Native Treasures festival erases stereotypes, marks start of Santa Fe's summer art season

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SANTA FE, N.M. - A Navajo artist will be recognized as a "living treasure" at the annual Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival opening at the Santa Fe Convention Center May 25.

The honoree, Tony Abeyta (Ah-BAY-tah), is a painter and jewelry designer whose accomplishments include creating the signature image for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

Curators and collectors say that thanks to Native American artists like Abeyta, stereotypical images of horses and Indians wearing feathers have given way to contemporary work with spiritual sensibilities often rooted in nature and tradition.

Some 200 artists from over 40 different tribes have been invited to the two-day festival, which marks the start of Santa Fe's summer art season. Everything from pottery and jewelry to carvings and textiles will be on display.

Organizations: Santa Fe Convention Center, National Museum of the American Indian

Geographic location: Santa Fe, SANTA FE, N.M., Washington D.C.

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