Saturday, August 27, 2011
For the last two years, I have wanted to interview Glendora about her pottery, but for one reason or another it hasn't happened until now. I'm thrilled that she finally had the time during a lull at her 2011 SWAIA Indian Market booth to talk briefly to me.
Watch my interview with Glendora Fragua HERE:
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Everyone loves a good story. Today, the Albuquerque Journal released a terrific article by David Steinberg about Laguna Pueblo potter Max Early. It's all about how he dropped out of pottery making for a while to go back to college to get his bachelor's degree at age 48, how his big comeback to SWAIA Indian Market last year with a new concept didn't happen, and how this year he finally made it happen. Proud of his accomplishments, Early is equally proud of his son Alan Early who received a young artist fellowship from SWAIA this year. The two will share a booth at Market, which marks SWAIA's 90th year.
Read the Arts section cover story in the Albuquerque Journal HERE:
Watch a video interview from last year's "The ROAD to Indian Market" series HERE:
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Kathleen Wall did an interview with the national radio program "Native America Calling." During her chat, she talked about the electric energy that happens every year during SWAIA Indian Market. She also talked about the fact that Native people make the Southwest a particularly special place. I totally agree. Upon returning to New York in late June, I was going to write a blog with a similar theme as this one, but it didn't leave my fingers naturally and I didn't want to be disingenuous. I think maybe this is what I wanted to say with some perspective thrown in after trying to reconnect with New York this time around.
The reality is that two and-a-half years ago when I left New York for Albuquerque, New Mexico, I had no idea how much I was going to be changed by one place. New York, in the many years I lived there, changed me--I grew up a bit, learned what I didn't want in life, learned what I do want in life. New Mexico taught me how to love life. Sure, in all its third-worldesque ways of working it was frustrating and it made me aggressive at times, but truthfully you will never be in a place that is more about sharing than New Mexico.
The other day, I had a conversation with a dear friend who lives on the West Side of Albuquerque, and we agreed that one of the most special things about our lives in particular is that we get to be surrounded by art 24/7 and that our Native American artist friends would give us the shirt off of their backs. Most of them struggle even more day to day, so that's saying a lot about them. The concept of sharing--at the level that Native Americans do--is essentially lost in mainstream culture, and if people do it, they mostly do it to be politically correct. Native Americans share because it is their nature. Every year, they openly welcome people into their homes during feast days, and some are even willing to share on a deeper level about their tribes, culture and language. I respect both instances of sharing and would never do anything to exploit the sacred knowledge that I have. It comes with much responsibility to a people who are are walking the edges of two worlds that in these contemporary times seem to both be confusing and difficult.
As SWAIA Indian Market approaches next weekend (August 20-21), I am thinking about how grateful I am to be able to attend again this year. I miss the sharing and that is important to me. At my age I crave things grounded in reality--being around those I love, staying mentally and physically healthy and getting to share as well. New York City is a city of ambition and people don't typically share unless there is a price. Circumstances seemed to be leading me in another direction, but then all changed, and my original plan to return to New Mexico before Market reasserted itself. I'm thrilled!
Take away the politics, the egos and the competitveness of many people involved with Indian Market, it is truly a spiritual experience. Nowhere else can you have the opportunity to talk with so many down-to-earth, incredibly talented artists and have the opportunity to make friendships with them that will last a lifetime. That is what Indian Market is to me, and I have been so blessed to have had many incredible experiences in the time that I have lived in the Southwest. If one could only have nine lives that included terrific experiences during Indian Market and getting to know Native artists in general, I have had at least ten or eleven!
It's nice to know that while humanity seems bogged down in politics, the stock market, and general survival, we can look to Native Americans, who have been survivng for centuries and still live among us with the same ingenuity, open-heartedness and wisdom that they have always had. Perhaps we can look to their art and their culture to solve some of our own problems. That is why the Road to Indian Market is paved with gold. To all my wonderful artist friends, I love you and best of luck at the 2011 SWAIA Indian Market. Happy working!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Personal style comes in many forms, and kids love to get into the act by creating distinctive accessory items that define who they are. At first Taylor Greenberg Goldy, now a 17 year-old high school senior in Manhattan, decorated tote bags and stuffed them with gifts. She then donated the bags to hospitals where children were being treated for cancer. Last year, at the Strike Out Pediatric Cancer Bowl-A-Thon, which her brother organized to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Greenberg Goldy worked with more than 60 volunteers to create 200 of her colorful bags. Once the bags were decorated and stuffed, she distributed them to children in local hospitals.
Soon the young entrepreneur realized that she could start her own company and sell kits that would enable other kids to design their own bags and raise money for charity at the same time. “Kids love to be creative and have something that no one else has,” said Greenberg Goldy. Thus, the Design-A-Bag craft kit was born, along with her company Charitotes of which she is now the President.
Design-A-Bag craft kits, which will officially be available in October, will come with a plain white canvas bag, stickers, stencils, a sketchbook, crayons, fabric markers and other materials that children can use to design their own tote bags. As part of the full roll-out of the product, the always on-her-toes Greenberg Goldy will offer a 12-pack kit that parents can use as favors for kids’ holiday and birthday parties as well as Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs.
What’s a girl to do when she wants to create a cool product that’s not only perfect for kids and tweens, but one that provides the younger set the opportunity to give back to others? In addition to the creation of her fashion-forward and environmentally-friendly gift item, Greenberg Goldy thought it was important to donate part of the profits to a cause close to her heart – the fight against pediatric cancer. As a result, 10% of sales from the kit will be donated to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
“Every day more and more gift items come into the marketplace, but do they really enrich our lives?” said Greenberg Goldy. “It is becoming more and more commonplace in our society to educate kids that it is better to give than receive. My goal was to develop a stylish product that was not only fun and creative for kids, but that would help someone else with every purchase. I can’t think of a more worthy cause than the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.”
Now at every party where Design-A-Bags are present, kids will learn that the true celebration is in helping others!
Design-A-Bag craft kits will be available for the suggested retail price of $20 and will be available for purchase starting October 1 at http://www.charitotes.com/. Greenberg Goldy is hopeful that the tote bag craft kits will be available at retailers nationwide by next year.
In the meantime, if you are attending the 2011 New York International Gift Fair, which will take place at the Jacob Javits Center from August 13-18, stop by booth #30004 to see samples and talk with Taylor Greenberg Goldy.