A Philosophical Statement

When we made the decision to go into business selling Native American art it was because we fell in love with the art and because there was no one selling fine quality Native American art in the area where we live. Since making that decision we have experienced and learned a lot about doing business with Native American artists and some of the traders who deal with those artists. More and more we are buying directly from the various artists. This is our preferred method of buying for several reasons. First a little background. During our trips to Arizona and New Mexico we locate and spend time with a number of the artists. We visit them in their homes and in their studios. . On occasion we have also had the opportunity to meet with tribal leaders. One of the things we have learned from our discussions with these people is that there are buyers in this market who will make every effort to purchase from the artists at times when the artists' cash flow is at a low point, and, therefore, the artists may be forced to sell their work at prices significantly below a fair price. We have witnessed artists trying to sell their work to wholesalers who offer the artists insultingly low prices for their work. Artists have told us about their experiences in trying to sell their work when they are hurting for cash. It's a pretty sad story.

We want to purchase directly from the artist, first because we want to ensure that the artist is being paid a fair price for their work. Generally this is a price that is set by the artist in agreement with the purchaser, as opposed to a lower price dictated to an artist by a wholesaler. Secondly, we want to establish working relationships with the artists whose work we offer in our gallery. We only offer work that we love, and we want to encourage those artists to continue their work. Thirdly, we have found that some of the artists who are unable to earn a livable amount of income from their work end up employed in casinos where they can earn a steady paycheck. This means that instead of pursuing their career as an artist, they stop or greatly reduce the amount of time creating, and change their life to be a casino employee. This is a great loss to everyone. It is a loss to the artist who can no longer continue a tradition handed down for centuries. It is a loss to the tribe whose culture is now being deprived of the development and evolution of its traditional arts. It is a loss to humanity that is also being deprived of the fruits of the creative traditions of our American aboriginal people.

While we are in business to make money, we make every effort to pursue our business in a manner that respects and honors those artists whose work we represent. We endeavor to conduct our business in an ethical manner, in good faith, and to offer our clients the opportunity to purchase fine examples of traditionally made beautiful art in many forms. We also value the friendships we have made with many of the artists and their families, as well as with other members of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association, and with many of our customers.

Finally, we want to express our appreciation to our customers for their loyal support. We also want them to know that when they make a purchase from Art Legends they are helping, in a small way, to enable Native American artists to continue their work, and earn a fair income from that work.

 

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