Imprint Partners with SWAIA to Combat Native American Art Forgery with Launch of New Digital Art Registry | Culture


SANTA FE, NM (BUSINESS WIRE) – Imprint, a blockchain-based art security registry, and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts announced a partnership on Friday, August 19 to combat fraud in the art marketplace. Native American art by providing 800 Native American artists with permanently certified digital print titles to their artwork.

The announcement was made at the 100th annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Imprint provides artists and galleries with permanent digital titles that allow artworks to be officially registered, creating a digital certificate of authenticity stored on a secure blockchain database. When a coin is sold, the title and fingerprint certificate are transferred to the buyer with transaction information – such as date, location and valuation – created and stored instantly on the chain, creating a secure and infinite provenance that can be traced back to the creation of the piece and its initial sale.

“We are honored to work with SWAIA to provide a next-generation solution to an age-old problem of fraud and exploitation committed against Native American culture,” said Imprint Co-Founder Ruth-Ann Thorn.

Thorn is also the founder and CEO of Exclusive Collections Galleries, a trio of art galleries that showcases Native American artists, and a registered tribal member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño/Payómkawichum Indians of Southern California, where she serves as President. of the Rincon Economic Development Council.

She added, “By providing artists and their representatives with a simple, easy-to-use digital tool, we hope to weed out counterfeit works claiming to be from Native American artists, making their authentic work all the more valuable.”

“When Imprint approached us about launching their blockchain-based art security registry with SWAIA artists, we immediately recognized the opportunity as one that will help combat theft and counterfeiting in the Native American art world. “said Kimberly Peone, Executive Director of SWAIA. “We are thrilled to be able to provide state-of-the-art solutions to SWAIA artists.”

Global art sales in 2021 were worth $65.1 billion, according to research by investment bank UBS, with online sales more than doubling since 2019. According to the Fine Art Expert Institute, around 50% of the art currently in circulation is likely falsified or misattributed. Native American art is estimated to account for approximately $1 billion in sales annually, approximately 80% of which comes from the sale of counterfeit products that include a wide range of works, from painting and sculpture to jewelry, ceramics and textiles.


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