Luiseño Entrepreneur Ruth-Ann Thorn Interviews Santa Fe Indian Market Artists
The career of gallerist and serial entrepreneur Ruth-Ann Thorn, a citizen of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, is always evolving.
Native Business previously profiled the owner of Exclusive Collections Gallery, a full-service art curation service located in Solano Beach, California, and EC Art Services, which provides art solutions for larger venues such as resorts and Tribal government campuses. Now she’s livestreaming interviews to elevate the profile of Native fine artists.
Her new documentary entertainment series — Art of the City TV — spotlights artists who create the fabric and lifeblood of a city’s cultural community. This month, during the virtual Santa Fe Indian Market, she’s on-location in Santa Fe, speaking with renowned Indigenous artists including George Rivera, Roxanne Swentzell, Nocona Burgess and Raymond Nordwall.
“Santa Fe is the epicenter for Native American art. I was fortunate to be able to interview and document four of the most important Native American artists living today,” says Thorn. “Getting the backstory from each of these creative individuals will help the world understand not only what they are creating but why they are creating it. These are interviews that are history in the making.”
Thorn brings to the series her Native American experience. Her mother was an artist, involved in the women’s rights movement, while her father, a member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, was one of the first Native Americans to occupy Alcatraz in an effort to gain equal rights for the Native Americans living on reservations, who at the time weren’t allowed to vote.
In 2018, Thorn was elected as Chairwoman of the Rincon Economic Development Corporation and has served on the board for five years. She oversees businesses that are owned by the Tribe and is additionally an active member of the California chapter of the Native American Chamber of Commerce.