7th annual Native POP taking place this weekend
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The seventh annual Native POP Art Market and Cultural Celebration is taking place this weekend at Main Street Square.
The event is free to the public and takes place on the third weekend of July every year in the heart of Rapid City. It features original artwork by established and emerging Native visual artists with a focus on Great Plains culture.
An artist market will be set up from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there will also be a fashion show, film showcase and performing artists. Additionally, culture bearers — individuals who carry and pass on ancestral knowledge and traditions — will be sharing and demonstrating their skills throughout the day.
In recent years Native POP culture bearers have taught traditional games and lacrosse, regalia making, fashion design, bow and arrow making, quillwork, and beadwork. This year’s culture bearers are the Lakota Sewing Circle, Gloria Little, Mahpiya Lone Elk, Karen Swan, and Stephanie Two Crow.
There will also be an artist recognition reception with $17,000 worth in awards on Friday evening.
Native POP grew out of Rapid City’s Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water, a public art project in which California-based sculptor Masayuki Nagase spent several years creating granite sculptures — mostly by hand — for Main Street Square.
According to John Paul Rangel, Native POP’s marketing and PR manager, the event is rooted in the themes of hope and transformation that informed Nagase’s sculptures.
“Inspired by Nagase’s themes, Native POP’s organizing committee set out to create the first Native-focused event at Main Street Square in 2013, aspiring to bring recognition and appreciation to the historic and cultural value of Great Plains Native artists, creators and makers,” said Rangel.
The event began in 2013 and was originally called Gathering of People, Wind and Water. The name changed to Native POP: People of the Plains in 2016. It started with ten artists and has grown to around 50, all working in various mediums from painting, sculpture, photography, digital arts, jewelry, beadwork and clothing.
Organizers say Native POP is not only about showcasing culture, original artwork and creating a market for Native artists, but also about breaking stereotypes, creating positive personal connections in the community and promoting an open intercultural environment.
The Native POP celebration will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 20 at Main Street Square. The fashion show will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Square and the film showcase takes place a block away at 415 Main Street. Films will be running from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A schedule of the film screenings is available here.
After the market ends around 6 p.m., there will be live music from Scotti Clifford & Spirits Cry and Sons of Sans Arc.
The artist awards reception takes place on Friday, July 19 at the Dahl Arts Center. The reception includes entertainment, refreshments, a sneak peak at the market’s premiere art and a chance to visit with artists. The reception runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.