Published 2:00 pm MT August 13, 2019
"On the Advance" exhibition organized by Farmington MIchael Billie
FARMINGTON – More than two dozen San Juan County High School artists will be exhibiting this weekend at the 98th annual Santa Fe Indian Market, a huge event that attracts international attention.
Eightteen students from Kirtland Central High School and eight from the Navajo Preparatory Academy will attend the exhibition "On the Rise – Artists in Early and Mid Career Careers", which will be screened August 16-18 at the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe.
The exhibition, which has been on display since June 7 at the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque, was funded by Capacity Builders Inc., a Farmington-based non-profit organization that offers health and quality improvement programs for Diné and other Indians ,
Exhibition organizer Michael Billie of Farmington has arranged for the show to be relocated to Santa Fe this weekend, where he is board member of the Encaustic Art Institute to capitalize on the growing presence of the Indian market.
"The Indian market is the largest indigenous art fair in the world," Billie said. "It's the cream of the crop, all the other Native art fairs copy it, so it's a big deal."
Artists of Kirtland Central include:
- Chenoah Henry
- Rasheena Bedah
- Neveah Nez
- Erwina Chee
- Domonique Benally
- Xavier LaMotte
- Lovelia Murphy
- Autumn Miller
- Ananda Nockideneh
- Jerran Begaye
- Angelica Lucero
- Mya Henderson
- Sadie Crawford
- Caitlin Tache
- Shauna Clark
- Shauntel Bull Bear
- Tinelle Bull Bear
- Jakari McDonald.
The artists of Navajo Prep include:
- Rasheed Holyan
- Tia Morgan
- Kariah T. Wilson
- Owen Mike Yazzie
- Cheyanne Begay
- Desiree Begay
- Caitlin Sagg
- Shannus Becenti.
The show also includes works by eight students from Gallup High School, two students from Window Rock High School and an adult.
According to Billie, the exhibition was originally intended to focus on adult native artists from the Four Corners. However, when he did not receive the expected answer, Billie turned to art teachers at high schools across the region. With their help, he was able to recruit dozens of students to produce works for the show.
The exhibition was originally intended to comprise 25 works, but grew to 36 works due to the response of the students. It shows mostly acrylic paintings, Billie said, and the themes range from abstract images and landscapes to animal portraits to politically charged native commentary.
The scholarship was earmarked for the presentation of work at the New Mexico Cancer Center. When Billie turned to Doug Mehrens, founder of the Encaustic Art Institute, to bring the exhibition to the gallery for the weekend on the Indian market, Mehrens agreed enthusiastically, Billie said.
"If things are going well and busy, Doug would probably do it again," Billie said about the possibility of the show becoming an annual attraction at the Encaustic Art Institute. "He loves to work with children."
In the meantime, Billie hopes that the students whose work will be presented will understand the importance of presenting their work during the event.
"That's a big deal," he said. "You can keep that in your CV."
The Encaustic Art Institute is located at 632 Agua Fria St. in Railyard. For more information, call 505-989-3283.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610.
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