Yesterday morning (July 16th, the day after the Indian Market Photography Category entries were due) I was helping to fulfill a family obligation in addition to my regular tasks. The garage. My wife has been doing most of it and I've been helping provide the muscle and getting the cars loaded up to cart as much stuff away as we can. I found a pair of "Bunny Boots" from when I lived in Alaska shooting waaaayyyy up north. Where usual cameras froze solid. The Bunny Boots are a real Alaskan phenomenon, designed in the 1950's so that people can work in extreme cold and still have warm feet. They look like comical big white Mickey Mouse shoes, but really do work.
At any rate, I was going to send these Bunny Boots to my nephew Da-ka about ten years ago, but they got lost in the garage. He lives in Fairbanks, where they have serious winters and thought that maybe he'd know someone who could use them, even though they're pretty beat up. If you showed up with new ones in Alaska, you'd likely get immediately mugged anyway. Let's just say that these ones are properly seasoned. Neatly tucked inside them was a small stack of "Call For Entry" brochures for this Photography Category at Indian Market from 1994! Wow.
What makes this really cool is that the Indian Market category for photography is in the process of being revived, and the deadline for entries was none other than yesterday. Imagine that. I was looking for this brochure for years to no avail, and when I really, really needed it, voilà! There it was. I'm sure that stuff like this is no accident, especially since it's 17 years old and has been lost all this time, and I needed it today.
The synchronicity was finding this call for entries as I was jurying photographs and clarifying for myself what this endeavor was all about. Photography, indigenousness and the cool photographs that emerge as they intersect. It's days like this where I feel that the creator is tossing stuff my way saying "Way to go, man. Keep it up."
Back in 1994 this was called "Through the Native Lens." For the second year, I spearheaded the effort as a collaboration between SWAIA and the Institute of American Indian Arts. The brochure states "Last year's beginning for this now yearly Museum exhibition and Indian Market event revealed a strong contingent of Indian people who are remarkable photographers. Works were entered from as far away as California, New York and Minnesota. We are confident this exhibition will continue to get bigger with each passing year."
Come to Indian Market and see the new work. I'm sure you'll be happy to see all the new work from whom are indeed remarkable photographers.
Story © Copyright Larry McNeil, 2011, All rights reserved.