The University of Arizona
 

NEWS
RELEASE

Master Artist Shonto Begay: Just One Of Many Famous Artists at
Southwest Indian Art Fair

Date of Release: February 7, 2003

February 22 and 23, 2003
Arizona State Museum's SOUTHWEST INDIAN ART FAIR
One of the Region's Highest Quality Indian Art Shows!
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (museum members shop one hour early on Saturday!)
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
$5 museum members, $7 adults
$3 ages 6-12 (5 and under free, two-day passes available)

Arizona State Museum is located just east of the UA's main gate at Park Avenue and University Boulevard in Tucson. 520-626-8381 or www.statemuseum.arizona.edu for more information.

Saturday, Feb. 22
Demonstrations
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
-Contemporary Painting by Shonto Begay (Navajo)
-Pueblo storyteller dolls by Mary Lou Kokaly (Isleta/San Juan)
-Sandpainting by Herbert Ben (Navajo)
-Rug weaving by Master Weaver Barbara Teller Ornelas (Navajo) and several members of her family
-Basket weaving by the Tohono O'odham Basketweavers Organization

Performances
10 a.m. Opening blessing by Daniel Preston (Tohono O'odham)
11 a.m. Flute playing by Darrel Bedoni (Navajo)
11:45 Buyer Beware: Misrepresentations of Native American Arts and Crafts by Loren Panteah (Zuni)
12:30 p.m. Yoeme Pahkola and Maso dances by Kolencia Traditional Art Program (Yoeme youth)
1:15 p.m. Shonto Begay, Randy Keedah, Carliss Sinquah talk about Ponies del Pueblo
1:45 p.m. Flute playing by Robert "Tree" Cody (Salt River Pima-Maricopa), courtesy Canyon Records
2:45 p.m. Traditional dances by Desert Indian Dancers (Tohono O'odham youth)
3:45 p.m. Dances, stories and flute playing by Allenroy Paquin (Jicarilla Apache)

Sunday, Feb. 23
Demonstrations
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
-Contemporary Painting by Shonto Begay (Navajo)
-Pottery by White Swann and daughters Snow and Popovi (Hopi)
-Sandpainting by Herbert Ben (Navajo)
-Rug weaving by Master Weaver Barbara Teller Ornelas (Navajo) and several members of her family
-Basket weaving by the Tohono O'odham Basketweavers Organization

Performances
11 a.m. Buyer Beware: Misrepresentations of Native American arts and crafts by Loren Panteah (Zuni)
11:45 a.m. Hoop Dances by Nokotah LaRance (2002 National Youth Hoop Dance Champion) and Cree LaRance (Hopi)
12:30 p.m. Yoeme Pahkola and Maso dances by Kolencia Traditional Art Program (Yoeme youth)
1 p.m. Shonto Begay, Randy Keedah, Carliss Sinquah talk about Ponies del Pueblo
1:30 p.m. Traditional and contemporary songs by Delphine Tsinijinnie (Navajo), courtesy Canyon Records
2:15 p.m. Yellow Horse Drummers
3 p.m. Flute playing by Darrell Bedoni (Navajo)

(University of Arizona, Tucson) A great thing about Arizona State Museum's Southwest Indian Art Fair is the fact that, each year, it brings more and more famous artists to Tucson. This year nearly 200 are expected. It's a virtual who's who of SW Indian artists.

Big name contemporary artists don't come any more famous -- or down to earth -- than Shonto Begay. Navajo painter, illustrator and writer, Shonto is as real as they come.

Shonto doesn't enter juried competitions, an expected thing in the native art world. "What do I have to prove?" he asks quietly and sincerely. "Art isn't about competition to me, it's about complementing our lives. My award or reward is inspiring the creativity in people, especially kids because so much of their innate creativity is schooled out of them."

Children and creative inspiration are recurring themes in Shonto's conversations. "I try to encourage kids to follow their dreams and discover the art world that lies within, to make their lives more creative. They don't have to become artists necessarily, just learn to be creative in their everyday lives, like in resolving conflict. Couldn't we all use a little more creativity in conflict resolution right now?" he asks, obviously thinking about the current threat of war. Through his work with the Grand Canyon Youth group in northern Arizona, Shonto is doing his part to ensure a more creative future for Navajo kids. "It's a two-way exchange," he is quick to point out. "They inspire me as much as I hope I do them."

Shonto's current list of accomplishments include a mural for the lobby of the new Westin resort in Scottsdale. One of his large pieces also hangs in the office of New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson. The governor himself called to make the request! "And I just finished illustrating a children's book about a Navajo girl called Alice Yazzi's Year (Tricycle Press, Berkelely CA). That's pretty good, don't you think?"

Shonto spends most of his time at his Flagstaff gallery, Shonto/RMRunning Gallery, with his wife Raechel, at which he, again, promotes the creativity of his friends and colleagues in the community. "Today you would see many different crafts in the gallery -- colorful pins and ornaments and even photographs. It's a colorful, living space with red carpet and multi colored walls. Color was never very important to me, but my wife has brought color into my life."

The busy artist has also just completed Arizona State Museum's "pony" -- as part of the city-wide fund-raising project Ponies del Pueblo. Shonto's pony and that of Randy Keedah's (Navajo) for the Marana Arts Council will be on display at the art fair (Images of Shonto working on the Pony are available).

See Shonto in action in the Demonstration Tent.

You will also find Master Weaver Barbara Teller Ornelas (Navajo) and several members of her family weaving beautiful tapestries right before your eyes.

Enjoy pottery demonstrations by Hopi artist White Swann and her 2 daughters Snow and Popovi; traditional Navajo sand painting demos by Herbert Ben, Tohono O'odham basket weaving, and watch Mary Lou Kokaly from Isleta/San Juan Pueblo create her storyteller dolls.

Musical performers scheduled are: singer Delphine Tsinajinnie (Navajo), flutists Robert "Tree" Cody (Salt River Pima-Maricopa) and Darrell Bedoni (Navajo)

Dance performances by Yaqui, Tohono O'odham and Hopi youth groups.