AIANTA Opens Native Art Market to Public During American Indian Tourism Conference

Artisan exhibitors include award-winning craftspeople, craftspeople and fashion designers.



ALBUQUERQUE, NM (October 14, 2021)- More than two dozen Native artists will be selling their work during AIANTA’s 23rdAnnual American Indian Tourism Conference October 25 to 28 at the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort at Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, AZ.

“Art is vital to tourism in Indian Country,” says AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert. “We are pleased to showcase tribal artists and provide them training on marketing their work, and show tribal communities how they can support their artists.”

Native art is an integral part of tourism in Indian Country and AIANTA has opened the Native Art Show portion of the conference to the public to share these works of art and culture.

Among the numerous items to be showcased: jewelry, pottery, paintings, feather art, prints and more. Some of the exhibitors that will be present:

ACONAV represents the cohesion of cultures between its founders Loren (Acoma Pueblo) and Valentina (Navajo) Aragon. This couture fashion brand wishes to share, educate and connect its audience to the artistry and the Acoma ways of life.

The Nez Perce Traditions Gift Shop in Idaho was started by Stacia Morfin (Nez Perce) to share hand crafted items from tribal and local artists is bringing dentalium, conch, heishi, abalone, beadwork, ribbon skirts, hide work and more!

Kawika Lum-Nelmida is a hulu (feather) artist from Pūpūkea, Oʻahu. He learned about lei hulu (feather adornments) from Paulette Kahalepuna. Kawika takes these traditional techniques and uses modern materials to create contemporary art pieces, including clothing.

Jonah L. Hill (QuechanHopi) of Lomayoosi Designs, is a silversmith, wood carver, printmaker and photographer who uses the creative process to capture the physical being of these elements, as they exist in nature.

Michael McCabe of Michael McCabe Fine Art Printmaking was born on the Navajo reservation. He attended the College of Santa Fe, Institute of American Indian Arts and the Naropa Institute. He creates fine art prints and monotypes. He has been teaching printmaking workshops for the past 30 years.

Native Swann’s Tashina Begay creates cotton ribbon skirts, satin ribbon skirts, overlay satin ribbon skirts, granny scarf skirts and traditional three-tier skirts, etc. Swan means “brace, beauty, love, trust and loyalty. It’s also linked to inner beauty and self-love. A pair of swans represents soul mates for life.”

Jennifer Powless (Oneida/Navajo) of Shinymoon Creations helps keep Native culture alive by implementing Native American designs into contemporary fashion and traditional wear. Some of her designs and colors are representative of the powwow world, and others, the floral designs of her woodland side from the People of Standing Stone of the Haudenosaunee people.

Wendell Sakiestewa of WenSaks Designs created a clothing line inspired by his Hopi Native American roots.  His men’s line features Hopi symbols as design elements; his women’s line features creatively embellished tops and bottoms.

In addition to the artist market, AITC welcomes tribal nations from across the country who are interested in expanding tourism in their destinations to help grow their economies and perpetuate culture. For more information about AITC, please visit



For nearly two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the national center for providing tourism and recreational travel technical assistance, training and capacity building to American Indian nations. AIANTA is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. AIANTA’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

For more information and images, contact:
Monica Poling
Marketing & PR Manager