After the success of last year’s inaugural Holiday Craft Bazaar, CIRI shareholder and employee Carolyn Bickley wondered if there was another way she could help connect CIRI artists with customers. The bazaar, which was her brainchild, had been a huge success, and she wanted to capitalize on its popularity.
“I was looking at the shareholder business webpage when it dawned on me: Why don’t we do something similar for artists?” Bickley describes.
That’s how the Alaska Native Artist Directory was born. Since early this year, Carolyn has been collecting information from interested CIRI shareholder and descendant artists and preparing to launch the directory, due to go live online in January 2016. The directory will be a free public resource that features information on artists and one optional photo of their original handmade Alaska Native crafts and artwork. The intent of the directory is to connect artists and artisans with potential customers.
“People who are looking to buy art, and artists who want to sell what they make – now they have a place to find each other,” Bickley says. “It’s a good situation for both the artists and the public.”
Bickley worked with CIRI Shareholder Relations and Corporate Communications to develop the directory and make it available on the CIRI website.
To be eligible to showcase handmade items on the site, an artist must be a CIRI shareholder or confirmed, registered CIRI descendant and 18 years or older. There is no charge to participating artists for this service, and artists remain responsible for selling their own artwork. CIRI is simply providing an avenue for artists to connect with members of the general public.