Imprint, SWAIA partner to fight fake Native American art with launch of new digital art registry

SANTA FE, NM-(BUSINESS WIRE)–Imprint, a blockchain-based art security registry, and the Southwest Native American Arts Association (“SWAIA”) today announced a partnership to combat fraud in the Native American art market by providing 800 Native American artists with a permanent Imprint certified digital title to their works of art. The announcement was made at 100th annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Imprint provides artists and galleries with permanent digital titles that allow artwork to be officially registered, creating a digital certificate of authenticity stored in a secure blockchain database. When a piece is sold, the title of the print and the certificate are transferred to the buyer with information about the transaction – such as date, location and grade – created and stored instantly on the chain, creating a secure and infinite provenance that can be traced back to the creation of the work and the original his sale.

“We are honored to work with SWAIA to provide a next-generation solution to address an age-old problem of fraud and exploitation perpetrated against Native American culture,” said Ruth-Anne Thorne, co-founder of Imprint. Ms. Thorne is also the founder and CEO of Exclusive Collections Galleries, a trio of fine art galleries that feature Native American artists, and an enrolled tribal member of the Rincon Band of Luise├▒o / Pay├│mkawichum Indians of Southern California, where she serves as Chair of Rincon Economic Development Council.

She added, “By giving artists and their representatives a simple, easy-to-use digital tool, we hope to eliminate fake works that claim to be by Native American artists, making their authentic works that much 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 would help combat theft and forgery in the Native American art world,” said the executive SWAIA Director Kimberly Peone. “We are excited to bring cutting-edge solutions to SWAIA artists.”

Global art sales will reach $65.1 billion in 2021, according to a study by investment bank UBS, with online sales more than doubling since 2019. According to the Fine Art Expert Institute, about 50 percent of artworks that currently circulating are probably forged or misattributed. It is estimated that Native American art accounts for approximately $1 billion in sales annually, with approximately 80% of this coming from the sale of counterfeit goods, which include a wide range of works, from painting and sculpture to jewelry, ceramics, and textiles.

For the Southwest Indian Art Association

The Southwest Native American Arts Association (SWAIA) is a non-profit organization supporting Native American arts and culture. Creates economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by producing and promoting the Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest and most prestigious Native American art event in the world since 1922; cultivating excellence and innovation in traditional and non-traditional art forms; and developing programs and events that support, promote and honor local artists throughout the year. For more information about SWAIA, visit www.swaia.org.

About Imprint

Founded in 2021, Imprint, LLC is the first secure global art registry with a mission to empower artists and buyers by preventing art fraud, ensuring authenticity and provenance, and ensuring secure transfer and records of ownership at all times. The Imprint digital platform creates a new standard of authenticity in line with those for other established assets and uses ultra-secure blockchain database technology to ensure the accuracy of all artwork and transactions. For more information, visit http://www.imprintregistry.com/.

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