The Sundance Gallery Returns To Naperville

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“I fell in love, I fell in love with the culture that I saw down there, the colors, the landscape, it just felt like coming home,” said The Sundance Gallery owner, Janet Smith-Peterson. I knew then that I wanted to work with Native American people.”

Janet Smith-Peterson took her first trip to the Southwest in the 1970’s. Since then she’s worked to spotlight the beauty of Native American art and culture. She started her business, The Sundance Gallery,  in St. Charles then moved to downtown Naperville in 1996. This holiday season the gallery is back for a limited time showcasing a plethora of Native American arts, crafts and more.

What Can You Find At The Sundance Gallery?

“My brand and what I carry is only authentic Native American arts,” said Smith-Peterson. “My offering is jewelry, turquoise jewelry, silver jewelry, that’s a big part of what we sell here. We also carry baskets made by tribal people all over the country, and then we carry Navajo rugs, pottery, sculptures, some art work for the wall, wood carvings, clay sculptures. Anything that’s made by Native hands is welcome here.”

A Shift In The Arts Business

The Sundance Gallery celebrates its 38th anniversary this year. Though their Naperville storefront closed in 2009 and their final full-time store front in Geneva is shuttering in April, a new pop up format has worked well.

“The reason I’m doing these short term pop ups, it really has a lot to do with learning that my business is driven by events,” said Smith-Peterson. “I learned that my business is event driven, that people showed up more when I had specific events, so having a full-time, 12 month a year, 7 day a week gallery wasn’t as relevant today as it was 38 years ago.”

Events Held At The Sundance Gallery

Smith-Peterson will bring in different artists, musicians and speakers throughout the next two months. They will mostly appear at the gallery on the weekends.

“I want to know the stories, I want to know the stories of the pieces and I want to share the stories with people and that’s why I like to bring Native artists in to do shows and meet the customers directly.” 

You can find the event schedule on The Sundance Gallery website. The store will remain open Wednesday through Sundays until December 28. Smith-Peterson is delighted to once again have a presence in the Naperville community, where she felt welcomed from the start.

Happy To Be Back In Naperville

“Naperville is a really great place for me to come back to because when I opened my store in Naperville, this community supported and really wanted me to succeed,” said Smith-Peterson. “Naperville was very very good to me and I’m excited to be back, so everybody come on in and say hello!”

Naperville News 17’s Joe Kennedy reports.

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