This year’s Winter Art Market is dedicated to the excellence of all artists in the Southwestern New York region. Just in time for holiday shopping, it will offer artists’ handmade, one-of-a-kind selected items for sale.
The Seneca Iroquois National Museum, which is hosting the art market, has been closed due to Covid but is opening the museum exclusively for this event. It will ensure all Covid precautions will be met with safe distancing between exhibit tables. Masks will be required throughout the museum.
The Winter Art Market, which is coordinated by the Tri-County Arts Council, was held in Ellicottville for many years until the arts council and Seneca Iroquois Museum decided to partner on the event.
“Last year, the venue was changed to the Seneca Iroquois Museum,” Mikel Wintermantel, executive co-director of the Tri-County Arts Council, said, adding “Since the museum location was so well received and has so much to offer historically and artistically, we decided to partner again this year for the winter market.”
“There’s a really good variety of different art styles and art forms being practiced that people will be able to see and buy,” Hayden Haynes, museum operations manager, said. “If its pottery, beadwork, or jewelry – it’s all excellent,” he said, adding the artisans have something for everyone.
Beading leather and crafting baskets are time-honored traditional arts for the Native American and even when rendered in modern motifs, they are skillfully and exquisitely well made.
For Jon A. Capasso, beading with glass and crystal is at the heart of her art.
“I work in several mediums. First, I am a bead worker. I work with glass beads, crystals, leather and velvet,” Capasso said. “And, secondly, I customize shoes. I paint them with acrylic paints. Embellish them with beadwork or hand-sew material onto them. Thirdly, I am a basket maker. I work with black ash and reed to make baskets of all sizes from small purses to bassinets.”
Cayuga Creations by Dan Hill includes delicate silver brooches, combs and flutes made with precious Haudenausanee Trade Silver.
“Haudenausanee Trade Silver is a combination of the traditional trade silver of the fur trade period.
When added to the designs, the stories and meanings of our Haudenausanee teachings are remembered,” Hill, who is a Cayuga, said.
“My Grandmother said not to let these things die. Whether she meant the art of our people or the way of looking at things in our perspective, I don’t know. So, I try to do both,” he wrote.
Hill worked on the National Tribal Environmental Operations Committee for the Cayuga Nation until 2018. Today, he teaches environmental and indigenous issues and activism at Wells College. And, when he has time, he makes and plays the flute.
Other Native American artists include Penelope Minner, Mary Jacobs, Adrian John, Mariah Monroe, Mike Jones, Pete Jones, Jennifer D’Almonte, and Samantha Jacobs.
Additional regionally respected artists exhibiting in the Winter Art Market are Elliott Hutten, Eileen Weishan, Keith McKale, Michael Weishan, and Karen A Taverna.