Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15, 2012 the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) held their benefit dinner & live auction. IAIA is celebrating their 50th anniversary & the festivities started on the ‘La Terraza Garden Patio’ in the La Fonda Hotel at Santa Fe, N.M. James Rutherford & Undrell Person were the commentators of the reception & silent auction.
40 Native American Artists donated to the silent auction including Tony Abyeta, Melissa Cody, Steve LaRance & Anderson Chee.
In the ‘Lumpkins Ballroom’ at 7 p.m. the benefit dinner & live auction began. Seven artist works were presented including a hardcover novel by local author Michael McGarrity. The donating artists were Tony Abeyta, Mateo Romero, Nocona Burgess, Dale Chihuly, Denise Wallace & the late T.C. Cannon.
The master of ceremonies was Harlan McKosato formerly of Native America Calling (radio). The disc jockey was ‘DJ Ginger’ & the live musicians were Adrian Wall, Lauren Johnson, Upton Ethelbah & Carlo Johnson. The live auctioneer was Paul Margetson.
The elegant evening was put on to help benefit IAIA students supported by Alumni, the local community & statewide supporters. The painting “Desert Messenger” by Tony Abeyta valued at $16,000 – $22,000 was bid over $18,000.
100-year-old Anna Houser gave a funny speech. Native artists & guests interspersed with longtime friends. Each table consisted of several accomplished artists who are in Santa Fe for the ‘Indian Market’ or have art galleries in town. They include George Rivera, Kevin Red Star & Tony Abeyta.
Native American film director Chris Eyre was sitting with IAIA president Dr. Robert G. Martin & his wife. Chris is town for the screening of his latest film, “Hide Away” at the ‘native film showcase.’ Many greeted Comanche Indian elder LaDonna Harris at her table. She recently adopted movie star Johnny Depp into her tribe who is wrapping production on the Disney film “The Lone Ranger.” He portrays the role of ‘Tonto.’
The delicious dinner & desert was served with red or white wine. The applause was infectious after each bid for native artist ‘works.’ The delightful evening ended with guests dancing on the center floor to the music of ‘Prince’ & ‘Michael Jackson.’ Even the IAIA president Robert Martin was seen ‘Gettin’ Down.’