SWAIA Auction Gala

. June 2, 2010

A handmade, one-of-a-kind necklace will be the signature item at the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) Live Auction Gala at the August Santa Fe Indian Market. The collaborative work is by four award-winning Native American artists. The Auction Gala, sponsored by Carolyn Pollack Jewelry, is a benefit for SWAIA, presenter of the world-renowned Indian Market held each year in Santa Fe.

The SWAIA Live Auction Gala, August 21 at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, is one of the most sought-after tickets of Indian Market weekend. This year, the auction will conclude with an opportunity to purchase a sensational necklace created by renowned Native American designers Roderick Tenorio, Veronica Benally, Fritz Casuse, and Cody Sanderson.

Valued at $39,000, the necklace is being donated for the benefit auction through the generosity of the four artists. The inspiration for the finely crafted necklace comes from nature and features butterflies created by each designer mixed among flowers and Native American symbols. Created from finely wrought sterling silver, gold and precious and natural gemstones, the necklace is a unique piece of handcrafted art. It is expected to generate significant interest by collectors.

The collaboration by the four designers was first suggested by Dr. Bruce Bernstein, executive director of SWAIA, and supported by Bill and Carolyn Pollack of Carolyn Pollack Jewelry. The butterfly necklace is the latest example of a recent tradition to bring a group of artists together to work on a collaborative piece of art for the annual Auction Gala. In prior years, teams of Native American artists have customized a motorcycle, a decorative box and a concha belt with their designs.

“We provided the environment where the collaboration could blossom,” Carolyn Pollack said. “As longstanding supporters of SWAIA and the Presenting Sponsors of the gala auction, we wanted to offer an outstanding piece of art for the auction. This year’s collaboration was a true group effort with the four Native Designers brainstorming together and bouncing ideas off each other. I believe the depth of collaboration resulted in a truly unique, outstanding piece. There certainly is not another one like it.”

Carolyn Pollack Jewelry is the presenting sponsor of this year’s gala and the award sponsor for Best in Classification for Jewelry, the top jewelry award given at Indian Market. Carolyn Pollack Jewelry’s sponsorship of the auction gala and jewelry award is part of the company’s mission to promote innovation in Native American jewelry design and to introduce a new generation of collectors to contemporary Native American artists.

“Although a collaboration, the necklace has a unique contribution from each of the designers,” Carolyn Pollack said. “Each of the four artists designed one of the butterflies and they each have their own style, and yet they all came together in this piece. Fans of each designer will recognize instantly the butterfly that designer created, and yet everyone’s work is integrated into the whole. It was truly a creative collaboration, and I think the end result is a stunning work of wearable art.”

Through a partnership that stretches back as far as 10 years, Carolyn Pollack Jewelry licenses and manufactures designs from all four Native American designers—Tenorio, Benally, Casuse and Sanderson—and introduces their designs to millions of viewers nationwide by featuring their work on QVC®, QVC.com, in their own retail stores, and online at www.CarolynPollack.com.

“We’re excited to see iconic American Indian jewelry of New Mexico evolve in an exciting direction and become an international sensation on television,” said Dr. Bruce Bernstein, SWAIA executive director. “The collaborative piece brings attention to the four Native American designers whose success stories include the way they’ve launched successful businesses and partnered with Carolyn Pollack Jewelry to license their designs.”

All four artists will have booths at Indian Market where they will have one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces inspired by the necklace available for collectors to purchase. A limited quantity of reproductions of these jewelry pieces manufactured in the company’s Albuquerque, New Mexico production facility are also scheduled to be available for purchase through QVC during a broadcast in August for customers who can’t make it to Santa Fe for Indian Market.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to interpret the artistic elements of the auction piece in manufactured reproductions available on QVC and in our retail stores,” Carolyn Pollack said. “It brings the collaboration to a new level.”

“Over the years we’ve developed relationships with some of the award-winning artists of Indian Market as part of our mission to evolve Native American arts, which you can see in the range of the designers we work with, from Roderick Tenorio’s more traditional styles to the contemporary works of Fritz Casuse and everything in between,” said Bill Pollack. “We want to broaden the concept of what Indian jewelry is. This is not your grandmother’s squash blossom necklace but exciting new designs from acclaimed native artists.”

About Carolyn Pollack Jewelry

Carolyn Pollack Jewelry features expressive silhouettes and distinctive gemstone color combinations that embody designer Carolyn Pollack’s own lifestyle and fashion sense. This is a fresh, eclectic collection of statement pieces celebrating the natural beauty and spirit of the American woman.

Carolyn Pollack Jewelry is proudly crafted in Albuquerque, NM from recycled silver and gemstones from around the world and is featured on QVC, at the Carolyn Pollack boutique in the ABQ Uptown mall in Albuquerque and at the Southwest Spirit Gallery at the Texan resort in Grapevine, TX as well as online at www.CarolynPollack.com.


SWAIA’s mission is to be an advocate for Native Americans arts and cultures, particularly in the Southwest, and to create economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by producing the Santa Fe Indian Market; cultivating excellence and innovation across art forms; and developing programs and events that support, promote and honor Native artists.

Category: Auction News

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