Finery and Food Trucks:
A Night at the California Indian Art Market
By Vincent Medina
Abalone finery, baskets, dancing and food trucks came together at the Oakland Museum of California on a crisp Fall evening on November 4th and 5th for the annual California Indian Art Market. The market, a partnership between News from Native California and the Oakland Museum of California, is now in its third year and going strong. Since the market commenced in 2014 it has spanned both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, with Friday’s market coinciding with the Off the Grid food event; dozens of food trucks spill into the neighboring streets of the Oakland Museum, and the galleries of the museum itself stay open late into the night. Musicians play a lively mix of music while people mingle, eat, and dance. It’s a great time, and it’s especially nice to educate the public about the immense beauty of California Indian cultures.
Marcia Christoff (Wailaki), Gill Velasquez & Terri Dow (Chumash), Kimberly Stevenot (Tuolumne Me-Wuk), Jennifer Bates (Tuolumne Me-Wuk), Neal Martinez (Paiute/Dine), Clint McKay (Dry Creek Pomo/Wappo/Wintun), Kanyon Sayers-Roods (Ohlone), Ted Mantzouranis Jr. (Tuolumne Me-Wuk), Joyce Norell (Karuk), Pauli Carroll (Yurok), Ty Day (Tuolumne Me-Wuk) and Denise Davis (Maidu) were among the diverse artisans in attendance representing many areas of California.
Of course Heyday and News from Native California had a strong presence, too! Our Editor, Terria Smith (Torres Martinez Cahuilla), Lindsie Bear (Cherokee) and myself happily answered questions and helped introduce people to the artisans and vendors in attendance. We are grateful for a successful art market, and we are so ecstatic we can introduce strangers to incredible beauty of the California Indian world we love so dearly.