“What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.” – Quote Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution which designated November as “National American Indian Heritage Month”. Below are profiles of three Native American artists whose persistent and diligent efforts have introduced the contemporary art of descendants of the first Americans to an international audience.
Kevin Red Star
Native American Painter; Born 1943 –
- Kevin Red Star Studio & Gallery, Roberts, Montana.
Kevin Red Star is a celebrated artist who is internationally known. He was born on the Crow Indian Reservation in Lodge Grass, Montana. He is the recipient of 2 Honorary Doctorate degrees. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Art from the Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana in 1997; and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2010. Click link below to read additional bio notes:
- Kevin Red Star | Masters of the American West 2011 | Autry National Center
“Indian culture has in the past been ignored to a great extent.” — Kevin Red Star
Well thanks to his efforts and that of many others who support the preservation of our Native American history, culture and heritage, it will be ignored no longer. Red Star’s work can be found in numerous important museum collections, including but not limited to The Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of the American Indian.
Native American Painter/Sculptor; Born 1950 –
- NIMAN Fine Art | Dan Namingha, Santa Fe, New Mexico
To work around the traditional art system, i.e. non-recognition of Native American artists, Namingha opened his own gallery. Niman Fine Art is a family-owned and operated gallery representing the works of internationally known artist Dan Namingha and other Namingha family members. His original works are also available at art galleries worldwide; for example, Artnet Galleries.
From the Tewa-Hopi tribe, Dan Namingha was born on the Hopi reservation in Keams Canyon, Arizona. In 2009, Dan Namingha received an Honorary Doctorate from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Like most artists, from very young (2nd grade) his artistic abilities provided him an avenue of creative expression. His work shows the influence of his Hopi background but his sculptures also incorporate cubism. Links to additional bio notes:
- Grounds For Sculpture : Collection – Dan Namingha
- The Art of Dan and Arlo Namingha
“I see myself as a kind of bridge between worlds, trying to find that center line of balance.” – Dan Namingha
Native American Painter; Born 1965
- The Art of Tony Abeyta
Original paintings are in public art galleries worldwide and American museums, such as the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C./New York City.
Tony Abeyta is of Navajo and Anglo-American descent, the son of the late Navajo painter Ha-So-De (Narciso Abeyta). He was raised in Gallup, New Mexico, a small town surrounded by the Zuni (Pueblo Native Americans) and Navajo reservation. Pursuing his educational aspirations provided him an opportunity to travel. He has studied at art institutions in Baltimore, Chicago, Maine, New York, France and Italy. Though much of his work is rooted in a complex Navajo culture, it also displays elements of a progressive cultural experience.
“I try to diversify as an artist and there are certainly many directions I take as a painter.” – Tony Abeytar
Tony Abeyta is accepted as one of the finest young contemporary painters today, as well as one of the most innovative Native American artists of his generation. I. For further biographical information, click on the link to above to his official website or the links supplied below:
- Blue Rain Gallery | Artist Bio
- Jewelry Designer and Painter Tony Abeyta
- Native Artist Tony Abeyta Talks Inspiration and Aspirations
If interested learning more about other Native American Contemporary Artists, visit the Native Art Network.