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Native American Artists for Japan

In the wake of Japan's recent catastrophy, we can all do something to help.  I am especially touched as some in our very own field are working hard to raise funds for the Japanese.  Specifically, three Native American jewelers:  Darryl Begay, Raymond Yazzie and Leonard Tsosie are gathering donations of hand-made art from fellow Native American artists to sell in a charity auction on eBay.  All monies from the sale of the Native American art will be donated to the Red Cross in support of Japanese relief efforts. 

After the organizing artists announced their efforts on Facebook, over 100 American Indian artists committed to donate some of their best pieces of their artwork.  Artists include Raymond Yazzie, Verma Nequatewa (Sonwai), Perry Shorty, McKee Platero, Tony Abeyta, Vernon Haskie, Vincent Kaydahzinne, David Dawangyumptewa, Lyndon Tsosie, Monty Claw, Darryl and Rebecca Begay, Jacob Morgan Marla Allison, Fritz Casuse, Harrison Jim, Ken Williams, Orlando Dugi, Waddie Crazyhorse, Ed Archie Nosie Cat, Cliff Fragua, Philander Begay, Mark Roanhorse, Mike Roanhorse, Jennifer Curtis, Cansus Roanhorse, Olin Tsingine, and Stewart Billie.

Organizer Raymond Yazzie shared, “Our mission is to unite inspire fellow Native Artists to give back to our brothers and sisters abroad. Because Japan has been a big supporter of Native American arts, providing income to artists and their families, it is out of our hearts as artists to raise funds for water, food and basic necessities.”  Lyndon Tsosie, also touched by the overwhelming support of his fellow artists, added, ”Native American Artists for Japan has turned into a gigantic bubble of love and help to reach out to those affected by this disaster. 

SWAIA (Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) has joined forces with the artists to handle monetary donations. Checks can be made out to: SWAIA c/o Native American Artists for Japan. Send to: to SWAIA c/o of Native American Artists for Japan @ P.O.Box 969, Santa Fe NM 87504-0969.

We're really enthusiastic about this effort so we're making our own contribution in honor of our Japanese friends including Yasutomo Kodera, Hideki Usui, Kesaharu Imai, Hiroumi Imai, Hiroyuki Narita, Taka Kitari and his friend, No.  These are all fine young Japanese men we've come to know who are promoting Native American art in Japan, and we truly value our friendships with them.

The artists have established a website and a page on Facebook, where they will post links to an ongoing eBay auction and information on their fund-raising efforts.  The first eBay auction is slated to start on 4/5/11.  See you there!

For additional information call Darryl Begay, 505.488.8195.


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