5/6/2014 10:47:00 AM Explore Hopi celebrates grand opening of Sedona consignment art gallery
Above: Hopi Kachina dolls on display at the Consignment Art Gallery at the Days Inn Kokopelli in Sedona, Arizona. Below: artwork made by Hopi artists on display. Katherine Locke/NHO
Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribe Alfred Lomahquahu, Jr. and Explore Hopi Director Clarice Tofoya prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open the Consignment Art Gallery at the Days Inn Kokopell. Katherine Locke/NHO
SEDONA, Ariz. - Explore Hopi opened its new Consignment Art Gallery at the Days Inn Kokopelli April 30, creating a new space for Hopi artists to make their artwork available to the public.
Explore Hopi, a part of the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation (HTEDC), works to create economic development opportunities for the Hopi people.
Alfred Lomahquahu, Jr., vice chairman of the Hopi Tribe, said it is hard for some artists on Hopi to get as much exposure as they need to sell their work. He believes the Consignment Art Gallery provides new opportunities for the artists.
"By reaching out to other entities such as the Kokopelli we could do more for the artists themselves by having their work recognized outside the reservation," Lomahquahu said.
He agreed with Kevin Lombardo, who said that Sedona is an ideal location to showcase Hopi artisans' work.
"This is one of the places people from all over the world come," Lomahquahu said. "And they also want to know more of Hopi, too. A lot of this area has to do with the Natives like Navajo, Hopi, Supai and all these other tribes and they do get educated about it."
Lomahquahu said another important part of locating the Consignment Art Gallery at the Kokopelli, is the ability for guests who stay at the Kokopelli to access Hopi from there.
"If they stay here, they have a point of contact from here to within the reservation rather than go to the reservation on their own and then looking for somebody on their own," Lomahquahu said. "It helps everyone out, either way."
Clarice Tofoya, director of Explore Hopi, said previously that she hoped eventually the consignment art program would have at least one artist who represents each village on Hopi. While Explore Hopi's main goal is booking tours and getting people out to the reservation, the gallery hopes to showcase as many artists as it can.
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 its tours.
"Hopi is filled with a lot of amazing, talented people and the things they come up with are just breathtaking," Tofoya said.
One of the things the public will get a chance to experience with the new gallery is how deeply complex Hopi art is.
"The idea, experience and talent behind creating art are enhanced by a Hopi's way of life. The daily life of a Hopi has a direct connection in everything a Hopi does. The intertwined web of belief, tradition, language and culture is depicted and portrayed and the end result is the artwork that will be on display," an Exploe Hopi press release stated.