Mod­ern Takes

Blue Rain Gallery puts on its an­nual wspot­light of Na­tive art.

Native American Art - - IN THIS ISSUE -


Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mex­ico, hosts its An­nual Cel­e­bra­tion of Na­tive Amer­i­can Art Dur­ing Na­tive Art Week, Au­gust 16 through 19, high­light­ing some of its Na­tive artists and pre­sent­ing glass­blow­ing demon­stra­tions.

The pointil­list paint­ings of Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek) re­sem­ble Plains In­dian bead­work in their por­trayal of tra­di­tional Muscogee mythol­ogy and com­bine, as he says, “rev­er­ence and whimsy.” His bold col­ors and strong sense of de­sign make the tra­di­tional con­tem­po­rary.

Yatika Fields (Chero­kee/creek/os­age) makes paint­ings that re­spond to the en­ergy of the land­scape around him. He says, “My process fo­cuses on flu­id­ity of form and bold­ness of pal­ette, bring­ing the un­seen alive in a way that will in­spire in my au­di­ence a rev­e­la­tion of ideas, color and form; re­shap­ing their re­la­tion­ship to what they take for granted.”

Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara) tells her sto­ries in clay. She ac­knowl­edges and fol­lows the tra­di­tions of her fam­ily and her Pue­blo but has de­vel­oped her own style and tech­niques. She says, “One of my dis­tinc­tive traits is sgraf­fito [etch­ing] over the en­tire pot. And I try not to take my­self too se­ri­ously...i use a lot more hu­mor than most pot­ters.”

Jew­elry maker Maria Samora from Taos has reached a point in her ca­reer where “my train­ing has given me the tech­nique to ac­tu­ally pro­duce what’s in my head.” She de­scribes her work as “nat­u­ral forms made con­tem­po­rary.” De­spite be­ing con­tem­po­rary, she says, “my de­signs have de­vel­oped a more tra­di­tional ele­ment, and I’ve started to in­cor­po­rate geo­met­ric Na­tive pat­terns.”

Pre­ston Sin­gle­tary (Tlin­git) and Dan Fri­day (Lummi) are glass artists who com­bine tra­di­tional Euro­pean glass­blow­ing tech­niques with North­west In­dian de­sign. They will give glass­blow­ing pre­sen­ta­tions Au­gust 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sin­gle­tary grew up hear­ing the tra­di­tional sto­ries of his cul­ture and worked with some of the North­west’s

prom­i­nent Na­tive artists. He learned Euro­pean glass­blow­ing tech­niques work­ing among the prom­i­nent glass artists in the Seat­tle area. He says, “Glass brings an­other di­men­sion to Na­tive Amer­i­can art. Its lu­mi­nous qual­ity and shadow ef­fect are like a spirit that ap­pears when this light­ing is right.” His work em­bod­ies not only the forms of his her­itage but also its spirit.

Fri­day sim­pli­fied forms of bears, sym­bolic of his fam­ily, in glass, us­ing an­cient tech­niques as if they were meant to go to­gether. He re­counts how, when he first saw glass be­ing blown, he felt like he had grown an inch be­cause a weight was lifted from his shoul­ders. “I had fi­nally fig­ured out what I wanted to be when I grew up,” he says. “This was no small feat for some­one who, as a youth, was re­bel­lious and mis­guided. Glass al­tered my life. In spite of my col­or­ful past, and by the grace of a lov­ing com­mu­nity, I found my pas­sion in glass.”

1. Yakita Fields (Chero­kee/Creek/os­age), Con­nect­ing the Past, oil and acrylic on can­vas, 30 x 40" 3. Pre­ston Sin­gle­tary (Tlin­git), Grease Dish, blown and sand-carved glass, 8 x 14 x 6½" 4. Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara), But­ter­fly Pot, nat­u­ral clay and acrylic paint, 6¼ x 5" 5. Starr Hardridge (Muscogee Creek), Un­ti­tled, acrylic on can­vas, 30 x 24"6. Hyrum Joe (Navajo), A Dance for His CheyennePeo­ple, graphite and watercolor on pa­per, 19½ x 15½"

2. Lisa Holt (Co­chiti) and Har­lan Reano (Santo Domingo/kewa), nat­u­ral clay and pig­ments, 20¼ x 11 x 13"

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