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Hopi online artist consignment store up and running

“My Father” by Frank Honanie, Jr. is featured on the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation’s art consignment website. Submitted photo

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation (HTEDC) is looking for consignment artists for a new online store.

Explore Hopi Director Clarice Tofoya said that this is another way that the corporation can help Hopi artists, providing them with a place to display their art online or in Sedona and also giving the artists a way to build their own business.

"It is hard with the way the economy is, they need to support their families," Tofoya said. "This is a way of trying to help them out, provide them with some PR and get their name out there."

Tofoya said that Explore Hopi staff will take pictures of the artwork and give the artists slides of their artwork to help them build a portfolio that they can then hand out to other Indian markets and prospective buyers.

She said Explore Hopi hopes to showcase as many artists as it can from Hopi, in addition to booking tours and getting people out to the reservation, which is its main goal.

"We are open to taking all Hopi artists from all the villages," Tofoya said. "Eventually we would like to have an artist who represents each village out in Hopi."

She explained that art also tells a story of the Hopi people and their history and that fits into what Explore Hopi is already doing with their tours.

"Hopi is filled with a lot of amazing, talented people and the things they come up with are just breathtaking," Tofoya said. "When you get a chance to sit and talk with the artist and they tell you the story of their artwork, it's just amazing to hear what goes along with it."

Frank Honahnie, Jr is one of the artists who has already signed up with Explore Hopi Consignment. He said he felt it was a good avenue to let people know who he was and what he was doing. He said the ease with which people can see the art displayed on the website is a big draw for him and he believes others can benefit from that.

"Everybody is born with a gift and my gift is art. I grew up with it and it is something I find interesting and I am trying to break out into a new level," Honahnie said. "Before I started this, trying to figure out where to go was hard but this makes it easier to put my work out there. I used to sit up at the cultural center but I think it is better for me to put it up on the website and see what happens."

Explore Hopi puts on art shows and Indian Day, with Native dances, all with the goal of bringing the Hopi cultural experience to people.

"This is another way to have that experience and be a part of it even if you're not able to be out there," Tofoya said. "You're able to take it home and have it as a memory of your experience or an experience you want to have."

Tofoya said there are potters, silversmiths, carvers, weavers, painters, ceramic workers and glassware artists from first, second and third mesa and the 12 villages.

"We want to display all of that so people can take it home with them," she said.

Explore Hopi Consignment is a part of what HTEDC was established to do, which is to work with business owners on the reservation and elsewhere to bring economic opportunity to the Hopi people.

"Now we are just starting to look at other means of how we can help the people," she said.

More information about Explore Hopi Consignment is available at http://www.explorehopi.com/#!hopi-consignment-art/c13zk.


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