2023: A Year of Excitement and Productivity

Loom Artists launch their markets, learn photography, network and more

Since Loom Market’s launch in April 2023, Loom Artists have made great strides in their online marketplaces. For many, having a beautifully-crafted artist page created interest, excitement and sales. Many artists also received funds for new technology (computers, wifi access, etc.) through the Loom Artist Investment Fund, made possible by The Andrew Mellon Foundation’s generous support. Additionally, they have gained access to media opportunities and have learned essential skills such as managing online marketplaces, improving photography, filing taxes, and leveraging social media.

Our Loom Team — Loom Manager Maria Arvayo, Shop Manager Liz Peña and myself — conducted three comprehensive artists onboardings, along with individual orientations, to guide artists in launching their online marketplaces. Each artist also received a professional portrait from photographer Steven Meckler and attended a photography workshop in his studio, enabling them to capture quality photos using smartphones.

Artists also participated in regular Meet-Ups, held at Maria’s studio at the Art and Design Center in Tucson. Artists lead and participated in discussions on traditional art forms and the significance of selling artwork. Maria assisted artists in photographing their work using simple light boxes and household lighting, to create captivating photos of their artwork. Each Meet-Up encouraged Loom Artist peer-to-peer learning and networking.

Loom Market also hosted an online workshop with Elaine Grogan Luttrell of Minerva Financial Arts, guiding artists through record-keeping and tax filing as freelancers. As we enter tax season, we’ve invited artists to review her workshop again – so much good information about the ins and out of filing taxes!

Looking ahead to 2024, we’re excited to continue supporting Loom Artists with Mellon’s backing, fostering collaborative growth in their businesses. Artists will continue to engage in meetings, sharing insights, networking, and learning from one another on topics such as social media, photography, and market opportunities.

To commemorate a year of hard work, Loom Artists generously donated jewelry, pottery, and artwork to the Loom Arts & Jewelry Auction, held online with an in-person Auction finale on March 28 at Cafe Crisol, Tucson. All proceeds directly support the Loom Artist Investment Fund.

Photo above: Jerolyn Honwytewa uploads her jewelry to Loom Market, with help from Maria Arvayo. Many artists applied and received funds for new technology, such as laptops, to help them with run their businesses.