May 24, 201202:11 PMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Tony Abeyta: A Living Treasure
A treasure will be unearthed in Santa Fe over Memorial Day weekend. Contemporary artist Tony Abeyta (Diné) will be honored with the Living Treasure Award at the eighth annual Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival. Recognizing both an artist’s body of work and participation in the community at large, the honor was a natural fit for Abeyta, who portrays complex Navajo beliefs — for example, that there is power in everyone and everything — in a distinguishing, modern style. He also shows diversity in his artwork, recently branching out into jewelry.
“One of the reasons we chose Tony is that despite his success as an artist, he has never fallen back on a ‘formula’ for his work,” explains Jane Buchsbaum, artist chairman for the event. “He continues to experiment and innovate in his media, his images, his technique, and his style.” In response to his nomination, Abeyta stated: “I’m very surprised and honored to be receiving this award. ... I feel my efforts to continue to diversify as an artist are being appreciated.”
The City Different’s only museum-quality Indian art show and sale will be held May 26 – 27 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. More than 200 Native American artists were personally invited by the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture to partake in the event; many of their works are included in the museum’s permanent collection. Representing more than 40 tribes and pueblos, participants will showcase their works in jewelry, pottery, sculpture, painting/drawing, carving, textiles, basketry, beadwork, and diverse materials.
Abeyta will accept his prize at Native Treasures’ Friday night benefit on May 25. Not just a statuette, the Living Treasure Award is an original work of art made and presented by the previous year’s honoree. This year, Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor Roxanne Swentzell will surprise her successor with her very own creation. www.nativetreasures.org
Jewelry by Tony Abeyta (above) © Jennifer Esperanza / courtesy Native Treasures
Artwork by Tony Abeyta (above) courtesy Native Treasures.