Native American art studio and classroom, 785 Arts LLC, is moving to the historic Columbian Building, and expanding with an art gallery.
The gallery is comprised of authentic Native American art from tribes throughout the country, and operates in compliance with the Federal Native American Arts and Crafts Act. This act of 1990 helps ensure that buyers of Indian arts and crafts products get what they pay for by making it illegal to misrepresent that a product is made by an Indian.
785 Arts has been located at Amused Gallery in NOTO since December 2019. The studio has been offering classes in Cherokee Doublewall basketry, Cornhusk dolls, and offers presentations in language, history and culture.
“Though dealing with COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, it was hard not to just close,” says Lisa LaRue-Baker, owner of the gallery. “But as I started getting inquiries about classes and presentations again, I quickly realized I needed a larger classroom space. When I found this beautiful space at the Columbian Building, it just screamed ‘gallery.’ If I could continue doing what I do but help other Native artists and educate the public on tribal history and current events, then this is the spot!”
A Native American-woman owned gallery, 785 Arts is one of very few Native American owned galleries focusing on contemporary Native artists. In September 2020, the first opened in New York State. Topeka as the location is due to LaRu-Bakers connections growing up with grandparents in the capital city. She is a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and worked for tribal government in culture, language and history for many years.
785 Arts LLC opens January 7 during First Friday Artwalk, and will feature a special performance by Kituwah Cherokee flutist and storyteller Choogie Kingfisher from 5-8 pm. Classes and exhibit information is available on both the gallery’s Facebook page and website (www.785arts.com). LaRue-Baker is available for school, homeschool, and other organization presentations.