge of $25 for adults and $20 for seniors but it is the major fundraiser for the museum for the year. I was surprised that we only waited a couple of minutes in line to purchase our tickets. The market was run in such a professional manner - I saw many volunteers holding "Booth Relief" signs in case any of the artists needed a break.

Navigating through the large tents was way more challenging than the individual tents but we made it through! The market was advertised as having 600 artists but it seemed like half the size. I observed that these were all top-notch artists, definitely the best in class. There was no entry-level traditional-style work as I have seen a lot of at other markets. I would say it was about 75% jewelry but there were paintings, sculpture, pottery and even Christmas ornaments. Of course, we were there for the jewelry!

I recognized quite a few artists from belonging to the Native American jewelry Facebook groups and saw a couple of group members right off the bat as well. One of them has an uncanny resemblance to one of our former estate sale helpers so she is easy to spot.

I had no expectations about purchasing any jewelry as I felt it would be out of budget but we did find wonderful jewelry to buy. My first purchase was from Navajo artist Tonya June Rafael. She looked gorgeous and stylish with her necklace layering and Mother complimented her. I purchased this oversized link necklace with hand stampwork and a coordinating bale. I have a similar bracelet with a hummingbird design on it so the two pieces will go well together. The bale was only $35 so I picked it up as well, I like to have one on hand for future projects and in the meantime I can clip it on pendants that have a hook.

My second purchase was from Santo Domingo, NM (Kewa Pueblo) artist Mary Louise Tafoya. She is renowned for her mosaic inlay work. This was fairly early on but I told Mother if you are going to buy anything from this market you need to buy something from Mary! I have been wanting a necklace from her for years but the prices online are out of sight. This was one instance where purchasing directly from the artist was a big benefit. It took me zero time to decide as I found the perfect necklace for me - I love the colors and charming floral style. I tried it on with a black shirt when I returned home and it just popped. I picked up coordinating earrings as well. It took Mother a little longer to narrow it down but she found an everyday necklace and coordinating earrings. She was tempted to get a bird pin/pendant as well but ended up passing on it.

The booth of Navajo silversmiths Trent Lee-Anderson and Kyle Lee-Anderson caught my eye as they are the sons of Allison Snowhawk Lee. Allison Lee sadly passed last year and was known for his outstanding quality of work. This was the first time for me to see the work of his sons and they are well-taught, their work is also impeccable. I purchased this bracelet and earrings with handmade fluted and round beads. The bracelet fits like a dream! Kyle is going to shorten another bracelet which had burnished beads for me, it was one bead too long.

I bought Mother the amazing ring for a belated birthday gift. She really wanted the post earrings with squash blossom dangles but they were out of budget so she opted for the posts. These are wonderful everyday pieces. Maybe some day I will splurge on the matching necklace.

I could not find the perfect piece at the market but would definitely like to order from Navajo artist Karlene Goodluck in the future. I am really in tune with her style which is cute and cheerful with butterfly, dragonfly, hummingbird and floral themes. I tried on her showpiece but it was kind of long for me and orange spiny oyster shell is not my color. I thought the dragonfly necklace was outstanding but out of my range. However Karlene said she makes floral chains like the one on the dragonfly in just about any size. I took these quick photos and plan to e-mail her to see what she can do. What a delightful lady!

I definitely could have bought a lot more but had to reign myself in. Collections do evolve over time and I have some pieces that I either do not wear anymore or never wore that I can sell to make up for what I purchased. I plan to post these photos to Native American Jewelry Lovers to give props to these great artists. We loved our experience at the Heard and will totally plan to be there next year. I can see myself replacing a lot of my collection with pieces from these artists.

The lines for food were out of sight so we decided to find a place to eat elsewhere. The mid-century modern furniture district was not far but what we did not realize was that there was a street fair going on and the main road was not accessible. After driving around in frustration for a while we ended up grabbing Firehouse Subs on the way home. There used to be a Mount Prospect location and I really enjoyed their turkey sub. I thought it was a good opportunity to try it since we drove right past and there is no longer a close location back home. At this location anyway, it was not as good as I remembered it so I will not be back to Firehouse Subs in the Phoenix area. I experienced this at Smashburger last year as well. There are so many great places to eat here I will just stick to local spots and skip the chains.

I posted this mini lot of Federico jewelry on Tuesday but unfortunately there were no takers. As I say again and again, turquoise rules! However I did sell two additional pieces from the turquoise lot l posted last week. One of them was a necklace for Mother so this will help pay for her jewelry. Too bad but after seeing the beautiful beaded jewelry at the market, she was sorry to have sold it.

Instead of posting more jewelry lots, I focused on polishing and pricing jewelry to ship home for the caravan. I had hoped to get a package out Saturday but was unable to because attending the market took all day. I feel confident that the package will go out Monday and arrive in time to showcase the new jewelry at our Lake Forest sale which does not start until Saturday. So far I have lots of vintage budget-friendly sterling silver earrings and pendants with and without stones, the collection of whimsical costume jewelry necklaces which came from the Gem Show and some vintage sterling silver and amber pieces including an amazing huge pendant. There will be designer jewelry by Lori Bonn, Sajen and others and I even found a couple of great Saint Patrick's Day items including a vintage charm bracelet by Lunch At The Ritz and a rhinestone shamrock pin.

On the online store front, I ended up losing most of the listings I paid for because Vendoo made the cutoff day March 2 instead of March 3 as I expected. I learned a lesson though - I will first prepare all the basic listings for the month in Vendoo before taking the time to crosslist them to the other marketplaces. That way I can crosslist at my own pace.

The first floor office is about 80% set up - I moved the printer out of my bedroom and the laptop and Cricut are ready to go. I just need to figure out how to get all the cords off the desktop and into the cord keeper. Maybe I can get a USB extension cord. So far things are working out great - everything I need for shipping is either in the desk or credenza, no standing or running around required to ship jewelry packages. Plus it has been really enjoyable to look out at the patio while working now that I cleared it of the for sale items. We have a great view of the top of Camelback Mountain as we are only about two miles south of it. The workspaces are all sorted out - my bedroom will be reserved for estate sale work and printing dumbbell price tags for jewelry, the first floor will be for shipping packages and pricing jewelry and the garage for shooting photos and storing excess jewelry and props.

Upcoming tasks will be to make as much headway as possible with the jewelry before the transition back to full-time estate sale work. After two weeks with no sales we suddenly have four sales next week in Lake Forest, Lemont, River Grove and Vernon Hills. There should be room for the jewelry caravan at all four locations. Also, I still need to organize from the aftermath of the garage sale. I ordered hanger clips from a Facebook ad, I am hoping to be able to stack the clothing on the two large clothing racks to save space. It is looking more and more likely that I will send a U-Haul box home as storage space is limited here. I also need to be concerned about items disintegrating in the garage over the hot summer. In addition, tax time is rapidly approaching - I keep up with income as I go but it takes a long time to round up all of the expenses.

Until next time!