November 15, 2019
Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents an exhibition of Native American art in the university’s Ray Drew Gallery in Donnelly Library at 802 National Ave. through Dec. 13, with an opening artist’s reception Nov. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.
“Native American artists from New Mexico, Arizona and Kentucky who have passion and talent are featured in this exhibition,” said Karlene Gonzales, the Ray Drew Gallery curator. “Some carry on the tradition from past generations with pride and share the influence of their culture.”
Gonzales said the exhibition celebrates Native American Heritage month in November.
“This show allows New Mexico Highlands University to honor Native Americans through the exhibition of art which reflects the current and past culture of Native Americans in our area and beyond. It also provides an opportunity for the public to experience the diverse community of art we at Highlands are fortunate enough to exhibit and share,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said there are 11 artists exhibiting a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, including some very powerful sculptures, paintings, pottery, and printmaking.
“The styles are traditional and contemporary,” Gonzales said.
The artists in the exhibition represent various tribes and pueblos, with a number representing more than one affiliation. They include Ehren Natay, Diné/Kewa/Cherokee; Duhon James, Diné; Jeremy Colbert, Chickasaw; Garett Etsitty, Diné; Luanne Redeye, Seneca; Mallery Quetawki, Zuni; R.D. Tsosie, Picuris/Navajo; Sharon Naranjo-García, Santa Clara; Alexis Hustito, Zuni; Angie Yazzie Taos/Diné; and Jordyn “Puweh Tsay”Atencio, Santa Clara.
“One of the artists, Alexis Hustito of the Zuni Pueblo, is a 2016 graduate of the Highlands University’s bachelor of fine arts program. Her excellent work highlights representations of the Zuni people through acrylic paintings that symbolize each clan,” Gonzales said.
Another element of the exhibition includes Native American artifacts such as pottery, and a basket that is on loan from the Highlands University anthropology program.
“The pieces from the anthropology program were donated by Kathleen Walz from the Lenore Barclay Spencer Walz Collection for educational purposes,” Gonzales said.
As part of the exhibition, the fine arts department also sponsored an artist talk by award-winning sculptor R.D. Tsosie, who has three sculptures in the exhibition. He is of Picuris and Navajo descent.