40 Prominent People | Leroy Garcia

Leroy Garcia
Owner of Blue Rain Gallery • Santa Fe, NM & Scottsdale, AZ

Leroy Garcia

Distinction: Blue Rain Gallery has set the bar high for quality in Native American art. It has also proved that there needn’t be a separation between Native and non-Native art.
What is the significance of the name you chose for your gallery? Blue Rain honors [my wife] Tammy’s grandmother, Mary Rain. Blue Rain is an interpretation of her Tewa name. She was a potter, and Tammy learned a lot about her heritage and pottery from her.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the art market over the years? The advent of the Internet. We were one of the first art galleries to actually have a website in 1994.
What trends do you see in the art market today? In the Native genre, you see a more contemporary, modern movement.
How has Southwest Art contributed to the careers of your artists and to an appreciation of Native American art? Southwest Art contributed greatly because when we were first coming up the ladder, the articles legitimized what we were trying to do.
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your career? The marketing of [artist] Tammy Garcia, the introduction of glass work into Native markets in the Southwest, and the development of a functional Internet site.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years? I hope to keep pushing the envelope to be both innovative and refined. I hope to push glass further and push our painters to be more modern. They can go in any direction, but I want them to be innovatively different.
You recently opened a gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. Do you see new markets opening up for your artists there? I thought it was the right time because rents are low. The art market had started to fade because the cost of doing business was too high. This was the perfect time because there is enormous potential to rebuild in Scottsdale, and there is still a sea of multi-million dollar homes that need great art.

Featured in “40 Prominent People” in May 2011.

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