Janet Smith-Peterson | The Sundance Gallery


Janet's journey into Native American culture and art began in college. However, her fascination with turquoise jewelry and the Indian lore shared by her uncle during family visits sparked her interest long before that.

When her brother attended college in Arizona, Janet traveled from Chicago to Tucson to visit him. During that trip, she experienced a life-changing moment. She realized she wanted to work with native peoples and immerse herself in their art instead of pursuing social work. Over the past 34 years, Janet has traveled to reservations across the country, studying Indian art and purchasing authentic Indian goods.

In 1984, Janet opened her gallery and dedicated her life to promoting and preserving Native American arts. Her strong relationships with artists have allowed her to offer the finest artwork and bring it to life by personally introducing the artists in her gallery.

Janet's interest in Native American culture extends beyond business and retail. She has been invited multiple times by the Southwest Association on Indian Arts to judge the renowned Santa Fe Indian Market. Additionally, she helped establish the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures at Aurora University in Illinois.

Giving back is integral to Janet's gallery mission. Besides board participation, she has contributed to building five homes on reservations across the country.

Recently, Janet partnered with the cruise industry, joining cruise ships worldwide to lecture about Native American culture and sell jewelry to guests on board luxury ships.

Ripley Auctions is thrilled to be working closely with Janet and the Sundance Gallery on our CURRENT Native American Arts + Design auction.  We are estatic to have forged this relationship and we look forward to having many more amazing auctions!