I am a member of the Wyandot Nation, (enrolled Shawnee), past Executive Director of the Native American Press Association,and past Associate Editor of Native Peoples Magazine. As a Native American portraiture artist (self-taught), I owned and operated a gallery in Lake Tahoe before moving to the Valley of the Sun in 1985. My favorite medium is pastel although I use acrylics and watercolors.
One of my pieces is a pastel of Lori Piestewa, the first Hopi female soldier who died in active duty while stationed in Iraq.
In June of 2005, a Navajo spiritual person performed a Blessing Ceremony in my home. Along with Lori's portrait and my courtyard Native Fountain (which I built), the two items were dedicated to the memory of Lori and all Native American soldiers, including My oldest brother who died in 1960. Lori's portrait was then given to the Piestewa children, Brandon and Carla.
As an "artist in my own residence" , I have added a new twist to my work -- the Huron Bag Lady (with a separate website) -- I have been fashioning various "Huron Bags" (and jewelry) for all seasons and all reasons!
For many years I have concentrated my energies on Native American portraiture. Although I am self-taught, the faces of Native America are my expressions of culture, tradition, spirituality and history. For the past few years I have been carving/sculpting sandstone which I discovered to be a new and exciting media after having created a sandstone fountain with carvings at my home.
I have now gone beyond the initial steps and find so many new avenues to explore with each piece that I finish. I cannot imagine a more perfect medium in which to express my views of a people who have been as durable as the sifting sands back home - ever moving but fixed in their beliefs and lifeways. In my small way I pay homage to those who have gone before and left their footprints upon the pathways of my personal roadways.
For the past few years, I have focused my energies on creating smaller and more affordable pieces. Using my Wyandotte name, Tio-ran-iate, I have fashioned what I call Tio Pictographs .
These smaller pieces are my own interpretations of stories told to me the many years I lived on the reservation.
I hope you enjoy viewing my work as much as I have enjoyed creating each piece.
(For the past few years, I have been honored to participate in the Annual Piestewa Memorial Services for all of our Fallen Warriors.)
Comment from a long-time friend of the artist:
"I have known you for over twenty years and have been impressed with your artistic developments and accomplishments. Although I have always liked your portraits on canvas, this latest adventure, stone carving, is just terrific.
Sandstone is a tricky medium in that it is composed of very fine sand, layered down by water over millions of years and is quite fragile. The piece you carved for us is beautiful, intricate, and detailed. We will cherish this piece and thank you for the dedicated work that went into its creation .......
Barry and Sylvia" (Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. and wife ... August 2006)
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