GlacierLaura, It sounds like you are caught in the wrong side of the
affirmative action issue here. Maybe you can’t make this particular
system work for you but you can get yourself work in spite of it.
I’ve been reading in the threads so much about galleries, well there
are a lot of places that sell jewelry that aren’t galleries. It
depends on what you want. Do you want to be a famous artisan who
sells through the galleries only or do you want to make a living at
your craft. I know both would be nice. But reality check…
I live in Ohio, where native American work is extremely limited.
Hard truth is it just doesn’t sell here. Snowbirds returning from
Arizona wear on the plane home and then it goes into the drawer until
the next southwest jaunt. But good beadwork is hot hot hot. If you
are 1/3 native american and proud of that can’t you also be proud of
the 2/3 of your heritage that isn’t and take some artistic
inspiration from that side.
Your reference to yourself as a mutt is really sad, you have to know
we are Americans first, hyphenated Americans second and being a
country where’’ all nations’’ can dwell is a gift. Regardless of
politics or unfair social issues we have to appreciate the fact that
we can choose and we can move away from an area that is bad for us,
and we can work hard to get what we want. It does work. If you are
prejudiced against there, leave there. If the galleries won’t give
you a shot, go to boutiques, dress shops, gift shops, even try the
If you become excellent at what you do, and develop your own unique
style, there is no reason that you couldn’t market all over the
country. Maybe a boutique in Akron, Oh. could be more profitable
than a gallery in Tucson. Instead of being part of a system where you
have to prove your lineage with papers, maybe you should just walk
away. I bet you can make it without them.