A New Name and Wider Reach for the Art Center October 05 2018
The Pine Ridge Art Center was created in response to very real need demonstrated by artists and crafters selling their work on the streets of Pine Ridge. For the past four years, PineRidgeArtCenter.com has provided an efficient way for those artists to reach a worldwide market.
Last year, we realized that we were already serving artists outside Pine Ridge, from various tribes living on and off reservations, and that a nonprofit for networking, promoting, collaborating and unifying Native artists had great potential on a wider scale.
To build on that momentum, we have renamed to Seven Council Fires Native Art. And today we are very happy to announce – with thanks to Melvin War Eagle for the new logo and to Matt Hilleman for expert technical assistance – that we are ready to roll with a new web address, new Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages … and an expanded mission!
It is humbling to see goals realized, progress that has more to do with prayer than money…dreams turning into reality. To date, the Art Center has been largely self-supporting with the help of a small but growing group of individual supporters, but without major funding. We’ve experienced steady growth and that gives us confidence we’re on the right track.
When Brendon came on board last year, he generously offered the use of his family property and studio, Lakota Rock Gardens, for Art Center goals. Lakota Rock Gardens is a ten acre property on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It is incredible that such a perfect place to carry out our goals should become available in the way that it has. As we expand our reach, this gift gives us a solid foundation to build on and ensures that Pine Ridge will always be home base.
We are so grateful to our member artists, many of whom have worked with us since before the art center was founded. It is truly the work of their hearts and hands that has made this into such a beautiful thing. We are a family, and our goals will always be based the desire to enrich the lives of our member artists.
And so we are reaching out! We want to touch base with as many artists as we can to find out how we can collaborate. We’re asking artists interested in selling work on our site or in getting involved some other way to please give us a call!
We also welcome individuals and groups interested in supporting Native arts to contact us. There are several areas where volunteers are needed. Construction work is also needed to realize our goal of moving the web site operation to the reservation. And of course, financial support is always welcome.
For all the latest news, be sure to Like our new Facebook page SevenFiresArt.
We chose the name Seven Council Fires because it speaks to the reach we want this effort to have— we invite you to read more about the Očeti Sakówiŋ at AktaLakota.org. We also want to continue the prayerful and powerful message of our Water Protectors at the Očeti Sakówiŋ camp at Standing Rock.
Our dream is idealistic. We imagine a thriving online business supporting many artists and their families, a supply co-op, well-lit studio space, a gallery and museum, jobs. We dream of collaborating with artists and designers to find a solution to the housing crisis. We envision a way for more Native artists profit from their work instead of selling below value on the street or to a retailer.
We are building a place for mentoring Native youth, for raising self-esteem and preventing suicide through art and heritage, where youth are invited to experience Native culture, where the Seven Arts are celebrated and taught and the Seventh Generation is nurtured. By supporting our Native Culture Bearers, we can provide an avenue for generational change.