The Spirit of Pacific Western Traders, curated by Meyo Marrufo and Jennifer Bates, is a collaboration between the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, concept: art + movement, and The Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria.
The Spirit of Pacific Western Traders takes a look at how one store affected generations of California Native artists. Pacific Western Traders (PWT) was founded in 1971 and had its humble beginnings in Folsom, CA as one of the first Native American art stores in Northern California. The owners, Herb and Peggy Puffer, grew PWT to become a premier venue for California Indian Arts.
The space lent itself to demonstrations, classes, shows, and Native art markets, bringing artists and Tribal communities together. From the very traditional basket weavers to the students of culture bearers like Henry Azbill, PWT provided a venue to show and continue their Tribal legacies.
The Puffers promoted groundbreaking contemporary artists of Native America, such as Dalbert Castro, Frank Day, Harry Fonseca, and Frank LaPena who inspired our current generation of California Indian artists. The Spirit of Pacific Traders highlights the many facets of this unique store and its impact on the Native art scene by showcasing artists at the forefront of today’s California cultural arts.