Native Art Market provides shopping, cultural experience


Lizeth Zavaleta

Some of the jewelry available for purchase at the Native Arts Market

Lizeth Zavaleta, Reporter

The Pavilions at Talking Stick Shopping Center, on Talking Stick Way and the 101 freeway, hosts an authentic, Native Art Market every Saturday and Sunday through the end of March. According to their website, the weekly, cultural event began in October and features about 30 different artists and performers each weekend.

The market not only provides a venue for shoppers to meet and buy jewelry and art directly from local, Native American vendors, but also offers a variety of authentic Native American foods and traditional performances.

Melvin Shorty, one of the vendors at the event, talked about how he got his start in jewelry making and one of the characteristics that makes the art market unique.

“My brother-in-law taught me back in the late 80’s early 90’s, jewelry making, and then from there I started to develop my own work,” Shorty said.  “What’s neat, is when you’re buying from this market, since it is on native land, you’re buying directly from the families.  You are guaranteed no imports, no factories or assembly lines.”

Each vendor has their own unique artwork and jewelry. The prices vary from stand to stand but many of the items are quite affordable.

Kamia Begay creates and sells soaps made of hand-picked plants and a locally sourced soap base.  She told why soap making is so important to her.

“This started back in July, 2018 and has been going on for eight months now. I recently lost my biological father and soap making has been a coping mechanism for me,” Begay said.  “I sold in downtown Phoenix on ‘First Friday’ and sold out. That’s when I decided to start a business. I have an online website as well, which is free shipping.”

The hours of the Native Art Market are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Check the website hyperlink near the top of the story for performance times and “special events”.