100-Plus Native American Artists, Entertainers Bring Traditions to 26th Litchfield Park Gathering
More than 100 Native American artists representing over 20 tribal affiliations from across the nation will bring diverse, hand-made original artwork to the invitation-only 26th anniversary Litchfield Park Gathering Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13-14.
In the tradition of a street festival, The Gathering will be in the center of town where artist booths will line Old Litchfield Road south of Wigwam Blvd as well as across the lawn of the Litchfield Park Library, 101 W. Wigwam Blvd., and on the nearby Gazebo lawn. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
The Festival is free.
The Gathering will continue a tradition of celebrating Native American heritage through the arts with active teaching, demonstrations and presentations throughout the weekend.
The Gathering features artists and artisans displaying and selling a balance of art forms including traditional and contemporary beadwork, clothing, jewelry, paintings and prints, pottery, sculptures and weaving, basketry, carvings and glass art. Cultural Arts will be reflected in classical guitar, clothing and Navajo rugs, quilts, rock art, Wampum shells, bows and arrows, sand art, rattles and fetish carvings.
Among the entertainment scheduled throughout the weekend:
• Daily musical performances by Artificial Red, Gabriel Ayala and Adrian Wall.
• Hoop Dancing: Moontee Sinquah and sons will perform each afternoon.
• Saturday Featured Entertainment: Kehewin Native Dance Theatre, 11:30 a.m.;
Trickster Trilogy: 3 traditional trickster stories told with larger-than-life masks and including 3 Pow Wow dance styles performed between each story, and hoop dance.
• Sunday Featured Entertainment: Kehewin Native Dance Theatre, 12 p.m.;
Stories from Mother Earth: a collection of stories that speak to the connection of Native people to Mother Earth.
• Hoop Dancing Lessons: 30-minute lessons taught by Violet Duncan at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Cultural Education Area.
• Children's Pavilion: free make-and-take crafts including corn husk dolls, feather necklaces and mini clay pots.
James D. Tsoodle's acrylic-on-canvas painting Horse Nation is the official commemorative poster artwork. Tsoodle (www.jamesdtsoodle.com), of Albuquerque, whose ancestry hails from both Kiowa and Taos Pueblo, paints Native American warriors of the Northern and Southern Plains. The vivid orange and yellow background colors in Horse Nation are contrasted by the silhouetted foreground images of a single warrior guiding a herd of horses across the plains.
The festival is presented by the City of Litchfield Park with funding, in part, from the Arizona Office of Tourism and The Wigwam, as well as cooperation from the Heard Museum and the West Valley Arts Council.
For more information, visit www.litchfieldparkgathering.com.
Photo by Steve Carr