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Hibulb's Native Art Mart highlights tribal artists


January 10, 2018 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Tulalip Tribal member and local artist Jamie Sheldon works on her art at a recent Native Art Mart at the Hibulb Cultural Center on Jan. 4.

The Hibulb Cultural Center's Native Art Marts allow local tribal artists an opportunity to display and sell their work every month.

Lena Jones, a Hibulb Cultural Center employee and the main organizer of the Native Art Marts, said that the center has been doing the markets for two years now.

Tulalip Tribal officials wanted "to have a place for artists to come and share their art and for people to buy art from local tribal artists," said Jones.

The Native Art Mart is held on the first Thursday of each month and the Saturday following that date.

It's good to have that kind of space for art, said Jamie Sheldon, a Tulalip Tribal member and local basket weaver. "Because a lot of people don't realize that there is this kind of work out there," Sheldon said.

Native American prints, drums, carvings, cedar baskets and jewelry are often available at the Native Art Marts.

"It's getting our stuff out there," said Sheldon. "People are starting to see it more and recognize it more."

Jones said that the program has been good for locals.

"I think they like the opportunity to come here if they want to," she said. "I think it's gone pretty well."

The market has also allowed people a space to appreciate local artists and the art they make, said Jones.

Sheldon said it has helped get people interested in basket weaving, which she helps teach to others.

"My aunt taught me how to weave over 15 years ago and she also taught me how to go out and gather [the cedar]," she said. "What I need to do, how long it takes before I can use it and the whole weaving process. So I had to learn the hard way."

Now Sheldon said she enjoys hiking for the materials for her baskets.

"I love going up into the mountains and gathering cedar. That is my favorite thing to do," she said.

"I love making our pieces as well. They speak for themselves," she said.

Over the last two years, Sheldon said it has taken time to grow the market. "It's slowly getting there, but it's a process," she said.

"We're not going anywhere, we're going to be here every month," she said.

She said that the market was a good place for local artists. "It's convenient and it's a good place to start out," she said.

The Hibulb Cultural Center also serves as a museum for local Native American history, so it's a good place to show current Native art as well, said Sheldon.

"Some people want to have the kind of art that they have here," she said.

The Hibulb Cultural Center is at 6410 23rd Ave NE, Tulalip and more information about the center is available at

More information for vendors or others interested is also available from Lena Jones at 360-716-2640.


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