At OKC’s new First Americans Museum, investing in Native art means giving back to the community. During its inaugural Winter Holiday Arts Market, 11 am-4 pm Dec. 4-5, the public can expect to see a brilliant arrangement of handmade pieces from more than 25 artist booths, providing exposure and support for local artists. “We are proud to be a platform for Oklahoma artists to showcase their work,” said James Pepper Henry (Kaw), Executive Director and CEO of the museum. “This is an opportunity for visitors to find one-of-a-kind Native-made gifts that will only be available here at the museum.” In addition to the vast assortment of intricate artwork, the Winter Holiday Art Market will also feature jewelry demonstrations and children’s book readings for the whole family to enjoy.
Although the museum highlights impressive Native artwork, its influence on the community comes above all else. “The First Americans Museum is so unique because it’s the first time First American people have been able to tell our story from our own perspective and voice,” said Tom Farris (Otoe-Missouria/Cherokee), manager of the FAM store. “Our curatorial staff is entirely First American and predominantly female, and the architecture of the building is reflective of all the tribal cultures found in Oklahoma.” With the importance of societal outreach, the Winter Holiday Arts Market will also include community partnership booths and educational opportunities. “The museum directly benefits Oklahoma by providing an opportunity for guests to learn about all 39 tribal nations that currently reside in Oklahoma in one place,” said Farris.
The FAM store also offers the perfect holiday gifts just in time for the spirit of the season. “It’s my favorite part of the museum, because we are showcasing the amazing things being produced in Indian country on a daily basis,” said Farris. “The Winter Holiday Arts Market will feature jewelry, pottery, baskets, paintings, and more all throughout our scenic Hall of The People. In addition, we will have seasonal storybook readings with the Metropolitan Library System, hot chocolate, and holiday cookies.” The event is completely free to the public, as the First Americans Museum believes that art and community comes without a price.
For more information, visit the store’s website: https://store.famok.org.