Our Story

RAINMAKER Gallery is the UK showcase for contemporary Native North American Indigenous art and jewellery. Situated close to The Downs in Clifton, North Bristol, Rainmaker Gallery is a celebration of the very best in contemporary Native American art and design. Through artist talks, events and exhibitions Rainmaker promotes awareness, education and cultural exchange. The gallery exhibits original paintings, drawings, fine art prints, photography and sculpture, and carries a superb collection of high quality handmade American Indian jewellery, Zuni fetish carvings and Pendleton blankets. We curate, procure and consult for museums, cultural institutions, arts organisations and collectors in the UK and abroad.

The Beginning

RAINMAKER was founded by Joanne Prince in 1991 to provide an opportunity for Native North American Indigenous voices to reach the UK. It all began with a desire to share the rich diversity of Native American arts and cultures and to extend public awareness far beyond the ubiquitous narrow stereotype. Our first gallery was in the leafy Manchester suburb of West Didsbury, where we introduced Native Art to a fascinated and enthusiastic audience. During the Manchester years, Jo became Director of the Tony Abeyta Gallery in Taos, New Mexico, further deepening her experience of Native arts and cultures. Since launching Rainmaker at the fearless age of 26, Jo has made it her life’s work to ensure that contemporary Native American art is continuously exhibited in England. She has curated numerous solo and group exhibitions enhanced by her immersion in and understanding of Native communities and by collaborations with other specialist curators and academics.

“I divide my time between England and North America where I live and work within the Native community. I count amongst these artists and their families some of my closest friends whose boundless warmth, generosity, hospitality and creativity endlessly enriches my life.”  J.P.

Our Bristol gallery opened in 2008 and relocated in 2022, hosting many visiting artists including Tony Abeyta, Marcus Amerman, Edgar Heap of Birds, America Meredith, Sarah Sense, Chris Pappan, Debra Yepa-Pappan, Nocona Burgess, Cara Romero, Diego Romero, Del Curfman, Marla Allison, Yatika Fields, Pat Pruitt, George Alexander, Jordan Ann Craig, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Leah Mata Fragua, Jason Wesaw and Rick Grimster. Rainmaker exhibitions encompass visiting artists, guest lectures, artist talks, workshops, film screenings and panel discussions and offer unparalleled opportunities for real cultural exchange.

“Our visit to Bristol was one of the most memorable times for the 3 of us. We talk about our trip all the time, and hope to get back to England someday, especially to see our good friend Joanne Prince. She does such an amazing job promoting Native artists, our art, and educating her town about NA people. So if she ever asks you for work to show, that is something special, do not pass up that opportunity!” Debra Yepa-Pappan

Now and in the future

Rainmaker moved to a wonderful new gallery space in 2022. This new beginning was made possible because of all the love and support from you our amazing customers, alongside a substantial grant from Bristol City Council.

We launched the new gallery with ‘Keepers of the Fire‘, a two person show by Jason Wesaw and Douglas Klemm both citizens of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Both artists  and their families travelled to Bristol for the opening in September 2022.

In 2024 our changing exhibitions showcase artists Preston Singletary (Tlingit), Rick Grimster (Mvskoke), Randy L Barton (Diné), Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Addison Karl (Chickasaw & Choctaw), Jason Wesaw (Potawatomi) and many more.