October 04, 2006

"Indianpreneur" battles kitschy art

Artist seeks to redefine genreChris Rowland didn't like what he saw when searching the Internet for Native American art, primarily the kitschy posters selling at "bargain prices."

"Ninety-percent of it is not even Native American art," said Rowland, a Northern Cheyenne artist. "I'm trying to redefine Native American art while looking at ways to market that art."

Rowland's use of the Internet to introduce his work to the world as true Native American art may be a novel concept.

In fact, his Web page caught the attention of the State Tribal Economic Development Council, which launched its new "Indianpreneur" site last week using Rowland as its first featured artist.

"They liked how I was marketing myself," Rowland said. "The Indianpreneur thing--I thought that was a really good move. It puts us in another class and I'm honored."

The state agency will use its new site to promote Native American artists working in Montana. The hope is to create new economic opportunities for Indians and reservation-based businesses.
Comment:  Nice idea, but the author has overstated the use of the Internet as a "novel concept." Hundreds if not thousands of genuine Native artists have set up websites already to sell their work.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Well, I'm doing my part to promote the Native arts here. (But not uncritically, of course.) If your website encourages Native artists to think big, I'm all for it. And if my Native-themed comics encourage Natives to do such comics also, I'll all for that too. (As long as they don't steal my audience, of course.)

Anyway, good to hear from you, Chris. Stick around and join our discussions!