Indian Art Market draws art lovers to Haskell

Shoppers swarmed Haskell Indian Nations University today to browse jewelry, pottery, carving, paintings and other artwork at the annual Haskell Indian Art Market, which brings artists from all over the country to Lawrence.

Dana Tiger, a painter from Muskogee, Okla., has been selling her pieces at Haskell for more than 20 years. She said it’s one of the best Native art shows in the country.

“I’ve made a lot of friends here over the years,” she said.

Muskoke traditions that she still takes part in inspire Tiger’s work. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999, but hasn’t let that stop her from making art. As her disease has progressed, she’s begun to use a “soft touch method” and incorporate bright colors.

“I always said if it began to take a toll I’d change my style,” she said. “People still appreciate my art even with the new direction.”

The Indian Art Market does more than promote art. Proceeds go to student organizations and clubs on the Haskell campus, event sponsor Lee Pahcoddy said. Today’s good weather brought out a large crowd. Pahcoddy estimated that about 20,000 people would attend the art show, which continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Powwow Grounds on the western part of Haskell campus.

“This is one of the largest crowds I’ve seen in years,” he said.

The market includes about 15-20 food vendors. For entertainment, Native American dancing shows will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Admission and parking are both free for the event, though pets are not permitted.