Today marks the grand opening of the Ancestral Rich Treasures of Zuni Cooperative – “ARTZ” for short. The celebration includes demonstrations by master artists: Noreen Simplicio, Dion Selecion and Phyllis Coonsis. Given the proliferation of imitated-Zuni art across the southwest and globe, a new gallery on the Zuni Pueblo aims to affirm the credibility and legitimacy of Zuni art.
It’s the first and only multi-artist owned and managed business on the Pueblo of Zuni, with prime retail space in the Old Post Office, along the Pueblo’s main thoroughfare. Visitors can admire and purchase traditional pottery, stone carvings, silversmithing / jewelry, metalwork, woodcarving, painting, beadwork and more.
Coop owner-members pay an annual ARTZ fee to secure retail space and Internet access to tap global markets. An onsite photography studio allows community members to photograph and promote their work. ARTZ also aspires to offer workshops on financial management and social media.
The visionaries behind the Zuni Pueblo ArtWalk, a tour of Zuni artist home studios, founded ARTZ.
“As Zuni Pueblo ArtWalk artisans, we open our home studios to visitors who want to experience the process of art making from beginning to end,” ARTZ states. “Unfortunately, many artists cannot afford a home studio or even a place to house their arts. This led us to partner with The Cooperative Catalyst of New Mexico and the A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center to create a cooperative that would truly be owned by us artists. On April 2019, we signed our Articles of Incorporation to become a true entity!”
Zuni artists will co-manage the ARTZ gallery. The business will “eventually be self-sustained and controlled by no one other than the artists,” ARTZ states.