San Rafael, CA
This story was featured in the February 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
It’s appropriate that visitors to the Marin Show: Art of the Americas will cross a footbridge while walking the short distance between the show’s two venues—one for antique American Indian art and the other for contemporary Native art. The larger, antique portion of the show takes place at the Marin Civic Center. A few steps away, contemporary American Indian art is exhibited in the Embassy Suites ballroom. The bridge in between is significant as a symbol of the inclusive approach taken by collectors of American Indian art in recent years, notes Kim Martindale, owner, founder, and producer of the Marin Show and owner of KR Martindale Gallery in Venice, CA. Whereas collectors once specialized in either antique or contemporary Native art, they increasingly have come to realize the fine-art value of creations from both the present and past, and the seamless beauty of displaying them together, Martindale points out.
The 30th annual Marin Show presents the highest quality antique American Indian, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and contemporary Native art in a wide range of media, including textiles, jewelry, basketry, pottery, beadwork, sculpture, and paintings. Martindale notes that the show, which is considered the best of its kind in the country, allows collectors and art lovers to experience the roots of indigenous art from North, Central, and South America and to see where those traditions have led in the world of contemporary Native art.
A special exhibit for the 30th anniversary show highlights a century of weaving from the Navajo Reservation’s Two Grey Hills region, curated by Toadlena Trading Post owner Mark Winter. Educational lectures and book signings take place throughout the weekend. Among them: a talk by author Richard Polsky on the evolution of the American Indian art market and a presentation on 2,000 years of pottery of the Southwest. The opening-night preview is Friday, February 21, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and benefits Homeward Bound of Marin County.
Martindale’s intense passion for American Indian culture and objects goes back at least to his boyhood days, and perhaps earlier—his mother remembers him being mesmerized by a diorama of Blackfoot Indians and fur traders when he was 9 months old. At age 16 he helped coordinate the Santa Fe Antique American Indian Art Show and since then has founded, produced, or coproduced numerous top indigenous, ethnographic, and tribal art shows, as well as the LA Art Show, the Los Angeles Jewelry & Antique Show, and the Objects of Art show in Santa Fe.
Contemporary Native artists John Balloue and Michael Horse are among those who have taken part in the Marin Show for many years. Both say they appreciate the knowledgeable collectors that the show attracts. Martindale agrees: “We’re noticing a whole new wave of young collectors at the Marin Show who are serious about indigenous arts and have an appreciation for the quality and variety on display at this show.” —Gussie Fauntleroy
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