The Museum of Northern Arizona, in existence since 1928,
held its 71st annual Hopi Show celebrating Hopi art July 2-4.
year yielded the best of Hopi jewelry, pottery, textiles, fiber
art, Tihu carving and multi-media work from more than 50 Hopi participants
at the Flagstaff show. In addition, Verma Nequatewa-Sonwai of Hotevilla
Village (Badger Clan) was the featured Master Artist this year,
selected by Bob Lomadafki, Hopi Show-Heritage Series coordinator
and the current MNA Board of Trustees. Nequatewa showcased what
she creates in her Third Mesa studio for her private collectors
and museum institutions from around the world.
is a world class jeweler who works primarily in 18 karat gold with
precious stones from foreign countries as well as diamonds, colored
pearls and fossilized ivory.
has been recognized for her work for the past 30 years, including
time she spent interning under her world-renowned uncle, the late
Charles Loloma. Since her uncle's passing in 1991, Nequatewa
has brought her own special look and feminine qualities to her jewelry
of her more prominent pieces are commissioned works of art such
as the bracelet Arizona supermarket chain mogul Eddie Basha recently
requested as a gift for his wife, Nadine.
has also been commissioned for historical pieces of jewelry such
as the recent Arizona Foundation for Women pins, that were to be
given to the likes of Elizabeth Dole, Tipper Gore and Supreme Court
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. These pins were gold made with
precious stones in a softly outlined female-shaped form. Nequatewa
said that she was honored to make these pins with these special
women in mind, who would be the final wearers of her work. When
asked what is her favorite piece of jewelry to work on, Nequatewa
said immediately, "Bracelets. A bracelet is much like a little
mini-sculpture and the sky is the limit on how high or thick you
can go. It's a lot of fun to design."
of Nequatewa's pieces are priced in the thousands, and the
more detailed ones can take several weeks to complete. They are
that detailed and finely created. It is a pure pleasure to try one
on and know how much work has gone into it.
husband, Dr. Robert Rhodes, who has also served as her personal
business manager over the past 30 years, has deep admiration and
respect for his wife's work.
they are a formidable team.
the years, Nequatewa's husband has designed some jewelry for
special family friends on his own, but he laughingly calls his line
of work, "Someway" jewelry, not Sonwai.
year's Hopi Show also featured two top winners, Gerald Honwytewa,
who was named as Best of Show artist, and Roy Talahaftewa, Master
won Best of Show for his stunning silver and exotic stone lapidary
piece titled "Shalako Bolo."
from the village of Shungopavi (Bear Clan), was originally influenced
by his father and uncles in the traditional Hopi overlay style.
But it's been really around 10 years that he has taken his role
as an artist seriously and pursued formal classes in tufa casting
and design. Honwytewa also took the time to research metal braiding
techniques and has now mastered the specialized art of braiding
pure silver into lariat neck ropes for his bolo tie creations. He
also makes pure braided silver bracelets that have pure silver end
caps with a Hopi overlay design clasp.
these silver braided bracelets have a traditional Hopi overlay influence,
they are decidedly "original Honwytewa" and have a very
distinctive look of their own.
Talahaftewa, from the Village of Shungopavi (Water Clan), walked
away with this year's prestigious title of "Master Artist
receiving this title, Talahaftewa will now be recognized by native
artists as the top in his class in both areas of technique and original
design, becoming a walking example of "artistic perfection
a self-taught artist also has a deep seated commitment to assisting
he has in the past four years also developed a sister program to
his own artwork called "So'oh's Tunatya" (Grandmother's
Dream"), a focused workshop classroom series, which features
native artists working in a weeklong program to give hands-on technical
assistance in the areas of jewelry production.
his credit, Talahaftewa has partnered with the MNA every spring,
holding a May fund-raiser luncheon to benefit these art technique
classes. Talahaftewa, who resides at Second Mesa, can be contacted
through the Hopi Tutuveni for additional information on his organization.
Hopi Show Master Artist winning entry was a heavy gauge silver concho
animals on each individual conchos are very special to him.
of these animals on my belt are the Creator's living gift to
us and it was a way to honor them because they are in all of our
ceremonies and prayers," he said.
the winning entry was in the format of traditional Hopi overlay
style, Talahaftewa said he likes to work with gold and exotic stones
in a lapidary setting.
pins and pendants are highly sought after art commodities and have
been featured in several art magazines in the past five years.
MNA, directed by Robert Bruenig for just over a year, has added
a strong native artist-coordinator member to its team this past
year in hiring Lomadafki, a member of the Hopi Tribe, from the Village
of Hotevilla to assist in revamping the Heritage Program.
Lomadafki and Bruenig, MNA has taken on a new direction for building
partnerships over the past few months.
weekend sold out event was direct evidence of their hard work and
collaborative efforts towards making MNA a true place of community,
art appreciation and cultural bonding.
Hopi Marketplace Winners
Honwytewa, Shalako Bolo
Talahaftewa-Silver Overlay Concho Belt
Arts, First Place, Elsie Suetopka, Basket;
First Place, Elsie Suetopka, Textile;
Jewelry, First Place, Lawrence Saufkie-Shalako Bolo
Place, Eli Taylor
Place, Jewelry, Cheston Dalangyawma;
First Place, Fine Arts, Simana Tenakhongva
Place, Sharon Lomakema, Shalako;
Second Place, Sarah Gashwytewa, Whirlwind;
Third Place, Leona Pooyouma, Cloud
Place, Marvin Pooyouma, Women's belt;
Second Place, Marvin Pooyouma, Double Design Belt;
Third Place, Ramona Poleyma, "Comet," Wall Hanging
of Division, Gerald Honwytewa
Place, Anthony Honahnie, "Hopi Longhair with White
Place, Howard Sice, Sterling Bowl with Kachina
Naha, Bowl, "Embracing Hawks"