For more than 10 years, the Institute for American Indian Studies has hosted a Native Holiday Arts and Crafts Market. This year, the museum is offering several ways for you to shop for unique, hand-made artwork, crafts, and jewelry, while supporting independent artists and keeping yourself and your family safe.
This year, we are hosting a Virtual Holiday Market, featuring Native artists from throughout the country. Native artists in the twenty-first century have many ways and diverse media with which to preserve, promote and represent their cultures, traditions and heritage. Some Native artists create contemporary works of art, while others use materials that are more traditional – many Native artists blend the traditional with the contemporary.
This Virtual Holiday Market, supported by a grant from the Connecticut Community Foundation, will allow our museum to collaborate with artists who would not otherwise be able to participate. Several of our featured artists, including Dawn Spears (Narragansett – wearable art, corn husk dolls, and paintings), Vera Longtoe Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki – hand-woven textiles, baskets, and accessories), Brenda Hill (Tuscarora – pottery), and Jeanne “Morningstar” Kent (Abenaki – gourd artwork), will do Zoom-based presentations or submit videos demonstrating their work and explaining how they incorporate cultural elements.
Prefer to shop in person? For a limited time, several local artists and vendors will be selling Native American crafts, jewelry, and artwork at our museum, in addition to a range of unique items offered in our museum’s gift shop. Admission to the gift shop and holiday market is free, but capacity is limited and masks are required. Those who wish to shop in person are asked to reserve a time to shop by calling (860) 868-0518 or emailing [email protected].
Click on an Artist's name below to shop & learn more about them! Please note: purchases will not be made on the IAIS Museum website. All art that is purchased will be through the artist.