IACA Journal, Spring 2014 - page 4

IACA Journal | Spring 2014
Buyer Beware
American Indian Art can be a tricky business, and buyers need to watch carefully to
avoid three very common pitfalls.
First is the deep discount that can be found plastered on many windows that purport to sell American
Indian Art. While a 70% discount is most tempting, chances are that you will still be paying a higher
price than you would otherwise pay through a legitimate American Indian art shop. The legitimate
shops price fairly, and rarely offer a discount except to very good customers... and then it may only
amount to 10% or so.
Second is buying a knock off of a famed artist’s work. Rip offs are particularly common on many
websites, and especially with jewelry. Plagiarizing a design or style of top artists is a common practice,
and not at all illegal. Best practice is to ask about the artist that created the piece you are attracted to -
and ask for documentation.
Finally, buying a piece that isn’t even authentic American Indian art, but looks like it is. This happens
all too frequently, sometimes even when you purchase directly from an American Indian. We have
seen instances where buyers purchased weavings from a Navajo person, only to discover a tag that
indicates the weaving came from India. Again, ask for documentation about the piece that you wish
to purchase.
Ask questions before you buy, and expect answers. For assurance when buying American Indian art,
look for an outlet that displays the IACA Membership seal. That will increase your enjoyment, and
give you peace of mind, when buying authentic American Indian art.
—Joe Zeller, IACA President
Spring Market A Success
In April, we saw the successful completion of our IACA Spring Wholesale Market. I want to
say thank you to all the board members and volunteers for their hard work and the excellent
planning that had things running smoothly.
I also want to thank all of the supporters of this organization without whom we would not be
able to continue our programs.
This Year’s Award Winners will be featured in our next
• Artist of the Year for 2014 is Shane Hendren
• Harold Stevens Jr. won for Lapidary
• Barbara Gonzales won for Pottery
• Ron Mitchell won for Easel Art
Congratulations to you all, and thank you for your participation.
—Pam Lujan-Hauer
Joe Zeller, IACA President
Pam Lujan-Hauer
Taos Pueblo
IACA-EF President
IACA Mission
To promote, preserve and
protect authentic American
Indian arts and crafts
IACA-Education Fund
Mission Statement
To build cultural preservation
and appreciation for the arts of
indigenous peoples of North
America through education
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