Clarissa wears her 2015 Halloween costume (all photos by Lis Saya)
It’s been a few years since I went out on the town for Halloween. It was once my favorite “holiday.” A costume designer since I was a little girl, Halloween was at the top in dressing up for any occasion! This costume came together by “accident.”
The pink, pleated cape has an 11-foot “wing span”
I borrowed the headdress from my daughter’s friend, Drie Young, who is a clothing designer and currently sells vintage clothing on eBay at Ghost Rabbit. This fantastic cape was borrowed from my daughter who had recently received it as a gift. The plastic pink necklace was borrowed from my grand-daughter. A few months ago, I was in a second hand store and bought a pair of black, faux leather, hi-top, 8″ platform boots with tons of buckles. All the accessories were from my own personal stock. I put together this costume in 5 minutes. Voile’…when others saw my costume and the dance I did in this cape, I was told that I could have won several Best Costume awards at various venues around town had I known about them…!
Feathered head dress, glittered rhinestone eyelashed mask, beaded Mother-of-Pearl inlay earrings, black lipstick, plastic hot pink necklace, beaded/buttoned black leather fringed belt, a pair of old cashmere gloves worn down to the skin, turquoise beaded cuffs,with purple pink glued-on nails, accessorize the normal “beaded” dress
I even performed wearing this costume during the closing ceremony dance of the “Clan Conference” at Centennial Hall last night. Though I wore my traditional beaded dance tunic over this cotton dress. Elder David Katzeek saw me walk in during the traditional dancing and he immediately motioned me to come up and dance with all the dancers! It was a kick! Nobody knew who I was and that is always the best part of Halloween! Because I was wearing 8″ platform boots, I was 5’10” and nobody realized that I was Clarissa Rizal…hahahaha! So much fun!
Though after I had gone out on the town dancing to various live bands, I realized that I totally enjoyed being taller. I realized that the Western world was made for people who were about 5’7 to 6′ tall. In fact almost everyone is about that height. Alas, I am back to being 5’2″. Sigh…
On a cold, surprisingly dry Halloween night in Juneau, time for some warm seaweed salad!
In her booth at the Cherokee Art Market, Clarissa shows her Best of Class ribbon in Textiles of her “Chilkat Child”, a 5-piece handwoven ceremonial ensemble – The award amount helped Clarissa break even with this show’s expenses–yay!
The 10th Annual Cherokee Art Market announces the Best of Show and Best of Class award winners; to read the list, click here
Clarissa Rizal’s booth at the 10th Annual Cherokee Art Market at the Hard Rock Casino ballroom, Catoosa, Oklahoma
On Friday night just before the Saturday/Sunday Cherokee Art Market, directly after my assistant Emily and I set up my booth, we walked around to take a look at the works of other artists in the show. Sure I was interested in the creations of the artists’ work, but I was more intrigued with HOW each individual artist displayed their work. I was drawn to the professional image each one had created within the use of their 10’x10′ space (though others had a 10’x20′ space). Out of 150+ artists’ booths, the following are a few of that I made note:
Jackie Sevier’s booth used custom-built, wooden print racks whose carpeted stands also served as the travel containers. Take note of the curtained space; a place to keep the portable “office” and storage of packing material
Bill & Traci Rabbit;s double booth features brilliant paintings. I took note of what I think is their “storage unit” front center stage!
The pottery of Carolyn Bernard Young is beautiful and simple displayed on carpeted shelving with a “front counter desk” flanked by a set of shelves on both sides which housed her packing and shipping supplies, additional stock of pottery, and of course her snacks for the day!
Sculptor Uptown Greyshoes Ethelbah’s free-standing columns defined the perimeters of his 10’x10′ booth. His vertical banner to the left telescoped into an aluminum frame
Straight forward like his work, Jerry Ingram mounted long bough branches from his walls from which hung his satchels, beaded garments and accessories to help create a semi-circular feel to his booth
Kimberly G. Bugg’s booth felt like I walked into a traditional trading post. By hanging the leather war shirt crossing the corners, she also softened the corners of her 10’x10′ booth
Daniel Corey’s leather masks hung from grey carpeted walls. He defined the perimeters of his 10’x10′ booth with a “desk” covered with black cloth and the most cushy director’s chair I’ve ever seen
Elizabeth and Michael Kirk’s color scheme in their light-weight shelving, desk, vanity, and director’s chairs are black and turquoise. Touches of silver and turquoise are even in the stuffed display of shopping bags
Ron Mitchell’s booth was ultimately my favorite. Why? He defined his space by the rack of prints (under the red cloth) next to his small portable drafting table with a clamp lamp and director’s chair
I just loved Karen and Martha Berry’s line up of three director’s chairs to define the right side of their 10’x10′ booth
Clarissa’s 1st Cherokee Art Market booth will be in the “Sequoyah” room at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 & 11, 10am to 5pm — If you are in the neighborhood, come on and check it out!
Miranda Belarde-Lewis, Sho Sho Esquiro and Clarissa Rizal plan the floor layout of their next year’s October 2016 exhibit at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, B.C.
A year after the initial idea of an exhibit featuring traditional and contemporary Northwest Coast regalia and clothing with Sho Sho Esquiro and Clarissa Rizal, we finally met up at the house of Curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis to review the basics of the exhibit!
The exhibit opens at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, B.C., Canada next year in October and will run for approximately 5 months. We will be featuring a total of 20 to 30 individual ensembles of which during opening night only will be modeled with the accompaniment of traditional songs set to Preston Singletary’s latest jazz funk band called “Ku’eex.” Directly after opening night, the ensembles will be placed on their respective mannequins.
Stay tuned for updates on the progress of our exhibit!
Curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis, Contemporary clothing designer Sho Sho Esquiro, and Ceremonial regalia-maker, Clarissa Rizal
Clarissa weaves “Copper Man” Ravenstail ceremonial dance robe – 2006
The New Mexico PBS “Colores” television series recently posted their youtube video clip on me and my work. Most of the film clips was shot by my son, Kahlil Hudson, with in-studio interview by KTOO radio station in Juneau, and most of the still shots of my Chilkat and button blanket robes were photographed by Jeff Laydon. The video clip is about 8 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5nLxfERNwg
With hecklers from the side line, Ozzie Sheakley sports a “sporty” jacket with the 40-year anniversary design of a canoe with images of the 4 main clans from Hoonah, Alaska. Designed by Clarissa Rizal — photo by Deanna Lampe
I rarely wear these type of sporty jackets made of synthetic materials. I am spoiled with the wool jackets made by Woolrich or Pendleton. Remember the halibut jackets that were worn by all the cannery workers here in Alaska? And later on the Pendleton company started coming out with their fancy, lined Pendleton jackets and coats. That’s more my style. However, a jacket that has this cool image on it make me want to spend $250!
Wearing a Tammy Beauvois “beaded” dress and a pair of Chilkat armbands that she wove, Clarissa stands between her Chilkat curtains (she designed and printed), with her latest Chilkat robe behind her on the loom below “An Ocean Runs Through Us” Limited Edition Giclee triptych print – Photo by Juli Ferrerra
I had never heard of the Santa Fe Indian Market until August 1987; it was the first time I had seen so much fantastic art in all my life. One of the first booths I had seen was the Alaskan gal Denise Wallace’s jewelry; of course there was a huge crowd around her booth like no one else’s because her astounding jewelry was like none other. She was and still is, a celebrity.
Northwest Coast Native Tlingit artist Clarissa Rizal with Julia White from the Tulsa Artist Residency
The market opens early Saturday at 7am for those art collectors who are racing for that prize possession and enthusiasts who want to get ahead of the crowd. I had heard several people from a number of institutions came by my booth that early but I was not available. Directly after I spent 2 hours setting up my booth, directly at 7 I had to pick up my “Chilkat Child” who I had entered into the Juried Art Show; it took about an hour of waiting in line. However, I was able to catch Julia White, the coordinator of the Tulsa Artist Residency, from which I was one of 12 artists across the nation who was chosen as a recipient of their inaugural residency fellowship to live and work in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a year.
Full view of Clarissa Rizal’s booth (day 2) at the Santa Fe Indian Market 2015
I did my very first Santa Fe Indian Market in 1994 winning the Best of Show with my “Following My Ancestor’s Trail” button blanket wall mural which sold to a collector from Tuscon, Arizona. I won about $5K in awards, sold my load of button blanket greeting cards featuring 9 of my favorite robes, and sold a Ravenstail headdress. I walked away with a chunk of change; it was enough to put a down payment on a house!
Left side of Clarissa Rizal’s booth at the Santa Fe Indian Market 2015, featuring “Northwest by Southwest” button blanket robe surrounded by Giclee prints, and clothing/ceremonial regalia for children
The Santa Fe Indian Market is a zoo; it draws about 100,000 visitors from all over the world for the week before and after the Market. Lots of traffic jams in Santa Fe during this time. I don’t understand how artists can do this show every year. I cannot do this show every year. It takes me about 4 years to re-couperate which is why this is only the 5th time I have been an artist vendor at the market. It’s a lot of work to prepare for the market, then we gotta set up at 5am to 7am when the market opens. And when the day is done at 5pm, we gotta strike the set and pack it up, only to do the same thing the next day. It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it IS!
Right side of Clarissa Rizal’s booth at the Santa Fe Indian Market 2015 featuring “Egyptian Thunderbird” button robe surrounded by Limited Edition Giclee and hand-silkscreened prints and the 5-piece Chilkat woven ensemble “Chilkat Child” all by Clarissa Rizal
I had a good time at this market. It was the first time my booth faced the sunshine; I think that is why I enjoyed this year better than all the other years. You see, when I come from a grey, damp place like Juneau, Alaska and land in the arid country of Santa Fe, New Mexico, it naturally puts a smile in my body. Many of us Tlingits know what I experience!
And yes, all the items you see in these photos of my booth at the market are for sale, except the white curtains and the chilkat robe on the loom. I invite you to contact me for prices and more information.
Cousins Likoodzi and Violet
Another pleasant aspect of this year’s Indian Market included being with my kids and grandchildren during the week. There’s nothing like being a grandma. And though I am not a great grandmother, I am learning how to become one…!
Israel Shotridge, Preston Singletary, Sue Shotridge (obscured) and Clarissa Rizal talk definition of a mentor – photo by Kahlil Hudson
The night before the market, several Tlingit artists gathered together for a dinner at my son’s house in Santa Fe. We were discussing the logistics of creating a mentorship program for our artists back home, based on New Zealand’s Maori artists. We asked ourselves enough questions, like “What does it mean to be a mentor? How do you know you are a mentor? What are the expectations of self as a Mentor and expectations from the apprentice?
Kahlil holds daughter Violet while the little old man “Hassie” runs amok!
There are many events sponsored by other organizations outside of SWAIA’s (Southwest Association of Indian Arts) annual Indian Market, including an offspring of the Indian Market called IFAM which takes place for two days at the “Railyard”; there’s an artist supply market at the El Dorado Hotel de Santa Fe; there’s Dorothy Grant’s fashion show and of course, numerous gallery openings!
The 2015 Institute of American Indian Arts Scholarship Dinner and Auction
The Institute of American Indian Arts Scholarship Gala is held the Wednesday before the Santa Fe Indian Market (Saturday & Sunday); the place is packed with prominent artists, arts organizations across the country including representatives from NMAI (National Museum of the American Indian), NACF (Native Arts & Culture Foundation), art historians and collectors. I was invited by NACF to be a guest at their table since I had recently won this year’s fellowship.
Who were these people who shared a delicious meal at the IAIA Gala dinner table?
Nearly 22 years ago when I first had a booth at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the only Northwest Coast artist represented was a totem pole carver, Reggie Petersen from Sitka, Alaska. He said he had been doing the market for nearly 20 years with no other comrades from the Northwest except clothing designer, the late Betty David, and he was so happy to finally see “another Tlingit!” Although we had never met, he hugged me as if I were the last person on earth! lol. His wife, 4 children and he would make it an annual sojourn where they would take the ferry from Sitka to Seattle, then drive to Santa Fe and back again. He always had a log that he was carving smack dab in the middle of the Santa Fe Plaza. He said this was one of the ways in which he received commissions for totem poles. Lots of work being a full-time artist with 4 children.
Haida basket weavers Diane Douglas-Willard, her daughter Jianna and Dolly Garza are vendors at the market too. Diane says she has been a vendor at the Market for 20 consecutive years.
Tlingit photographer Zoe Marieh Urness and her twin sister with a visitor at her IFAM booth BEFORE the Santa Fe Indian Market
One of the hardest things about being a vendor at the market is that I don’t have time to take a break and visit all the other artists let alone attend all the other activites such as the main-stage performances or the fashion show. However, the day before Indian Market began, my daughter Lily and I took a jaunt over to the Railyard where the IFAM art show was happening. We saw several Northwest Coast Native artists including Peter Boome and Zoe Marieh Urness!
Coast Salish artist Peter Boome making a sale with customers at his IFAM booth
I admire the small city of Santa Fe for its unique architecture, dramatic style in clothing, furniture, jewelry — everything for that matter! Even its people! Check out the Trader Joe’s de Santa Fe! Holy—now THERE’s a mixture of all kinds of folks in a middle-class store! Simply entertaining to watch who shops there.
During the early morning of the first day of the Santa Fe Indian Market, a large group of young protestors marched through announcing their disagreement with the government continuing to pollute the Southwest environment and then lying about it. I was surprised there was a demonstration yet proud that the younger generation has stepped up to the plate. It is a good thing to bring awareness to the general public about atrocities to our human race and its well-being.
Sure felt good to see demonstrators for a worthy cause during the opening day of the Santa Fe Indian Market
And then directly after the demonstration, there was this guy across my booth standing with a black, worn-out umbrella. (He sure looked familiar! Lol.) The sun wasn’t even at its hottest yet, though he was prepared for anything. That’s the message for you folks today: be prepared for anything!
Is that Israel Shotridge under the umbrella on Palace Avenue in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the Indian Market
Clarissa’s grand-daughter, Amelie models “Chilkat Child” a 5-piece handwoven ensemble to be featured as 1 of 18 Chilkat robes to be exhibited during the Antique Native American Art Show
The Antique American Indian Art Show launches at El Museo in Santa Fe’s Railyard with an opening night gala on August 17th (6-9pm) benefiting New Mexico PBS. Show dates run from August 18-20th (11am-6pm), featuring a special Chilkat Blanket exhibit – (they say) the most extensive collection ever presented!
Lily Hope, Delores Churchill and Cheryl Samuel are a part of this exhibit as well.
Come check us out on opening night Monday, August 17th; we’re gonna dress up and meet the Native Art Market crowd!
Read about the producers of this event by clicking here!