While several businesses were highlighted in the gift guide for the winter edition of Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine published last week, there are many more local places to spend your dollar and support the small shops and creators that make Flagstaff special.
The Museum of Northern Arizona typically marks the seasons with its long-running culture celebrations like the Hopi Festival and Zuni Festival. An annual winter art market also provides artists and small business owners from the Colorado Plateau Native Community a larger audience of potential buyers.
As noted in last week’s magazine, this year’s Winter Market will take place outdoors with each vendor set up in their own small cabin on the north side of the campus to allow for social distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of this crisis, one of MNA's primary concerns and efforts has been providing ongoing aid and support to Native-owned small business and Native artists facing economic ruin in the wake of this pandemic,” Kristan Hutchison, the museum's director of marketing, said.
For Hopi pottery artist Gwen Setalla, the last arts festival she can recall attending this year was at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
“Many of them have been canceled so not many people are purchasing,” she said.
Next weekend at MNA, she will have a variety of pottery tiles and ornaments to sell, a small way to share a part of her culture with others in the community and beyond.
“Because I’m Hopi I focus a lot on the Hopi symbolism, things in connection with Hopi life, prayers,” Setalla said. “Just basic ancestral designs.”
Other Indigenous artists participating in the Winter Market next weekend include Marvene and Nuvadi Dawahoya, Akema Honyumptewa, Michelle Silver, Jonah and Gregory Hill, Duane Koyawena and more.
A fixture in the community for the past three years, Bright Side Bookshop is the only independent bookseller downtown. When the pandemic hit, the shop turned to online orders and curbside delivery to stay afloat. In-person shopping returned in the summer once new social distancing and sanitization guidelines were put in place.
From cards and postcards featuring art by local artists to puzzles or games perfect for family game nights, shoppers are sure to unique items for anyone on their list. And, of course, the book selection is more than worthy of a browse beyond the colorful window displays. Thousands of titles line the shelves inside, carefully curated new releases, beloved classics, memoirs, graphic novels, children’s books and more.
“Just a Teacher,” written by Michael Fillerup and Jim David and released this past summer through Soulstice Publishing, currently sits on the Bright Side Bestsellers list. The fictionalized story of how David, a former National Biology Teacher of the Year, touches on how teachers encourage their students to find passion in learning, an impact that lasts a lifetime. It also pulls from David’s experience using nature to teach through establishing Flagstaff’s Francis Short Pond.
Another locally written, designed and published book shoppers will be able to find at Bright Side next month—or pre-order from Soulstice Publishing—is “Walking Flagstaff,” a collection of photographs from George Breed.
The photographer has been documenting life in Flagstaff ever since forgoing a car for his feet in 2009. After amassing upward of 40,000 photos of the changing city—long-gone characters, murals and businesses, impossibly colorful sunsets, performances at Wheeler Park and Heritage Square—he reached out to Soulstice to guide the next step in his journey: sharing his vision with everyone else.
“I started taking photos because I thought, ‘Other people need to see this,’” Breed said in a May 2020 interview with Flagstaff Live!
“By walking through our community daily and posting photos daily from the things that he encounters, he is probably the most thorough documentarian of Flagstaff and what happens in our town,” photo editor Jake Bacon said.