Hopes To Move Women Artists To The Foreground
Flagstaff, AZ Quick, name three Navajo painters.
painter Venaya Yazzie's painting Desert Girl,
is one of a series of paintings with the same title. (Courtesy
painter Venaya Yazzie from Huerfano, N.M. presented about
Navajo women artists during the 20th Navajo Studies Conference
last weekend. (photo by Shondiin Silversmith - Navajo Times)
If youre like most people in these parts, you probably
came up with R.C. Gorman, Harrison Begay and Gerald Nailor.
Have you even heard of Sierra Edd, Winona Dawn-House or Elizabeth
If not, you just proved Navajo artist Venaya Yazzies point.
The Diné may be a matrilineal society, but when it comes
to art, the men get all the press.
How many female Navajo painters can you name? That was the question
Yazzie, 41, used to open her presentation during the Navajo Studies
Conference in Flagstaff, Ariz. on May 30.
Yazzies presentation, Trailing the artistic matriarch:
Navajo women painters and their vision in the 21st century,
included research on Navajo women artists whose art steadfastly
focuses on the complexities of the enduring Navajo matriarch and
Yazzie said she started her research because shes been
painting for almost 20 years, and she has noticed that men dominate
the painting field.
Our art and what we do is legitimate, and it is important
to the dialogue of Navajo art and the field of painting, Yazzie
said of Navajo women painters.