GEN­ER­A­TIONAL ART

West­ern Spirit show­cases fam­ily tra­di­tions in con­tem­po­rary Hopi art.

Native American Art - - MUSEUM EXHIBITONS -

West­ern Spirit show­cases fam­ily tra­di­tions in con­tem­po­rary Hopi art.

SCOTTS­DALE, AZ

Fam­ily tra­di­tions are strong among Na­tive American artists. The names of gen­er­a­tions of great pot­ters of the pueb­los along the Rio Grande have be­come fa­mil­iar among ad­mir­ers of the art of the south­west. An ex­hi­bi­tion at West­ern Spirit: Scotts­dale’s Mu­seum of the West is bring­ing at­ten­tion to the con­tem­po­rary work of Hopi artists and their place in pue­blo tra­di­tion.

A Spot­light on Con­tem­po­rary Hopi Ceram­i­cists and Kachina Doll Carvers opens Fe­bru­ary 13 and fea­tures more than 55 ce­ramic works and nearly a dozen katsi­nam.

Among the carv­ings of katsi­nam are Koshare Clowns by Neil David Sr. and his nephew Kerry David. Neil David is of Hopi/tewa her­itage. The Tewa set­tled among the Hopi in 1680 af­ter the Pue­blo Re­volt along the Rio Grande. His mother’s an­ces­tors were among those peo­ple. He is best known for his paint­ings and his draw­ings and carv­ings of Koshare, the sa­cred clowns of the Hopi. Neil, who was born in 1944, sold his first katsina when he was a fresh­man in high school and in 2005 was named a Liv­ing Trea­sure by the Ari­zona In­dian Liv­ing Trea­sures Awards.

Kerry uses only hand tools for his carv­ings and at­tributes his skill to the in­flu­ence of his grand­fa­ther and father, as well as his un­cle.

The ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes an un­usual Poly­chromed Tea Set, in­clud­ing clay spoons, by Glo­ria Mahle (Hopi/ Tewa). She has been a pot­ter since 1980.

Gar­rett Maho is Mahle’s nephew and is rep­re­sented in the ex­hi­bi­tion by a Poly­chromed Sol­stice Jar. He has been mak­ing pot­tery since 1976 and was taught by his aunt and his mother, Mar­i­lyn Mahle. He has won numer­ous awards at both the Santa Fe and Heard In­dian mar­kets.

Stet­son Se­talla writes about his and other artists’ con­nec­tion to his ma­te­rial. “As I work on my pots, I clear my mind of all bad thoughts by con­cen­trat­ing and pray­ing to my clay. Good thoughts and a good heart are es­sen­tial in work­ing with your clay be­cause you are cre­at­ing your­self in each pot as you coil, and

when you are ready to paint the pot, a clear mind and good heart is cru­cial in as­sist­ing you with your paint­ing be­cause the de­signs flow through your mind into your hand and onto your pot with­out dif­fi­culty.”

He rec­og­nizes his mother, Pauline, as his men­tor. He is rep­re­sented in the ex­hi­bi­tion by an in­tri­cately pat­terned Poly­chrome Bowl.

Pre­ston Duwye­nie’s el­e­gant pots of­ten have in­lays of sil­ver cast against cut­tle­fish bone to give them the ap­pear­ance of rip­ples in the sand. Shift­ing Sands Seed Pot re­peats the sand mo­tif in the eggshell fin­ished pot made from white Hopi clay. He is from Third Mesa at Hopi and now lives at Santa Clara Pue­blo with his wife, pot­ter De­bra Duwye­nie. He com­ments on his fam­ily her­itage, “Ev­ery­one has an art. My mother was a bas­ket weaver, my father a Katsina carver. You grow up learn­ing how to make art.” He has earned two Best of Show awards at the Col­orado In­dian Mar­ket and one Best of Show at the Heard Mu­seum Guild In­dian Fair & Mar­ket.

Duwye­nie speaks for many con­tem­po­rary na­tive artists when he says, “Al­though my art has broad­ened through ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties, I have not lost the am­bi­tion to rep­re­sent my her­itage. Hopi peo­ple have pro­duced some of the finest aes­thetic in the coun­try, this tra­di­tion, to a great ex­tent, mo­ti­vates what I do. In my art, spir­i­tu­al­ity weighs heav­ily in both con­tent and style. My aim is to bring the best from my mul­ti­cul­tural in­flu­ences into this so­ci­ety.”

1. Pre­ston Duwye­nie (Hopi), Shift­ing Sands Seed Pot. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2010.

2. Left to right: Kerry David (Hopi), Koshare Clown. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2017; Neil David Sr. (Hopi/tewa), Koshare Clown. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2015; Elmer Adams (Hopi), Koshare Clown. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors ca. 1977; Neil David Sr. (Hopi/tewa), Koshare Clown. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 1988;

Neil David Sr. (Hopi/tewa), Koshare Clown. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2003.

3. Stet­son Se­talla (Hopi), Poly­chromed Bowl. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2006.

4. He­len Naha (Hopi, 19221993), Jar. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2014; Bowl. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 2016; Pot. Ac­quired by the col­lec­tors in 1977. Art­work cour­tesy a Friend of the Mu­seum. Pho­tos by Loren An­der­son Pho­tog­ra­phy.

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