Clockwise from top left: Rosy-cheeked Santas are hard to resist at the Museum of International Folk Art Gift Shop; the less-than-200-square-feet of Susan’s Christmas Shop is brimming with holiday gear designed by roughly 100 artists—a third of whom are based in New Mexico; The Shop: A Christmas Store also sells wares made by New Mexico artisans who work in traditional materials such as clay and wood; the IAIA Museum Store carries vibrant, Native American–made decorations such as Anasazi Spirit Horses.
for all the Museum Foundation shops, stresses that the pieces she selects must be handcrafted in New Mexico, “not just assembled with parts from other places.” Case in point: the rustic Spanish colonial ornaments made by tin worker Bobby Garcia, who received a special dispensation from the archdiocese to use materials from the old roof at the Santuario de Chimayó. Also of note are the brightly painted Navajo animals carved from native cottonwood roots and artist Richard Solomon’s gorgeous, ethereal Seed Orbs. While the celebration of Christmas is not inherent to Native American culture, there is plenty at the IAIA Museum Store (108 Cathedral Place, iaia.edu/museum/store) to expand your definition of decking the halls. Take, for example, the soft, leather, handmade baby moccasins or the dolls created by Mary Jo Big Day (Crow) and Laura Walkingstick (Cherokee). “As far as I know we’re the only place that has these,” store manager Laura Ellerby says, pointing to Walkingstick’s work. Of course, you can find fabulous Southwestern stuff as well, like Anasazi Spirit Horses by James Peter Ray (Diné). And, lest the halls be the only things decked out this season, through much of December the store is hosting its third annual holiday jewelry exhibition, Indigenous Bling, featuring finery from five New Mexico contemporary Native artists. december 2011 /january 2012
Published on Nov 10, 2011