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ERIC Number: EJ835823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Connecting to the Art Market from Home: An Exploration of First Nations Artists in Alert Bay, British Columbia
Neufeld, Margaret R. M.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v33 n1 p89-117 2009
Historically, Northwest Coast First Nations artists have been active participants in local and external economic markets. In Alert Bay, British Columbia, home of the 'Namgis People of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation, artists have sold their work in urban centers since the 1950s. Now they are more rigorously involved in selling their work to local shops and art galleries, in addition to the markets in Vancouver and Victoria, and in selling to international collectors. Based on the narratives of artists and local community members, this article examines why some 'Namgis artists choose to remain in Alert Bay despite profitable economic opportunities that exist beyond their local community. This article also considers the mechanisms artists use to develop and maintain connections to both local and nonlocal art market centers and looks at some of the tensions that arise from artists' simultaneous involvement in both areas. In particular, the discussion points to the ways in which artists make use of brokers and create personal connections to patrons and clients in order to remain in local communities. As they participate in different types of brokered relationships with their audiences--the local community, brokers, urban art galleries, and collectors--they confront and create varying concepts of "authenticity" and assessments of the quality and aesthetic value of their work. (Contains 17 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada