This year is the 96th Annual Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, and it’s the first year for a new Ceremonial event: Best in Show Night at ART123 Gallery. Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial and local nonprofit arts council gallupARTS are combining forces to bring you a special exhibit showcasing 21 top winning pieces from Ceremonial’s juried Exhibit Hall in downtown Gallup.

For one night only, on Tuesday, August 8th from 6 – 9pm, oooh and aaah at the crème de la crème of Native art. Get a fist look at “Best in Category” and “Best in Class” weavings, pottery, paintings, sculpture, lapidary, baskets, katsinas, metalwork and more. Admire special award winners, and you can’t miss the overall “Best in Show” winning artwork!

Best in Show Night is the brainchild of Gallup trader Emerald Tanner. “My biggest reason for wanting to do this is to celebrate art and artists,” she says. “Ceremonial gets such incredible museum-quality pieces representative of all of the major tribes around Gallup; we wanted to share them with the public and bring a little piece of Ceremonial back downtown.”

Making this special event extra special: Ms. Tanner has borrowed artwork from Ceremonial’s past from collectors to display alongside this year’s winners. Experience the rich legacy of Ceremonial with half a dozen Best in Show awardees from previous years, including a 1937 Teec Nos Pos style weaving. Teec Nos Pos, in Northeast Arizona, produces weavings that are considered to be some of the most intricately detailed of all Navajo designs. The 1937 Best in Show winner is known for its immensely complicated border—“one of the most complicated we’ve ever seen,” notes Ms. Tanner. “It’s worth it to come to our event, just to see this rug!” she says.

Several of the historic Ceremonial “Best in Show” winners that will be on display during Best in Show Night at ART123 Gallery in downtown Gallup on August 12th.

Winners from the 1970s and 80s will also be on display. Event attendees can marvel at an extremely detailed and delicate three-piece woman’s jewelry set crafted by the “Queen of Needlepoint,” Zuni silversmith and lapidary artist, Edith Tsabetsaye. Representing Navajo jewelry will be 1982 Best in Show-winning “corn bracelet” made by master silversmith Lee A. Yazzie. Taking seven months to create, this piece is “an absolute wonder in terms of design and mechanics,” explains Ms. Tanner. Having been exhibited in museums worldwide, Yazzie’s corn bracelet is now on public view again at Best in Show Night in downtown Gallup.

In addition to the show-stopping art, Best in Show Night will offer up a Native artist demo, live jazz by Navajo musician Delbert Anderson, and light refreshments. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact gallupARTS at 505-488-2136 or