The 29th Annual San Francisco Tribal & Textile Arts Show returns to Fort Mason this month on Feb. 6–8. More than 80 vetted dealers will display art, jewelry, antiques, and accessories representing indigenous peoples and cultures from Africa, Australia, the Pacific, the Americas, and Europe. As the largest collection of ethnographic art available for purchase in North America, national and international museums and collectors, as well as celebrities, have consistently supported this highly regarded show.
Many of the objects and fiber works displayed represent forms of communication between indigenous people and with their gods and spirits. Most of the dealers have firsthand knowledge of their pieces on display and how they represent these and other traditions. Beyond just dealers or collectors, many are recognized specialists in their field, sought out by museums and cultural institutions for their expertise.
In addition to representing international tribal art experts, the show will also feature prominent U.S. galleries, including IndoArts from San Rafael, which will display an 8th century 24-karat gold repoussé of Buddha (pictured). Crafted by the earliest inhabitants of Myanmar, the devout Pyu Buddhists would gain “merit” by commissioning an item like this, which would subsequently be donated to a monk or pagoda.
The show will also display contemporary artists specializing in traditional crafts and art forms. Heart of the Brush II features work by self-taught artist and tribal textile dealer Vichai Chinalai, who through his graceful brush paintings, incorporates poetry, sacred writing, Asian philosophy, and Zen Buddhism. Contemporary basket weaver Eva Ginguimia from Wounaan Rainforest Baskets in Beaverton, Ore., will have on display a basket (pictured) based on ancient Colombian pottery designs. Made from palm fibers and other natural materials found in the Darien rainforest, it took three years to complete.
For those who would like an inside look into the show, former emerita curator of textiles at the de Young Museum Cathryn Cootner will lead a tour, “The Delight of Looking Closer,” which will highlight some of the highly collectible works on view. Tours will start at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The show opens on Feb. 5 with a high-profile gala to benefit the de Young Museum’s critically acclaimed collection of textile and arts from Africa, Oceania, and America, long treasured by San Francisco. The gala, with past national media coverage, brings together collectors, designers, and art aficionados with live music and exquisite catering.
San Francisco Tribal & Textile Arts Show: Friday–Sunday, Feb. 6–8, Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, $15; gala: Thursday, Feb. 5, 6–9 p.m., $150; sanfranciscotribalandtextileartshow.com