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Artist Sponsors Needed for Tesoro Cultural Center’s 23rd Annual Indian Market and Powwow!

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As warm weather and longer days return to Colorado, Tesoro Cultural Center is excited to host their 23rd annual Indian Market & Powwow in June. The celebration will take place on the grounds of The Fort Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, with FREE on-site parking available for attendees.  

Admission for this family-friendly event is $15 for adults and $10 for children 7-12. Children 6 and under are free. The cost of admission benefits Tesoro’s ongoing educational programming and initiatives. 

In addition to the contest Powwow, Tesoro will host Colorado’s largest authentic and juried American Indian art show – a yearly tribute to honor the American Indian tribes of the past who shaped the cultural community of Bent’s Old Fort, as well as tribes of the present and future.  

As part of this annual market event, Tesoro’s Sponsor an Artist program is returning. Members are invited to be a part of this special program to ensure artists of the highest caliber can attend Tesoro’s art market this year. A contribution of $325 will help sponsor an artist who would otherwise not be able to attend Tesoro’s market due to financial limitations. This program has helped Tesoro Cultural Center bring the finest artists to our Indian Market for many years now and we hope it will continue to do so.  

The Juried Art Show Category is another sponsorship opportunity where individuals or businesses can support a specific category within the market’s Juried Art Show. As a sponsor, they would have the chance to present the award for their sponsored art category at Tesoro’s Member-Exclusive Meet the Artists Patron Party on Friday, May 31, 2024, alongside Tesoro’s Executive Director, Holly Arnold Kinney. This sponsorship serves as a means to promote community engagement and foster relationships while also contributing to the advancement of arts and culture. A contribution of $200 ($250 for the Best in Show category) today will sponsor an individual juried art show category. All donations are 100% tax deductible.  

Below is a list of artists still in need of a sponsorship: 

Richard Aguilar – Richard hails from the Santo Domingo Pueblo and Choctaw tribes. His father taught him how to create heishi jewelry using the traditional way of crafting with a hand pump drill, while his mother taught him beadwork. Richard incorporates natural stones and shells into his work and draws inspiration from both parents.  


Florentino Bailon – Florentino is of the Santo Domingo tribe and continues to work and live on the reservation today. He describes his work as contemporary and uses lots of turquoise in various colors. He also uses seashells and other semi-precious stones in sterling silver.  

Ben Begay – Ben is of the Diné (Navajo) Nation and was born on the Navajo Reservation in Keams Canyon, AZ. He comes from a family of accomplished artists and it shows in his work of Fine Inlay and Stamp Work.


Rodney Coriz – Rodney is a member of the Santo Domingo Pueblo. His involvement is about history, believing and experiencing his culture. His mother and grandfather heavily influenced his work. He specializes in making jewelry using handmade tools and incorporates various seashells and stones. He hopes to pass down his accomplishments to his family.


Nelson Garcia – Nelson was born in 1955 in the village of Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. As one of the eldest of a large family, he shared in the responsibilities as he worked in the fields and helped his father, Joe Jay Garcia, a silversmith with talents in traditional designs and Heishi necklaces. He has won many distinguished awards at some of the nation's largest art exhibits and his jewelry has even traveled into the heart of Europe with shows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


Jimmie Harrison – Jimmie, a Navajo jeweler is known for his elegant bracelets, necklaces, bolos and earrings. With sleek, contemporary shapes and designs, he manages to retain the flavor of tradition with his stylized approach to Indian imagery. Harrison has been a full time jeweler since 1981 and has won the Best of Show award at the 1981 Museum of Northern Arizona's All Navajo show in Flagstaff and Best in Design in Contemporary jewelry at the 1988 Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show.


Milton Lee – Milton is a third-generation Navajo silversmith, taught by his mother who inherited her uncle's silversmithing tools when he passed. His grandmother was a rug textile weaver and often uses her designs in his jewelry in addition to lapidary, stone cutting, silver inlay with stones, silver overlay, casting and making turquoise heishi.


Glenda Loretto – Glenda was born into an artistic family from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. Her mother was a potter and her sister, Estella Loretto, is a well-know  artist/sculptor. Loretto graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts (AIAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1993. While at IAIA, she attended a two-week program at the Penland School of Arts in North Carolina to study jewelry. She began as a potter but in 2000, she changed her medium to jewelry.


Tanya Mace – Tanya is of the Navajo Nation and is the daughter of Harvey Mace. She began silversmithing in 1993 alongside her father. In 2020, she taught herself how to work with leather and began to incorporate that into her silversmithing work.


Alvin Monte – Alvin was born in Socorro, New Mexico and is of the Navajo tribe. Jewelry-making runs in his family. He is a self-taught jeweler and works with 14K gold and semi-precious stones. Alvin has attended the Tesoro Market for several years.


Avelino Whaler – Avelino is of the Santo Domingo Pueblo and specializes in silversmith and beadwork using natural stones and shells. He works alongside his wife to combine the works of silversmithing and beadwork and make keychains, zipper pulls, bookmarks and more.  


Additionally, we still have the Pottery, Sculpture and Best in Show art categories available for sponsorship. If you are interested in sponsoring either an artist of a juried art show category, please contact 303-839-1671 for more information.