Daytime Exploration: Native American Arts
Its often hard to know where to start when shopping for and exploring Native American arts in a town that produces over 70% of the world's retail Native American arts.
Begin your trip with Richardson's Trading Post. This historic trading post gives a great insight into the traditional art forms as well as has a unique rug room that is surrounded by showcases of Gallup Native Art history artifacts. From there, walk on down to Silver Dust Trading where you can shop for the stones themselves, from authentic to cultured (ask the staff and they will explain the difference and show you examples) and one of the area's largest bead suppliers. Just down the way from there, you can visit Red Shell Trading and check out some Spiny Oyster shell first hand and learn about how it is turned into unique pieces set in the wide variety of Native American jewelry. Just outside of downtown are two incredible trading post assets: Perry Null Trading and Ellis Tanner Trading. Both of these trading posts have unique showcases and murals that represent Gallup's trading history, and in both posts you can see artists doing business and selling directly to the trading posts. If you're looking for an exquisite and unique collection of natural gem quality turquoise, look no further than Tanner's Indian Arts. This by-appointment trader has been around for five generations and has a museum-quality collection of both contemporary and traditional Native American arts, as well as some of the most stunning turquoise available around. The Tanners are also happy to recommend individual artists if you are looking to commission a piece.
If you're here in August, visit the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial Exhibit Hall, the Best in Show Event, or the Wine Tasting & Preview Night to catch a glimpse of award-winning Native American Art and to shop. Gallup also hosts the annual Gallup Native Arts Market, a direct retail southwestern Native American Arts market in the heart of downtown every August.