Contemporary Native American Art Transcends Time

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NewMexicoCreates.org, a newly opened online gallery from the Museum of New Mexico, offers original artwork that fuses a modern sensibility with multicultural traditions and ancient materials. A stunning showcase of contemporary Indian arts and crafts, the site offers one-of-kind Native American pottery, handcrafted jewelry, textiles, sculpture, kachinas, fetishes and more.

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(http://www.newmexicocreates.org) Operated by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation Shops (MNMFshops), NewMexicoCreates.org gives art collectors a unique opportunity to purchase authentic pieces by more than 400 fine New Mexico artists and artisans.

Carrying an ever-changing catalog of about 1,000 carefully selected items, the museum gallery incorporates work by such well-known artists as jeweler Cippy Crazyhorse, sculptor Eddy Shorty, and glass-blower Debora Clare, as well as by talented young artists first getting noticed in the art world. By becoming members of the Museum, shoppers receive a 10% discount on all purchases.

The site is the latest installment of an effort begun in 2003 to increase visibility for artists under a grant-funded program begun in 2003. The overarching goals of New Mexico Creates are to expand the role of the arts in economic development activity and to spur job creation, explains John Stafford, Director of Retail Operations for MNMFshops. “Santa Fe may have the third-largest art market in the world, but artists need exposure and assistance to reach a national or world market effectively.”

This is especially true for artists who live in a rural area, or on one of the 19 pueblos or four Indian reservations in New Mexico. To assist, New Mexico Creates already places artists’ work in its retail museum stores, and offers training seminars on marketing, licensing, pricing, and small business loans. Since New Mexico Creates buys most work outright, not on consignment, participating artists see a return on their work more rapidly than if they were to leave pieces in a gallery’s inventory.

MNMFshops runs this unique program under the aegis of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the non-profit organization that oversees four Santa Fe Museums: the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Palace of the Governors (state history museum). MNMFshops also manages the four retail museum stores and the Web site, http://www.ShopMuseum.com, which carries exhibit-related items. It soon plans to open WorldFolkArt.org as a third site to focus on international folk art.

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John Stafford, Director MNMFshops
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