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People’s Center Saturday Art Market begins for the summer

By Adriana Fehrs

Samantha Finley works on one of her beading projects while she sits at her stand at the People’s Center Art Market on Saturday. Finley has been beading since the age of ten. (Adriana Fehrs photo) Samantha Finley works on one of her beading projects while she sits at her stand at the People’s Center Art Market on Saturday. Finley has been beading since the age of ten. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

PABLO — Artists alike traveled through the rain to the People’s Center to showcase their Native American art on Saturday, June 28.

“I think a few people were afraid to come out due to the rain, they didn’t want to take the risk of ruining their artwork,” says Marie Torosian, People’s Center Education Director/Museum Coordinator. Several local artists did brave the rain on Saturday to showcase their Native American crafts and art.

Crammed together in the main room of the People’s Center, Samantha Finley’s stand sat to the right. Precisely arranged on top of a Pendleton blanket, she showcased various earrings, necklaces, and other beaded crafts – mostly her work, but some consisted of her sister Angie’s creations. “I’ve been beading since I was about 10. I can make about two pairs of earrings in a day,” says Finley. She creates beaded works of art that are modern, like her brightly colored earrings, but is making an effort to go back to making more traditionally beaded pieces. “The wallet I made, and also the barrette and purse are more traditional pieces; that is what I want to go back to making.”

Finley’s daughter, Tabbi Finley, also took the opportunity set up her own stand. The 10-year-old artist/ upcoming entrepreneur showcased several of her own hand-painted pieces.

Juanita Johnson and her daughter-in-law Amy Johnson manned a table of their own. “This is my first time vending,” says Juanita. The local artist has sold her pieces of art before, mostly as one-to-one sales. Amy says, “I’m just here as moral support. I know this kind of a thing can be nerve wracking.”

A veteran of the showcase style circuit, Frank Finley’s stand showcased his numerous paintings at the People’s Center Saturday Art Market. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

Juanita displayed several different pieces of handmade crafts. Several different styled humming bird necklaces and pouches were first to catch an onlooker’s eye. “It takes me about four to five days to make a hummingbird,” says Juanita. Across the table, brightly beaded dream catchers sit for sale. “It takes me about ten days to make one of the dream catchers.”

Next to Juanita, Sashay and Isadore Mitchell sat at their stand with their young children Maria and Isadore Jr. “I get my inspiration from my children,” says Isadore. Sashay displayed different pieces artwork - most of them reflections of the Arlee/Jocko Valley. “I grew up in the Arlee valley, so that’s what I like to paint.” It takes her weeks to paint some of the pictures, “It’s hard for me to stop working on a picture. The Blue Heron picture took me weeks to paint,” Sashay says. The artist showcased her different styles – some pieces were watercolor, some were prints, and one was an acrylic painted hand drum.

A veteran of the showcase style circuit, Frank Finley’s stand showcased his numerous paintings. “I’ve been doing art showcases for a while - in the beginning I sold handmade silver and turquois jewelry.” The Native American artist says he has over $26,000 in retail ready for sale, made up of mostly prints and watercolors. His numerous paintings can attest to his skill, but Frank says, “I didn’t consider myself an artist until about ten years ago. No one really told me they thought I was gifted until recently.” He laughs and adds, “also, I wasn’t starving.”

Local artist Sashay Mitchell displayed several pieces of artwork at the People’s Center Saturday Art Market on June 28. Mitchell with her two children and husband traveled through the rain up to the center to set up a stand. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

Felicia Paul sat at her table, quietly beading. The gifted artist says she also mostly does one-to-one sales - she can be seen around the tribal complex slinging her earrings and crafts.

At her table, she displayed earrings, headbands, and necklaces. Some of the crafts laid out came from 13-year-old daughter Precious David. “I’ve been beading since I was eight, and so has my daughter,” says Paul. She can make one pair of earrings in about an hour, and the bigger beaded necklaces take her about a day she says. “I’m always making stuff for my stands, or for my family.”

The next People’s Center Saturday Art Market is scheduled for August 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on the People’s Center, or the Saturday Art Market, call (406) 675-0160, or email them at peoplescenter@cskt.org.

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