The Native Roots Artists Guild started as a grass roots organization to provide a support network for Senecas and other Haudenosaunee artists. Their mission is to perpetuate Seneca culture by promoting community awareness and appreciation of the arts. Established in 2010 by a small group of artists, the guild has grown to a membership of 74, encompassing various native nations with approximately half being Seneca. This year the guild has expanded its membership to include junior members, under age 18, with the goal of perpetuating native art forms.
Early on, the guild recognized the need to educate its members with essential marketing skills and provide exhibit opportunities for the members, thereby gaining a larger audience. The guild has provided various opportunities for its members including: creating business cards, developing an artist directory, creating YouTube videos, publishing a guild calendar, and creating quality artwork for distinguished art galleries. In 2013, with the assistance of the SNI Tourism Department, the guild sponsored the first Native Roots Artists Guild Retreat at the Seneca Niagara Casino. Attendees learned from established artists how to survive in the art world. They listened to a lawyer discuss patents and copy writes. They learned how to communicate and display their art for the enhancement of public sales of their work. They experimented with medias other than their own, thereby expanding their creativity. Guild members who attended the retreat also received a jacket, identifying them as an artist selected by their peers to join the guild for the dedication to native art world. The guild intends to host the retreat annually and invite more interested native artists.
To maintain the efforts of the guild, a member elected board guides the fundraising efforts. Fundraising has included: raffles, with members willingly donating a piece of their work; hosting vendor spots where a percentage of sales go to the guild; and selling guild calendars, which highlight members work; and collecting annual membership dues.
To continue the guild efforts the board is now seeking opportunities for funding. We are partnering with local galleries for grants, requesting support from local businesses and submitting proposals for joint projects where costs are shared. The Native Roots Artists Guild is requesting a donation to assist its members to continue its effects to promote native artwork and native artist in the art world.
Call or write for more details on volunteer opportunities.
Native Roots Artists Guild
P.O. Box 344
Salamanca, NY 14779