Saturday, October 27, 2012

November in Indian Art

Here's the schedule for Native American art events in November:

November 3-4 - Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ - A Gathering of Weavers

November 5 - 10th Annual Veterans Pow Wow, Fairfax, VA

November 5-6 - American Indian 2012 Marketplace at the Autry, Los Angeles

November 8 - Crown Point Rug Auction, AZ

November 10-11 - Allard's Big Fall Auction, Mesa AZ

November 10-11 - 13th Clearfield Veterans Day Pow Wow, Clearfield, PA

November 10-11 - Columbia Antique Market, Columbia, MO

November 12 - Feast of San Diego, Jemez and Tesuque Pueblos, NM

November 16-18 - Pahrump Pow Wow, Pahrump, NV

November 17-18 - St. Louis Western Art Show, St. Charles, MO

November 24-25 - SWAIA Winter Market, Santa Fe, NM

Friday, October 26, 2012

Harrison Begay RIP

Prolific and talented, Navajo artist Harrison Begay, left behind a wealth of beautiful paintings when he passed earlier this year. Friends and associates estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 paintings were completed in his unique style. But he never became a wealthy man; partly because some of the higher prices the public paid for his paintings included the costs of the dealers who marketed them. Yet he continued to paint because he loved to do it and he loved the animals that were subjects of his work. Pictured here is one of his works in our collection at

He is said to have refused commissions because he painted from the heart and had to be inspired by his subject. As a result, anyone who wanted a certain subject painted would have to wait years, until the spirit moved him.

He had been married once but he and his divorced after he returned from service in World War II. He had no children but is survived by a sister and nieces and nephews.
His passing is a loss to all who love beautiful images sensitively rendered.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Recently, within the last two years, we have discovered the work of Peter Ray James, a Navajo artist specializing in fabric pieces.

Here are a few of his pieces we have acquired in recent days.

According to his bio, James graduated with honors from the Institute of American Indian Arts  in Santa Fe NM in 1984. He also attended Parsons School of Design in New York City. In 1988, his work was introduced to the competitive Indian Art market, which means our introduction to him was well into his career, In the meantime, collectors of his work have included Ahmad & Felicia Rashad, Ted Danson, Jon Bon Jovi and Wynonna Judd. His work is also offered at the New Mexico Museum and the Wheelwright Museum, both  in Santa Fe.

James's Navajo name is Nahat'a Yilth Yil Wood, which translates as "One who delivers the
message". His pieces include representation of spirit figures, yeis, horses, buffaloes - even fish. They are done in fabrics that  are dyed and painted with Navajo symbols. Twigs or feathers often are added in much same manner as prayer- or medicine-bundles on fetish carvings. 

"My Navajo tradition is a path abounding with power and energy. I am enriching my life with remembrance... a spiritual path and a powerful tradition in transition" 
- Peter Ray James
For more information, visit

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Institute of American Indian Arts Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Aboriginals: Art of the First Person and our websites,, and, have watched the growth of IAIA for the 33 years we have been involved with Native American art and culture. We salute its contribution to Native American art.

So we join the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the world's only four-year fine arts college dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts this Saturday.

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary on October 13 with panel sessions on IAIA's impact on creative writing, museum studies, Indigenous studies and studio arts with astute alumni and faculty. Creative Writing Chairman Jon Davis, who is also Santa Fe's poet laureate, and award-winning poet Joy Harjo(Muscogee (Creek) Nation) will be part of Saturday's discussion. Other panelists include award-winning artist Tony Abeyta (Navajo) and Pojoaque Pueblo Governor George Rivera.

Other events include campus tours, garden and greenhouse tours, art demonstrations-- some using state-of-the-art equipment--and student films and art exhibitions.  

To view a historic interactive timeline of IAIA's 50-year history, go to