Thursday, February 11, 2010

Award-Winning Navajo Artist Sheldon Harvey Shares Thoughts on Art and Preserving Navajo Culture

Two words describe Navajo (Diné) artist Sheldon Harvey--Cool and humble. I've met him on several occasions at Andrews Pueblo Pottery and Art Gallery in Albuquerque's Old Town Plaza. If you're fortunate to be in the gallery while he is on one of his selling trips from Arizona, what you first notice about him is that he is quiet and subtly confident. Once you've talked to him, you'll discover that he's an overall good guy too.

At just 30, Harvey has already taken Santa Fe's Indian Market by storm. As a matter of fact, in 2008, he won "Best of Show" at Indian Market, and his star has continued to rise steadily ever since. It's no surprise, though, since he has worked with master Diné artists Don Whitesinger and Tony Abeyta.

The prices of his paintings and Ye’ii figures,which depict Navajo supernatural beings as Harvey sees them, are going up quickly. These carved wood sculptures, decorated with paints, macaw feathers, horsehair, canvas and yucca, are among his most creative works and his most popular. That means if you are in the market for Native art and want to own one of his colorful and spiritual works, you better jump now. While Harvey didn't even submit his work for judging at the 2009 Indian Market, he did receive a great deal of press and added more people to his loyal fan base that includes collectors from the United States, Europe and Asia. With a particular fondness for the Japanese, Harvey has painted numerous works that are part of a wonderful series inspired by his travels to Japan.

This week, I was lucky enough to have some time to chat with Sheldon Harvey while he was on a recent selling trip in Albuquerque. Check out my video interview here:

Sheldon Harvey is represented in Albuquerque exclusively by Andrews Pueblo Pottery and Art Gallery. For more information, visit the gallery at

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