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Tag Archives: Artists

A matter of perspective. Michaele Cozzi: Three decades as a documentary photographer.

Michaele Cozzi’s photography studio in Superior is a study in black and white. The cinder-block walls are painted white; the concrete floor is dark and glossy. Attached to the walls, floor-to-ceiling panels of concrete reinforcement mesh serve as a vertical work space. Clipped to the wires with clothespins and black metal clamps are black-and-white photographs – hundreds of them. Some are small enough to hold in your hand, and some are large, as wide as a door. Read More »

Artist Patty Sjolin of Miami: From Concept Artist to Muralist

“I always wanted to [create] a character that would live forever and ever, that everyone knows,” Patty Sjolin says. “I want it to give that feeling in your heart.” Sjolin is an artist who started out in a small town in Texas, but whose concepts have reached around the world and been loved by millions of young girls. During the 1990s, Sjolin worked at Lisa Frank Inc., one of the world’s most creative and successful design companies at the time, known internationally for its school supplies, toys, and clothing for girls with colorful, whimsical designs featuring cute animals. Sjolin came to Miami last March to be near her daughter and grandson, and has been establishing a new career here as a painter and muralist. “Art has always been part of my life,” Sjolin says. She started drawing and painting when she was still a young child. “I drew all the time, all the time,” she recalls. In high school Sjolin was known for creating posters and signs for school activities. She left home at 18 and began to travel around the country looking for a new home. Unable to afford canvases, she painted on saw blades and giant catulpa leaves ... Read More »

San Carlos Artist, Robert Wilson, showcased in 4th edition of Telling Our Stories, tells his story as an emerging talent.

After talking to San Carlos Apache artist Robert Wilson about the things that inspire him, it’s not hard to believe him when he says, “pretty much anything.” Over the course of our conversation, I lose count of the number of times he says some variation of “I wanted to learn to do that,” when he recalls first seeing something that lights him up: graffiti in an older kid’s notebook in middle school, new styles and mediums of fine art in high school, or Japanese anime art. Wilson doesn’t stop at admiration; if he likes it, he teaches himself to do it. “I’m learning every day,” he says. Wilson, 23, who is also a freelance graphic designer, traces his beginnings as an artist back to his father. “My dad used to always like doing drawings in the kitchen. I would sit there and watch him as he would draw. He would be drawing whatever came to his mind […] traditional baskets or people or elders. I liked that. I was like, ‘Wow. That’s really cool.’ I wanted to learn how to do that,” Wilson says. Read More »

Dane Thomas’ Weaving El Dorado

When I ask Dane Thomas how weaving came into his life, he says one word: “Hazel.” Thomas, 57, has his first show, Weaving El Dorado, at Jim Coates Gallery in Miami until June 4. Hazel nurtured a seed in Thomas that was planted years earlier in Silver City, New Mexico. “I wanted to be a writer,” Thomas explains. “They have a little university over there [in Silver City] and I checked out a book on weaving. I was living in an old church as a caretaker and had no television or anything. I spent almost a year there. I sat in my cold room in the middle of the old building and strung up a loom and a warp and started weaving from this book.” Read More »

The Warrior In The Woman

This article originally appeared in our winter 2013 edition There is something very intriguing about San Carlos artist Carrie Curley. Perhaps it is the eloquent way she speaks, her voice soft yet strong. Perhaps it is her artistic mystique. Or perhaps it is because this modest artist is a rare find on the Apache reservation, being both female and a painter. And at 24, she is quite accomplished.  Read More »

Amy Schugar: Keep Your Head on Straight

Amy Schugar is easy to spot on Cedar Street. She has that Los Angeles rock mystique, a rare sight here in Globe. Her mane of hair reaches well-below her shoulders, long and full. Her red, studded boots scream rock n’ roll, as do her vest and button-down shirt. I walk up to her and introduce myself. She is animated from the start.  Read More »

Beading The Apache Way

By: Kelly Moss Sally Kenton was just 7 years old when she snuck into her mother’s beading room to bead her first project , “a flimsy, and loosely beaded keychain” which she quickly delivered to her father when he got home so as not to get in trouble. Although Sally thought her first attempt at beading to be rather “ugly” her father thought differently. He proudly attached his keys to his newly beaded keychain and left the house for a Chairman’s campaign rally. That same evening, her father returned home with a fistful of five dollar bills and a list of orders for more keychains! Sally took the money and spent every last cent on seed beads she could call her own. Read More »

Interview with a Lady :Gertrude Serna

Gertrude Serna is a soft spoken, engaging Apache woman who has been creating genuine Apache dolls for decades. Originally, she started out producing full size cradleboards for infants, then moved on to beading ‘T’ necklaces and capes. Dolls, however, are her vocation, her oeuvre. She is self taught and works in her home. She is interested, she says, in passing on this ability to others. Read More »

Delbert Upshaw: Apache Carvings

  (Republished from Dec. 2014) The first thing one observes when viewing the work of Delbert Upshaw is the detail of his wood carvings. While another artist may perhaps opt for a shortcut, an easier way to express line and movement, Delbert’s work is both expressive and exuberant. This young man, equal parts Apache and Navajo, has been creating art since the age of eight. He was born in Keam’s Canyon, Arizona and grew up on the San Carlos reservation, just outside of Globe. Mr. Upshaw now lives in Teesto, Arizona, just north of Winslow. Seven days a week he works in construction as, not surprisingly, a carpenter. Feeding his family and paying the bills are his top priorities. His evenings and any available free time are spent working with authority on mesquite, juniper, cedar and cottonwood root projects. This is doubly impressive because he is only thirty-three, a fact which surprises many people. His work has the appearance of having been created by someone much older, with much more experience. Pictures of him carving show a furrowed brow, a determined focus and a marked amount of diligence. Delbert is modest when he confides that the tribal Elders are pleased ... Read More »

Dreamweaver: Mary Jane Dudley

When seeing an Apache burden basket for the first time, we are not only struck by the unique quality of such an object, but by its beauty and practicality: the fresh, tangy scent of the willow strips combined with the pure, organic feel of the object create a simple yet intriguing vessel. A burden basket was for many years quite simply a device used to carry everyday items such as food and firewood. The wearer slung the basket on her back; a strap across the forehead used gravity to keep it in place. Jingles at the end of buckskin strips were meant to frighten vermin. Baskets were utilitarian by nature, although specialized decoration by individual weavers created works of art which are sought after by collectors and museums the world over. Read More »