Native American arts expert Mark Bahti will share his lifelong experience with Indian jewelry, weaving, carving and pottery when he lectures on “The Evolution of Indian Art” at the Arizona Senior Academy at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (June 15). Bahti is a second-generation scholar, researcher, and purveyor of arts and crafts created by artists from the tribes and pueblos of the Southwest.
With his wife Emma Whitehorse, Mark manages Bahti Indian Arts of Tucson and Santa Fe. They continue the work begun by his late father Tom Bahti, who wrote a trilogy of books on Native American arts and crafts. Maintaining the family’s commitment to chronicling Indian creative culture, Mark has authored eight books on topics ranging from jewelry to sand painting to stone carving.
Bahti is involved with several Indian-run organizations that address health, education and employment issues. A long-time member of the Tucson Indian Center board, he chairs the Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation in Santa Fe, where he also is on the board of the Southwest Association of Indian Affairs, sponsor of the Santa Fe’s famous Indian Market. He is a board member of the Amerind Foundation.
Bahti Indian Arts was founded in 1952 and is Tucson’s oldest dealer of authentic Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo arts. The Moon Guide says: “It’s often difficult to know what authentic Native American art is and what isn’t. … According to Bahti’s book, it was during the golden age of Southwestern tourism that the authenticity of Indian jewelry became an issue.”
Written by Fred Volkmann, Academy Village Volunteer